The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 63

their attention.

"Come!" he said.

Nine of them shuffled after him as he turned toward the outer
gate--only Number Ten and Number Three held back. The young man walked
quickly to where they stood eyeing him sullenly. The others halted to
watch--ready to spring upon their new master should the tide of the
impending battle turn against him. The two mutineers backed away
snarling, their hideous features distorted in rage.

"Come!" repeated Number Thirteen.

"We will stay here," growled Number Ten. "We have not yet finished
with Maxon."

A loop in the butt of the bull whip was about the young man's wrist.
Dropping the weapon from his hand it still dangled by the loop. At the
same instant he launched himself at the throat of Number Ten, for he
realized that a decisive victory now without the aid of the weapon they
all feared would make the balance of his work easier.

The brute met the charge with lowered head and outstretched hands, and
in another second they were locked in a clinch, tearing at one another
like two great gorillas. For a moment Number Three stood watching the
battle, and then he too sprang in to aid his fellow mutineer. Number
Thirteen was striking heavy blows with his giant hands upon the face
and head of his antagonist, while the long, uneven fangs of the latter
had found his breast and neck a half dozen times. Blood covered them
both. Number Three threw his enormous weight into the conflict with
the frenzy of a mad bull.

Again and again he got a hold upon the young giant's throat only to be
shaken loose by the mighty muscles. The excitement of the conflict was
telling upon the malformed minds of the spectators. Presently one who
was almost brainless, acting upon the impulse of suggestion, leaped in
among the fighters, striking and biting at Number Thirteen. It was all
that was needed--another second found the whole monstrous crew upon the
single man.

His mighty strength availed him but little in the unequal
conflict--eleven to one were too great odds even for those powerful
thews. His great advantage lay in his superior intelligence, but even
this seemed futile in the face of the enormous weight of numbers that
opposed him. Time and again he had almost shaken himself free only to
fall once more--dragged down by hairy arms about his legs.

Hither and thither about the campong the battle raged until the
fighting mass rolled against the palisade, and here, at last, with his
back to the

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