Varney the Vampire eBook

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

“Hilloa! bravo!” cried the admiral; “the more the merrier!  Here’s a combined squadron!  Why, how came you here, Mr. Henry Bannerworth?”

“Bannerworth!” said Mortimer; “is that young man’s name Bannerworth?”

“Yes,” said Henry.  “Do you know me, sir?”

“No, no; only I—­I—­must be off.  Does anybody know anything of Sir Francis Varney?”

“We did know something of him,” said the admiral, “a little while ago; but he’s taken himself off.  Don’t you do so likewise.  If you’ve got anything to say, stop and say it, like an Englishman.”

“Stuff! stuff!” said Mortimer, impatiently.  “What do you all want here?”

“Why, Sir Francis Varney,” said Henry,—­“and I care not if the whole world heard it—­is the persecutor of my family.”

“How? in what way?”

“He has the reputation of a vampyre; he has hunted me and mine from house and home.”

“Indeed!”

“Yes,” cried Dr. Chillingworth; “and, by some means or another, he seems determined to get possession of Bannerworth Hall.”

“Well, gentlemen,” said Mortimer, “I promise you that I will inquire into this.  Mr. Chillingworth, I did not expect to meet you.  Perhaps the least we say to each other is, after all, the better.”

“Let me ask but one question,” said Dr. Chillingworth, imploringly.

“Ask it.”

“Did he live after—­”

“Hush! he did.”

“You always told me to the contrary.”

“Yes; I had an object; the game is up.  Farewell; and, gentlemen, as I am making my exit, let me do so with a sentiment:—­Society at large is divided into two great classes.”

“And what may they be?” said the admiral.

“Those who have been hanged, and those who have not.  Adieu!”

He turned and left the room; and Mr. Chillingworth sunk into a chair, and said, in a low voice,—­

“It’s uncommonly true; and I’ve found out an acquaintance among the former.”

“-D—­n it! you seem all mad,” said the admiral.  “I can’t make out what you are about.  How came you here, Mr. Henry Bannerworth?”

“By mere accident I heard,” said Henry, “that you were keeping watch and ward in the Hall.  Admiral, it was cruel, and not well done of you, to attempt such an enterprise without acquainting me with it.  Did you suppose for a moment that I, who had the greatest interest in this affair, would have shrunk from danger, if danger there be; or lacked perseverance, if that quality were necessary in carrying out any plan by which the safety and honour of my family might be preserved?”

“Nay, now, my young friend,” said Mr. Chillingworth.

“Nay, sir; but I take it ill that I should have been kept out of this affair; and it should have been sedulously, as it were, kept a secret from me.”

“Let him go on as he likes,” said the admiral; “boys will be boys.  After all, you know, doctor, it’s my affair, and not yours.  Let him say what he likes; where’s the odds?  It’s of no consequence.”

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Varney the Vampire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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