The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 30

struggled back and forth about the little clearing.

"This way," cried Sing presently, and started off once more into the
brush, but this time in a northwesterly direction, toward camp.

In silence the three men followed the new trail, all puzzled beyond
measure to account for the death of Number One at the hands of what
must have been a creature of superhuman strength. What could it have
been! It was impossible that any of the Malays or lascars could have
done the thing, and there were no other creatures, brute or human, upon
the island large enough to have coped even for an instant with the
ferocious brutality of the dead monster, except--von Horn's brain came
to a sudden halt at the thought. Could it be? There seemed no other
explanation. Virginia Maxon had been rescued from one soulless
monstrosity to fall into the hands of another equally irresponsible and
terrifying.

Others then must have escaped from the campong. Von Horn loosened his
guns in their holsters, and took a fresh grip upon his bull whip as he
urged Sing forward upon the trail. He wondered which one it was, but
not once did it occur to him that the latest result of Professor
Maxon's experiments could be the rescuer of Virginia Maxon. In his
mind he could see only the repulsive features of one of the others.

Quite unexpectedly they came upon the two, and with a shout von Horn
leaped forward, his bull whip upraised. Number Thirteen turned in
surprise at the cry, and sensing a new danger for her who lay in his
arms, he set her gently upon the ground behind him and advanced to meet
his assailant.

"Out of the way, you--monstrosity," cried von Horn. "If you have
harmed Miss Maxon I'll put a bullet in your heart!"

Number Thirteen did not understand the words that the other addressed
to him but he interpreted the man's actions as menacing, not to
himself, but to the creature he now considered his particular charge;
and so he met the advancing man, more to keep him from the girl than to
offer him bodily injury for he recognized him as one of the two who had
greeted his first dawning consciousness.

Von Horn, possibly intentionally, misinterpreted the other's motive,
and raising his bull whip struck Number Thirteen a vicious cut across
the face, at the same time levelling his revolver point blank at the
broad breast. But before ever he could pull the trigger an avalanche of
muscle was upon him, and he

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