The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 80

huge centipede.

The dwellers in the long-house extended every courtesy to Ninaka and
his crew. At the former's request Virginia was hidden away in a dark
sleeping closet in one of the windowless living rooms which opened
along the verandah for the full length of the house. Here a native
girl brought her food and water, sitting, while she ate, in rapt
contemplation of the white skin and golden hair of the strange female.

At about the time that Ninaka pulled his prahu upon the beach before
the long-house, Muda Saffir from the safety of the concealing
underbrush upon the shore saw a familiar war prahu forging rapidly up
the stream. As it approached him he was about to call aloud to those
who manned it, for in the bow he saw a number of his own men; but a
second glance as the boat came opposite him caused him to alter his
intention and drop further into the engulfing verdure, for behind his
men squatted five of the terrible monsters that had wrought such havoc
with his expedition, and in the stern he saw his own Barunda in
friendly converse with the mad white man who had led them.

As the boat disappeared about a bend in the river Rajah Muda Saffir
arose, shaking his fist in the direction it had vanished and, cursing
anew and volubly, damned each separate hair in the heads of the
faithless Barunda and the traitorous Ninaka. Then he resumed his watch
for the friendly prahu, or smaller sampan which he knew time would
eventually bring from up or down the river to his rescue, for who of
the surrounding natives would dare refuse succor to the powerful Rajah
of Sakkan!

At the long-house which harbored Ninaka and his crew, Barunda and Bulan
stopped with theirs to obtain food and rest. The quick eye of the Dyak
chieftain recognized the prahu of Rajah Muda Saffir where it lay upon
the beach, but he said nothing to his white companion of what it
augured--it might be well to discover how the land lay before he
committed himself too deeply to either faction.

At the top of the notched log he was met by Ninaka, who, with
horror-wide eyes, looked down upon the fearsome monstrosities that
lumbered awkwardly up the rude ladder in the wake of the agile Dyaks
and the young white giant.

"What does it mean?" whispered the panglima to Barunda.

"These are now my friends," replied Barunda. "Where is Muda Saffir?"

Ninaka jerked his thumb toward the river. "Some crocodile has feasted
well," he

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