Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/71

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The Centaurians

which he stored away with great care; what he wanted with that oil was a mystery. Skins, furs were forced upon us, strings of fresh fish, and a great quantity of dried or frozen fish packed together like staves of a barrel was presented to me. We were each presented with a canoe, with the information that we would need them. Saxe. repaid this kindness with quantities of beads and imitation jewelry, and I flung a little fortune among the natives.

Norris saluted with four guns. The Propellier responded with a shrill blast from her siren as we sped out among the snow hills which soon hid all our friends from view. At last we were really started upon our long journey of marvelous adventure.

We traveled north along the coast of Greenland. The Propellier acted well, the feeler did splendid work, warning us of breaks or gaps in the ice by vibrating and resounding with hollow noise; the great arc-light cast a radiance of three hundred yards, and we traveled full speed night and day. Each were initiated into the mysteries of the engine-room, and took turns in steering the machine. Saunders, however, was exempt from these duties, he permitted nothing to interfere with the work he'd mapped out for himself. He alone was spared from what is called snow-blindness; with his exception we were all decorated with great blue goggles. I was the first to succumb to the glaring whiteness of the snow. The continual sameness of arctic landscape became very tiresome. As far as