The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 6

uninhabited, fertile and possessed a clear, sweet brook which
had its source in a cold spring in the higher land at the island's
center. Here it was that the Ithaca came to anchor in a little harbor,
while her crew under von Horn, and the Malay first mate, Bududreen,
accompanied Professor Maxon in search of a suitable location for a
permanent camp.

The cook, a harmless old Chinaman, and Virginia were left in sole
possession of the Ithaca.

Two hours after the departure of the men into the jungle Virginia heard
the fall of axes on timber and knew that the site of her future home
had been chosen and the work of clearing begun. She sat musing on the
strange freak which had prompted her father to bury them in this savage
corner of the globe; and as she pondered there came a wistful
expression to her eyes, and an unwonted sadness drooped the corners of
her mouth.

Of a sudden she realized how wide had become the gulf between them now.
So imperceptibly had it grown since those three horrid days in Ithaca
just prior to their departure for what was to have been but a few
months' cruise that she had not until now comprehended that the old
relations of open, good-fellowship had gone, possibly forever.

Had she needed proof of the truth of her sad discovery it had been
enough to point to the single fact that her father had brought her here
to this little island without making the slightest attempt to explain
the nature of his expedition. She had gleaned enough from von Horn to
understand that some important scientific experiments were to be
undertaken; but what their nature she could not imagine, for she had
not the slightest conception of the success that had crowned her
father's last experiment at Ithaca, although she had for years known of
his keen interest in the subject.

The girl became aware also of other subtle changes in her father. He
had long since ceased to be the jovial, carefree companion who had
shared with her her every girlish joy and sorrow and in whom she had
confided both the trivial and momentous secrets of her childhood. He
had become not exactly morose, but rather moody and absorbed, so that
she had of late never found an opportunity for the cozy chats that had
formerly meant so much to them both. There had been too, recently, a
strange lack of consideration for herself that had wounded her more
than she had imagined. Today there had been a

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