Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/235

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The Centaurians

tial, amid the vast wilderness of mighty boulders and unfathomable precipices. You should have been with us, Virgillius, love can be indulged in any moment, but to view the Ocstas at full moon, ah, magnificent! The far-reaching forest of cliffs have a singular, spectral beauty, abundantly covered all the year round with a peculiar, vivid green moss and pale, tender shrubbery. It is spring always in the strange Ocstas; there are no seasons, nothing matures or dies, perpetual spring, with the blasting ice breath of the north settled upon them for all time—something wrong, the Ocstas are unwholesome, and Sheldon intends to explore the whole range! Shouldn't care to get lost up there," he continued, "during my short stay I had the shivers. There is an echo, an uncanny, maddening echo, which moans the length and breadth of the range with every little breeze. It starts with a roar, diminishes to a long-drawn-out, whispering wail, as though something suffered mortal agony—no human brain could stand that any length of time. Then the water! Sheldon's great body of fresh water! It is marvelous; a magnet, an absorbent magnet, from which nothing can stray and which eventually swallows everything.

"Possibly Sheldon's theory concerning this body of water is correct. It looks like a reservoir, the reservoir of the earth, surrounded with a wall of perpendicular, glass cliffs, marred with gigantic fissures and crevices supposed to be the effect of time, ahem! and which Sheldon will explore at low tide. This strange shoreless ocean rouses to fearful