The Monster Men

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 99

all hope of capture. How can we ever repay
you, dear friend?"

"That you were generous enough to arrange when we first embarked upon
the search for your daughter," replied von Horn.

"Just so, just so," said the professor, but a shade of trouble tinged
the expression of his face, and a moment later he arose, saying that he
felt weak and tired and would go to his sleeping room and lie down for
a while. The fact was that Professor Maxon regretted the promise he
had made von Horn relative to his daughter.

Once before he had made plans for her marriage only to regret them
later; he hoped that he had made no mistake this time, but he realized
that it had scarcely been fair to Virginia to promise her to his
assistant without first obtaining her consent. Yet a promise was a
promise, and, again, was it not true that but for von Horn she would
have been dead or worse than dead in a short time had she not been
rescued from the clutches of the soulless Bulan? Thus did the old man
justify his action, and clinch the determination that he had before
reached to compel Virginia to wed von Horn should she, from some
incomprehensible motive, demur. Yet he hoped that the girl would make
it easy, by accepting voluntarily the man who had saved her life.

Left alone, or as he thought alone, with the girl in the growing
shadows of the evening, von Horn thought the moment propitious for
renewing his suit. He did not consider the natives squatting about
them as of sufficient consequence to consider, since they would not
understand the language in which he addressed Virginia, and in the dusk
he failed to note that Sing squatted with the Dyaks, close behind them.

"Virginia," he commenced, after an interval of silence, "often before
have I broached the subject nearest to my heart, yet never have you
given me much encouragement. Can you not feel for the man who would
gladly give his life for you, sufficient affection to permit you to
make him the happiest man in the world? I do not ask for all your love
at first--that will come later. Just give me the right to cherish and
protect you. Say that you will be my wife, Virginia, and we need have
no more fears that the strange vagaries of your father's mind can ever
again jeopardize your life or your happiness as they have in the past."

"I feel that I owe you

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