Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/280

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The Centaurians

I accompanied Alpha to the Temple of the Sun where she led the high-noon devotions. For the time she forgot her new emotions in fanatical worship of the Sun as the broad rays streamed upon her. All Centur knew she would that evening set out to see the world, and people crowded the streets to cheer their beloved Priestess and wish her bon voyage. They cheered her beauty and piety, and because she had sent King Benlial to his Belt disappointed. I alone knew the object of the tour.


That evening, at sun-down, we boarded the good ship Centur. As the great wings fluttered and the vessel slowly rose, vast crowds shouted good luck to us, and Alpha waved the colors of Centauri in response. Then suddenly we darted ahead into infinite blue plains and the search for a god began.

It is impossible to describe the many strange, wonderful sights seen upon those travels. We skimmed swiftly over marvelous violet-blurred cities, dense forests cut with silvery, winding streams, and over long snow-capped mountain ranges. Frequently the ship fluttered to earth, and a day was idled away in fishing or gathering wild fruit and flowers, and once we nestled upon a lofty peak that pierced the clouds and viewed the mountain girdled with sleet, ice and snow, yet where we rested the grass grew rank, and some delicate pink blossoms I gathered drooped at the breast of Alpha Centauri.

It took nearly two days to cross a great tract of