Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/85

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The Centaurians

appeared to be over the lava bed of a monster crater.

"I was correct!" shouted Saunders and Sheldon simultaneously, while they glared at each other. "I was positive when we reached the summit we would discover the outlet of all equatorial eruptions. We travel upon frozen lava beds, and——"

"Later on," Saxe. cried impatiently; "we have work to do now."

A few minutes later, muffled to the eyes, we trooped out into an atmosphere of stifling cold (no other expression for it) to remove the runners. Frequently I was seized with vertigo, but kept quiet as nobody else complained.

Saunders informed us we had reached 97 degrees north latitude. Three more degrees and we have discovered the Pole.

Saxe. worked, but at the same time watched us keenly, bawling instructions, then wasted a whole hour carefully inspecting our work.

"Can't afford accidents," he explained, "will submit only to the unavoidable;" and wheel after wheel was examined.

We watched him fooling away the time and amused ourselves cutting jokes at his expense, but he was entirely oblivious. Suddenly we were startled by the deep baying of hounds.

"Dogs!" gasped Saxe., "sounds like dogs!"

Saunders streaked it for the car, bawling to us to follow.

Sheldon suggested it might be the Relief Party, at the same time striding mightily for safety. Saxe.