“And who the d——l are you?” cried one who was immediately outside.
“Who do you want?” cried George.
“Shiver my timbers!” cried Admiral Bell, for it was no other than that personage. “What’s that to you?”
“Ay, ay,” added Jack, “answer that if you can, you shore-going-looking swab.”
“Two madmen, I suppose,” ejaculated George, and he would have closed the gate upon them; but Jack introduced between it and the post the end of a thick stick, saying,—
“Avast there! None of that; we have had trouble enough to get in. If you are the family lawyer, or the chaplain, perhaps you’ll tell us where Mister Charley is.”
“Once more I demand of you who you want?” said George, who was now perhaps a little amused at the conduct of the impatient visitors.
“We want the admiral’s nevey” said Jack.
“But how do I know who is the admiral’s nevey as you call him.”
“Why, Charles Holland, to be sure. Have you got him aboard or not?”
“Mr. Charles Holland is certainly here; and, if you had said at once, and explicitly, that you wished to see him, I could have given you a direct answer.”
“He is here?” cried the admiral.
“Come along, then; yet, stop a bit. I say, young fellow, just before we go any further, tell us if he has maimed the vampyre?”
“The wamphigher,” said Jack, by way of being, as he considered, a little more explanatory than the admiral.
“I do not know what you mean,” said George; “if you wish to see Mr. Charles Holland walk in and see him. He is in this house; but, for myself, as you are strangers to me, I decline answering any questions, let their import be what they may.”
“Hilloa! who are they?” suddenly cried Jack, as he pointed to two figures some distance off in the meadows, who appeared to be angrily conversing.
George glanced in the direction towards which Jack pointed, and there he saw Sir Francis Varney and Mr. Marchdale standing within a few paces of each other, and apparently engaged in some angry discussion.
His first impulse was to go immediately towards them; but, before he could execute even that suggestion of his mind, he saw Varney strike Marchdale, and the latter fell to the ground.
“Allow me to pass,” cried George, as he endeavoured to get by the rather unwieldy form of the admiral. But, before he could accomplish this, for the gate was narrow, he saw Varney, with great swiftness, make off, and Marchdale, rising to his feet, came towards the Hall.
When Marchdale got near enough to the garden-gate to see George, he motioned to him to remain where he was, and then, quickening his pace, he soon came up to the spot.
“Marchdale,” cried George, “you have had an encounter with Sir Francis Varney.”
“I have,” said Marchdale, in an excited manner. “I threatened to follow him, but he struck me to the earth as easily as I could a child. His strength is superhuman.”