Varney the Vampire eBook

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

“I begin to perceive now, uncle,” said Charles, reproachfully, “why you, with such apparent readiness, agreed to this duel taking place.”

“Well, I intended to fight the fellow myself, that’s the long and short of it, boy.”

“How could you treat me so?”

“No nonsense, Charles.  I tell you it was all in the family.  I intended to fight him myself.  What was the odds whether I slipped my cable with his assistance, or in the regular course a little after this?  That’s the way to argufy the subject; so, as I tell you, I made up my mind to fight him myself.”

Charles looked despairingly, but said,—­

“What was the result?”

“Oh, the result!  D—­n me, I suppose that’s to come.  The vagabond won’t fight like a Christian.  He says he’s quite willing to fight anybody that calls him out, provided it’s all regular.”

“Well—­well.”

“And he, being the party challenged—­for he says he never himself challenges anybody, as he is quite tired of it—­must have his choice of weapons.”

“He is entitled to that; but it is generally understood now-a-days that pistols are the weapons in use among gentlemen for such purposes.”

“Ah, but he won’t understand any such thing, I tell you.  He will fight with swords.”

“I suppose he is, then, an adept at the use of the sword?”

“He says he is.”

“No doubt—­no doubt.  I cannot blame a man for choosing, when he has the liberty of choice, that weapon in the use of which he most particularly, from practice, excels.”

“Yes; but if he be one half the swordsman he has had time enough, according to all accounts, to be, what sort of chance have you with him?”

“Do I hear you reasoning thus?”

“Yes, to be sure you do.  I have turned wonderfully prudent, you see:  so I mean to fight him myself, and mind, now, you have nothing whatever to do with it.”

“An effort of prudence that, certainly.”

“Well, didn’t I say so?”

“Come—­come, uncle, this won’t do.  I have challenged Sir Francis Varney, and I must meet him with any weapon he may, as the challenged party, choose to select.  Besides, you are not, I dare say, aware that I am a very good fencer, and probably stand as fair a chance as Varney in a contest with swords.”

“Indeed!”

“Yes, uncle.  I could not be so long on the continent as I have been without picking up a good knowledge of the sword, which is so popular all over Germany.”

“Humph! but only consider, this d——­d fellow is no less than a hundred and fifty years old.”

“I care not.”

“Yes, but I do.”

“Uncle, uncle, I tell you I will fight with him; and if you do not arrange matters for me so that I can have the meeting with this man, which I have myself sought, and cannot, even if I wished, now recede from with honour, I must seek some other less scrupulous friend to do so.”

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Varney the Vampire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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