Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/137

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The Centaurians

We returned to the tent and were served with syrupy liqueur in large silver thimbles, and some queer little cakes that tasted like sweetened mud. We avoided the cakes, but the liqueur! what a bouquet! and how it flushed us! Even Octrogona, who no doubt was seasoned, seemed affected. His eyes flashed, his lips thickened voluptuously, and his tongue loosened confidentially. With a sigh he told us of Potolili's daughter, which originally was not his intention.

"The most beautiful woman in the world!" he exclaimed with amorous enthusiasm. "The women of Centauri are divine, but Potolili's daughter is—heaven!"

"She is your prisoner," I blurted out before Saxe. could prevent.

Octrogona eyed me keenly for a second, then replied: "No, I am her prisoner—her slave!"

"Hum! got it bad!" murmured Sheldon, ever alert to mix things.

"As you know of Potolili's daughter," Octrogona continued, eying me severely, "and undoubtedly believe she is my prisoner, which is false, perhaps you can give me some information concerning my sister Gona."

"I cannot," I replied. "Potolili did not mention your sister, though he told of the abduction of his daughter."

"That man is a traitor, liar!" Octrogona yelled fiercely. "He abducted Gona, then learning we were preparing for war he sends his daughter, whose beauty is renowned, sends this lovely girl