Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/227

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The Centaurians

yet the tender passion is not quenched, but the Centaurians unabashed proclaim Love, a dead evil, and boldly title their droll creation … Compatibility. Oh, Centauri! Centauri!"

"You dare ridicule!" she cried angrily.

"No, no, my lady!" I hastened to reply. (Good heavens!) "I am giving you the first lesson in the most wonderful of all sciences. Love is a powerful, mysterious, inexplicable ideality—a thrilling experience, and before I leave your world you will have mastered and indulged in all the delights and miseries of this mystic art; and deep in your heart you will bless me for imparting this ecstatic knowledge; and though existence may end in sweet despair (it always does), you have lived and realized. One genuine thrill of this divine folly is worth a life of empty fame with the monstrous finale of decayed immortality. Superb Alpha, your destiny is writ in your glorious beauty and marvelous power to charm."

Her eyes flamed at my words, and for the first time I pondered over the wisdom of my intentions. But desire was turbulent; mad, infatuated, I lost control over conscience, reason—passion has no regrets—I would possess.

I talked with her for hours and told over again of my country and religion, and related completely the life of Christ. She was impressed, awed, and deeply reverenced the divine spirit that embodied the Saviour.

"He was a martyr," she cried with uplifted, wor-