Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/284

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The Centaurians

problem was—sleep. Occasionally he woke up and became as frisky as a boy of fifty. His wife was the only woman I ever met who could keep up an incessant chatter and still be interesting. There was a tragedian, playwright, all in one, including a wife. The tragedies this gentleman wrote were excellent farces. He was the greatest humorist of the time. His wit was sharp, broad and frequently coarse, but he handled his subject with such rare delicacy that it took a couple of days to discover that he shouldn't have told the joke and we shouldn't have laughed. The wife was a beautiful, fair woman of that type that most men are willing some other fellow shall possess.

Everybody was very kind to me, and were I not so desperately in love and therefore desperately unhappy, I would have greatly enjoyed the trip throughout this strange land.

The country was rapidly changing in appearance. We sailed over a range of burnt, dwarfed mountains enclosing completely a vast desert which narrowed to meet a neck of land that stretched across the ocean, connecting Centauri with the Vespa Belt. This connecting land was fifty miles long, twenty wide, and most of the time submerged.

"You are viewing the ancient battlefield of the Vespas and Centauris," the literary man informed me. "The last war they had lasted forty years, closed with carnage, and should be eliminated from history. The reading is not elevating and neither have anything to be proud of. It occurred during the early ages when civilization ignored the earth