Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/236

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The Centaurians

activity during the full of the moon, roaring, booming terrifically, while great mountainous billows dash furiously against the cliffs, boiling, swirling into the great fissures, then receding with a dull, hollow sound, which throws the dreadful haunting echo. The waves form deep whirlpools, then soar upward with such force and volume you think the water will reach the sky, then deluge the earth; yet the glistening, silvery columns never break—it is monstrously impressive.

"I cautiously approached the edge of a crevice and when the water flooded high lowered a goblet. Virgillius, it was the first time I ever tasted water in my life; just what the article is we're accustomed to … Pure, sparkling, icy; I've brought a sample of the Otega to show you." He held a bottle to the light, but it looked so clear I doubted if there was anything in it. The stopper was removed and an attempt made to pour out the liquid. Instantly we buried our noses, and Saxe. hastily flung the bottle out the window. Of all the stenches! The water had been corked for hours and the numerous gases combined in deadly fermentation. Saxe., very serious, gravely, but with the air of expecting dispute, expressed his opinion.

"That water would have exploded had it remained corked much longer," he remarked, "which proves beyond question the correctness of my statements. It is of volcanic origin and some day there'll be a terrific eruption, the ocean will vanish with, perhaps, a mountain crowding its cavity; however, I——"