Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/39

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The Centaurians

He was daring and—like most daring people—queer. He had joined many expeditions to the north to perfect observations of the polar sphere, but before penetrating very far into the ice regions something or other had always frightened the life most out of him and he returned home with the liveliest speed.

Saxe.'s other crony was Sheldon, a genial, patient, cool old party, who became excited only when arguing with Saunders. He had a mania for rivers, declaring all bodies of fresh water were fed from an under-current which flowed through great arteries, connected with an ocean of fresh water, supposedly located somewhere in the region of the Pole. He had completed arrangements to join the next expedition to the north, his intention to explore around for this great fresh water ocean. His arguments were very convincing and his cool, calm, positive assertions made you almost believe his statements. The man was odd, undoubtedly very odd. And Saxe., dear old Saxe., the hard-headed Professor, whom the boys at college dared not play pranks upon, Saxe., with his wonderful inventive genius and vast researches in scientific regions, this man with the brilliant brain, was living in seclusion with a set of cranks and wasting his life upon the North Pole. He formed no wild theories based upon wilder calculations, it was to discover the unknown summit, and he vowed he would do it before he died. The determination of all three men was inspiring. They had their clientele, of course, and their writings were widely read. Sheldon was fa-