Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/140

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

The Centaurians

blame Octrogona. She's a glorious woman! Jove, a glorious woman!"

Before we could put a quietus on Sheldon, several men rushed excitedly into the tent.

"The Centaurians!" they cried. "The Centaurians are coming!"

Octrogona awoke as from a dream, becoming at once cold, alert, diplomatic. He gently put the girl from him, and with a deep bow urged her to retire. With a lingering glance she stepped from view. He turned quickly to us, murmuring: "The Centauris!" and we hurried outside. The camp twinkled brightly with lights. We could see the soldiers crowding from their quarters to gaze up at a dozen or more great balls of fire, which were circling and lowering like buzzards.

A chariot drawn by three magnificent horses dashed up to where we stood. Octrogona explained the Centaurians would meet us in the plains a half mile distant, and invited us to enter the chariot. We declined, expressing the wish to travel in our car; it had brought us so far it could convey us to the Centaurians. Octrogona displayed wisdom; he avoided argument, and hurriedly entered the car with us, ordering it to be attached to the chariot, and away we started amid wild cheers from the soldiers. Many followed some distance, shouting lustily, and in the enthusiasm we whooped and jumped like a brace of Indians.

Octrogona laughed till his sides ached.

But at last we were to meet the Centaurians and witness civilization six hundred years in advance of