Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/117

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

The Centaurians

Saxe. thanked the gentleman—in English. The chief threw out his hands and looked anxious. Saxe. tried again in German, then Italian, French, Spanish, and finally in Latin. Our dusky friend listened attentively, seeming to catch at a word or two of the Latin, then replied in the most musical language I ever heard, similar to Latin; but we were all Latin scholars and could not understand a word. We invited him to enter the car. He complied graciously, first giving orders to his men, which they obeyed with alacrity, and sleighs and dogs were prepared for action.

"We shall figure as the chief attraction at a barbecue," murmured Sheldon, as the car began moving, jolting fearfully with the unaccustomed rapidity. "Depend upon it," he continued, "that old tom-cat over there is purring till the ripe moment, then presto! the world will come to an end."

The swift motion of the car and the thought of the tremendous advance we were making inclined me to be skeptical of Sheldon's barbecue, though possibly he was correct. Saxe. was doing his level best to make himself understood to the "tom-cat," who in turn was equally anxious to be understood, and seemed greatly astonished at everything he saw in the car. After awhile he managed to convey to us two important facts, to wit: His name was Potolili, chief of the Potolili tribes, and we were six hundred years behind the times.

"Nonsense, he's making sport of us," muttered Sheldon, who was busy brewing his favorite coffee.