The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 107

say you?"

The two natives consulted together in low tones. At last they drew
nearer the shore.

"Will you give us each a bracelet of brass as well as the rifles?"
asked the spokesman.

Von Horn hesitated. He knew the native nature well. To have
acquiesced too readily would have been to have invited still further
demands from them.

"Only the rifles and ammunition," he said at last, "unless you succeed
in keeping the knowledge of my presence from both Barunda's uncle and
Muda Saffir. If you do that you shall have the bracelets also."

The prow of the sampan touched the bank.

"Come!" said one of the warriors.

Von Horn stepped aboard. He was armed only with a brace of Colts, and
he was going into the heart of the wild country of the head hunters, to
pit his wits against those of the wily Muda Saffir. His guides were
two savage head hunting warriors of a pirate crew from whom he hoped to
steal what they considered a fabulously rich treasure. Whatever sins
might be laid to the door of the doctor, there could be no question but
that he was a very brave man!

Von Horn's rash adventure had been suggested by the hope that he might,
by bribing some of the natives with Barunda's uncle, make way with the
treasure before Muda Saffir arrived to claim it, or, failing that,
learn its exact whereabouts that he might return for it with an
adequate force later. That he was taking his life in his hands he well
knew, but so great was the man's cupidity that he reckoned no risk too
great for the acquirement of a fortune.

The two Dyaks, paddling in silence up the dark river, proceeded for
nearly three hours before they drew in to the bank and dragged the
sampan up into the bushes. Then they set out upon a narrow trail into
the jungle. It so happened that after travelling for several miles
they inadvertently took another path than that followed by the party
under Barunda's uncle, so that they passed the latter without being
aware of it, going nearly half a mile to the right of where the
trailers camped a short distance from the bivouac of Ninaka.

In the dead of night Ninaka and his party had crawled away under the
very noses of the avengers, taking the chest with them, and by chance
von Horn and the two Dyaks cut back into the main trail along the river
almost at the very point that Ninaka halted to

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