The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 41

the north campong. There was murder in the cowardly hearts of
several of them, and stupidity and lust in the hearts of all. There
was no single one who would not betray his best friend for a handful of
silver, nor any but was inwardly hoping and scheming to the end that he
might alone possess both the chest and the girl.

It was such a pack of scoundrels that Bududreen led toward the north
campong to bear away the treasure. In the breast of the leader was the
hope that he had planted enough of superstitious terror in their hearts
to make the sight of the supposed author of their imagined wrongs
sufficient provocation for his murder; for Bududreen was too sly to
give the order for the killing of a white man--the arm of the white
man's law was too long--but he felt that he would rest easier were he
to leave the island with the knowledge that only a dead man remained
behind with the secret of his perfidy.

While these events were transpiring Number Thirteen was pacing
restlessly back and forth the length of the workshop. But a short time
before he had had his author--the author of his misery--within the four
walls of his prison, and yet he had not wreaked the vengeance that was
in his heart. Twice he had been on the point of springing upon the
man, but both times the other's eyes had met his and something which he
was not able to comprehend had stayed him. Now that the other had gone
and he was alone contemplation of the hideous wrong that had been done
loosed again the flood gates of his pent rage.

The thought that he had been made by this man--made in the semblance of
a human being, yet denied by the manner of his creation a place among
the lowest of Nature's creatures--filled him with fury, but it was not
this thought that drove him to the verge of madness. It was the
knowledge, suggested by von Horn, that Virginia Maxon would look upon
him in horror, as a grotesque and loathsome monstrosity.

He had no standard and no experience whereby he might classify his
sentiments toward this wonderful creature. All he knew was that his
life would be complete could he be near her always--see her and speak
with her daily. He had thought of her almost constantly since those
short, delicious moments that he had held her in his arms. Again and
again he experienced in retrospection the

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