The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 66

that had taught them the danger of submerging their
heads. They could not swim, but all were large and strong, so that
they were able to push their way rapidly through the water to the very
side of the ship.

Here they found difficulty in reaching the deck, but in a moment Number
Thirteen had solved the problem by requiring one of the taller of his
crew to stand close in by the ship while the others clambered upon his
shoulders and from there to the Ithaca's deck.

Number Thirteen was the first to pull himself over the vessel's side,
and as he did so he saw some half dozen Dyaks preparing to quit her
upon the opposite side. They were the last of the boarding party--the
girl was nowhere in sight. Without waiting for his men the young giant
sprang across the deck. His one thought was to find Virginia Maxon.

At the sound of his approach the Dyak turned, and at the sight of a
pajama clad white man armed only with a long whip they emitted savage
cries of anticipation, counting the handsome trophy upon the white
one's shoulders as already theirs. Number Thirteen would have paid no
attention whatever to them had they not molested him, for he wished
only to reach the girl's side as quickly as possible; but in another
moment he found himself confronted by a half dozen dancing wild men,
brandishing wicked looking parangs, and crying tauntingly.

Up went the great bull whip, and without abating his speed a particle
the man leaped into the midst of the wicked blades that menaced him.
Right and left with the quickness of thought the heavy lash fell upon
heads, shoulders and sword arms. There was no chance to wield a blade
in the face of that terrific onslaught, for the whip fell, not with the
ordinary force of a man-held lash, but with all the stupendous power of
those giant shoulders and arms behind it.

A single blow felled the foremost head hunter, breaking his shoulder
and biting into the flesh and bone as a heavy sword bites. Again and
again the merciless leather fell, while in the boats below Muda Saffir
and his men shouted loud cries of encouragement to their companions on
the ship, and a wide-eyed girl in the stern of Muda Saffir's own prahu
looked on in terror, hope and admiration at the man of her own race
whom she felt was battling against all these odds for her alone.

Virginia Maxon recognized her champion instantly as he

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