Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/86

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The Centaurians

in his hurry tumbled over himself, and I, horrified, heavy man as he was, picked him up as though he were a child and hurried with him to the car, securing the door just in time. The great beasts rushed towards us and sprang upon either side of the Propellier, which shook beneath their weight. Saxe. turned on the siren, the monsters yelled and snapped at the steel, but held on, differing from other animals we had encountered, which, now that I mention the matter, are far from numerous despite the contrary exaggerations written by some arctic tourists. But the few roving animals we did meet renounced all curiosity at the first blast of the siren, which Saxe. now kept going at one continual earsplitting shriek till the huge beasts finally dropped off and made for the car. What magnificent animals they were, certainly resembling, dogs, but assuredly not dogs. Their monstrous bodies were covered with long, thick, white fur, and they dragged great plume-like tails. The immense head was ornamented with ridiculously small, pointed ears, with short, blunt horns growing behind. The larger animal sprang at the window from which we looked and broke it with his horns. He thrust in his great head; how his eyes glared and what awful fangs, and how he snapped and snarled, and strained and worked to lift his great bulk. Saxe. struck him with a piece of iron; with a howl he fell back, tumbling to the ground. I hurriedly took from the shelf two large fish that had been pounded to tenderness and flung them to the enraged beasts. Each grabbed a fish—what transformation! They