Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/58

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The Centaurians

seemed singularly happy at my decision and confided to me his strange, strange theory.

"I do not search for the Pole," he told me, "but for the great countries I know exist beyond. The world has never been fully explored, and, Virgillius, it never will be. Once, long ago, ships never sailed beyond the Strait of Gibraltar, the great waste of water meeting the horizon line was simply the 'jumping-off place.' Later, according to civilization, Europe, Asia, and Africa comprised the world, and history relates the jeers Columbus's contrary but positive assertions received. We've made rapid progress since those primitive times.

"Explorers usually are blessed with vivid imaginations—those who seek the Pole, expect to discover a vast continent on the other side; all have the same positive idea concerning the unknown regions, but dare not express them. Now take Sheldon," he continued, "do you suppose a man of his learning expects to discover a great body of fresh water in the Arctic zone? Not much! And Saunders, and his wonderful star, whose existence has never been disputed by scientific readers of the heavens. He declares the earth egg-shaped, not round, as many commonly believe has been proven—nothing has been proven. The great twin planet is visible upon the other side of this globe similar to the Moon, which exposes but one side of her disc to us—the uninhabited sphere."

I gasped. Saxe. chuckled at my astonishment and grasped my hand.

"Glad you've joined us, my boy," he said. "It's a