Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/278

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The Centaurians

chuckle and hurried to meet the sweet woman who was certainly making life a very unhappy problem for me. She received me with a veiled glance and smiled tenderly as I raised her hand to my lips. I chided her for breaking her appointments.

"Ah, Virgillius," she replied. "No plans could be perfected till the departure of wrathy King Benlial. I am not divine, and love begets selfishness. I will not sacrifice myself for the people."

The Vespa Prince—finis!

We spent the entire day together. Over and over again she told of her deep infatuation for—nothing. Poetically, impassionately, she described the image of her dreams, and no man on earth could ever reach the perfections of the idol this girl had erected to worship. Then I learned of her plans. Alpha Centauri, for the first time in her life, was to leave Centur and tour the world. A large party of friends had been invited to travel with her and the government ship Centur was placed at her disposal.

"I have frequently been urged to do this," she told me; "advised that I should become familiar with the world I would some day rule; but I demurred; science was more interesting. I lived a painfully narrow life—what a wonderfully different view you have created! Virgillius, I go in search of the god of my dreams."

And the secret was out. Alpha Centauri would search for and, if possible, possess this man of her imagination, and forever bring damnation upon her soul. What woman is happy with the individual she thinks her affinity?