The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 29

trail of the creature was bewilderingly erratic. A dozen paces
straight through the underbrush, then a sharp turn at right angles for
no apparent reason, only to veer again suddenly in a new direction!
Thus, turning and twisting, the tortuous way led them toward the south
end of the island, until Sing, who was in advance, gave a sharp cry of
surprise.

"Klick! Look see!" he cried excitedly. "Blig blute dead--vely muchee
dead."

Von Horn rushed forward to where the Chinaman was leaning over the body
of Number One. Sure enough, the great brute lay motionless, its horrid
face even more hideous in death than in life, if it were possible. The
face was black, the tongue protruded, the skin was bruised from the
heavy fists of his assailant and the thick skull crushed and splintered
from terrific impact with the tree.

Professor Maxon leaned over von Horn's shoulder. "Ah, poor Number
One," he sighed, "that you should have come to such an untimely end--my
child, my child."

Von Horn looked at him, a tinge of compassion in his rather hard face.
It touched the man that his employer was at last shocked from the
obsession of his work to a realization of the love and duty he owed his
daughter; he thought that the professor's last words referred to
Virginia.

"Though there are twelve more," continued Professor Maxon, "you were my
first born son and I loved you most, dear child."

The younger man was horrified.

"My God, Professor!" he cried. "Are you mad? Can you call this thing
'child' and mourn over it when you do not yet know the fate of your own
daughter?"

Professor Maxon looked up sadly. "You do not understand, Dr. von
Horn," he replied coldly, "and you will oblige me, in the future, by
not again referring to the offspring of my labors as 'things.'"

With an ugly look upon his face von Horn turned his back upon the older
man--what little feeling of loyalty and affection he had ever felt for
him gone forever. Sing was looking about for evidences of the cause of
Number One's death and the probable direction in which Virginia Maxon
had disappeared.

"What on earth could have killed this enormous brute, Sing? Have you
any idea?" asked von Horn.

The Chinaman shook his head.

"No savvy," he replied. "Blig flight. Look see," and he pointed to
the torn and trampled turf, the broken bushes, and to one or two small
trees that had been snapped off by the impact of the two mighty bodies
that had

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