“I will,” said Henry; “and, coming from you, I am sure it will have a more than ordinary value in her eyes.”
“I will now,” said Charles, “seek my uncle. I will tell him how I love her; and at the end of my narration, if he should not object, I would fain introduce her to him, that he might himself see that, let what beauty may have met his gaze, her peer he never yet met with, and may in vain hope to do so.”
“You are partial, Charles.”
“Not so. ’Tis true I look upon her with a lover’s eyes, but I look still with those of truthful observation.”
“Well, I will speak to her about seeing your uncle, and let you know. No doubt, he will not be at all averse to an interview with any one who stands high in your esteem.”
The young men now separated—Henry, to seek his beautiful sister; and Charles, to communicate to his uncle the strange particulars connected with Varney, the Vampyre.
FLORA IN HER CHAMBER.—HER FEARS.—THE MANUSCRIPT.—AN ADVENTURE.
Henry found Flora in her chamber. She was in deep thought when he tapped at the door of the room, and such was the state of nervous excitement in which she was that even the demand for admission made by him to the room was sufficient to produce from her a sudden cry of alarm.
“Who—who is there?” she then said, in accents full of terror.
“’Tis I, dear Flora,” said Henry.
She opened the door in an instant, and, with a feeling of grateful relief, exclaimed—
“Oh, Henry, is it only you?”
“Who did you suppose it was, Flora?”
“I—I—do not know; but I am so foolish now, and so weak-spirited, that the slightest noise is enough to alarm me.”
“You must, dear Flora, fight up, as I had hoped you were doing, against this nervousness.”
“I will endeavour. Did not some strangers come a short time since, brother?”
“Strangers to us, Flora, but not to Charles Holland. A relative of his—an uncle whom he much respects, has found him out here, and has now come to see him.”
“And to advise him,” said Flora, as she sunk into a chair, and wept bitterly; “to advise him, of course, to desert, as he would a pestilence, a vampyre bride.”
“Hush, hush! for the sake of Heaven, never make use of such a phrase, Flora. You know not what a pang it brings to my heart to hear you.”
“Oh, forgive me, brother.”
“Say no more of it, Flora. Heed it not. It may be possible—in fact, it may well be supposed as more than probable—that the relative of Charles Holland may shrink from sanctioning the alliance, but do you rest securely in the possession of the heart which I feel convinced is wholly yours, and which, I am sure, would break ere it surrendered you.”
A smile of joy came across Flora’s pale but beautiful face, as she cried,—