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Edward Parker, the sole survivor of the S.S. Lady Vain , is rescued by Montgomery on the trading ship S.S. Covena and taken to a South Sea island. There, Captain Davies deposits Edward, along with his shipment of wild animals, at the experimental station of Dr. Moreau, a mad scientist involved in "bio-anthropological research." Moreau's island is inhabited by half-man, half-beasts, who are products of genetic engineering that is meant to alter the evolutionary process of animals through ions, whereby they become men. Moreau has made only one woman, Lota, from a panther, and hopes to mate her with Edward. When Edward discovers Moreau performing an operation on what appears to be a man in his torture chamber, the House of Pain, he tries to escape with Lota. As the couple fends off Moreau's beasts, Moreau strikes a gong and the beasts recite the law of the island, which forbids running on all fours, eating meat, or spilling blood and exonerates Moreau as their maker. Meanwhile, at the seaport of Apia, Edward's fiancée, Ruth Thomas, discovers him missing from the S.S. Covena . The American consul then sends her and Captain Donahue to find him. At Moreau's island, Edward discovers Lota's origins when he kisses her and sees that her fingers have begun degenerating into claws. Moreau then threatens Lota with the House of Pain, in which he previously tortured her to keep her from reverting to a panther; but Montgomery, who heretofore has assisted Moreau as an alternative to jail, refuses to torture Lota. Donahue and Ruth then arrive, and that night, Ouran, one of the beasts, tries to attack her. Forced to leave the island, Donahue braves the jungle of beasts to collect his crew and, at the orders of Moreau, is killed by Ouran. Having broken the law of the man-beasts that forbids the spilling of blood, Moreau is attacked by them and tortured in his own House of Pain. With the help of Montgomery, Ruth and Edward escape, but Lota is killed by a man-beast.