“‘Death, death, where is the treasure?’
“I had fully succeeded—too fully; and while the executioner looked on with horror depicted in his countenance, I fled from the room and the house, taking my way home as fast as I possibly could.
“A dread came over me, that the restored man would follow me if he should find out, to whom it was he was indebted for the rather questionable boon of a new life. I packed up what articles I set the greatest store by, bade adieu to London, and never have I since set foot within that city.”
“And you never met the man you had so resuscitated?”
“Not till I saw Varney, the vampyre; and, as I tell you, I am now certain that he is the man.”
“That is the strangest yarn that ever I heard,” said the admiral.
“A most singular circumstance,” said Henry.
“You may have noticed about his countenance,” said Dr. Chillingworth, “a strange distorted look?”
“Well, that has arisen from a spasmodic contraction of the muscles, in consequence of his having been hanged. He will never lose it, and it has not a little contributed to give him the horrible look he has, and to invest him with some of the seeming outward attributes of the vampyre.”
“And that man who is now in the hall with him, doctor,” said Henry, “is the very hangman who executed him?”
“The same. He tells me that after I left, he paid attention to the restored man, and completed what I had nearly done. He kept him in his house for a time, and then made a bargain with him, for a large sum of money per annum, all of which he has regularly been paid, although he tells me he has no more idea where Varney gets it, than the man in the moon.”
“It is very strange; but, hark! do you not hear the sound of voices in angry altercation?”
“Yes, yes, they have met. Let us approach the windows now. We may chance to hear something of what they say to each other.”
THE ALTERCATION BETWEEN VARNEY AND THE EXECUTIONER IN THE HALL.—THE MUTUAL AGREEMENT.
There was certainly a loud wrangling in the Hall, just as the doctor finished his most remarkable revelation concerning Sir Francis Varney, a revelation which by no means attacked the fact of his being a vampyre or not; but rather on the contrary, had a tendency to confirm any opinion that might arise from the circumstance of his being restored to life after his execution, favourable to that belief.
They all three now carefully approached the windows of the Hall, to listen to what was going on, and after a few moments they distinctly heard the voice of the hangman, saying in loud and rather angry accents,—
“I do not deny but that you have kept your word with me—our bargain has been, as you say, a profitable one: but, still I cannot see why that circumstance should give you any sort of control over my actions.”