Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/215

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The Centaurians

with domed ceilings supported by huge crystal columns. In the center of the dome an electric chandelier swung, which flamed blue the moment the sun set and remained burning till sun rise. Dwellings were constructed to accommodate four and five families. The durability of glass is above argument; most of the buildings in Centur had been standing for centuries, and the palace of Centauri was believed to be the first crystal building erected. Some of the houses had a coating of paint, pale blue, pink, whatever the fancy, creating a porcelain effect which I thought vastly pretty; but the popular tint seemed to be the natural tinge of the glass, a dark, sea green, very cooling to the sight and nerves.

All buildings were hosed every morning, which accounted for their irradiating hues when the sun shone upon them, but at night they presented an extraordinary appearance, the lights within penetrated the glass, which absorbed the rays, and cast a dull roseate splendor. One could walk down rows of glowing houses and yet be in total darkness, but the streets were flooded with brilliancy from great arc lights suspended high above the crossings.

Vacant lots enclosed with unsightly board fences were not permitted to mar the symmetry of this lovely city. Such land was converted into public parks and kept by the city till the owner, ready to build, notified the authorities; then after the time limit the wall which surrounds all private property was erected.

It was very interesting watching the carpenters at