The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 103

to renew the encounter. Bulan was weakening rapidly under
the terrific strain to which he had been subjected, and from loss of
the blood which flowed from his wounds; yet he was slowly mastering the
foaming brutes, who themselves were torn and bleeding and exhausted.
Weaker and weaker became the struggles of them all, when a sudden
misstep sent Bulan stumbling headforemost against the stem of a tree,
where, stunned, he sank unconscious, at the mercy of the relentless
bulls.

They had already sprung upon the prostrate form of their victim to
finish what the accident had commenced, when the loud report of Sing's
revolver smote upon their startled ears as the Chinaman's bullet buried
itself in the heart of Number Ten. Never had the ourang outangs heard
the sound of a firearm, and the noise, seemingly in such close
proximity, filled them with such terror that on the instant they forgot
all else than this new and startling fear, and with headlong haste
leaped away into the jungle, leaving Bulan lying where he had fallen.

So it was that though Sing passed within a few paces of the unconscious
man he neither saw nor heard aught of him or his antagonists.

When Bulan returned to consciousness the day was drawing to a close.
He was stiff and sore and weak. His head ached horribly. He thought
that he must indeed be dying, for how could one who suffered so revive?
But at last he managed to stagger to his feet, and finally to reach the
stream along which he had been travelling earlier in the day. Here he
quenched his thirst and bathed his wounds, and as darkness came he lay
down to sleep upon a bed of matted grasses.

The next morning found him refreshed and in considerably less pain, for
the powers of recuperation which belonged to his perfect health and
mighty physique had already worked an almost miraculous transformation
in him. While he was hunting in the jungle for his breakfast he came
suddenly upon Number Three and Number Twelve similarly employed.

At sight of him the two creatures started to run away, but he called to
them reassuringly and they returned. On closer inspection Bulan saw
that both were covered with terrible wounds, and after questioning them
learned that they had fared almost as badly at the hands of the ourang
outangs as had he.

"Even the beasts loathe us," exclaimed Number Twelve. "What are we to
do?"

"Leave the beasts alone, as I told you," replied Bulan.

"Human beings hate us also," persisted Number

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