The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 70

distant horizon,
a vagrant land breeze suddenly bellied the flapping sail. The prahu
swung quickly about with nose pointed toward the sea, the sail filled,
and the long, narrow craft shot out of the harbor and sped on over the
dancing waters in the wake of her sisters.

On shore behind them the infuriated Dyaks who had escaped to the beach
danced and shrieked; von Horn, from his hiding place, looked on in
surprised wonder, and Bududreen's lascar cursed the fate that had left
a party of forty head hunters upon the same small island with him.

Smaller and smaller grew the retreating prahu as, straight as an arrow,
she sped toward the dim outline of verdure clad Borneo.



Von Horn cursed the chance that had snatched the girl from him, but he
tried to content himself with the thought that the treasure probably
still rested in the cabin of the Ithaca, where Bududreen was to have
deposited it. He wished that the Dyaks would take themselves off so
that he could board the vessel and carry the chest ashore to bury it
against the time that fate should provide a means for transporting it
to Singapore.

In the water below him floated the Ithaca's masts, their grisly burdens
still lashed to their wave swept sides. Bududreen lay there, his
contorted features set in a horrible grimace of death which grinned up
at the man he would have cheated, as though conscious of the fact that
the white man would have betrayed him had the opportunity come, the
while he enjoyed in anticipation the other's disappointment in the loss
of both the girl and the treasure.

The tide was rising now, and presently the Ithaca began to float. No
sooner was it apparent that she was free than the Dyaks sprang into the
water and swam to her side. Like monkeys they scrambled aboard,
swarming below deck in search, thought von Horn, of pillage. He prayed
that they would not discover the chest.

Presently a half dozen of them leaped overboard and swam to the mass of
tangled spars and rigging which littered the beach. Selecting what
they wished they returned to the vessel, and a few minutes later von
Horn was chagrined to see them stepping a jury mast--he thought the
treasure lay in the Ithaca's cabin.

Before dark the vessel moved slowly out of the harbor, setting a course
across the strait in the direction that the war prahus had taken. When
it was apparent that there was no danger that the head hunters would

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