Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/303

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The Centaurians

drugged senses; protesting vigorously, yet goodnaturedly, against my ardent caresses, Alpha freed herself, calling me a "wild boy, but lovable."

"And look," she cried, running to the ship's side; "look, Virgillius, we have reached Centur."



The ship gradually lowered as we floated over the city. The news flashed over Centur that the Priestess of the Sun had returned and excited crowds blackened the streets shouting a welcome.

Alpha leaned far over the ship's side, waving the flag of Centauri in response. Centur was in gay attire, gaudy flags and pennants floated from the domes of all buildings. Gorgeous silken banners coiled around the arms of Centauri and gently fluttered against huge arches and towers of rare blossoms whose rich fragrance absorbed the air. Something wonderful was certainly going on. Alpha turned to us bewildered.

"What is it?" she queried. "Our return was unheralded—it is not a fête day. How beautiful Centur looks!"

She shrugged her shoulders and again smiled down upon the welcoming people. The ship finally reached the palace park, then fluttered and circled downward and gently settled in its steel shed.

The crowd surged against the walls with deafening shouts of greeting. Alpha waved her arms,