Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/116

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The Centaurians

"That's nothing," he assured me; "that fellow in the sleigh has spied every one of us in turn; you're the last; by this time I guess he's aware of the number of our band."

Then he buoyed us up by elegantly expressing his belief that "we'd about reached the last coil," and advised us to "wiggle around," and find out what the "tribe" outside wanted. He couldn't understand why the "savages" didn't attack us.

Saxe. braced up and declared he would step out and inquire what he could do for the "dusky boys." To avoid argument he unbarred the door at once and we all trooped out to the platform.

Our sudden appearance startled the strangers who stared in round-eyed wonder, while the man in the sleigh sprang out and hurried forward, scanning us with the liveliest interest. We were not behind in that matter but nodded, he responding with a sweeping bow. Saxe. held out his hand, the other grasped and shook it heartily, then glanced smilingly at us. We nodded again in our friendliest manner. The whole band saluted.

"By George! the Relief Party after all," Sheldon muttered.

The leader indulged in graceful pantomime, pointing to the north, indicating he knew we came from there, and apparently he considered we had accomplished a wonderful feat. He pressed his hand to his heart and, saluting, waved toward the south, from which we inferred he had appointed himself our escort; and if everything was as agreeable as appearances, then we had struck clover.