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

“The devil you would!  Why all the world seems mad upon the project of buying this old building, which really is getting into such a state of dilapidation, that it cannot last many years longer.”

“It is my fancy.”

“No, no; there is something more in this than meets the eye.  The same reason, be it what may, that has induced Varney the vampyre to become so desirous of possessing the Hall, actuates you.”

“Possibly.”

“And what is that reason?  You may as well be candid with me.”

“Yes, I will, and am.  I like the picturesque aspect of the place.”

“No, you know that that is a disingenuous answer, that you know well.  It is not the aspect of the old Hall that has charms for you.  But I feel, only from your conduct, more than ever convinced, that some plot is going on, having the accomplishment of some great object as its climax, a something of which you have guessed.”

“How much you are mistaken!”

“No, I am certain I am right; and I shall immediately advise the Bannerworth family to return, and to take up their abode again here, in order to put an end to the hopes which you, or Varney, or any one else may have, of getting possession of the place.”

“If you were a man,” said the hangman, “who cared a little more for yourself, and a little less for others, I would make a confidant of you.”

“What do you mean?”

“Why, I mean, candidly, that you are not selfish enough to be entitled to my confidence.”

“That is a strange reason for withholding confidence from any man.”

“It is a strange reason; but, in this case, a most abundantly true one.  I cannot tell you what I would tell you, because I cannot make the agreement with you that I would fain make.”

“You talk in riddles.”

“To explain which, then, would be to tell my secret.”

Dr. Chillingworth was, evidently, much annoyed, and yet he was in an extremely helpless condition; for as to forcing the hangman to leave the Hall, if he did not feel disposed to do so, that was completely out of the question, and could not be done.  In the first place, he was a much more powerful man than the doctor, and in the second, it was quite contrary to all Mr. Chillingworth’s habits, to engage in anything like personal warfare.

He could only, therefore, look his vexation, and say,—­

“If you are determined upon remaining, I cannot help it; but, when some one, as there assuredly will, comes from the Bannerworths, here, to me, or I shall be under the necessity of stating candidly that you are intruding.”

“Very good.  As the morning air is keen, and as we now are not likely to be as good company to each other as we were, I shall go inside the house.”

This was a proposition which the doctor did not like, but he was compelled to submit to it; and he saw, with feelings of uneasiness, the hangman make his way into the Hall by one of the windows.

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