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

“Foiled again,” remarked Henry, with a gesture of impatience; “foiled again, and as completely as before.  I declare that I will fight this man, let our friend the admiral say what he will against such a measure I will meet him in mortal combat; he shall consummate his triumph over our whole family by my death, or I will rid the world and ourselves of so frightful a character.”

“Let us hope,” said Marchdale, “that some other course may be adopted, which shall put an end to these proceedings.”

“That,” exclaimed Henry, “is to hope against all probability; what other course can be pursued?  Be this Varney man or devil, he has evidently marked us for his prey.”

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“Indeed, it would seem so,” remarked George; “but yet he shall find that we will not fall so easily; he shall discover that if poor Flora’s gentle spirit has been crushed by these frightful circumstances, we are of a sterner mould.”

“He shall,” said Henry; “I for one will dedicate my life to this matter.  I will know no more rest than is necessary to recruit my frame, until I have succeeded in overcoming this monster; I will seek no pleasure here, and will banish from my mind, all else that may interfere with that one fixed pursuit.  He or I must fall.”

“Well spoken,” said Marchdale; “and yet I hope that circumstances may occur to prevent such a necessity of action, and that probably you will yet see that it will be wise and prudent to adopt a milder and a safer course.”

“No, Marchdale, you cannot feel as we feel.  You look on more as a spectator, sympathising with the afflictions of either, than feeling the full sting of those afflictions yourself.”

“Do I not feel acutely for you?  I’m a lonely man in the world, and I have taught myself now to centre my affections in your family; my recollections of early years assist me in so doing.  Believe me, both of you, that I am no idle spectator of your griefs, but that I share them fully.  If I advise you to be peaceful, and to endeavour by the gentlest means possible to accomplish your aims, it is not that I would counsel you cowardice; but having seen so much more of the world than either of you have had time or opportunity of seeing, I do not look so enthusiastically upon matters, but, with a cooler, calmer judgment, I do not say a better, I proffer to you my counsel.”

“We thank you,” said Henry; “but this is a matter in which action seems specially called for.  It is not to be borne that a whole family is to be oppressed by such a fiend in human shape as that Varney.”

“Let me,” said Marchdale, “counsel you to submit to Flora’s decision in this business; let her wishes constitute the rules of action.  She is the greatest sufferer, and the one most deeply interested in the termination of this fearful business.  Moreover she has judgment and decision of character—­she will advise you rightly, be assured.”

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