The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 15

place within the inner campong.

"She is only a child," he said, "and would not understand the
importance of the work we are doing. All that she would be able to see
is the immediate moral effect of these experiments upon the subjects
themselves--she would not look into the future and appreciate the
immense advantage to mankind that must accrue from a successful
termination of our research. The future of the world will be assured
when once we have demonstrated the possibility of the chemical
production of a perfect race."

"Number One, for example," suggested von Horn.

Professor Maxon glanced at him sharply.

"Levity, Doctor, is entirely out of place in the contemplation of the
magnificent work I have already accomplished," said the professor
tartly. "I admit that Number One leaves much to be desired--much to be
desired; but Number Two shows a marked advance along certain lines, and
I am sure that tomorrow will divulge in experiment Number Three such
strides as will forever silence any propensity toward scoffing which
you may now entertain."

"Forgive me, Professor," von Horn hastened to urge. "I did not intend
to deride the wonderful discoveries which you have made, but it is only
natural that we should both realize that Number One is not beautiful.
To one another we may say what we would not think of suggesting to
outsiders."

Professor Maxon was mollified by this apology, and turned to resume his
watch beside a large, coffin-shaped vat. For a while von Horn was
silent. There was that upon his mind which he had wished to discuss
with his employer since months ago, but the moment had never arrived
which seemed at all propitious, nor did it appear likely ever to
arrive. So the doctor decided to broach the subject now, as being
psychologically as favorable a time as any.

"Your daughter is far from happy, Professor," he said, "nor do I feel
that, surrounded as we are by semi-savage men, she is entirely safe."

Professor Maxon looked up from his vigil by the vat, eyeing von Horn
closely.

"Well?" he asked.

"It seemed to me that had I a closer relationship I might better assist
in adding to her happiness and safety--in short, Professor, I should
like your permission to ask Virginia to marry me."

There had been no indication in von Horn's attitude toward the girl
that he loved her. That she was beautiful and intelligent could not be
denied, and so it was small wonder that she might appeal strongly to
any man, but von Horn was quite evidently not of the marrying

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