The Monster Men HTML version

Chapter 7. The Bull Whip
As von Horn and Virginia Maxon walked slowly beneath the dense shadows of the jungle
he again renewed his suit. It would please him more to have the girl accompany him
voluntarily than to be compelled to take her by force, but take her he would one way or
another, and that, this very night, for all the plans were made and already under way.
"I cannot do it, Doctor von Horn," she had said. "No matter how much danger I may be in
here I cannot desert my father on this lonely isle with only savage lascars and the terrible
monsters of his own creation surrounding him. Why, it would be little short of murder for
us to do such a thing. I cannot see how you, his most trusted lieutenant, can even give an
instant's consideration to the idea.
"And now that you insist that his mind is sorely affected, it is only an added reason why I
must remain with him to protect him so far as I am able, from himself and his enemies."
Von Horn did not relish the insinuation in the accent which the girl put upon the last
"It is because I love you so, Virginia," he hastened to urge in extenuation of his suggested
disloyalty. "I cannot see you sacrificed to his horrible mania. You do not realize the
imminence of your peril. Tomorrow Number Thirteen was to have come to live beneath
the same roof with you. You recall Number One whom the stranger killed as the thing
was bearing you away through the jungle? Can you imagine sleeping in the same house
with such a soulless thing? Eating your three meals a day at the same table with it? And
knowing all the time that in a few short weeks at the most you were destined to be given
to the thing as its mate? Virginia, you must be mad to consider for a moment remaining
within reach of such a terrible peril.
"Come to Singapore with me--it will take but a few days--and then we can return with
some good medical man and a couple of Europeans, and take your father away from the
terrible creatures he has created. You will be mine then and safe from the awful fate that
now lies back there in the camp awaiting you. We can take your father upon a long trip
where rest and quiet can have an opportunity to restore his enfeebled mentality. Come,
Virginia! Come with me now. We can go directly to the Ithaca and safety. Say that you
will come."
The girl shook her head.
"I do not love you, I am afraid, Doctor von Horn, or I should certainly be moved by your
appeal. If you wish to bring help for my father I shall never cease to thank you if you will
go to Singapore and fetch it, but it is not necessary that I go. My place is here, near him."