The Centaur by Algernon Blackwood Page 2 of 300


There is a sign upon the face and in the eyes. Having somehow discovered the 'piece' that makes them free of the whole amazing puzzle, they know where they belong and, therefore, whither they are bound: more, they are definitely en route. The littlenesses of existence that plague the majority pass them by.

"For this reason, if for no other," continued O'Malley, "I count my experience with that man as memorable beyond ordinary. 'If for no other,' because from the very beginning there was another.

Indeed, it was probably his air of unusual bigness, massiveness rather,-head, face, eyes, shoulders, especially back and shoulders,-that struck me first when I caught sight of him lounging there hugely upon my steamer deck at Marseilles, winning my instant attention before he turned and the expression on his great face woke more-woke curiosity, interest, envy.


He wore this very look of certainty that knows, yet with a tinge of mild surprise as though he had only recently known. It was less than perplexity. A faint astonishment as of a happy child-almost of an animal-shone in the large brown eyes-"

"You mean that the physical quality caught you first, then the psychical?" I asked, keeping him to the point, for his Irish imagination was ever apt to race away at a tangent.

He laughed good-naturedly, acknowledging the check. "I believe that to be the truth," he replied, his face instantly grave again. "It was the impression of uncommon bulk that heated my intuition-blessed if I know how-leading me to the other. The size of his body did not smother, as so often is the case with big people: rather, it revealed.



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