The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 48

An expression of pain crossed his features,
and he shuddered--but not from fear.



As von Horn and Virginia Maxon walked slowly beneath the dense shadows
of the jungle he again renewed his suit. It would please him more to
have the girl accompany him voluntarily than to be compelled to take
her by force, but take her he would one way or another, and that, this
very night, for all the plans were made and already under way.

"I cannot do it, Doctor von Horn," she had said. "No matter how much
danger I may be in here I cannot desert my father on this lonely isle
with only savage lascars and the terrible monsters of his own creation
surrounding him. Why, it would be little short of murder for us to do
such a thing. I cannot see how you, his most trusted lieutenant, can
even give an instant's consideration to the idea.

"And now that you insist that his mind is sorely affected, it is only
an added reason why I must remain with him to protect him so far as I
am able, from himself and his enemies."

Von Horn did not relish the insinuation in the accent which the girl
put upon the last word.

"It is because I love you so, Virginia," he hastened to urge in
extenuation of his suggested disloyalty. "I cannot see you sacrificed
to his horrible mania. You do not realize the imminence of your peril.
Tomorrow Number Thirteen was to have come to live beneath the same roof
with you. You recall Number One whom the stranger killed as the thing
was bearing you away through the jungle? Can you imagine sleeping in
the same house with such a soulless thing? Eating your three meals a
day at the same table with it? And knowing all the time that in a few
short weeks at the most you were destined to be given to the thing as
its mate? Virginia, you must be mad to consider for a moment remaining
within reach of such a terrible peril.

"Come to Singapore with me--it will take but a few days--and then we
can return with some good medical man and a couple of Europeans, and
take your father away from the terrible creatures he has created. You
will be mine then and safe from the awful fate that now lies back there
in the camp awaiting you. We can take your father upon a long trip
where rest and quiet

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