The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 9

confronted them. A score of muskets belched forth their missiles at
the fearless girl behind the scant shield of the machine gun. Leaden
pellets rained heavily upon her protection, or whizzed threateningly
about her head--and then she got the gun into action.

At the rate of fifty a minute, a stream of projectiles tore into the
bow of the prahu when suddenly a richly garbed Malay in the stern rose
to his feet waving a white cloth upon the point of his kris. It was
the Rajah Muda Saffir--he had seen the girl's face and at the sight of
it the blood lust in his breast had been supplanted by another.

At sight of the emblem of peace Virginia ceased firing. She saw the
tall Malay issue a few commands, the oarsmen bent to their work, the
prahu came about, making off toward the harbor's entrance. At the same
moment there was a shot from the shore followed by loud yelling, and
the girl turned to see her father and von Horn pulling rapidly toward
the Ithaca.



Virginia and Sing were compelled to narrate the adventure of the
afternoon a dozen times. The Chinaman was at a loss to understand what
had deterred the pirates at the very threshold of victory. Von Horn
thought that they had seen the reinforcements embarking from the shore,
but Sing explained that that was impossible since the Ithaca had been
directly between them and the point at which the returning crew had
entered the boats.

Virginia was positive that her fusillade had frightened them into a
hasty retreat, but again Sing discouraged any such idea when he pointed
to the fact that another instant would have carried the prahu close to
the Ithaca's side and out of the machine gun's radius of action.

The old Chinaman was positive that the pirates had some ulterior motive
for simulating defeat, and his long years of experience upon pirate
infested waters gave weight to his opinion. The weak spot in his
argument was his inability to suggest a reasonable motive. And so it
was that for a long time they were left to futile conjecture as to the
action that had saved them from a bloody encounter with these
bloodthirsty sea wolves.

For a week the men were busy constructing the new camp, but never again
was Virginia left without a sufficient guard for her protection. Von
Horn was always needed at the work, for to him had fallen the entire
direction of matters of importance that were at all of

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