Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/310

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The Centaurians

them thorough in this powerful art—the art of living—then call their attention to the tedious verbs.

I smiled up into the beautiful, soulless eyes of Abella, tranquil, sublime beauty—you have calmed tumultuous thoughts. Adieu, sweet Abella, how your husband has marred your fairness. I blew a kiss to the delicate painting as I hurried away.

The long, slanting rays of the afternoon sun lengthened into dusk, and as I reached the palace the city flamed with lights. The stately quiet of the Centauri dwelling had vanished, all was activity, bustle. The doors of the throne room and vast salons were flung wide, decorators were at work. At the far end of the lofty vestibule, dimly seen amid crystal columns, was the banquet hall with long, massive tables ladened with shimmering satin and glistening plate of gold and silver. Some great event was to take place and I hurried to my rooms to find Saxe., Sheldon and Saunders eagerly awaiting me.

We were powerfully glad to see each other. Though all were anxious to relate their experiences and adventures since last meeting, Sheldon was given the floor, owing to his late narrow escape through too much Otega. In excitable tones he described the progression of his work before the eruption ruined all.

"Boys," he cried, "I was right about the whole matter and the scientific societies of the world be hanged! I discovered the source of that great body of fresh water—the Arctic ocean. It does not