Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/78

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The Centaurians

with a great blast of thunder, which rolled and revolved over our heads with terrific crash, then passed on toward the south. What chained our attention was the appearance of a great milk-white cloud that sailed through the parted arch, submerging it. A cloud, funnel shaped, of milky, opal tints, whose throbbing, fiery heart burned vividly beneath the thin, shell covering. It gained in size and weight as it advanced, and gradually losing flakiness became a dull, ominous purple, rapidly deepening to black, then with appalling suddenness it was upon us.

We were among the racing clouds, tossed and scattered by the roaring gale. Thunder boomed, and weird, lightning flashes pierced our car, then the hurricane struck us squarely, lifting, overturning the car, and we were buried beneath the wreck. I was stunned, but a slight scalp wound which bled profusely relieved me greatly. The heat was suffocating, my clothing became saturated with perspiration streaming from every pore of my body.

Saxe. was the first to recover and extricated himself from the storage and debris, unhurt but badly scratched, and once more the energetic, pushing old boy we were familiar with.

"The worst is over," he bawled, "and the Propellier didn't bust; but snow is falling in clouds—boys, brace up, or we'll be buried alive!"

Sheldon and Saunders squirmed lively after this. We forced our way out of the overturned car and sank waist deep in soft, new snow, which prevented the gale carrying us away. The Propellier and ad-