Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/130

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The Centaurians

tered, the mouth opened wide and out forked pointed red fangs. With a loud, sibilant sound it flew up in the tree. We watched it as it gently settled among the branches.

"Queer thing, neither animal nor fowl," mused Sheldon.

"It's animal," Saxe. informed us in authoritative, yet argumentative tones. "It's the winged lizard, which has become extinct on our side."

Sheldon coughed doubtfully. "Flying lizard—ahem!"

We encountered a colony of gigantic apes dwelling in little huts made of foliage and tree branches. The tiny village rested in a wide inclosure. Our approach created great excitement, the apes trooped from their huts and clustered around us. They seemed friendly, but one huge fellow familiarly grasped Saxe.'s shoulder, the next instant he sprawled upon the ground. Then they showed fight, but we routed them. They rushed up the trees, shrieking and chattering, and began pelting us with leaden fruit. We stampeded. Sheldon and Saunders speeded and left us to haul the car. When we caught up with them they were learnedly wrangling over Darwin.

"Wrong, boys; altogether wrong," Saxe. solemnly informed them. "We've committed a grave blunder. Those were the Octrogonas, and we've insulted them."

Saxe. joined the Darwin debate.

The clear, sparkling stream which Saunders vowed was the River of Life proved as illusive,