The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 65

had scurried for shelter
within one of the many tiny coves which indent the island's entire
coast. It happened that his haven of refuge was but a short distance
south of the harbor in which he knew the Ithaca to be moored, and in
the morning he decided to pay that vessel a visit in the hope that he
might learn something of advantage about the girl from one of her
lascar crew.

The wily Malay had long refrained from pillaging the Ithaca for fear
such an act might militate against the larger villainy he purposed
perpetrating against her white owner, but when he rounded the point and
came in sight of the stranded wreck he put all such thoughts from him
and made straight for the helpless hulk to glean whatever of salvage
might yet remain within her battered hull.

The old rascal had little thought of the priceless treasure hidden
beneath the Ithaca's clean swept deck as he ordered his savage henchmen
up her sides while he lay back upon his sleeping mat beneath the canopy
which protected his vice-regal head from the blistering tropic sun.

Number Thirteen watched the wild head hunters with keenest interest as
they clambered aboard the vessel. With von Horn he saw the evident
amazement which followed the opening of the hatch, though neither
guessed its cause. He saw the haste with which a half dozen of the
warriors leaped down the companionway and heard their savage shouts as
they pursued their quarry within the bowels of the ship.

A few minutes later they emerged dragging a woman with them. Von Horn
and Number Thirteen recognized the girl simultaneously, but the doctor,
though he ground his teeth in futile rage, knew that he was helpless to
avert the tragedy. Number Thirteen neither knew nor cared.

"Come!" he called to his grotesque horde. "Kill the men and save the
girl--the one with the golden hair," he added as the sudden realization
came to him that none of these creatures ever had seen a woman before.
Then he dashed from the shelter of the jungle, across the beach and
into the water, his fearful pack at his heels.

The Ithaca lay now in about five feet of water, and the war prahus of
Muda Saffir rode upon her seaward side, so that those who manned them
did not see the twelve who splashed through the water from land. Never
before had any of the rescuers seen a larger body of water than the
little stream which wound through their campong, but accidents and
experiments in

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