Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/259

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The Centaurians


 

CHAPTER XVI.

Saunders, whom I had not seen for several days, met me as I returned to the Observatory. Undoubtedly one of his pet experiments had gone awry, for he was peevish and spoiling for a fight. He very frankly informed me he didn't want me around any more, that arrangements were completed to start that evening upon a gigantic piece of work and no idlers wanted. "And I've spied the attraction!" he snapped. "Clear out; this is no place for such tomfoolery."

"But, Saunders!" I interrupted.

"Nonsense!" he cried. "Don't deny it. I won't have any tomfoolery around here!"

"Oh, bosh! I return to Centur to-night, anyhow," I told him; "and no harm done; they're different here."

"Tomfoolery, all tomfoolery," he grumbled, shaking his head obstinately.

An hour later, in company with a number of gentlemen, I boarded a ship bound for Centur. Saunders puttered around for fear, by some mishap, I might be left behind; but when we were ready to start he affectionately clasped my hand and informed me that I was used to his crabbedness and that it was out of gear for a crusty old chap to be in sympathy with nonsense. If his plans succeeded he would be detained at the Observatory

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