Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/145

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The Centaurians

"You should," Saxe. urged, undaunted. "You love the daughter, you will be charmed with the father. Just give the word, he will meet you more than half."

"Ah, no doubt, no doubt," said Octrogona drily; "but (politely wishing to make Saxe. happy), I shall consider your advice. It never occurred to me to meet Potolili, but it could be arranged, and to please the girl I am willing to make some concessions; then—ahem! my sister Gona, is still his captive."

Saxe. was pleased and satisfied his words would go a long way toward ending the war. He patted Octrogona on the back, who seemed immensely tickled about something. Saxe. smiled indulgently. He considered this great chief merely a hot-headed boy, and renewed the risky topic, endeavoring to impress Octrogona with the wisdom of meeting his enemy. But Octrogona was too politic to continue the subject and seemed suddenly very anxious to depart. He astonished Saxe. by tenderly embracing him, then bowing deeply to us, hurriedly left the ship. We saw him enter the chariot, he waved his hand as the horses plunged into gallop. Saxe. twirled his cap, but our attention was attracted to the strange vibration of the ship, accompanied by an odd whirring sound, and two huge black objects at the sides slowly unfurled and gently fluttered in the breeze. They looked like the wings of a monster bat, and the boat began moving—moving upwards. Heavens knows what we thought when boarding