Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/12

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The Centaurians

turing abbreviation, we were easily traced by our wealth. Luck followed us in all undertakings, riches accumulated, but doubting the truth of the superstition surrounding the stone it is indisputable that from the date it entered our possession love departed. We were known as a cold, calculating, heartless people, with the doubtful intellect usually accompanying wealth. We purchased affection as we would any saleable bauble, and lived the life of indifference and final dislike the purchased article always brings. The curse was a short, loveless existence, crowned with intangible longings.


I recollect very little of my parents, both having passed away during my infancy, but I am liberally supplied with relatives who are disagreeably vivid, treacherous, small, scheming, gifted with a keen eye for profit—just relatives.

It was a kind providence, chiefly law, that placed me under the protection of Middleton & Co., a trio of the ablest and shrewdest of lawyers. They sent me to college, where I passed some years, though really it was not necessary. The intellect of a millionaire is generally accredited heavy with metal, though when backed with distinction, a most desirable bric-a-brac. I early discovered nothing was expected of me except good-nature and generosity. The commonest attributes were denied me, and though of a sunny temperament, eventually I grew bitter, scorning the mercenary. To be constantly striving to force a measure above companionable appendage was a cruel trial. However, my college