Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/305

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The Centaurians

return to his people shall not be delayed. I will receive Prince Benlial at once."

Besangno was not at all dismayed by her manner, she had always been gracious to him, but this was Alpha of the Centauris, Priestess of their deity; a perfect woman, passionless—a saint. The glowing, palpitating creature I created was not for public adoration—she was mine, mine always!

Besangno explained that the Prince was absent, gone to view the magnificent Otega, "but will speed back to Centur when informed that the Priestess of the Sun has returned."

"A ship passed us in the night," she told him, "gay with the nation's color, and freighted to the brim with merriment. Besangno, the morning is still early; before noon you will hear my order. Prince Benlial must not be disturbed in his pleasures."

Besangno bowed low. None dared approach her, and silently she disappeared within the palace whose portals were draped with the gaudy silken banners of the Vespas. I did not see her again till the evening. Besangno and his suite remained in respectful attitudes till she passed from view, then abruptly hurried away, and I was left with the little troupe of traveling companions who were palpably impatient to depart. A low whistle near me, and I turned and faced the Literary Man, who grasped my hand, telling me he could never repay the debt of inspiration I had roused within him.

"Your companionship lures success," he barked.

I smiled acknowledgment, but the Tragedian re-