“No, no; we won’t be vampyres,” exclaimed the mob, and there arose a great shout from the mob.
“Are you men—fathers?—have you families? if so, I have the same ties as you have; spare me for their sakes,—do not murder me,—you will leave one an orphan if you do; besides, what have I done? I have injured no one.”
“I tell you what, friends, if we listen to him we shall all be vampyres, and all our children will all be vampyres and orphans.”
“So we shall, so we shall; down with him!”
The man attempted to get up, but, in doing so, he received a heavy blow from a hedge-stake, wielded by the herculean arm of a peasant. The sound of the blow was heard by those immediately around, and the man fell dead. There was a pause, and those nearest, apparently fearful of the consequences, and hardly expecting the catastrophe, began to disperse, and the remainder did so very soon afterwards.
THE VAMPYRE’S FLIGHT.—HIS DANGER, AND THE LAST PLACE OF REFUGE.
Leaving the disorderly and vicious mob, who were thus sacrificing human life to their excited passions, we return to the brothers Bannerworth and the doctor, who together with Admiral Bell, still held watch over the hall.
No indication of the coming forth of Varney presented itself for some time longer, and then, at least they thought, they heard a window open; and, turning their eyes in the direction whence the sound proceeded, they could see the form of a man slowly and cautiously emerging from it.
As far as they could judge, from the distance at which they were, that form partook much of the appearance and the general aspect of Sir Francis Varney, and the more they looked and noticed its movements, the more they felt convinced that such was the fact.
“There comes your patient, doctor,” said the admiral.
“Don’t call him my patient,” said the doctor, “if you please.”
“Why you know he is; and you are, in a manner of speaking, bound to look after him. Well, what is to be done?”
“He must not, on any account,” said Dr. Chillingworth, “be allowed to leave the place. Believe me, I have the very strongest reasons for saying so.”
“He shall not leave it then,” said Henry.
Even as he spoke, Henry Bannerworth darted forward, and Sir Francis Varney dropped from the window, out of which he had clambered, close to his feet.
“Hold!” cried Henry, “you are my prisoner.”
With the most imperturbable coolness in the world, Sir Francis Varney turned upon him, and replied,—
“And pray, Henry Bannerworth, what have I done to provoke your wrath?”
“What have you done?—have you not, like a thief, broken into my house? Can you ask what you have done?”
“Ay,” said the vampyre, “like a thief, perchance, and yet no thief. May I ask you, what there is to steal, in the house?”