Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/31

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

The Centaurians

off my hat and stood smiling at him. He scowled fiercely for a second, then gasped:

"Salucci! pon my soul! Why, it's Salucci!"

He grabbed and drew me into the hall, gazing at me in astonishment, chuckling softly. In a second we were wringing each other's hands as though for a wager.

"Never expected to see you again, my boy," he told me; "thought you'd forgotten old Saxe. completely. Stay awhile?"

"Might as well," I answered.

"Good boy!" he laughed. "But, say, send away that wagon out there, the whole neighborhood'll think I'm sick and you the doctor."

Saxe. really looked uneasy. I did as he wished, then he took me straight to his little kitchen.

"Getting up dinner," he explained. "The reason I'm still a man is because I look after my digestion and live well."

Upon a huge range were several small pots bubbling, and Saxe. went to work like a veteran.

I attempted to account for myself during the twelve years' absence, but Saxe. cut me short.

"I know all about it," he said, "kept track of you right along. Regretted very much your sporty life, but when you deserted Folly you cultivated Seriousness at the wrong end. You remained at nothing long enough to make a success; you surrendered to failure right off, and the sincere enthusiast never admits failure. You have wasted many valuable years, but we'll talk later of that. What I have