Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/270

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The Centaurians

"My greetings to Prince Benlial. Should he ever visit Centur, a royal welcome awaits him."

She courtesied deeply in mockery; the interview was at an end.

The King stamped with rage and would have followed her, but Centauri remonstrated and drew him into the room, gently closing the door.

Alpha paused, shrugged her shoulders, and glanced disdainfully at the closed door.

"The Prince of the Vespa Belt—ouff!" she muttered. Then she flung her arms high and whispered in adoration: "I am true, faithful; yours entirely." Her eyes closed in passionate ecstasy, a smile of exquisite joy stole over the lovely features, as in a dream she proceeded on her way.

I watched till she passed from view. She had learned the lesson well—an apt pupil who had not been taught, who had never forgotten. Remembrance had tarnished, a slight pressure upon the fabulous spring and the sensitive wires vibrated with rejuvenated vigor. Hurray! return to your Belt, oh Vespa King—sic!

Accosting the first pedestrian I inquired the way to Professor Saxlehner. Following directions, I soon reached Saxe.'s dwelling, which was brilliantly lit from top to bottom. The house seemed all frontage, wide, flat, and very shallow. I touched a conspicuous knob, the door startled me, as, clanging violently, it slid up. There stood Saxe. at the far end of the hall waiting for the intruder, but seeing me he shouted welcome.