The brilliant rainbow salon was crowded. Sweet, weird Centauri music accompanied the hum of voices, and the fragrance of rare, strange blossoms filled the air. My three comrades mingled with the people, and I hurried down the long vista of glistening columns and lights to where Alpha Centauri stood greeting her guests. God! how marvelously beautiful the woman was! In an instant I was beside her and tremblingly addressed her. Her great eyes flashed into mine, her smile scattered reason. I suppose I acted idiotic; it was natural; most men would. She laughed gently and, taking my arm, told me I was a "dear, foolish boy." There was affection in her voice, love in her eyes. The worshipped Ideal was deserted—she had discovered Man. I was victorious. The circle surrounding us thinned; people departed with smiling faces leaving us alone to whisper sweet nonsense. Happy? yes; too happy in a world of our own.
She was gloriously, ideally beautiful to-night, gorgeously garbed in a shimmering robe of chameleon tint lavishly studded with gems. Neck, shoulders, arms were literally concealed beneath flashing orders and ornaments, while the luxuriant midnight tresses rippled the length of her form, yet upon her head rested the little gold cap with raised border of forked gold, emblem of the Sun.
She still considered herself Priestess of the Sun