Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/46

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The Centaurians

larity for about three weeks, and then—well, all waves recede, but this one simply calmed. Saxe. and his invention were not forgotten, because he was wise enough to keep the public guessing. Later, when preparations were progressing rapidly for the one great aim of his life, he in his thankfulness became more communicative, satisfying curiosity, ending all doubts. He lectured before a vast throng of scientists, educators, and students, who wildly applauded him as he divulged the secret of his ambition and the usefulness of his invention. He declared the Pole would never be discovered without the aid of science, and his invention would greatly lessen the many hardships previous explorers suffered (applause). All the tremendous difficulties of Arctic travel would vanish before the terrible force of the Propellier; and he verged nicely into details with deep explanations, and ended he would reach the Pole, then explore the surrounding territory.

Seated upon the stage were several famous lecturers, all had a few remarks to make, chiefly in discouragement of Saxe.'s grand project, placing great stress upon real and imaginary obstacles, and aggravating the listeners enthused with Saxe.'s scheme; but he was too far gone to heed advice, happy that his years of labor were over, he sat there smiling and chuckling.

Saunders had his little say also, spoke glowingly of the expedition, and became eloquent over his wondrous northern star of the brilliant pinkish hue. His statements were positive, and many in the audi-