Varney the Vampire eBook

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

“It shall.”—­“And now, then, for a consideration of what is to be done with our prisoner.  What is your resolve upon that point?”

“I have considered it while I was lying upon yon green sward waiting for the friendly moonbeams to fall upon my face, and it seems to me that there is no sort of resource but to——­“—­“Kill him?”

“No, no.”—­“What then?”

“To set him free.”—­“Nay, have you considered the immense hazard of doing so?  Think again; I pray you think again.  I am decidedly of opinion that he more than suspects who are his enemies; and, in that case, you know what consequences would ensue; besides, have we not enough already to encounter?  Why should we add another young, bold, determined spirit to the band which is already arrayed against us?”

“You talk in vain, Marchdale; I know to what it all tends; you have a strong desire for the death of this young man.”—­“No; there you wrong me.  I have no desire for his death, for its own sake; but, where great interests are at stake, there must be sacrifices made.”

“So there must; therefore, I will make a sacrifice, and let this young prisoner free from his dungeon.”—­“If such be your determination, I know well it is useless to combat with it.  When do you purpose giving him his freedom?”

“I will not act so heedlessly as that your principles of caution shall blame me.  I will attempt to get from him some promise that he will not make himself an active instrument against me.  Perchance, too, as Bannerworth Hall, which he is sure to visit, wears such an air of desertion, I may be able to persuade him that the Bannerworth family, as well as his uncle, have left this part of the country altogether; so that, without making any inquiry for them about the neighbourhood, he may be induced to leave at once.”—­“That would be well.”

“Good; your prudence approves of the plan, and therefore it shall be done.”—­“I am rather inclined to think,” said Marchdale, with a slight tone of sarcasm, “that if my prudence did not approve of the plan, it would still be done.”

“Most probably,” said Varney, calmly.—­“Will you release him to-night?”

“It is morning, now, and soon the soft grey light of day will tint the east.  I do not think I will release him till sunset again now.  Has he provision to last him until then?”—­“He has.”

“Well, then, two hours after sunset I will come here and release him from his weary bondage, and now I must go to find some place in which to hide my proscribed head.  As for Bannerworth Hall, I will yet have it in my power; I have sworn to do so, I will keep my oath.”—­“The accomplishment of our purpose, I regret to say, seems as far off as ever.”

“Not so—­not so.  As I before remarked, we must disappear, for a time, so as to lull suspicion.  There will then arise a period when Bannerworth Hall will neither be watched, as it is now, nor will it be inhabited,—­a period before the Bannerworth family has made up its mind to go back to it, and when long watching without a result has become too tiresome to be continued at all; then we can at once pursue our object.”—­“Be it so.”

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Varney the Vampire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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