The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 76

boat out
into the river, jumping aboard himself as its prow cleared the gravelly
beach.

For several minutes that long, hollowed log was a veritable floating
hell of savage, screaming men locked in deadly battle. The sharp
parangs of the head hunters were no match for the superhuman muscles of
the creatures that battered them about; now lifting one high above his
fellows and using the body as a club to beat down those nearby; again
snapping an arm or leg as one might break a pipe stem; or hurling a
living antagonist headlong above the heads of his fellows to the dark
waters of the river. And above them all in the thickest of the fight,
towering even above his own giants, rose the mighty figure of the
terrible white man, whose very presence wrought havoc with the valor of
the brown warriors.

Two more of Number Thirteen's creatures had been cut down in the prahu,
but the loss among the Dyaks had been infinitely greater, and to it was
now added the desertions of the terror stricken savages who seemed to
fear the frightful countenances of their adversaries even as much as
they did their prowess.

There remained but a handful of brown warriors in one end of the boat
when the advantage of utilizing their knowledge of the river and of
navigation occurred to Number Thirteen. Calling to his men he
commanded them to cease killing, making prisoners of those who remained
instead. So accustomed had his pack now become to receiving and acting
upon his orders that they changed their tactics immediately, and one by
one the remaining Dyaks were overpowered, disarmed and held.

With difficulty Number Thirteen communicated with them, for among them
there was but a single warrior who had ever had intercourse with an
Englishman, but at last by means of signs and the few words that were
common to them both he made the native understand that he would spare
the lives of himself and his companions if they would help him in
pursuit of Muda Saffir and the girl.

The Dyaks felt but little loyalty for the rascally Malay they served,
since in common with all their kind they and theirs had suffered for
generations at the hands of the cruel, crafty and unscrupulous race
that had usurped the administration of their land. So it was not
difficult to secure from them the promise of assistance in return for
their lives.

Number Thirteen noticed that when they addressed him it was always as
Bulan, and upon questioning them he discovered that they had given him
this

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C.