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Thomas Peckett Prest
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 963 pages of information about Varney the Vampire.

“My name is Varney.”

“Oh, yes.  You are the Sir Francis Varney, residing close by, who bears so fearful a resemblance to—­”

“Pray go on, sir.  I am all attention.”

“To a portrait here.”

“Indeed!  Now I reflect a moment, Mr. Henry Bannerworth did incidentally mention something of the sort.  It’s a most singular coincidence.”

The sound of approaching footsteps was now plainly heard, and in a few moments Henry and George, along with Mr. Marchdale, reached the spot.  Their appearance showed that they had made haste, and Henry at once exclaimed,—­

“We heard, or fancied we heard, a cry of alarm.”

“You did hear it,” said Charles Holland.  “Do you know this gentleman?”

“It is Sir Francis Varney.”

“Indeed!”

Varney bowed to the new comers, and was altogether as much at his ease as everybody else seemed quite the contrary.  Even Charles Holland found the difficulty of going up to such a well-bred, gentlemanly man, and saying, “Sir, we believe you to be a vampyre”—­to be almost, if not insurmountable.

“I cannot do it,” he thought, “but I will watch him.”

“Take me away,” whispered Flora. “’Tis he—­’tis he.  Oh, take me away, Charles.”

“Hush, Flora, hush.  You are in some error; the accidental resemblance should not make us be rude to this gentleman.”

“The vampyre!—­it is the vampyre!”

“Are you sure, Flora?”

“Do I know your features—­my own—­my brother’s?  Do not ask me to doubt—­I cannot.  I am quite sure.  Take me from his hideous presence, Charles.”

“The young lady, I fear, is very much indisposed,” remarked Sir Francis Varney, in a sympathetic tone of voice.  “If she will accept of my arm, I shall esteem it a great honour.”

“No—­no—­no!—­God! no,” cried Flora.

“Madam, I will not press you.”

He bowed, and Charles led Flora from the summer-house towards the hall.

“Flora,” he said, “I am bewildered—­I know not what to think.  That man most certainly has been fashioned after the portrait which is on the panel in the room you formerly occupied; or it has been painted from him.”

“He is my midnight visitor!” exclaimed Flora.  “He is the vampyre;—­this Sir Francis Varney is the vampyre.”

“Good God!  What can be done?”

“I know not.  I am nearly distracted.”

“Be calm, Flora.  If this man be really what you name him, we now know from what quarter the mischief comes, which is, at all events, a point gained.  Be assured we shall place a watch upon him.”

“Oh, it is terrible to meet him here.”

“And he is so wonderfully anxious, too, to possess the Hall.”

“He is—­he is.”

“It looks strange, the whole affair.  But, Flora, be assured of one thing, and that is, of your own safety.”

“Can I be assured of that?”

“Most certainly.  Go to your mother now.  Here we are, you see, fairly within doors.  Go to your mother, dear Flora, and keep yourself quiet.  I will return to this mysterious man now with a cooler judgment than I left him.”

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