Varney the Vampire eBook

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

“I will, and you can pursue your watch at the same time, while I beguile its weariness.”—­“Be it so.”

“You knew me years ago, when I had all the chances in the world of becoming respectable and respected.  I did, indeed; and you may, therefore, judge of my surprise when, some years since, being in the metropolis, I met you, and you shunned my company.”—­“Yes; but, at last, you found out why it was that I shunned your company.”

“I did.  You yourself told me once that I met you, and would not leave you, but insisted upon your dining with me.  Then you told me, when you found that I would take no other course whatever, that you were no other than the—­the——­“—­

“Out with it!  I can bear to hear it now better than I could then!  I told you that I was the common hangman of London!”

“You did, I must confess, to my most intense surprise.”

“Yes, and yet you kept to me; and, but that I respected you too much to allow you to do so, you would, from old associations, have countenanced me; but I could not, and I would not, let you do so.  I told you then that, although I held the terrible office, that I had not been yet called upon to perform its loathsome functions.  Soon—­soon—­come the first effort—­it was the last!”

“Indeed!  You left the dreadful trade?”

“I did—­I did.  But what I want to tell you, for I could not then, was why I went ever to it.  The wounds my heart had received were then too fresh to allow me to speak of them, but I will tell you now.  The story is a brief one, Mr. Chillingworth.  I pray you be seated.”

CHAPTER LXXII.

THE STRANGE STORY.—­THE ARRIVAL OF THE MOB AT THE HALL, AND THEIR DISPERSION.

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“You will find that the time which elapsed since I last saw you in London, to have been spent in an eventful, varied manner.”—­“You were in good circumstances then,” said Mr. Chillingworth.—­“I was, but many events happened after that which altered the prospect; made it even more gloomy than you can well imagine:  but I will tell you all candidly, and you can keep watch upon Bannerworth Hall at the same time.  You are well aware that I was well to do, and had ample funds, and inclination to spend them.”—­“I recollect:  but you were married then, surely?”—­“I was,” said the stranger, sadly, “I was married then.”—­“And now?”—­“I am a widower.”  The stranger seemed much moved, but, after a moment or so, he resumed—­“I am a widower now; but how that event came about is partly my purpose to tell you.  I had not married long—­that is very long—­for I have but one child, and she is not old, or of an age to know much more than what she may be taught; she is still in the course of education.  I was early addicted to gamble; the dice had its charms, as all those who have ever engaged in play but too well know; it is perfectly fascinating.”—­“So I have heard,” said Mr. Chillingworth; “though, for myself, I found a wife and professional pursuits quite incompatible with any pleasure that took either time or resources.”—­

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Varney the Vampire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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