The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 130

in this decision
she must concur, for the truth might reveal some insurmountable
obstacle to our marriage. In the meantime let us be friends,
professor, for we are both actuated by the same desire--the welfare and
happiness of your daughter."

The old man stepped forward and took Bulan's hand. The expression of
doubt and worry had left his face.

"I cannot believe," he said, "that you are other than a gentleman, and
if, in my desire to protect Virginia, I have said aught to wound you I
ask your forgiveness."

Bulan responded only with a tighter pressure of the hand.

"And now," said the professor, "let us return to the long-house. I
wish to have a few words in private with you, von Horn," and he turned
to face his assistant, but the man had disappeared.

"Where is Doctor von Horn?" exclaimed the scientist, addressing Sing.

"Hornee, him vamoose long time 'go," replied the Chinaman. "He hear
all he likee."

Slowly the little party wound along the jungle trail, and in less than
a mile, to Virginia's infinite surprise, came out upon the river and
the long-house that she and Bulan had searched for in vain.

"And to think," she cried, "that all these awful days we have been
almost within sound of your voices. What strange freak of fate sent
you to us today?"

"We had about given up hope," replied her father, "when Sing suggested
to me that we cut across the highlands that separate this valley from
the one adjoining it upon the northeast, where we should strike other
tribes and from them glean some clue to your whereabouts in case your
abductors had attempted to carry you back to the sea by another route.
This seemed likely in view of the fact that we were assured by enemies
of Muda Saffir that you were not in his possession, and that the river
we were bound for would lead your captors most quickly out of the
domains of that rascally Malay. You may imagine our surprise,
Virginia, when after proceeding for but a mile we discovered you."

No sooner had the party entered the verandah of the long-house than
Professor Maxon made inquiries for von Horn, only to learn that he had
departed up stream in a prahu with several warriors whom he had engaged
to accompany him on a "hunting expedition," having explained that the
white girl had been found and was being brought to the long-house.

The chief further explained that he had done his best to dissuade the
white man from so rash an act, as he

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