The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 31

went down to the rotting vegetation of the
jungle with five sinewy fingers at his throat.

His revolver exploded harmlessly in the air, and then another hand
wrenched it from him and hurled it far into the underbrush. Number
Thirteen knew nothing of the danger of firearms, but the noise had
startled him and his experience with the stinging cut of the bull whip
convinced him that this other was some sort of instrument of torture of
which it would be as well to deprive his antagonist.

Virginia Maxon looked on in horror as she realized that her rescuer was
quickly choking Dr. von Horn to death. With a little cry she sprang to
her feet and ran toward them, just as her father emerged from the
underbrush through which he had been struggling in the trail of the
agile Chinaman and von Horn. Placing her hand upon the great wrist of
the giant she tried to drag his fingers from von Horn's throat,
pleading meanwhile with both voice and eyes for the life of the man she
thought loved her.

Again Number Thirteen translated the intent without understanding the
words, and releasing von Horn permitted him to rise. With a bound he
was upon his feet and at the same instant brought his other gun from
his side and levelled it upon the man who had released him; but as his
finger tightened upon the trigger Virginia Maxon sprang between them
and grasping von Horn's wrist deflected the muzzle of the gun just as
the cartridge exploded. Simultaneously Professor Maxon sprang from his
grasp and hurled him back with the superhuman strength of a maniac.

"Fool!" he cried. "What would you do? Kill--," and then of a sudden
he realized his daughter's presence and the necessity for keeping the
origin of the young giant from her knowledge.

"I am surprised at you, Dr. von Horn," he continued in a more level
voice. "You must indeed have forgotten yourself to thus attack a
stranger upon our island until you know whether he be friend or foe.
Come! Escort my daughter to the camp, while I make the proper
apologies to this gentleman." As he saw that both Virginia and von
Horn hesitated, he repeated his command in a peremptory tone, adding;
"Quick, now; do as I bid you."

The moment had given von Horn an opportunity to regain his
self-control, and realizing as well as did his employer, but from
another motive, the necessity of keeping the truth from the girl, he
took her arm and led

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