Varney the Vampire eBook

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

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The mysterious friend of Mr. Chillingworth finished his narrative, and then the doctor said to him,—­

“And that, then, is the real cause why you, a man evidently far above the position of life which is usually that of those who occupy the dreadful post of executioner, came to accept of it.”—­“The real reason, sir.  I considered, too, that in holding such a humiliating situation that I was justly served for the barbarity of which I had been guilty; for what can be a greater act of cruelty than to squander, as I did, in the pursuit of mad excitement, those means which should have rendered my home happy, and conduced to the welfare of those who were dependant upon me?”

“I do not mean to say that your self-reproaches are unjust altogether, but—­What noise is that? do you hear anything?”—­

“Yes—­yes.”

“What do you take it to be?”—­“It seemed like the footsteps of a number of persons, and it evidently approaches nearer and nearer.  I know not what to think.”

“Shall I tell you?” said a deep-toned voice, and some one, through the orifice in the back of the summer-house, which, it will be recollected, sustained some damage at the time that Varney escaped from it, laid a hand upon Mr. Chillingworth’s shoulder.  “God bless me!” exclaimed the doctor; “who’s that?” and he sprang from his seat with the greatest perturbation in the world.

“Varney, the vampyre!” added the voice, and then both the doctor and his companion recognised it, and saw the strange, haggard features, that now they knew so well, confronting them.  There was a pause of surprise, for a moment or two, on the part of the doctor, and then he said, “Sir Francis Varney, what brings you here?  I conjure you to tell me, in the name of common justice and common feeling, what brings you to this house so frequently?  You have dispossessed the family, whose property it is, of it, and you have caused great confusion and dismay over a whole county.  I implore you now, not in the language of menace or as an enemy, but as the advocate of the oppressed, and one who desires to see justice done to all, to tell me what it is you require.”

“There is no time now for explanation,” said Varney, “if explanations were my full and free intent.  You wished to know what noise was that you heard?”

“I did; can you inform me?”—­“I can.  The wild and lawless mob which you and your friends first induced to interfere in affairs far beyond their or your control, are now flushed with the desire of riot and of plunder.  The noise you hear is that of their advancing footsteps; they come to destroy Bannerworth Hall.”

“Can that be possible?  The Bannerworth family are the sufferers from all that has happened, and not the inflictors of suffering.”—­“Ay, be it so; but he who once raises a mob has raised an evil spirit, which, in the majority of cases, it requires a far more potent spell than he is master of to quell again.”

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Varney the Vampire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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