The Monster Men HTML version

Chapter 16. Sing Speaks
For a week Professor Maxon with von Horn and Sing sought for Virginia. They could get
no help from the natives of the long-house, who feared the vengeance of Muda Saffir
should he learn that they had aided the white men upon his trail.
And always as the three hunted through the jungle and up and down the river there lurked
ever near a handful of the men of the tribe of the two whom von Horn had murdered,
waiting for the chance that would give them revenge and the heads of the three they
followed. They feared the guns of the white men too much to venture an open attack, and
at night the quarry never abated their watchfulness, so that days dragged on, and still the
three continued their hopeless quest unconscious of the relentless foe that dogged their
Von Horn was always searching for an opportunity to enlist the aid of the friendly natives
in an effort to regain the chest, but so far he had found none who would agree to
accompany him even in consideration of a large share of the booty. It was the treasure
alone which kept him to the search for Virginia Maxon, and he made it a point to direct
the hunt always in the vicinity of the spot where it was buried, for a great fear consumed
him that Ninaka might return and claim it before he had a chance to make away with it.
Three times during the week they returned and slept at the long-house, hoping each time
to learn that the natives had received some news of her they sought, through the
wonderful channels of communication that seemed always open across the trackless
jungle and up and down the savage, lonely rivers.
For two days Bulan lay raving in the delirium of fever, while the delicate girl, unused to
hardship and exposure, watched over him and nursed him with the loving tenderness and
care of a young mother with her first born.
For the most part the young giant's ravings were inarticulate, but now and then Virginia
heard her name linked with words of reverence and worship. The man fought again the
recent battles he had passed through, and again suffered the long night watches beside the
sleeping girl who filled his heart. Then it was that she learned the truth of his self-
sacrificing devotion. The thing that puzzled her most was the repetition of a number and a
name which ran through all his delirium-- "Nine ninety nine Priscilla."
She could make neither head nor tail of it, nor was there another word to give a clue to its
meaning, so at last from constant repetition it became a commonplace and she gave it no
further thought.
The girl had given up hope that Bulan ever could recover, so weak and emaciated had he
become, and when the fever finally left him quite suddenly she was positive that it was
the beginning of the end. It was on the morning of the seventh day since they had