Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/225

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The Centaurians

son. The tribulations of desire, I do not understand; but disappointment, ah! that curse blighting the nobleness of humanity, I have known. Rise above lusty thoughts, seek a higher, purer aim; teach my daughter to know and love the Supreme Being, the Creator, and Virgillius, 'The Virgillius,' becomes immortal."

I reverently saluted the religious fervor of this great man and, much affected, earnestly assured him of my good intentions.

He came quickly to my side and in benediction laid his hands upon my head. I promised to do all that he wished, but added that his daughter must and would be mine, and that I would always adore her, even though I knew the end would be hell.

"You will help each other," he murmured; "but you are not mates. I have spoken. May the Lord bless and spare you."

He returned to his seat as Alpha entered, carrying a dainty golden salver ladened with tiny crystal goblets through which sparkled the rose-tinted syrup of life. She offered us the liqueur, then with her glass held high, bade us drink to perpetual youth and health.

I drained my glass, this time feeling no ill effect from the liquor, though it flushed and gave me boldness. Making no attempt to conceal my ardor, I led this lovely woman, who so inflamed me, to a seat near the window, and in impassioned tones, as though it were the first time, told her of my love. Suddenly, daringly, I drew her closer to me,