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Varney the Vampire eBook

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

“Then, uncle, all I can tell you is, that it is supposed a vampyre came one night and inflicted a wound upon Flora’s neck with his teeth, and that he is still endeavouring to renew his horrible existence from the young, pure blood that flows through her veins.”

“The devil he is!”

“Yes.  I am bewildered, I must confess, by the mass of circumstances that have combined to give the affair a horrible truthfulness.  Poor Flora is much injured in health and spirits; and when I came home, she, at once, implored me to give her up, and think of her no more, for she could not think of allowing me to unite my fate with hers, under such circumstances.”

“She did?”

“Such were her words, uncle.  She implored me—­she used that word, ’implore’—­to fly from her, to leave her to her fate, to endeavour to find happiness with some one else.”

“Well?”

“But I saw her heart was breaking.”

“What o’ that?”

“Much of that, uncle.  I told her that when I deserted her in the hour of misfortune that I hoped Heaven would desert me.  I told her that if her happiness was wrecked, to cling yet to me, and that with what power and what strength God had given me, I would stand between her and all ill.”

“And what then?”

“She—­she fell upon my breast and wept and blessed me.  Could I desert her—­could I say to her, ’My dear girl, when you were full of health and beauty, I loved you, but now that sadness is at your heart I leave you?’ Could I tell her that, uncle, and yet call myself a man?”

“No!” roared the old admiral, in a voice that made the room echo again; “and I tell you what, if you had done so, d—­n you, you puppy, I’d have braced you, and—­and married the girl myself.  I would, d——­e, but I would.”

“Dear uncle!”

“Don’t dear me, sir.  Talk of deserting a girl when the signal of distress, in the shape of a tear, is in her eye!”

“But I—­”

“You are a wretch—­a confounded lubberly boy—­a swab—­a d——­d bad grampus.”

“You mistake, uncle.”

“No, I don’t.  God bless you, Charles, you shall have her—­if a whole ship’s crew of vampyres said no, you shall have her.  Let me see her—­just let me see her.”

The admiral gave his lips a vigorous wipe with his sleeve, and Charles said hastily,—­

“My dear uncle, you will recollect that Miss Bannerworth is quite a young lady.”

“I suppose she is.”

“Well, then, for God’s sake, don’t attempt to kiss her.”

“Not kiss her! d——­e, they like it.  Not kiss her, because she’s a young lady!  D——­e, do you think I’d kiss a corporal of marines?”

“No, uncle; but you know young ladies are very delicate.”

“And ain’t I delicate—­shiver my timbers, ain’t I delicate?  Where is she? that’s what I want to know.”

“Then you approve of what I have done?”

“You are a young scamp, but you have got some of the old admiral’s family blood in you, so don’t take any credit for acting like an honest man—­you couldn’t help it.”

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