Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/248

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The Centaurians

stood with the clientele. Of one thing I was positive, Saxe., dear old Saxe. was equal to his surroundings. His domineering intellect commanded respect and had no superior. How I was regarded by these wise men did not concern me. They were too advanced to meet my views and interested me as little as I did them.


Before returning to Centur I thoroughly explored the strange mountain island. Declining to descend in the pulley coaches, which darted down the mountain side at regular intervals, I made my way to a narrow foot path hewed in the rocks by centuries of travel. I was accompanied part of the way by one of the Professors, who, probably anxious to be rid of me, suddenly decided I didn't interest him nohow and with remarkable speed returned to the summit. I was glad the old boy and his prosy talk were out of the way, as both had frequently made me lose my footing, and having reached a point where the path widened and travel was made easier by natural steps formed in the cliffs I was soon upon level ground, a broad open road about fifty feet wide circling the base of the mountain like a racetrack and enclosed with a high fortress-like wall.

Perched haphazardly among the cliffs were odd-looking, mound-shaped stone huts, painted in all the soft tints of the rainbow. The effect was ridiculously like a huge toy, a great cone of giant marbles.

I walked entirely around the mountain before en-