Varney the Vampire eBook

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

“He has.”

“He has refused to do one act which could in any way aid me in my objects.  In fact, from the first to the last, he has been nothing but an expense and an encumbrance to us both.”

“All that is strictly true.”

“And yet, although you, as well as I, know of a marvellously ready way of getting rid of such encumbrances, I must own, that I shrink with more than a feeling of reluctance from the murder of the youth.”

“You contemplated it then?” asked the other.

“No; I cannot be said to have contemplated it.  That is not the proper sort of expression to use.”

“What is then?”

“To contemplate a deed seems to me to have some close connexion to the wish to do it.”

“And you have no such wish?”

“I have no such wish, and what is more I will not do it.”

“Then that is sufficient; and the only question that remains for you to confide, is, what you will do.  It is far easier in all enterprises to decide upon what we will not do, than upon what we will.  For my own part I must say that I can perceive no mode of extricating ourselves from this involvement with anything like safety.”

“Then it must be done with something like danger.”

“As you please.”

“You say so, and your words bear a clear enough signification; but from your tone I can guess how much you are dissatisfied with the aspect of affairs.”

“Dissatisfied!”

“Yes; I say, dissatisfied.  Be frank, and own that which it is in vain to conceal from me.  I know you too well; arch hypocrite as you are, and fully capable of easily deceiving many, you cannot deceive me.”

“I really cannot understand you.”

“Then I will take care that you shall.”

“How?”

“Listen.  I will not have the life of Charles Holland taken.”

“Who wishes to take it?”

“You.”

“There, indeed, you wrong me.  Unless you yourself thought that such an act was imperatively called for by the state of affairs, do you think that I would needlessly bring down upon my head the odium as well as the danger of such a deed?  No, no.  Let him live, if you are willing; he may live a thousand years for all I care.”

“’Tis well.  I am, mark me, not only willing, but I am determined that he shall live so far as we are concerned.  I can respect the courage that, even when he considered that his life was at stake, enabled him to say no to a proposal which was cowardly and dishonourable, although it went far to the defeat of my own plans and has involved me in much trouble.”

“Hush! hush!”

“What is it?”

“I fancy I hear a footstep.”

“Indeed; that were a novelty in such a place as this.”

“And yet not more than I expected.  Have you forgotten what I told you when I reached here to-night after the appointed hour?”

“Truly; I had for the moment.  Do you think then that the footstep which now meets our ears, is that of the adventurer who boasted that he could keep watch for the vampyre?”

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Varney the Vampire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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