Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/90

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The Centaurians

the Pole circle brisk, icy breezes blew life to us—no one dared mention the fact to Saunders.

Sheldon served around hot, fragrant coffee, and suggested lunch. When the meal was ready Saxe. had sufficiently recovered to join us and felt so invigorated after that he proposed we venture out and prospect. We advised against it, of course, but Saxe. was known never to take advice, and we might as well talk to the Propellier.

We discovered a broad plain stretching east to west to an infinite distance, but straight ahead the road continued as though leveled from the side of the mountains. Upon one side huge cliffs towered and upon the other deep, unfathomable chasms. The boulders were perpendicular and of glassy smoothness. A terrific gale was blowing, dark clouds scurried across the sky with occasional breaks, letting a star gleam through, and once a wide space cleared and the moon shone full, lighting up the strange, weird, beautiful scenery.

"If this is the dead portion of the earth, then death is certainly grand, sublime," remarked Sheldon.

"According to the compass," interrupted Saxe., whose mind apparently was not upon the scenery, "we must travel straight ahead, and that narrow road in front is the route. I judge it's about fifteen feet wide," he continued, "inclines sharply, curving into the cliffs down there. We must know what's around that bend before we go splurging with the machine."

We started down the narrow road, but the cut-