Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/61

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

The Centaurians

"That I certainly will," I told him, and I kept my word.

I felt sorry to part with the old boys, but honestly it was a relief to see them trooping from the ship with other visitors. I did not feel safe from them till I saw them on the wharf waving their kerchiefs as we pulled out. Saxe. walked up and down smoking vigorously, answering very testily if any one dared address him. Saunders was leaning dangerously forward over the railing, bawling to the young man on the pier, who was bawling back at him, neither understanding what the other was bawling. Sheldon, with a red nose, was seated upon a barrel sentimentally studying a photo, presumably of the portly one; and all three, I firmly believe, were willing to back out of the expedition if they dared. We were forced to drop all sentimental nonsense and acknowledge the magnificent send-off tendered us, though every last blessed mortal who wished us luck were positive we would never return. Bare-headed the four of us shouted and gesticulated like mad in response to the hubbub; bedlam reigned; our ship was surrounded by every conceivable craft in existence. The ear-splitting shriek of infernal tugs, and launches, nearly drove us demented, making us deaf to the salutes of little white-halls, and yachts, crowded with wealthy, idle men in flannels, who whooped as we steamed past, roused to momentary enthusiasm because they had nothing else to do. The pleasure-seekers accompanied us till the swell of heavy seas drove them back one by one, and at last, thank Heaven! the awful din was quieted