The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 112

the wrecked Ithaca.

Like a great cat Bulan drew himself cautiously to all fours--every
nerve and muscle taut with the excitement of the moment. Before him he
saw a hundred and fifty ferocious Borneo head hunters, armed with
parangs, spears and sumpitans. At his back slept two almost brainless
creatures--his sole support against the awful odds he must face before
he could hope to succor the divinity whose image was enshrined in his
brave and simple heart.

The muscles stood out upon his giant forearm as he gripped the stock of
his bull whip. He believed that he was going to his death, for mighty
as were his thews he knew that in the face of the horde they would
avail him little, yet he saw no other way than to sit supinely by while
the girl went to her doom, and that he could not do. He nudged Number
Twelve. "Silence!" he whispered, and "Come! The girl is here. We
must save her. Kill the men," and the same to the hairy and terrible
Number Three.

Both the creatures awoke and rose to their hands and knees without
noise that could be heard above the chattering of the natives, who had
crowded forward to view the dead bodies of von Horn's victims.
Silently Bulan came to his feet, the two monsters at his back rising
and pressing close behind him. Along the denser shadows the three
crept to a position in the rear of the natives. The girl's guards had
stepped forward with the others to join in the discussion that followed
the dying statement of the murdered warrior, leaving her upon the outer
fringe of the crowd.

For an instant a sudden hope of escape sprang to Virginia Maxon's
mind--there was none between her and the jungle through which they had
just passed. Though unknown dangers lurked in the black and uncanny
depths of the dismal forest, would not death in any form be far
preferable to the hideous fate which awaited her in the person of the
bestial Malay pirate?

She had turned to take the first step toward freedom when three figures
emerged from the wall of darkness behind her. She saw the war-caps,
shields, and war-coats, and her heart sank. Here were others of the
rajah's party--stragglers who had come just in time to thwart her
plans. How large these men were--she never had seen a native of such
giant proportions; and now they had come quite close to her, and as the
foremost stooped to speak to

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