Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/131

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The Centaurians

but we did not despair, the luxurious forest was way ahead of the ice blockade, and feeling confident that ultimately we would be discovered by either the Octrogonas or Centaurians we leisurely and cheerfully penetrated deeper into the dense, mystic wood, under the impression we could discover a new route and unexpectedly stumbled across, not the long-searched-for river, but the Octrogonas, who seemed astounded at seeing us. They closed around us at once. Warriors, magnificent men, clad for war in steel-like armor light as wool. They were a detachment of the Octrogona army guarding the frontier. We told them where we came from, had been discovered by the Potolilis, and had strayed from the river bank. Judging by their astonishment it was the first they'd heard of us, but they treated us with the greatest courtesy, the Captain explaining that his regiment had been camped in the woods for weeks. They received little news, but were aware the warring tribes had met in several engagements, and with a whoop informed us the Octrogonas had been victorious in all. What the war was over they neglected to state. They questioned us closely concerning the Potolilis, and seemed disappointed because we could give no information. They finally escorted us to the edge of the woods, pointed out the route, and there, far in the distance, sparkling, dancing in its serpentine course, was the river whose bank we were still to follow. The directions were clearly given, but at the last the Captain thought it advisable to send a couple of guards with us. We