“I am resolved upon it,” said one; “I am quite determined. I will, please God, rid the country of that dreadful man.”
“Don’t call him a man,” said the oilier.
“Well, well; it is a wrong name to apply to a vampyre.”
“It is Varney, after all, then,” said Henry. Bannerworth, to himself;—“it is his life that they seek. What can be done to save him?—for saved he shall be if I can compass such an object. I feel that there is yet a something in his character which is entitled to consideration, and he shall not be savagely murdered while I have an arm to raise in his defence. But if anything is now to be done, it must be done by stratagem, for the enemy are, by far, in too great force to be personally combatted with.”
Henry resolved to take the advice of his friends, and with that view he went silently and quietly back to where they were, and communicated to them the news that he had so unexpectedly discovered.
They were all much surprised, and then the doctor said,
“You may depend, that since the disappointment of the mob in the destruction of this place, they have had their eye upon Varney. He has been dogged here by some one, and then by degrees that assemblage has sought the spot.”
“He’s a doomed man, then,” remarked the admiral; “for what can save him from a determined number of persons, who, by main force, will overcome us, let us make what stand we may in his defence.”
“Is there no hiding-place in the house,” said Charles, “where you might, after warring him of his danger, conceal him?”
“There are plenty, but of what avail would that be, if they burn down the Hall, which in all probability they will!”
“There is but one chance,” said Henry, “and that is to throw them off the scent, and induce them to think that he whom they seek is not here; I think that may possibly be done by boldness.”
“I will go among them and make the effort.”
He at once left the friends, for he felt that there might be no time to lose, and hastening to the same part of the wall, ever which he had looked so short a time before, he clambered over it, and cried, in a loud voice,
“Stop the vampyre! stop the vampyre!”
“Where, where?” shouted a number of persons at once, turning their eyes eagerly towards the spot where Henry stood.
“There, across the fields,” cried Henry. “I have lain in wait for him long; but he has eluded me, and is making his way again towards the old ruins, where I am sure he has some hiding-place that he thinks will elude all search. There, I see his dusky form speeding onwards.”
“Come on,” cried several; “to the ruins! to the ruins! We’ll smoke him out if he will not come by fair means: we must have him, dead or alive.”