appointment and, in despair, she finally suggested the return to Centur. I brusquely advised her to continue traveling, reminding her that once in Centur all hope was ended. Then endeavoring to console I talked long and earnestly about ideals never realized and succeeded in rousing anger, which is better. She reproached me for "planting this image of torture in my brain," and "you class me with the absurdities of six centuries ago."
"Ah, Virgillius," she continued: "this phantom of my brain has an adoration far exceeding mine, a powerful magnetism forced me upon this tour. All ideas, no matter how fabulous, have had previous existence. What the brain conceives can be realized; nothing is impossible. Life is the most fabulous illusion in the universe—a marvelous creation of Sol. Virgillius, the magnetism of your idea forced you into a stupendous folly, but you realized."
"I realize, but it does not bring me peace or happiness," I retorted.
"You sought and worshipped beyond your sphere," she quickly answered. "The current of Thought met, crashed, and lost power in evaporation; the union of magnets creates disaster. Virgillius, I have a great longing to return to Centur, some force urges me. To travel farther is needless. Ah, how selfish is my passion! I follow your advice, the tour continues."
So we sailed onward, and into a corner of her vast knowledge Alpha Centauri stored the wisdom of deceit. She smiled and appeared gay,