The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 102

the assistance of a rascally Malay
who dwelt at Gunung Tebor, where he carried on a thriving trade with
pirates.

But presently it became apparent that he had not so easily escaped the
fruits of his villainy as he had supposed, for upon the evening of the
first day the rear of his little column was attacked by some of
Barunda's warriors who had forged ahead of their fellows, with the
result that the head of Ninaka's brother went to increase the prestige
and glory of the house of the enemy.

Ninaka was panic-stricken, since he knew that hampered as he was by the
heavy chest he could neither fight nor run to advantage. And so, upon
a dark night near the head waters of the river he sought, he buried the
treasure at the foot of a mighty buttress tree, and with his parang
made certain cabalistic signs upon the bole whereby he might identify
the spot when it was safe to return and disinter his booty. Then, with
his men, he hastened down the stream until they reached the head of
prahu navigation where they stole a craft and paddled swiftly on toward
the sea.

When the three bull ourang outangs closed upon Bulan he felt no fear as
to the outcome of the battle, for never in his experience had he coped
with any muscles that his own mighty thews could not overcome. But as
the battle continued he realized that there might be a limit to the
number of antagonists which he could successfully withstand, since he
could scarcely hope with but two hands to reach the throats of three
enemies, or ward off the blows and clutches of six powerful hands, or
the gnashing of three sets of savage fangs.

When the truth dawned upon him that he was being killed the instinct of
self-preservation was born in him. The ferocity with which he had
fought before paled into insignificance beside the mad fury with which
he now attacked the three terrible creatures upon him. Shaking himself
like a great lion he freed his arms for a moment from the clinging
embrace of his foemen, and seizing the neck of the nearest in his
mighty clutch wrenched the head completely around.

There was one awful shriek from the tortured brute--the vertebrae
parted with a snap, and Bulan's antagonists were reduced to two.
Lunging and struggling the three combatants stumbled farther and
farther into the jungle beyond the clearing. With mighty blows the man
buffeted the beasts to right and left, but ever they returned in
bestial rage

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