Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/143

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The Centaurians

welcome in Latin, pure and simple, much to the astonishment of Saxe., who expected a mutilation of every language under the sun thrown into one. Many crowded around us, eager to shake hands, and we were extravagantly complimented upon accomplishing the "remarkably daring exploit of crossing the Polar regions." Of course Saxe. received most of the honors and bowed continually, while we stood in the rear a sort of reflection, though I noticed many eying me curiously and suddenly a group of gay, young men, who had held aloof, laughing and joking among themselves, no doubt at me, rushed forward and closed around me, and to my chagrin, boldly criticised my face and form, muttering: "A Centauri, a Centauri!"

"Now don't get conceited, Sally," Sheldon admonished. "These fellows think you as pretty as you think them."

And sizing up the fresh boys, I realized I was as broad, massive, if not quite as tall as they. Sheldon's remark made me blush like a girl, the color flamed my face, and perceiving it the Centaurians shouted with glee. One slapped me on the back, another patted my cheek, a third pulled me one way, while a fourth drew me in the opposite direction. I caught the nearest man, raised him above my head, swung him around several times, then flung him from me. Another rushed upon me and, to show my strength, I caught him with one arm, tossed him high as though he were a ball, dizzied him with a rapid swing, then laid him gently on his back. It was enough.