Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/123

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The Centaurians

wide detour to avoid a chain of lakes which seemingly divided the Pole regions from the living world. We crossed a low range of hills blocking the way to a sloping valley, thinly mantled with snow, which melted to slush beneath a burning sun. The temperature changed completely, this wide marsh freed us entirely from the ice, snow and deadly northern vapors, leading us to a rich, verdant, luxuriant country, a wonderful country whose lofty, snow-capped mountains, velvet mantled in soft green, reared sharply in the clear atmosphere of deep azure, and Potolili impulsively threw out his arms, murmuring: "The potency of God is sublime; He is the universe."

Yet, with all this loveliness before us, half regretfully we glanced back at the mist enveloped, frozen world, gleaming white, shadowy, mystic, beautiful, so beautiful—at a distance.

We traveled over vast prairies, wide, trackless, where herds of wild horses galloped; over rich meadow-land, where sheep and cattle grazed in countless numbers; we rested in fertile valleys ripe with fields of promise, swaying yellow seas of grain, and finally entered a deep, odorous, wooded country, abundant with wild fruit and vegetation. The refreshing splash of rushing waters guided us to the bank of a clear sparkling stream, and heedless of Potolili's warning concerning chills, we plunged in for a long-needed swim. We sported like schoolboys, our spirits rose, we grew boisterous, the swim revived and freed our bodies from all tired aches. Saunders declared we had at last discovered the