Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/121

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The Centaurians

discovered; and in this instance I believe the learned ones themselves are doubtful whether they saw all they claim they did; otherwise all Centauri would have accompanied us north. The scientists described the phenomenon, stated the degree they sailed in, and hazarded a guess as to the latitude the lights blazed in. Navigators of the clouds are always hazy on distance. With this meagre information we started out upon the search, constantly fearing the signal lights would flash beyond our sphere and force us to abandon them. The vapors of the ice world congeals in our lungs and—the end. We had been out scarcely a week when very abruptly we came across an odd-looking car with four men inside very sound asleep. We were astonished to so soon discover the phenomenon, while the little battered car increased our wonder. It is a fair imitation of the one in Centur, said to have been in use six hundred years ago. Centur is the city of Centauri.

"You people are the same complexion as the Centaurians. We knew of the continent on the other side of the globe, its wide civilization and perpetual progression. Science revealed all this to us, but it was reserved for the Potolilis to discover that Centauri is six centuries in advance of the other side. This car and contents are rare antiquities and of fabulous value. Have you any savages on your side such as Potolili and his tribe?"

We considered Potolili about as clever a rascal as ever existed. "Savages" of his calibre were not a rarity on our side; but what a sensation he would