Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/63

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The Centaurians

chemical was used in his secret solution which supplied the motor power to the Propellier, and was absolutely proof against what he termed "atmospheric influence," and could be procured in large quantities only in this vicinity. At this stage of the explanation I departed. I knew Saxe. would divulge nothing, his secretive method in securing the chemical was sufficient for me. Not to a living soul would Saxe. ever impart the knowledge of how he manufactured his marvelous electric fluid, but Saunders and Sheldon hung on in the vain hope that Saxe. in his enthusiasm might forget himself; and this after all their years of association with him. They had failed to discover that he was the worst old fox in creation. As there was no further cause for dallying we decided to slight those ports where we were expected to anchor and steamed straight for the north. Four days out we encountered a heavy storm, high seas washed the decks clean of everything. Affairs looked serious at one time, but Captain Norris buoyed us up with the information this was merely a trifle to what we were fated to encounter before we reached the Pole. Saunders said he predicted the storm from the position of wind clouds and atmospheric, etc., etc., etc. Sheldon declared it was brought on by Saxe.'s meddling with combustibles, and aggravated by Sally's volcanic thoughts (a dig at my idleness).

The storm lasted three days, then one morning the sun rose in all serenity and we were nearing the coast of Greenland.

To please various prominent individuals who