Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/111

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

The Centaurians

saw it. I infer we are traveling in the land of Centauri."

"Behind each flaming globe," muttered Saunders, who was unusually pale, "I saw long, dark shadows of very solid appearance. They are planets signaling to us."

"Planets be d——d!" roared Saxe. "They were four balloons with great electric search-lights. Boys, this side of the earth is inhabited, and they are far ahead of us when it comes to fireworks."

"Yes, and fond of airing themselves and their fancied superiority, like the rest of us," agreed Sheldon. "Therefore they're human. Wheel for Centauri!"



Urged by curiosity we traveled steadily night and day. Saunders scanned the heavens nightly for a reappearance of the brilliant globes, and incidentally his star, but discovered nothing except the atmosphere was gradually clearing, and the filmy twilight heralded a beautiful, crescent moon, whose silvery, mystic rays pierced the lifting northern vapors. Sparse vegetation greeted us as we advanced, and we ran across an odd, stunted plant, bearing a beautiful, crimson blossom, which threw out a sickly-sweet odor, and shriveled up, turning black the instant it was plucked. These vivid ice blossoms dotted the snow desert profusely as the climate grew warmer.

We halted upon the crest of a hill to survey the