Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/112

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The Centaurians

surrounding country, which was almost submerged in a thick, floating, blue mist; but gradually this vapor sea lifted, compact like a monstrous lid, and we viewed a vast expanse of velvety whiteness; but beyond—far, far beyond, though real—we feasted our eyes upon the loveliest country God ever created. We cheered the beautiful scene, and marveled at the stupendously lofty mountains, whose azure peaks pierced the clouds. Vast plains and valleys stretched wide, crossed and re-crossed with serpentine, silvery lines, and to the west, glimmering white, expansive, was a great body of water, an ocean. Through the glasses the mountains showed up, thickly covered with forest, a glorious, verdant land, richly seamed with sparkling streams, a wondrous land shading into golden lights, a paradise—superb Centauri!

Before we could look our fill upon this lovely promise of the future the thick vapors descended, veiling all.

In our eagerness we went off our feed, consequently gained mightily in speed. Soon we cleared the polar mists, the evenings grew deeper, darker, the stars shone brilliantly, startlingly near and large. Then one night, toward the death hour of twelve, far in the east a strange opaline light slowly glided into view. A pear-shaped disc, lusterless like a monster pearl, of a pale pink, mystic color. High in the heavens it sailed—Saunders had at last discovered his star.

He pointed to it, pale, trembling, vainly striving to control his emotion.