The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 68

the man upon the deck. She
thought that they were about to attack him, and gave a little cry of
warning, but in another instant she realized that they were his
companions, for with him they rushed to the side of the ship to stand
for a moment looking down upon the struggling Dyaks in the water below.

Two prahus lay directly beneath them, and into these the head hunters
were scrambling. The balance of the flotilla was now making rapid
headway under oars and sail toward the mouth of the harbor, and as
Number Thirteen saw that the girl was being borne away from him, he
shouted a command to his misshapen crew, and without waiting to see if
they would follow him leaped into the nearer of the two boats beneath.

It was already half filled with Dyaks, some of whom were hastily
manning the oars. Others of the head hunters were scrambling over the
gunwale. In an instant pandemonium reigned in the little vessel.
Savage warriors sprang toward the tall figure towering above them.
Parangs flashed. The bull whip hissed and cracked, and then into the
midst of it all came a horrid avalanche of fearful and grotesque
monsters--the young giant's crew had followed at his command.

The battle in the prahu was short and fierce. For an instant the Dyaks
attempted to hold their own, but in the face of the snarling, rending
horde that engulfed them terror got the better of them all, so that
those who were not overcome dived overboard and swam rapidly toward
shore.

The other prahu had not waited to assist its companion, but before it
was entirely filled had gotten under way and was now rapidly
overhauling the balance of the fleet.

Von Horn had been an excited witness to all that had occurred upon the
tranquil bosom of the little harbor. He had been filled with
astonishment at sight of the inhabitants of the court of mystery
fighting under the leadership of Number Thirteen, and now he watched
interestedly the outcome of the adventure.

The sight of the girl being borne away in the prahu of the Malay rajah
to a fate worse than death, had roused in him both keen regret and
savage rage, but it was the life of ease that he was losing that
concerned him most. He had felt so sure of winning Professor Maxon's
fortune through either a forced or voluntary marriage with the girl
that his feelings now were as of one whose rightful heritage has been
foully wrested from him.

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