“No—no; on my soul, no. I will die in my disbelief of such an outrage upon Heaven as one of these creatures would most assuredly be.”
“Oh! that I could think like you; but the circumstance strikes too nearly to my heart.”
“Be of better cheer, Henry—be of better cheer,” said Marchdale; “there is one circumstance which we ought to consider, it is that, from all we have seen, there seems to be some things which would favour an opinion, Henry, that your ancestor, whose portrait hangs in the chamber which was occupied by Flora, is the vampyre.”
“The dress was the same,” said Henry.
“I noted it was.”
“Do you not, then, think it possible that something might be done to set that part of the question at rest?”
“Where is your ancestor buried?”
“Ah! I understand you now.”
“And I,” said Mr. Chillingworth; “you would propose a visit to his mansion?”
“I would,” added Marchdale; “anything that may in any way tend to assist in making this affair clearer, and divesting it of its mysterious circumstances, will be most desirable.”
Henry appeared to rouse for some moments and then he said,—
“He, in common with many other members of the family, no doubt occupies place in the vault under the old church in the village.”
“Would it be possible,” asked Marchdale, “to get into that vault without exciting general attention?”
“It would,” said Henry; “the entrance to the vault is in the flooring of the pew which belongs to the family in the old church.”
“Then it could be done?” asked Mr. Chillingworth.
“Will you under take such an adventure?” said Mr. Chillingworth. “It may ease your mind.”
“He was buried in the vault, and in his clothes,” said Henry, musingly; “I will think of it. About such a proposition I would not decide hastily. Give me leave to think of it until to-morrow.”
They now made their way to the chamber of Flora, and they heard from George that nothing of an alarming character had occurred to disturb him on his lonely watch. The morning was now again dawning, and Henry earnestly entreated Mr. Marchdale to go to bed, which he did, leaving the two brothers to continue as sentinels by Flora’s bed side, until the morning light should banish all uneasy thoughts.
Henry related to George what had taken place outside the house, and the two brothers held a long and interesting conversation for some hours upon that subject, as well as upon others of great importance to their welfare. It was not until the sun’s early rays came glaring in at the casement that they both rose, and thought of awakening Flora, who had now slept soundly for so many hours.