The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 35

either from
his machinations.

The presence of the uncanny creatures of the court of mystery had
become known to the Malay and he used this knowledge as an argument to
foment discord and mutiny in the ignorant and superstitious crew under
his command. By boring a hole in the partition wall separating their
campong from the inner one he had disclosed to the horrified view of
his men the fearsome brutes harbored so close to them. The mate, of
course, had no suspicion of the true origin of these monsters, but his
knowledge of the fact that they had not been upon the island when the
Ithaca arrived and that it would have been impossible for them to have
landed and reached the camp without having been seen by himself or some
member of his company, was sufficient evidence to warrant him in
attributing their presence to some supernatural and malignant power.

This explanation the crew embraced willingly, and with it Bududreen's
suggestion that Professor Maxon had power to transform them all into
similar atrocities. The ball once started gained size and momentum as
it progressed. The professor's ofttimes strange expression was
attributed to an evil eye, and every ailment suffered by any member of
the crew was blamed upon their employer's Satanic influence. There was
but one escape from the horrors of such a curse--the death of its
author; and when Bududreen discovered that they had reached this point,
and were even discussing the method of procedure, he added all that was
needed to the dangerously smouldering embers of bloody mutiny by
explaining that should anything happen to the white men he would become
sole owner of their belongings, including the heavy chest, and that the
reward of each member of the crew would be generous.

Von Horn was really the only stumbling block in Bududreen's path. With
the natural cowardice of the Malay he feared this masterful American
who never moved without a brace of guns slung about his hips; and it
was at just this psychological moment that the doctor played into the
hands of his subordinate, much to the latter's inward elation.

Von Horn had finally despaired of winning Virginia by peaceful court,
and had about decided to resort to force when he was precipitately
confirmed in his decision by a conversation with the girl's father.

He and the professor were talking in the workshop of the remarkable
progress of Number Thirteen toward a complete mastery of English and
the ways and manners of society, in which von Horn had been assisting
his employer to train the young

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