“And now, Marchdale, I want more money.”—“More money!”
“Yes; you know well that I have had large demands of late.”—“But I certainly had an impression that you were possessed, by the death of some one, with very ample means.”
“Yes, but there is a means by which all is taken from me. I have no real resources but what are rapidly used up, so I must come upon you again.”—“I have already completely crippled myself as regards money matters in this enterprise, and I do certainly hope that the fruits will not be far distant. If they be much longer delayed, I shall really not know what to do. However, come to the lodge where you have been staying, and then I will give you, to the extent of my ability, whatever sum you think your present exigencies require.”
“Come on, then, at once. I would certainly, of course, rather leave this place now, before daybreak. Come on, I say, come on.”
Sir Francis Varney and Marchdale walked for some time in silence across the meadows. It was evident that there was not between these associates the very best of feelings. Marchdale was always smarting under an assumption of authority over him, on the part of Sir Francis Varney, while the latter scarcely cared to conceal any portion of the contempt with which he regarded his hypocritical companion.
Some very strong band of union, indeed, must surely bind these two strange persons together! It must be something of a more than common nature which induces Marchdale not only to obey the behests of his mysterious companion, but to supply him so readily with money as we perceive he promises to do.
And, as regards Varney, the vampyre, be, too, must have some great object in view to induce him to run such a world of risk, and take so much trouble as he was doing with the Bannerworth family.
What his object is, and what is the object of Marchdale, will, now that we have progressed so far in our story, soon appear, and then much that is perfectly inexplicable, will become clear and distinct, and we shall find that some strong human motives are at the bottom of it all.
VARNEY’S VISIT TO THE DUNGEON OF THE LONELY PRISONER IN THE RUINS.
Evident it was that Marchdale was not near so scrupulous as Sir Francis Varney, in what he chose to do. He would, without hesitation, have sacrificed the life of that prisoner in the lonely dungeon, whom it would be an insult to the understanding of our readers, not to presume that they had, long ere this, established in their minds to be Charles Holland.
His own safety seemed to be the paramount consideration with Marchdale, and it was evident that he cared for nothing in comparison with that object.
It says much, however, for Sir Francis Varney, that he did not give in to such a blood-thirsty feeling, but rather chose to set the prisoner free, and run all the chances of the danger to which he might expose himself by such a course of conduct, than to insure safety, comparatively, by his destruction.