will. What a peck of trouble you're giving us anyhow!" he snapped, suddenly grown irritable; "you act like a pup!"
"Oh, let him remain and be damned!" bawled Saunders.
I gesticulated impatiently, trying to speak, but Saunders; crabbed, peppery little Saunders, would hear nothing. His voice squeaked high with temper.
"Let him remain, I say! Don't waste time over him. We're not going yet, so let him marry this wonderful creature, and I'll warrant he'll soon be in more haste to depart than we."
"Say, friends, let the boy alone," laughingly cried Saxe., coming to my rescue. "Let him enjoy all the happiness possible out of the affair. He and I will discuss later our departure. Virgillius was always a favorite of Folly. We'll talk this matter over again, meantime be merry."
I laughed happily, not heeding the chorus of caustic remarks hurled at me from Sheldon and Saunders. Nothing at that moment could dampen my ardor. I was wild, triumphant, and even attempted repartee, always a hazardous undertaking with my witty friends. We all became unusually gay, and Sheldon roared a giddy song, which was fortunately terminated by the entrance of Mike. He served us with light wines and viands, and regaled our curiosity concerning the vast preparations going on below. We learned though the Vespa boy had been in Centur over a fortnight Alpha Centauri's greeting would be his first official welcome.