The Monster Men HTML version

Chapter 9. Into Savage Borneo
Von Horn cursed the chance that had snatched the girl from him, but he tried to content
himself with the thought that the treasure probably still rested in the cabin of the Ithaca,
where Bududreen was to have deposited it. He wished that the Dyaks would take
themselves off so that he could board the vessel and carry the chest ashore to bury it
against the time that fate should provide a means for transporting it to Singapore.
In the water below him floated the Ithaca's masts, their grisly burdens still lashed to their
wave swept sides. Bududreen lay there, his contorted features set in a horrible grimace of
death which grinned up at the man he would have cheated, as though conscious of the
fact that the white man would have betrayed him had the opportunity come, the while he
enjoyed in anticipation the other's disappointment in the loss of both the girl and the
The tide was rising now, and presently the Ithaca began to float. No sooner was it
apparent that she was free than the Dyaks sprang into the water and swam to her side.
Like monkeys they scrambled aboard, swarming below deck in search, thought von Horn,
of pillage. He prayed that they would not discover the chest.
Presently a half dozen of them leaped overboard and swam to the mass of tangled spars
and rigging which littered the beach. Selecting what they wished they returned to the
vessel, and a few minutes later von Horn was chagrined to see them stepping a jury mast-
- he thought the treasure lay in the Ithaca's cabin.
Before dark the vessel moved slowly out of the harbor, setting a course across the strait in
the direction that the war prahus had taken. When it was apparent that there was no
danger that the head hunters would return, the lascar came from his hiding place, and
dancing up and down upon the shore screamed warlike challenges and taunts at the
retreating enemy.
Von Horn also came forth, much to the sailor's surprise, and in silence the two stood
watching the disappearing ship. At length they turned and made their way up the stream
toward camp--there was no longer aught to fear there. Von Horn wondered if the
creatures he had loosed upon Professor Maxon had done their work before they left, or if
they had all turned to mush as had Number Thirteen.
Once at the encampment his questions were answered, for he saw a light in the bungalow,
and as he mounted the steps there were Sing and Professor Maxon just coming from the
living room.
"Von Horn!" exclaimed the professor. "You, then, are not dead; but where is Virginia?
Tell me that she is safe."