Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/102

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The Centaurians

able heat and we managed a little cooking. This comfort lifted some of the gloom, we became more cheerful and affairs seemed to take a sudden boom, but we wandered five months in confusion and misery, then at last, through the merest trail, discovered an outlet from this icy hell. Birds sailed above, monstrous feathered creatures, shrieking and flapping their huge wings as though to attract attention. Later, a great flock like an enormous black cloud, sailed over diagonally in a southerly direction. We decided to follow the birds, possibly it was death, but in the present predicament, death was a certainty. Cautiously, persistently we advanced, slowly conquering our awful difficulties. This encouraged us, and congratulating each other, we redoubled our efforts, and in three weeks were freed of the hellish blockade. We yelled, mad with joy, and looked upon the grandest sight man ever viewed. Before us an interminable expanse of ocean, whose waters were the clearest, most limpid green, with billows soaring mountain high, crested with the most delicate tracery of foaming lace, yet the strength, suction contained in those voluminous waves was terrifying, magnificent, seeming to increase with monstrous power as though to engulf the universe. Far to the north was the stifling, frozen world, and from the vast unit giant floes constantly broke and parted to be borne swiftly southward by the powerful current. And to the south as far as the eye reached, this mighty ocean roared and boomed in superb grandeur and solitude, banked by a level coast of ice and snow. We