LEGACY: The Life of Nikola Tesla (Chapter 1, page 1 of 4)

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Chapter 1

Bolts of lightning are cracking across the sky and thunder rolls. It's midnight on July 10, 1856. We are in Smiljan, Yugoslavia and there is a cry from a newborn baby.

The cuckoo clock on the wall indicates 12:00 and the bird is coming out with the final three cuckoos. A candle flickers in the downstairs rooms of the two-story house.

The plump, middle-aged, graying woman wearing a white cotton cap and all smiles presents the baby to mother.

"Mrs. Tesla, you have a beautiful baby boy. I will go tell Rev. Tesla and I want you to get some rest."

Mrs. Tesla, exhausted, but so happy says, "What a good sign, to be born on a night like this."

Rev. Tesla is carrying a Bible and praying. The midwife says, "Your wife and son are waiting for you." He breaks from his prayers and a look of excitement livens his face. He says to the midwife, "It's an old wives' tale that a baby born in a thunderstorm has special gifts." He puts down his Bible and heads for the bedroom.

All excited, he says to his wife, Djourka, "We have created another miracle. How are you feeling?"

"I think we are both doing just fine." The newborn is comfortably snuggled and quietly sleeping in her arms.

The house is warm and well furnished with many books. Rev. Tesla in his robe and slippers takes the baby and has such a huge smile on his face. "You will be very happy in this family. We will name you Nikola."

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