Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/77

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

The Centaurians

darts and flashes. As we watched the gaudy spectacle it seemed to dull, darken, and grow heavier as though gifted with substance, then with indescribable majesty slowly descended to the earth. The heat became intense, the atmosphere stifling. We raised the windows, but quickly closed them, the car filled with a sulphurous air which started us to coughing and sneezing. We glanced at each other silent, dismayed; Saxe., paled and trembling, sank to a seat.

"The Propellier will explode! nothing is proof against this!" he cried.

"We are witnessing," said Saunders, in reassuring tones, "a phenomenon of the heavens, a combination of electrical forces which will soon disperse and rage in various portions of the globe. It cannot harm us should it descend, as its power, force, will have evaporated. This portion of the globe upon which we are now traveling is——er—hum——"

"God in heaven!" yelled Saxe. "Look, boys, we're done for!"

Saxe., the mainspring of the party, to our amazement, was overcome with terror.

"Come," he cried, retreating with frantic haste, "come, or we'll perish! The Propellier is going to burst!"

We stampeded to the rear car and clustered around the window to gaze at that which had so roused Saxe.'s terror, while he sank in a heap, mopping his brow.

The wide spreading arch of fire suddenly parted