Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/265

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The Centaurians

sel and a ship in mid-air fluttering disastrously, for sudden cheers and shouts of "Centauri!" rang from the gardens and echoed through the great halls. People crowded to the windows and into the vestibule, but the throngs hushed and parted as old Centauri entered, tall, grave with heavy dignity. I tarried not to watch the greeting between the two great men, but drew Alpha deeper into her ethereal forest, far amid dim lights and slumbering birds, the air heavy with pungent odors of strange blossoms. She sank upon a mossy couch. With a sigh of ecstasy I flung myself at her feet.

"You did miss me a little?" I asked.

She smiled softly and gazed musingly at me.

"Yes, a little," she finally answered. "I wanted some one to talk to who would understand. I've spent hours in idleness and dreams, yet have not wasted time. I have formed plans, brilliant plans for the future, which appears rosy and hopeful. The chill of cold facts are freed from my being, the world is brighter, gayer. I am wondrously beautiful, and have discovered there is happiness, much happiness in foolishness. Virgillius, my whole life has changed. Now I live—live, and would not return to the old existence for a world full of knowledge. I am raised supreme in vast expectations. I worship, ah! an image of my brain. I love deeply, wholly, a man—I've never seen!"

She leaned back against a giant plant, and with voluptuously uplifted arms smiled the smile of selfishness, rapt in her own passion, cruelly oblivious to the despair she inflicted.