Varney the Vampire eBook

Thomas Peckett Prest
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,239 pages of information about Varney the Vampire.

“Then you have an appointment with him?”—­“By no means; but he has made such repeated and determined attacks upon this house that the family who inhabited it were compelled to leave it, and I am here to watch him, and ascertain what can possibly be his object.”

“It is as I suspected, then,” muttered this man.  “Confound him!  Now can I read, as if in a book, most clearly, the game that he is playing!”

“Can you?” cried the doctor, energetically—­“can you?  What is it?  Tell me, for that is the very thing I want to discover.”—­“You don’t say so?”

“It is, indeed; and I assure you that it concerns the peace of a whole family to know it.  You say you have made inquiries about this neighbourhood, and, if you have done so, you have discovered how the family of the Bannerworths have been persecuted by Varney, and how, in particular, Flora Bannerworth, a beautiful and intelligent girl, has been most cruelly made to suffer.”

“I have heard all that, and I dare say with many exaggerations.”—­“It would be difficult for any one really to exaggerate the horrors that have taken place in this house, so that any information which you can give respecting the motives of Varney will tend, probably, to restore peace to those who have been so cruelly persecuted, and be an act of kindness which I think not altogether inconsistent with your nature.”

“You think so, and yet know who I am.”—­“I do, indeed.”

“And what I am.  Why, if I were to go into the market-place of yon town, and proclaim myself, would not all shun me—­ay, even the very lowest and vilest; and yet you talk of an act of kindness not being altogether inconsistent with my nature!”—­“I do, because I know something more of you than many.”

There was a silence of some moments’ duration, and then the stranger spoke in a tone of voice which looked as it he were struggling with some emotion.

“Sir, you do know more of me than many.  You know what I have been, and you know how I left an occupation which would have made me loathed.  But you—­even you—­do not know what made me take to so terrible a trade.”—­“I do not.”

“Would it suit you for me now to tell you?”—­“Will you first promise me that you will do all you can for this persecuted family of the Bannerworths, in whom I take so strange an interest?”

“I will.  I promise you that freely.  Of my own knowledge, of course, I can say but little concerning them, but, upon that warranting, I well believe they deserve abundant sympathy, and from me they shall have it.”

“A thousand thanks!  With your assistance, I have little doubt of being able to extricate them from the tangled web of dreadful incidents which has turned them from their home; and now, whatever you may choose to tell me of the cause which drove you to be what you became, I shall listen to with abundant interest.  Only let me beseech you to come into this summer-house, and to talk low.”

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Varney the Vampire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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