Varney the Vampire eBook

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

“This won’t do,” said the old admiral, buttoning up his coat to the chin; “Bannerworth Hall must not be deserted in this way.  It is quite clear that Sir Francis Varney and his associates have some particular object in view in getting possession of the place.  Here, you Jack.”—­“Ay, ay, sir.”

[Illustration]

“Just go back again, and stay at the Hall till somebody comes to you.  Even such a stupid hound as you will be something to scare away unwelcome visitors.  Go back to the Hall, I say.  What are you staring at?”—­“Back to Bannerworth Hall!” said Jack.  “What! just where I’ve come from; all that way off, and nothing to eat, and, what’s worse, nothing to drink.  I’ll see you d——­d first.”

The admiral caught up a table-fork, and made a rush at Jack; but Henry Bannerworth interfered.

“No, no,” he said, “admiral; no, no—­not that.  You must recollect that you yourself have given this, no doubt, faithful fellow of your’s liberty to do and say a great many things which don’t look like good service; but I have no doubt, from what I have seen of his disposition, that he would risk his life rather than, that you should come to any harm.”

“Ay, ay,” said Jack; “he quite forgets when the bullets were scuttling our nobs off Cape Ushant, when that big Frenchman had hold of him by the skirf of his neck, and began pummelling his head, and the lee scuppers were running with blood, and a bit of Joe Wiggins’s brains had come slap in my eye, while some of Jack Marling’s guts was hanging round my neck like a nosegay, all in consequence of grape-shot—­then he didn’t say as I was a swab, when I came up, and bored a hole in the Frenchman’s back with a pike.  Ay, it’s all very well now, when there’s peace, and no danger, to call Jack Pringle a lubberly rascal, and mutinous.  I’m blessed if it ain’t enough to make an old pair of shoes faint away.”

“Why, you infernal scoundrel,” said the admiral, “nothing of the sort ever happened, and you know it.  Jack, you’re no seaman.”—­“Werry good,” said Jack; “then, if I ain’t no seaman, you are what shore-going people calls a jolly fat old humbug.”

“Jack, hold your tongue,” said Henry Bannerworth; “you carry these things too far.  You know very well that your master esteems you, and you should not presume too much upon that fact.”—­“My master!” said Jack; “don’t call him my master.  I never had a master, and don’t intend.  He’s my admiral, if you like; but an English sailor don’t like a master.”

“I tell you what it is, Jack,” said the admiral; “you’ve got your good qualities, I admit.”—­“Ay, ay, sir—­that’s enough; you may as well leave off well while you can.”

“But I’ll just tell you what you resemble more than anything else.”—­“Chew me up! what may that be, sir?”

“A French marine.”—­“A what!  A French marine!  Good-bye.  I wouldn’t say another word to you, if you was to pay me a dollar a piece.  Of all the blessed insults rolled into one, this here’s the worstest.  You might have called me a marine, or you might have called me a Frenchman, but to make out that I’m both a marine and a Frenchman, d—­me, if it isn’t enough to make human nature stand on an end!  Now, I’ve done with you.”

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Varney the Vampire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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