Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/192

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The Centaurians

sent-mindedness, uncongeniality, slyly slipped away one by one. Unnoticed I escaped down a side path, where a sea of pink bloom tempted me to wander in amazed admiration through a veritable forest of waxen lilies. But their roseate beauty, fragrance failed to lighten the gloom that now gripped desperately. For the first time in my life I realized my own individual worth. Stripped of wealth, the ruling deity of my world, I stood revealed an ordinaire without talent or inspiration, a dissatisfied nondescript riling at fate, limited in the higher treasures of enlightenment before which this fair, radiant land of mighty ideals kneeled. Saxe., Sheldon, Saunders and myself, had battled with northern horrors to discover—same evil old world of sordidness, shoddily veneered, ranting victory over impulse, but coveting, struggling, for the imaginary power of knowing all things.

I had neglected to bring my one potent charm, and out of my sphere, bitter with disappointment, crazed with love sickness, in a frenzy of desire I vowed—vowed to possess the One Woman, who from her pedestal of aloofness roused such reverential awe. She who would solve all mysteries shall realize the joy, sorrow of savagery.

Before the masterful emotion of possession, tumultuous ravings evaporated. My mind cleared, freshened as a mid-summer's day after a cooling shower, and from a sweet, calm reverie, I was suddenly roused by my own ringing laughter. After all, these marvelously enlightened people were not