years ago. The men of the Great Family mate with whom they please. The mother of Alpha was an Octrogona, fairer than her race and surpassingly beautiful. Progression is wonderful, it makes simple the impossible. A century ago such a union as now contemplated would have been looked upon as sacrilegious, now it is considered. Alpha Centauri is the last of her name; should she die unmated the Great Family becomes extinct. The marriage may take place, but the Priestess of the Sun is a superb enigma, unapproachable, illusive as the star which guides the destiny of her family."
I ceased being a fool, bah! the man gossiped; yet I drank eagerly the greenish liqueur handed to me. It warmed my chilled blood, the color flushed my face, and boldly I mingled with the jolly Vespas that had invaded the palace. I hurried down the crowded rooms, oblivious of the curious glances leveled upon me. Alpha Centauri stood at the gates of her miniature forest of exotic plants and perfumed lakes.
I marveled at the wondrous woman; never had she seemed so exquisitely beautiful, gorgeously gowned, covered with blazing gems, even coiled midst the raven locks rippling to her feet, yet crowned with the dull gold cap, symbol of the Sun. But the woman was changed, the glorious eyes heavy-lidded, always veiled, now flashed with brilliant intellectuality, the sweet lips parted in a gracious smile, and her form swayed with gentle grace in conversation.
Alpha Centauri was transformed, transformed