Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/32

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The Centaurians

in these poems will improve with simmering. Come, I'll show you about the place."

He escorted me through the tiny hall to several rooms. There was a sitting room, a cozy smoking room, a library, and three bed rooms. The books in the library were piled high from floor to ceiling without shelves or covering, and tumbled in every direction.

"Best way to keep books," he explained, "too open for moths, and mildew never attacks them. Then if you want a book you can lay hand on it at once. I'm here when I'm not in the attic."

We visited the cellar. Saxe. with pride showed me several brands of fancy wine in casks and bottles, and there was a large variety of imported liquors. Two cobwebbed bottles he took from the shelves, remarking: "We'll test them later," and then he led the way to the attic, a most remarkable room, comprising the length and width of the house. It was packed with odd instruments, huge globes and vast maps of the world cut the corners and lined the walls; there were telescopes, and great charts of the heavens, and monstrous cylinders and electric batteries, and tall, crystal columns, filled with fiery hued liquid; and there was a queer steel contrivance resembling a table with the top cut out, and suspended in the center was a huge, crystal globe, pierced by a steel rod. The globe revolved upon this rod with wonderful rapidity. Saxlehner vouchsafed no explanations. Another thing which roused my curiosity was something of vast dimensions carefully covered with canvas. Saxe. jeal-