The Monster Men HTML version
Chapter 5. Treason
On their return to camp after her rescue Virginia talked a great deal to von Horn about the
young giant who had rescued her, until the man feared that she was more interested in
him than seemed good for his own plans.
He had now cast from him the last vestige of his loyalty for his employer, and thus freed
had determined to use every means within his power to win Professor Maxon's daughter,
and with her the heritage of wealth which he knew would be hers should her father,
through some unforeseen mishap, meet death before he could return to civilization and
alter his will, a contingency which von Horn knew he might have to consider should he
marry the girl against her father's wishes, and thus thwart the crazed man's mad, but no
less dear project.
He realized that first he must let the girl fully understand the grave peril in which she
stood, and turn her hope of protection from her father to himself. He imagined that the
initial step in undermining Virginia's confidence in her father would be to narrate every
detail of the weird experiments which Professor Maxon had brought to such successful
issues during their residence upon the island.
The girl's own questioning gave him the lead he needed.
"Where could that horrid creature have come from that set upon me in the jungle and
nearly killed poor Sing?" she asked.
For a moment von Horn was silent, in well simulated hesitancy to reply to her query.
"I cannot tell you, Miss Maxon," he said sadly, "how much I should hate to be the one to
ignore your father's commands, and enlighten you upon this and other subjects which lie
nearer to your personal welfare than you can possibly guess; but I feel that after the
horrors of this day duty demands that I must lay all before you--you cannot again be
exposed to the horrors from which you were rescued only by a miracle."
"I cannot imagine what you hint at, Dr. von Horn," said Virginia, "but if to explain to me
will necessitate betraying my father's confidence I prefer that you remain silent."
"You do not understand," broke in the man, "you cannot guess the horrors that I have
seen upon this island, or the worse horrors that are to come. Could you dream of what lies
in store for you, you would seek death rather than face the future. I have been loyal to
your father, Virginia, but were you not blind, or indifferent, you would long since have
seen that your welfare means more to me than my loyalty to him-- more to me than my
life or my honor.