Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/260

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

The Centaurians

only a month, then it was his intention to travel. He wanted me to run over to see him whenever I had spare time. I promised in order to get him off the ship, as he delayed departure.

We reached Centur early in the evening. The city, brilliant with lights, presented a gala appearance. The glowing houses were gaudily festooned with banners and greens, and from all floated the colors of Centauri. The streets were canopied with flags formed in arches.

When I reached the palace I knew some great event was taking place.

The immense building was ablaze with lights, and draped across the stately entrance, swaying gracefully in the light breeze, was a flag of yellow shimmering material with a huge black crescent cutting the center. The gardens were crowded with courtiers and guards, who pranced and swaggered in gay, fantastic costumes. I was observed at once and way was made for me. I heard my name carried from lip to lip and was gazed at with curiosity, bordering on impertinence. In the usually deserted halls of the palace stalked bold, dashing cavaliers, who saluted me respectfully as I entered, but uttered irreverent undertones, which they thought I could not understand. In confusion I stumbled over my own feet, then became enraged at the cruel guffaws only half suppressed. With relief I spied Mike's familiar face as he hurried to meet me and, with unnecessary speed, rushed me to my apartments and immediately proceeded with my toilet. I was shaved, anointed, curled,