The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 20

but most of all to your daughter."

A cunning look came into the professor's eyes.

"I understand," he said. "The precedent once established, all must
perish by its edict--even those which may not be grotesque or
bestial--even this perfect one," and he touched again the vat, "and
thus you would rid yourself of rival suitors. But no!" he went on in a
high, trembling voice. "I shall not be led to thus compromise myself,
and be thwarted in my cherished plan. Be this one what he may he shall
wed my daughter!"

The man had raised himself upon his toes as he reached his climax--his
clenched hand was high above his head--his voice fairly thundered out
the final sentence, and with the last word he brought his fist down
upon the vat before him. In his eyes blazed the light of unchained
madness.

Von Horn was a brave man, but he shuddered at the maniacal ferocity of
the older man, and shrank back. The futility of argument was apparent,
and he turned and left the workshop.

Sing Lee was late that night. In fact he did not return from his
fruitless quest for gulls until well after dark, nor would he vouchsafe
any explanation of the consequent lateness of supper. Nor could he be
found shortly after the evening meal when Virginia sought him.

Not until the camp was wrapped in the quiet of slumber did Sing Lee
return--stealthy and mysterious--to creep under cover of a moonless
night to the door of the workshop. How he gained entrance only Sing
Lee knows, but a moment later there was a muffled crash of broken glass
within the laboratory, and the Chinaman had slipped out, relocked the
door, and scurried to his nearby shack. But there was no occasion for
his haste--no other ear than his had heard the sound within the
workshop.

It was almost nine the following morning before Professor Maxon and von
Horn entered the laboratory. Scarcely had the older man passed the
doorway than he drew up his hands in horrified consternation. Vat
Number Thirteen lay dashed to the floor--the glass cover was broken to
a million pieces--a sticky, brownish substance covered the matting.
Professor Maxon hid his face in his hands.

"God!" he cried. "It is all ruined. Three more days would have--"

"Look!" cried von Horn. "It is not too soon."

Professor Maxon mustered courage to raise his eyes from his hands, and
there he beheld, seated in a far corner of the room a handsome giant,
physically perfect.

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