Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/55

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The Centaurians

the burning splendor at a myth, houri, such ravishing beauty could not be mortal. Thick masses of jetty hair mingled with the heavy, dusky clouds; starry, flashing eyes burned into mine and scorched me; tall, majestic, scintillating with jewels, red lips parted in an alluring smile, she beckoned to me. I stared, fascinated. She drew to her side an odd instrument and her white fingers caressed the wires, music there must have been, but I could not hear. As I watched a shadow appeared which gradually grew firmer, taking form and finally the dim outlines of a man were revealed bending eagerly toward the luxurious creature. He was pleading, passionate admiration betrayed in his whole attitude. And this man, this man with his slavish devotion was—myself. I, the man of the world, the cynic with a well-known temperament of an icicle. I gazed astounded at this shadow of myself and my heart warmed and beat violently as I watched the strangely beautiful vision; in that moment I loved, loved almost as madly as the shadow. She turned as though in welcome to another, then suddenly a brilliant, golden light shrouded the whole, the globe of fire crashed together and bounded away in space, tinging the universe with a glorious roseate hue. With the last vanishing streak of pink came desolation; in the midst of this gloom a man approached walking rapidly, determinedly. He reached me and passed without heeding my call. I yelled after him, he turned—the man's face was my own. On he went with great strides, obstacles faded beneath the power of his will. I followed, though not conscious