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

CHAPTER XXI.

THE CONFERENCE BETWEEN THE UNCLE AND NEPHEW, AND THE ALARM.

[Illustration]

Meanwhile Charles Holland had taken his uncle by the arm, and led him into a private room.

“Dear uncle,” he said, “be seated, and I will explain everything without reserve.”

“Seated!—­nonsense!  I’ll walk about,” said the admiral.  “D—­n me!  I’ve no patience to be seated, and very seldom had or have.  Go on now, you young scamp.”

“Well—­well; you abuse me, but I am quite sure, had you been in my situation, you would have acted precisely as I have done.”

“No, I shouldn’t.”

“Well, but, uncle—­”

“Don’t think to come over me by calling me uncle.  Hark you, Charles—­from this moment I won’t be your uncle any more.”

“Very well, sir.”

“It ain’t very well.  And how dare you, you buccaneer, call me sir, eh?  I say, how dare you?”

“I will call you anything you like.”

“But I won’t be called anything I like.  You might as well call me at once Morgan, the Pirate, for he was called anything he liked.  Hilloa, sir! how dare you laugh, eh?  I’ll teach you to laugh at me.  I wish I had you on board ship—­that’s all, you young rascal.  I’d soon teach you to laugh at your superior officer, I would.”

“Oh, uncle, I did not laugh at you.”

“What did you laugh at, then?”

“At the joke.”

“Joke.  D—­n me, there was no joke at all!”

“Oh, very good.”

“And it ain’t very good.”

Charles knew very well that, this sort of humour, in which was the old admiral, would soon pass away, and then that he would listen to him comfortably enough; so he would not allow the least exhibition of petulance or mere impatience to escape himself, but contented himself by waiting until the ebullition of feeling fairly worked itself out.

“Well, well,” at length said the old man, “you have dragged me here, into a very small and a very dull room, under pretence of having something to tell me, and I have heard nothing yet.”

“Then I will now tell you,” said Charles.  “I fell in love—­”

“Bah!”

“With Flora Bannerworth, abroad; she is not only the most beautiful of created beings—­”

“Bah!”

“But her mind is of the highest order of intelligence, honour, candour, and all amiable feelings—­”

“Bah!”

“Really, uncle, if you say ‘Bah!’ to everything, I cannot go on.”

“And what the deuce difference, sir, does it make to you, whether I say ‘Bah!’ or not?”

“Well, I love her.  She came to England, and, as I could not exist, but was getting ill, and should, no doubt, have died if I had not done so, I came to England.”

“But d——­e, I want to know about the mermaid.”

“The vampyre, you mean, sir?”

“Well, well, the vampyre.”

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