Varney the Vampire eBook

Thomas Peckett Prest
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,239 pages of information about Varney the Vampire.

“Why, couldn’t you persuade him he’s ill, and wants some physic?  That would soon settle him, you know.”

“Settle him!” said Mr. Chillingworth; “I beg to say that if I did give him any physic, the dose would be much to his advantage; but, however, my opinion is, that this invitation to breakfast is, after all, a mere piece of irony; and that, when we get to Walmesley Lodge, we shall not see anything of him; on the contrary, we shall probably find it’s a hoax.”

“I certainly shouldn’t like that, but still it’s worth the trying.  The fellow has really behaved himself in such an extraordinary manner, that, if I can make terms with him I will; and there’s one thing, you know, doctor, that I think we may say we have discovered.”

“And what may that be?  Is it, not to make too sure of a vampyre, even when you have him by the leg?”

“No, that ain’t it, though that’s a very good thing in its way:  but it is just this, that Sir Francis Varney, whoever he is and whatever he is, is after Bannerworth Hall, and not the Bannerworth family.  If you recollect, Mr. Chillingworth, in our conversation, I have always insisted upon that fact.”

“You have; and it seems to me to be completely verified by the proceedings of the night.  There, then, admiral, is the great mystery—­what can he want at Bannerworth Hall that makes him take such a world of trouble, and run so many fearful risks in trying to get at it?”

“That is, indeed, the mystery; and if he really means this invitation to breakfast, I shall ask him plumply, and tell him, at the same time, that possibly his very best way to secure his object will be to be candid, vampyre as he is.”

“But really, admiral, you do not still cling to that foolish superstition of believing that Sir Francis Varney is in reality a vampyre?”

“I don’t know, and I can’t say; if anybody was to give me a description of a strange sort of fish that I had never seen, I wouldn’t take upon myself to say there wasn’t such a thing; nor would you, doctor, if you had really seen the many odd ones that I have encountered at various times.”

“Well, well, admiral, I’m certainly not belonging to that school of philosophy which declares the impossible to be what it don’t understand; there may be vampyres, and there may be apparitions, for all I know to the contrary; I only doubt these things, because I think, if they were true, that, as a phenomena of nature, they would have been by this time established by repeated instances without the possibility of doubt or cavil.”

“Well, there’s something in that; but how far have we got to go now?”

“No further than to yon enclosure where you see those park-like looking gates, and that cedar-tree stretching its dark-green foliage so far into the road; that is Walmesley Lodge, whither you have been invited.”

“And you, my learned friend, recollect that you were invited too; so that you are no intruder upon the hospitality of Varney the vampyre.”

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Varney the Vampire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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