The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 14

would have results that would not
be countenanced by civilized society or government. Am I right?"

Von Horn had attempted to sound the girl that he might, if possible,
discover her attitude toward the work in which her father and he were
engaged. He had succeeded beyond his hopes, for he had not intended
that she should guess so much of the truth as she had. Should her
interest in the work have proved favorable it had been his intention to
acquaint her fully with the marvellous success which already had
attended their experiments, and to explain their hopes and plans for
the future, for he had seen how her father's attitude had hurt her and
hoped to profit himself by reposing in her the trust and confidence
that her father denied her.

And so it was that her direct question left him floundering in a sea of
embarrassment, for to tell her the truth now would gain him no favor in
her eyes, while it certainly would lay him open to the suspicion and
distrust of her father should he learn of it.

"I cannot answer your question, Miss Maxon," he said, finally, "for
your father's strictest injunction has been that I divulge to no one
the slightest happening within the court of mystery. Remember that I
am in your father's employ, and that no matter what my personal
convictions may be regarding the work he has been doing I may only act
with loyalty to his lightest command while I remain upon his payroll.
That you are here," he added, "is my excuse for continuing my
connection with certain things of which my conscience does not approve."

The girl glanced at him quickly. She did not fully understand the
motive for his final avowal, and a sudden intuition kept her from
questioning him. She had learned to look upon von Horn as a very
pleasant companion and a good friend--she was not quite certain that
she would care for any change in their relations, but his remark had
sowed the seed of a new thought in her mind as he had intended that it
should.

When von Horn returned to the court of mystery, he narrated to
Professor Maxon the gist of his conversation with Virginia, wishing to
forestall anything which the girl might say to her father that would
give him an impression that von Horn had been talking more than he
should. Professor Maxon listened to the narration in silence. When
von Horn had finished, he cautioned him against divulging to Virginia
anything that took

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