Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/185

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The Centaurians

child, then with a sweet, insinuating smile, departed. Rapturously I feasted my eyes upon her as she joined the guests, she the radiant, dazzling center of a bevy of bewitching beauties. I was consumed with ardent longings and flashed dangerous glances at Her Sereneness, but gay, exhilarating music wafting in from the gardens roused me from languorous meditations, and out of the dim, heavy-odored retreat into the brilliant, chameleon-glinting hall, scintillating with mirth and wit.

Bold, debonair, I joined the revelers—how exquisitely fair were the women of this strange land!

I found Saxe. flushed with wine, haranguing learnedly and emphasizing his remarks with sweeping gestures. The subject was beyond my comprehension, but the intellectual circle about him were absorbed. Saxe. monopolized their attention entirely. He informed me before I left the group that he had made engagements, including the four of us, for the following day and told me to advise the others of it.

I strayed over to Sheldon, who was in his element making others happy. He was the center of a jovial set, and judging by the gayety was certainly amusing. I was too deeply in love to perceive the point of his jests, and out of my sphere sought Saunders, after learning, to my dismay, that Sheldon also had made engagements including all of us for the following day. Saunders, to my thinking, was the least interesting of the quartette. He had assumed his stilted, speech-making manner, and was lecturing on the hazy, mystic