Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/163

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The Centaurians

over the sharp ice summit, the poisonous disease-inflicting vapors cause instant death. We of this land exist in a purer, clearer atmosphere. The sun, moon and stars have no dense, fetid veil to pierce, their beneficial rays bestow miraculous strength and rare longevity. When crossing the earth's summit you experienced a terrible weakening of vital force, an intense absorption almost resulting in disaster, yet immediately escaping the dreaded circle all underwent startling rejuvenation, a sudden strong pulsation of restored vigor and energy—glorious Centauri is discovered. Many animals from your continent have strayed over the unknown regions, queer, stunted, hornless dogs, and weazened birds of marvelous plumage. Instinct forced these creatures to continual advancement, while man, bumptuous in semi-civilization and faltering, immature reason, invariably retrace travel the instant the geyser pivot is sighted to perish miserably in the stampede to the Reflection mountains. In your world undoubtedly progress is rapid, but never will an instrument be invented sufficiently powerful to pierce the vapory substance you call atmosphere for one ray of that mysterious, shadowy disc so plainly visible in rarified Centauri. Professor, you have braved many perils simply to obtain knowledge strictly beneficial to yourself. Astronomers will accept your statements concerning the positive existence of the phenomenon they had vaguely located, but the desired enlightenment you wished to convey is forever concealed amid the blinding elements. Soaring into astral convictions