The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 67

who had fought
for her and saved her once before, from the hideous creature of her
father's experiments. With hands tight pressed against her bosom the
girl leaned forward, tense with excitement, watching every move of the
lithe, giant figure, as, silhouetted against the brazen tropic sky, it
towered above the dancing, shrieking head hunters who writhed beneath
the awful lash.

Muda Saffir saw that the battle was going against his men, and it
filled him with anger. Turning to one of his headmen he ordered two
more boatloads of warriors to the Ithaca's deck. As they were rushing
to obey their leader's command there was a respite in the fighting on
the ship, for the three who had not fallen beneath the bull whip had
leaped overboard to escape the fate which had overtaken their comrades.

As the reinforcements started to scale the vessel's side Number
Thirteen's searching eyes found the girl in Muda Saffir's prahu, where
it lay a little off from the Ithaca, and as the first of the enemy
clambered over the rail she saw a smile of encouragement light the
clear cut features of the man above her. Virginia Maxon sent back an
answering smile--a smile that filled the young giant's heart with pride
and happiness--such a smile as brave men have been content to fight and
die for since woman first learned the art of smiling.

Number Thirteen could have beaten back many of the reinforcing party
before they reached the deck, but he did not care to do so. In the
spontaneous ethics of the man there seemed no place for an unfair
advantage over an enemy, and added to this was his newly acquired love
of battle, so he was content to wait until his foes stood on an even
footing with him before he engaged them. But they never came within
reach of his ready lash. Instead, as they came above the ship's side
they paused, wide-eyed and terror stricken, and with cries of fear and
consternation dropped precipitately back into the sea, shouting
warnings to those who were about to scale the hull.

Muda Saffir arose in his prahu cursing and reviling the frightened
Dyaks. He did not know the cause of their alarm, but presently he saw
it behind the giant upon the Ithaca's deck--eleven horrible
monstrosities lumbering forward, snarling and growling, to their
leader's side.

At the sight his own dark countenance went ashen, and with trembling
lips he ordered his oarsmen to pull for the open sea. The girl, too,
saw the frightful creatures that surrounded

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