Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/42

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The Centaurians

ply a pastime. Success naturally frowned, and all these years you might have been comfortably asleep."

His object in taking this tone I didn't question, but his talking did me a world of good; ambition fired me, I was positive that at last I had discovered the supreme idea.

"I've formed no plans for the future," I told him, "and returned to you because I wish to put my new idea in action at once. I've decided to join you; there'll be four instead of three—a gold backing, and there's no such thing as failure. Inform me of every detail of your great scheme, initiate me into the mysteries of your attic. Saxe., I swear I can perfect your machinery."

He stared, his face quite white; this time he did not smile at my boast. We rose together and clasped hands across the table, and he, his voice husky with emotion, murmured: "It is the noblest, grandest scheme ever created, but the end may feaze you; still, I believe you to be sincere this time, may your genius aid you to perfect what I have slaved a lifetime over. Come!"

Up the narrow, creaking stairs we went. Saxe. flooded the place with light and there was the monstrous machinery with unsightly covering, which he reverently removed, and the masterpiece of steel was revealed in all its glory. The polish of the cylinder, and great propeller which failed to work, was dazzling; the delicate lace tracery wrought in the steel wrung from me a cry of admiration.