The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 84

gorge for half an hour.

The moment that Virginia Maxon felt the waters close above her head she
struck out beneath the surface for the shore upon the opposite side to
that toward which she had dived into the river. She knew that if any
had seen her leave the prahu they would naturally expect to intercept
her on her way toward the nearest shore, and so she took this means of
outwitting them, although it meant nearly double the distance to be
covered.

After swimming a short distance beneath the surface the girl rose and
looked about her. Up the river a few yards she caught the
phosphorescent gleam of water upon the prahu's paddles as they brought
her to a sudden stop in obedience to Ninaka's command. Then she saw
the dark mass of the war-craft drifting down toward her.

Again she dove and with strong strokes headed for the shore. The next
time that she rose she was terrified to see the prahu looming close
behind her. The paddlers were propelling the boat slowly in her
direction--it was almost upon her now--there was a shout from a man in
the bow--she had been seen.

Like a flash she dove once more and, turning, struck out rapidly
straight back beneath the oncoming boat. When she came to the surface
again it was to find herself as far from shore as she had been when she
first quitted the prahu, but the craft was now circling far below her,
and she set out once again to retrace her way toward the inky mass of
shore line which loomed apparently near and yet, as she knew, was some
considerable distance from her.

As she swam, her mind, filled with the terrors of the night, conjured
recollection of the stories she had heard of the fierce crocodiles
which infest certain of the rivers of Borneo. Again and again she
could have sworn that she felt some huge, slimy body sweep beneath her
in the mysterious waters of this unknown river.

Behind her she saw the prahu turn back up stream, but now her mind was
suddenly engaged with a new danger, for the girl realized that the
strong current was bearing her down stream more rapidly than she had
imagined. Already she could hear the increasing roar of the river as
it rushed, wild and tumultuous, through the entrance to the narrow
gorge below her. How far it was to shore she could not guess, or how
far to the certain death of the swirling waters toward which

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