Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/327

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The Centaurians

ders's prophecy has come true. I am anxious for departure, the sooner now the better."

I left them. How could they console me for the beautiful astral thing that had passed out of my soul. I was fond of them; yes, but—what a deadly disgust I felt for all things.

Sheldon followed me and drew my arm within his. He said nothing, but I understood his deep sympathy, far different from that usually extended by those who cruelly select the most inopportune moment for reminder, and all through distaste to witness suffering embarrassingly mouth stupid, meaningless warnings. My unhappiness caused Sheldon sincere pain. I held out for a second, haughty in my misery, then my head dropped to his shoulder as a choking sob escaped me.

He led me far away from the brilliant palace, blazing lights, and gay music, away from the maddening sound of laughter, far, far to the outskirts of the city; and Sheldon talked, talked, talked; evenly, monotonously, and vaguely I understood that in a marvelous cool and dispassionate manner he was telling me the romance of his life—all men have one and live. My own grief was too vividly fresh for me to follow him entirely, but Sheldon's sorrow was caused by the knowledge that the woman he adored had never been happy. His romance was ordinary and occurred when he was very young or it wouldn't have happened.

They had been separated by lack of funds and a scheming mother, and both learned all about it