Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/98

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The Centaurians

through our bodies we had not felt for months; then the clouds rolled together, but far in the distance the great red ball blazed; it flew downward, bounded and bounced over mountain and plain, disappearing, to re-appear, remained stationary an instant, then swinging into space with a flash it bounded out of sight. The phenomenon lasted seven minutes. "It is the Sun," Saunders explained, "and touches this point once a month."

Sheldon aired his doubts of course, and suggested the "wonderful sun-lit appearance" merely a reflection or another of Saunders's fake auroras. But he (Sheldon) honestly believed this "atmospheric exhibition" a deep, Simon-pure aurora at last. Then the argument was on which lasted for hours, and though they were really fond of each other, the energy displayed for flinging out insults without coming to blows was about as wonderful as the Sun visiting the polar regions once a month.

During the night we escaped from the shadowy quarry-land, and light as a bird skimmed over the old, familiar plains of ice and snow.

Saxe. began making calculations; we never interfered with him, he delighted in figuring out just how long it would take the Propellier to cover this or that distance, and as his calculations always went wrong we didn't bother him. Sheldon and Saunders suddenly became very busy and pre-occupied, and for no particular reason we all grew much elated and nervous with energy. Saunders said it was the atmosphere, and the farther we advanced in the vigor-producing air the livelier we would