The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 39

Captain," he answered. "We should all be
hanged were we caught."

"There will be no danger of that, Bududreen, for there will be no one
to divulge our secret."

"There will be the Professor Maxon," urged the Malay. "Some day he
will escape from the island, and then we shall all hang."

"He will never escape," replied von Horn, "his own creatures will see
to that. They are already commencing to realize the horrible crime he
has committed against them, and when once they are fully aroused there
will be no safety for any of us. If you wish to leave the island at
all it will be best for you to accept my proposal and leave while your
head yet remains upon your shoulders. Were we to suggest to the
professor that he leave now he would not only refuse but he would take
steps to make it impossible for any of us to leave, even to sinking the
Ithaca. The man is mad--quite mad--Bududreen, and we cannot longer
jeopardize our own throats merely to humor his crazy and criminal
whims."

The Malay was thinking fast, and could von Horn have guessed what
thoughts raced through the tortuous channels of that semi-barbarous
brain he would have wished himself safely housed in the American prison
where he belonged.

"When do you wish to sail?" asked the Malay.

"Tonight," replied von Horn, and together they matured their plans. An
hour later the second mate with six men disappeared into the jungle
toward the harbor. They, with the three on watch, were to get the
vessel in readiness for immediate departure.

After the evening meal von Horn sat on the verandah with Virginia Maxon
until the Professor came from the workshop to retire for the night. As
he passed them he stopped for a word with von Horn, taking him aside
out of the girl's hearing.

"Have you noticed anything peculiar in the actions of Thirteen?" asked
the older man. "He was sullen and morose this evening, and at times
there was a strange, wild light in his eyes as he looked at me. Can it
be possible that, after all, his brain is defective? It would be
terrible. My work would have gone for naught, for I can see no way in
which I can improve upon him."

"I will go and have a talk with him later," said von Horn, "so if you
hear us moving about in the workshop, or even out here in the campong
think nothing of it. I may take

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