Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/287

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The Centaurians

Traitorous thoughts galloped upon me. I had become enamoured with a bright, glorious vision. Reproaches, sad eyes, mournfulness were killing my passion. Bah! the vision still exists; I created it; but Centauri, who enslaved me, was fading.

I joined the others, who were leaning over the ship's side, gazing curiously at a village we were sailing over. We could see the people crowding into the narrow streets and from our ship came a faint report, followed by a cloud of deep violet smoke which curled upward, twisted and looped till finally the word "Centauri" floated in space beside us. At the sight the crowds below shouted and cheered; we bellowed response. Toward evening we passed over a lovely bay, the air was soft, balmy and we remained upon deck till near midnight. The time passed swiftly between the Literary Man and Humorist, while the ladies sang in clear, sweet voices. We turned in when a sudden icy squall struck us, and the last view we had of the new country was of dark, gloomy mountains.

Next morning before sun-rise I was on deck, but my traveling companions were earlier and joshed me unmercifully. The Literary Man was persistently witty about oversleeping—he'd been up all night and regaled us about the wondrous sights we'd missed. We had sailed over three great cities brilliant with light, humming with revelry, some celebration going on. "And," he continued, "these Vespa savages have built wonderful cities of superb architecture. I think we're approaching the royal city of Benlial. See the height of those monstrous