“I decline saying; so you had better, all of you, go back to the town again, for we are well provided with all material to resist any attack you may be fools enough to make.”
As he spoke, the servant shut the little square door with a bang that made his questioner jump again. Here was a dilemma!
THE ATTACK UPON THE VAMPYRE’S HOUSE.—THE
STORY OF THE ATTACK.—THE
FORCING OF THE DOORS, AND THE STRUGGLE.
A council of war was now called among the belligerents, who were somewhat taken aback by the steady refusal of the servant to admit them, and their apparent determination to resist all endeavours on the part of the mob to get into and obtain possession of the house. It argued that they were prepared to resist all attempts, and it would cost some few lives to get into the vampyre’s house. This passed through the minds of many as they retired behind the angle of the wall where the council was to be held.
Here they looked in each others’ face, as if to gather from that the general tone of the feelings of their companions; but here they saw nothing that intimated the least idea of going back as they came.
“It’s all very well, mates, to take care of ourselves, you know,” began one tall, brawny fellow; “but, if we bean’t to be sucked to death by a vampyre, why we must have the life out of him.”
“Ay, so we must.”
“Jack Hodge is right; we must kill him, and there’s no sin in it, for he has no right to it; he’s robbed some poor fellow of his life to prolong his own.”
“Ay, ay, that’s the way he does; bring him out, I say, then see what we will do with him.”
“Yes, catch him first,” said one, “and then we can dispose of him afterwards, I say, neighbours, don’t you think it would be as well to catch him first?”
“Haven’t we come on purpose?”
“Yes, but do it.”
“Ain’t we trying it?”
“You will presently, when we come to get into the house.”
“Well, what’s to be done?” said one; “here we are in a fix, I think, and I can’t see our way out very clearly.”
“I wish we could get in.”
“But how is a question I don’t very well see,” said a large specimen of humanity.
“The best thing that can be done will be to go round and look over the whole house, and then we may come upon some part where it is far easier to get in at than by the front door.”
“But it won’t do for us all to go round that way,” said one; “a small party only should go, else they will have all their people stationed at one point, and if we can divide them, we shall beat them because they have not enough to defend more than one point at a time; now we are numerous enough to make several attacks.”
“Oh! that’s the way to bother them all round; they’ll give in, and then the place is our own.”