Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/107

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The Centaurians

markable theory of his own which, after the first surprise, threw the belligerents into spasms of laughter.

Then Saunders discovered his star, or thought he did.

Sheldon and I had turned in, after hauling the greater part of the day, when wild shouting outside startled us. We sprang up in alarm, thinking we were attacked by animals or savages, and rushed to the rescue.

Saxe., open-mouthed, was gazing heavenward, and Saunders, crazy with excitement, bounced up and down like a rubber ball, gesticulating wildly. The stars sparkled brilliantly in the soft, deep-blue twilight sky, but right above us a great globe of light burned red, swinging in the atmosphere as though attached to a gigantic pendulum.

"It's the star!" gasped Saunders. "My God, the star!"

"It flashed there suddenly," echoed Saxe. "The sky cleared shortly after you turned in and we were star gaping when that thing burst into view like a meteor."

I knew it wasn't a star, but kept quiet. To air opinions is the worst policy. I never make a noise unless invited.

We examined the great light through the telescope.

Saunders, disappointed and perplexed, at last admitted it was not a star, and he'd be d——d if he could make out what it was.

Through the telescope the "star" had curious-