The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 21

The creature looked about him in a dazed,
uncomprehending manner. A great question was writ large upon his
intelligent countenance. Professor Maxon stepped forward and took him
by the hand.

"Come," he said, and led him toward a smaller room off the main
workshop. The giant followed docilely, his eyes roving about the
room--the pitiful questioning still upon his handsome features. Von
Horn turned toward the campong.

Virginia, deserted by all, even the faithful Sing, who, cheated of his
sport on the preceding day, had again gone to the beach to snare gulls,
became restless of the enforced idleness and solitude. For a time she
wandered about the little compound which had been reserved for the
whites, but tiring of this she decided to extend her stroll beyond the
palisade, a thing which she had never before done unless accompanied by
von Horn--a thing both he and her father had cautioned her against.

"What danger can there be?" she thought. "We know that the island is
uninhabited by others than ourselves, and that there are no dangerous
beasts. And, anyway, there is no one now who seems to care what
becomes of me, unless--unless--I wonder if he does care. I wonder if I
care whether or not he cares. Oh, dear, I wish I knew," and as she
soliloquized she wandered past the little clearing and into the jungle
that lay behind the campong.

As von Horn and Professor Maxon talked together in the laboratory
before the upsetting of vat Number Thirteen, a grotesque and horrible
creature had slunk from the low shed at the opposite side of the
campong until it had crouched at the flimsy door of the building in
which the two men conversed. For a while it listened intently, but
when von Horn urged the necessity for dispatching certain "terrible,
soulless creatures" an expression of intermingled fear and hatred
convulsed the hideous features, and like a great grizzly it turned and
lumbered awkwardly across the campong toward the easterly, or back wall
of the enclosure.

Here it leaped futilely a half dozen times for the top of the palisade,
and then trembling and chattering in rage it ran back and forth along
the base of the obstacle, just as a wild beast in captivity paces
angrily before the bars of its cage.

Finally it paused to look once more at the senseless wood that barred
its escape, as though measuring the distance to the top. Then the eyes
roamed about the campong to rest at last upon the slanting roof of the
thatched shed

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