Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/264

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The Centaurians

into a glorious creature of the earth. The cold, repellant, mystical sphinx was no more, and it was I—I who had forced her from her pedestal into the pulsing, passionate arms of Life. She was mine! I created her! The fabulous creature of my dreams, the ideal was realized.

Fears vanished. I was confident, supreme. The force of my adoration would draw this woman to me as now my ardent glances drew her eyes to mine. The fair face flushed and impulsively she threw out her arms in glad welcome. I hurried to her, yet my quick glance embraced the man beside her. Father Neptune, as I live! Giant in form with heavy locks and beard; gross, flushed, jolly, with sharp, pale eyes that flashed intense admiration upon the lovely girl at his side.

Alpha murmured a welcome as I raised her hand to my lips, then presented me to the King of the Vespa Belt. He extended his hand graciously, and in condescension resembled all the little kings of my world.

He spoke in a deep bass and gave me to understand he was pleased to meet "The Virgillius," who came from the other side, while his sharp, little eyes plainly asked—and, what the devil did you come for?

But he was an entertaining old boy, a clever raconteur; his forceful manner and rather coarse wit rolled around an eloquent tongue compelling laughter though one should not. He thoroughly enjoyed his own risque jests, and I never heard the finale of a racy affair wherein figured a disheveled dam-