The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 75

feathers of the Argus pheasant
waving from their war-caps, the brilliant colors of their war-coats
trimmed with the black and white feathers of the hornbill, and the
strange devices upon their gaudy shields but added to the savagery of
their appearance as they danced and howled, menacing and intimidating,
in the path of the charging foe.

A single backward glance was all that Virginia Maxon found it possible
to throw in the direction of the rescue party, and in that she saw a
sight that lived forever in her memory. At the head of his hideous,
misshapen pack sprang the stalwart young giant straight into the heart
of the flashing parangs of the howling savages. To right and left fell
the mighty bull whip cutting down men with all the force and dispatch
of a steel saber. The Dyaks, encouraged by the presence of Muda Saffir
in their rear, held their ground; and the infuriated, brainless things
that followed the wielder of the bull whip threw themselves upon the
head hunters with beating hands and rending fangs.

Number Ten wrested a parang from an adversary, and acting upon his
example the other creatures were not long in arming themselves in a
similar manner. Cutting and jabbing they hewed their way through the
solid ranks of the enemy, until Muda Saffir, seeing that defeat was
inevitable turned and fled toward his prahu.

Four of his creatures lay dead as the last of the Dyaks turned to
escape from the mad white man who faced naked steel with only a rawhide
whip. In panic the head hunters made a wild dash for the two remaining
prahus, for Muda Saffir had succeeded in getting away from the island
in safety.

Number Thirteen reached the water's edge but a moment after the prow of
the rajah's craft had cleared the shore and was swinging up stream
under the vigorous strokes of its fifty oarsmen. For an instant he
stood poised upon the bank as though to spring after the retreating
prahu, but the knowledge that he could not swim held him back--it was
useless to throw away his life when the need of it was so great if
Virginia Maxon was to be saved.

Turning to the other prahus he saw that one was already launched, but
that the crew of the other was engaged in a desperate battle with the
seven remaining members of his crew for possession of the boat.
Leaping among the combatants he urged his fellows aboard the prahu
which was already half filled with Dyaks. Then he shoved the

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