The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 23

with the roof at the east end of the shed.
Quickly he crossed to the low structure. Within its compartments a
number of deformed monsters squatted upon their haunches, or lay prone
upon the native mats that covered the floor.

As the man entered they looked furtively at the bull whip which trailed
from his right hand, and then glanced fearfully at one another as
though questioning which was the malefactor on this occasion.

Von Horn ran his eyes over the hideous assemblage.

"Where is Number One?" he asked, directing his question toward a thing
whose forehead gave greater promise of intelligence than any of his
companions.

The one addressed shook his head.

Von Horn turned and made a circuit of the campong. There was no sign
of the missing one and no indication of any other irregularity than the
demolished portion of the roof. With an expression of mild concern
upon his face he entered the workshop.

"Number One has escaped into the jungle, Professor," he said.

Professor Maxon looked up in surprise, but before he had an opportunity
to reply a woman's scream, shrill with horror, smote upon their
startled ears.

Von Horn was the first to reach the campong of the whites. Professor
Maxon was close behind him, and the faces of both were white with
apprehension. The enclosure was deserted. Not even Sing was there.
Without a word the two men sprang through the gateway and raced for the
jungle in the direction from which that single, haunting cry had come.

Virginia Maxon, idling beneath the leafy shade of the tropical foliage,
became presently aware that she had wandered farther from the campong
than she had intended. The day was sultry, and the heat, even in the
dense shade of the jungle, oppressive. Slowly she retraced her steps,
her eyes upon the ground, her mind absorbed in sad consideration of her
father's increasing moodiness and eccentricity.

Possibly it was this very abstraction which deadened her senses to the
near approach of another. At any rate the girl's first intimation that
she was not alone came when she raised her eyes to look full into the
horrid countenance of a fearsome monster which blocked her path toward
camp.

The sudden shock brought a single involuntary scream from her lips.
And who can wonder! The thing thrust so unexpectedly before her eyes
was hideous in the extreme. A great mountain of deformed flesh clothed
in dirty, white cotton pajamas! Its face was of the ashen hue of a
fresh corpse, while the white hair and pink

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