What wonderfully different impressions and feelings, with regard
to the same circumstances, come across the mind in the broad,
clear, and beautiful light of day to what haunt the imagination,
and often render the judgment almost incapable of action, when the
heavy shadow of night is upon all things.
There must be a downright physical reason for this effect—it is
so remarkable and so universal. It seems that the sun's rays so
completely alter and modify the constitution of the atmosphere,
that it produces, as we inhale it, a wonderfully different effect
upon the nerves of the human subject.
We can account for this phenomenon in no other way. Perhaps
never in his life had he, Henry Bannerworth, felt so strongly this
transition of feeling as he now felt it, when the beautiful
daylight gradually dawned upon him, as he kept his lonely watch by
the bedside of his slumbering sister.
That watch had been a perfectly undisturbed one. Not the least
sight or sound of any intrusion had reached his senses. All had
been as still as the very grave.
And yet while the night lasted, and he was more indebted to the
rays of the candle, which he had placed upon a shelf, for the power
to distinguish objects than to the light of the morning, a thousand
uneasy and strange sensations had found a home in his agitated
He looked so many times at the portrait which was in the panel
that at length he felt an undefined sensation of terror creep over
him whenever he took his eyes off it.
He tried to keep himself from looking at it, but he found it
vain, so he adopted what, perhaps, was certainly the wisest, best
plan, namely, to look at it continually.
He shifted his chair so that he could gaze upon it without any
effort, and he placed the candle so that a faint light was thrown
upon it, and there he sat, a prey to many conflicting and
uncomfortable feelings, until the daylight began to make the candle
flame look dull and sickly.
Solution for the events of the night he could find none. He
racked his imagination in vain to find some means, however vague,
of endeavouring to account for what occurred, and still he was at
fault. All was to him wrapped in the gloom of the most profound
And how strangely, too, the eyes of that portrait appeared to
look upon him—as if instinct with life, and as if the head to which
they belonged was busy in endeavouring to find out the secret
communings of his soul. It was wonderfully well executed that
portrait; so life-like, that the very features seemed to move as
you gazed upon them.
"It shall be removed," said Henry. "I would remove it now, but
that it seems absolutely painted on the panel, and I should awake
Flora in any attempt to do so."
He arose and ascertained that such was the case, and that it
would require a workman, with proper tools adapted to the job, to
remove the portrait.
"True," he said, "I might now destroy it, but it is a pity to
obscure a work of such rare art as this is; I should blame myself
if I were. It shall be removed to some other room of the house,
Then, all of a sudden, it struck Henry how foolish it would be
to remove the portrait from the wall of a room which, in all
likelihood, after that night, would be uninhabited; for it was not
probable that Flora would choose again to inhabit a chamber in
which she had gone through so much terror.
"It can be left where it is," he said, "and we can fasten up, if
we please, even the very door of this room, so that no one need
trouble themselves any further about it."
The morning was now coming fast, and just as Henry thought he
would partially draw a blind across the window, in order to shield
from the direct rays of the sun the eyes of Flora, she awoke.
"Help—help!" she cried, and Henry was by her side in a
"You are safe, Flora—you are safe," he said.
"Where is it now?" she said.
"What—what, dear Flora?"
"The dreadful apparition. Oh, what have I done to be made thus
"Think no more of it, Flora."
"I must think. My brain is on fire! A million of strange eyes
seem gazing on me."
"Great Heaven! she raves," said Henry.
"Hark—hark—hark! He comes on the wings of the storm. Oh, it is
Henry rang the bell, but not sufficiently loudly to create any
alarm. The sound reached the waking ear of the mother, who in a few
moments was in the room.
"She has awakened," said Henry, "and has spoken, but she seems
to me to wander in her discourse. For God's sake, soothe her, and
try to bring her mind round to its usual state."
"I will, Henry—I will."
"And I think, mother, if you were to get her out of this room,
and into some other chamber as far removed from this one as
possible, it would tend to withdraw her mind from what has
"Yes; it shall be done. Oh, Henry, what was it—what do you think
"I am lost in a sea of wild conjecture. I can form no
conclusion; where is Mr. Marchdale?"
"I believe in his chamber."
"Then I will go and consult with him."
Henry proceeded at once to the chamber, which was, as he knew,
occupied by Mr. Marchdale; and as he crossed the corridor, he could
not but pause a moment to glance from a window at the face of
As is often the case, the terrific storm of the preceding
evening had cleared the air, and rendered it deliciously
invigorating and lifelike. The weather had been dull, and there had
been for some days a certain heaviness in the atmosphere, which was
now entirely removed.
The morning sun was shining with uncommon brilliancy, birds were
singing in every tree and on every bush; so pleasant, so
spirit-stirring, health-giving a morning, seldom had he seen. And
the effect upon his spirits was great, although not altogether what
it might have been, had all gone on as it usually was in the habit
of doing at that house. The ordinary little casualties of evil
fortune had certainly from time to time, in the shape of illness,
and one thing or another, attacked the family of the Bannerworths
in common with every other family, but here suddenly had arisen a
something at once terrible and inexplicable.
He found Mr. Marchdale up and dressed, and apparently in deep
and anxious thought. The moment he saw Henry, he said,—
"Flora is awake, I presume."
"Yes, but her mind appears to be much disturbed."
"From bodily weakness, I dare say."
"But why should she be bodily weak? she was strong and well, ay,
as well as she could ever be in all her life. The glow of youth and
health was on her cheeks. Is it possible that, in the course of one
night, she should become bodily weak to such an extent?"
"Henry," said Mr. Marchdale, sadly, "sit down. I am not, as you
know, a superstitious man."
"You certainly are not."
"And yet, I never in all my life was so absolutely staggered as
I have been by the occurrences of to-night."
"There is a frightful, a hideous solution of them; one which
every consideration will tend to add strength to, one which I
tremble to name now, although, yesterday, at this hour, I should
have laughed it to scorn."
"Yes, it is so. Tell no one that which I am about to say to you.
Let the dreadful suggestion remain with ourselves alone, Henry
"I—I am lost in wonder."
"You promise me?"
"That you will not repeat my opinion to any one."
"On your honour."
"On my honour, I promise."
Mr. Marchdale rose, and proceeding to the door, he looked out to
see that there were no listeners near. Having ascertained then that
they were quite alone, he returned, and drawing a chair close to
that on which Henry sat, he said,—
"Henry, have you never heard of a strange and dreadful
superstition which, in some countries, is extremely rife, by which
it is supposed that there are beings who never die."
"Never. In a word, Henry, have you never heard of—of—I dread to
pronounce the word."
"Speak it. God of Heaven! let me hear it."
Henry sprung to his feet. His whole frame quivered with emotion;
the drops of perspiration stood upon his brow, as, in, a strange,
hoarse voice, he repeated the words,—
"Even so; one who has to renew a dreadful existence by human
blood—one who lives on for ever, and must keep up such a fearful
existence upon human gore—one who eats not and drinks not as other
Henry dropped into his scat, and uttered a deep groan of the
most exquisite anguish.
"I could echo that groan," said Marchdale, "but that I am so
thoroughly bewildered I know not what to think."
"Good God—good God!"
"Do not too readily yield belief in so dreadful a supposition, I
"Yield belief!" exclaimed Henry, as he rose, and lifted up one
of his hands above his head. "No; by Heaven, and the great God of
all, who there rules, I will not easily believe aught so awful and
"I applaud your sentiment, Henry; not willingly would I deliver
up myself to so frightful a belief—it is too horrible. I merely
have told you of that which you saw was on my mind. You have surely
before heard of such things."
"I have—I have."
"I much marvel, then, that the supposition did not occur to you,
"It did not—it did not, Marchdale. It—it was too dreadful, I
suppose, to find a home in my heart. Oh! Flora, Flora, if this
horrible idea should once occur to you, reason cannot, I am quite
sure, uphold you against it."
"Let no one presume to insinuate it to her, Henry. I would not
have it mentioned to her for worlds."
"Nor I—nor I. Good God! I shudder at the very thought—the mere
possibility; but there is no possibility, there can be none. I will
not believe it."
"No; by Heaven's justice, goodness, grace, and mercy, I will not
"Tis well sworn, Henry; and now, discarding the supposition that
Flora has been visited by a vampyre, let us seriously set about
endeavouring, if we can, to account for what has happened in this
"I—I cannot now."
"Nay, let us examine the matter; if we can find any natural
explanation, let us cling to it, Henry, as the sheet-anchor of our
"Do you think. You are fertile in expedients. Do you think,
Marchdale; and, for Heaven's sake, and for the sake of our own
peace, find out some other way of accounting for what has happened,
than the hideous one you have suggested."
"And yet my pistol bullets hurt him not; he has left the tokens
of his presence on the neck of Flora."
"Peace, oh! peace. Do not, I pray you, accumulate reasons why I
should receive such a dismal, awful superstition. Oh, do not,
Marchdale, as you love me!"
"You know that my attachment to you," said Marchdale, "is
sincere; and yet, Heaven help us!"
His voice was broken by grief as he spoke, and he turned aside
his head to hide the bursting tears that would, despite all his
efforts, show themselves in his eyes.
"Marchdale," added Henry, after a pause of some moments'
duration, "I will sit up to-night with my sister."
"Think you there is a chance it may come again?"
"I cannot—I dare not speculate upon the coming of so dreadful a
visitor, Henry; but I will hold watch with you most willingly."
"You will, Marchdale?"
"My hand upon it. Come what dangers may, I will share them with
"A thousand thanks. Say nothing, then, to George of what we have
been talking about. He is of a highly susceptible nature, and the
very idea of such a thing would kill him."
"I will; be mute. Remove your sister to some other chamber, let
me beg of you, Henry; the one she now inhabits will always be
suggestive of horrible thoughts."
"I will; and that dreadful-looking portrait, with its perfect
likeness to him who came last night."
"Perfect indeed. Do you intend to remove it?"
"I do not. I thought of doing so; but it is actually on the
panel in the wall, and I would not willingly destroy it, and it may
as well remain where it is in that chamber, which I can readily now
believe will become henceforward a deserted one in this house."
"It may well become such."
"Who comes here? I hear a step."
There was a tip at the door at this moment, and George made his
appearance in answer to the summons to come in. He looked pale and
ill; his face betrayed how much he had mentally suffered during
that night, and almost directly he got into the bed-chamber he
I shall, I am sure, be censured by you both for what I am going
to say; but I cannot help saying it, nevertheless, for to keep it
to myself would destroy me."
"Good God, George! what is it?" said Mr. Marchdale.
"Speak it out!" said Henry.
"I have been thinking of what has occurred here, and the result
of that thought has been one of the wildest suppositions that ever
I thought I should have to entertain. Have you never heard of a
Henry sighed deeply, and Marchdale was silent.
"I say a vampyre," added George, with much excitement in his
manner. "It is a fearful, a horrible supposition; but our poor,
dear Flora has been visited by a vampyre, and I shall go completely
He sat down, and covering his face with his hands, he wept
bitterly and abundantly.
"George," said Henry, when he saw that the frantic grief had in
some measure abated—"be calm, George, and endeavour to listen to
"I hear, Henry."
"Well, then, do not suppose that you are the only one in this
house to whom so dreadful a superstition has occurred."
"Not the only one?"
"No; it has occurred to Mr. Marchdale also."
"He mentioned it to me; but we have both agreed to repudiate it
"And yet—and yet—"
"Hush, hush! I know what you would say. You would tell us that
our repudiation of it cannot affect the fact. Of that we are aware;
but yet will we disbelieve that which a belief in would be enough
to drive us mad."
"What do you intend to do?"
"To keep this supposition to ourselves, in the first place; to
guard it most zealously from the ears of Flora."
"Do you think she has ever heard of vampyres?"
"I never heard her mention that in all her reading she had
gathered even a hint of such a fearful superstition. If she has, we
must be guided by circumstances, and do the best we can."
"Pray Heaven she may not!"
"Amen to that prayer, George," said Henry. "Mr. Marchdale and I
intend to keep watch over Flora to-night."
"May not I join you?"
"Your health, dear George, will not permit you to engage in such
matters. Do you seek your natural repose, and leave it to us to do
the best we can in this most fearful and terrible emergency."
"As you please, brother, and as you please, Mr. Marchdale. I
know I am a frail reed, and my belief is that this affair will kill
me quite. The truth is, I am horrified—utterly and frightfully
horrified. Like my poor, dear sister, I do not believe I shall ever
"Do not fancy that, George," said Marchdale. "You very much add
to the uneasiness which must be your poor mother's portion, by
allowing this circumstance to so much affect you. You well know her
affection for you all, and let me therefore, as a very old friend
of hers, entreat you to wear as cheerful an aspect as you can in
"For once in my life," said George, sadly, "I will; to my dear
mother, endeavour to play the hypocrite."
"Do so," said Henry. "The motive will sanction any such deceit
as that, George, be assured."
The day wore on, and Poor Flora remained in a very precarious
situation. It was not until mid-day that Henry made up his mind he
would call in a medical gentleman to her, and then he rode to the
neighbouring market-town, where he knew an extremely intelligent
practitioner resided. This gentleman Henry resolved upon, under a
promise of secrecy, makings confidant of; but, long before he
reached him, he found he might well dispense with the promise of
He had never thought, so engaged had he been with other matters,
that the servants were cognizant of the whole affair, and that from
them he had no expectation of being able to keep the whole story in
all its details. Of course such an opportunity for tale-bearing and
gossiping was not likely to be lost; and while Henry was thinking
over how he had better act in the matter, the news that Flora
Bannerworth had been visited in the night by a vampyre—for the
servants named the visitation such at once—was spreading all over
As he rode along, Henry met a gentleman on horseback who
belonged to the county, and who, reining in his steed, said to
"Good morning, Mr. Bannerworth."
"Good morning," responded Henry, and he would have ridden on,
but the gentleman added,—
"Excuse me for interrupting you, sir; but what is the strange
story that is in everybody's mouth about a vampyre?"
Henry nearly fell off his horse, he was so much astonished, and,
wheeling the animal around, he said,—
"In everybody's mouth!"
"Yes; I have heard it from at least a dozen persons."
"You surprise me."
"It is untrue? Of course I am not so absurd as really to believe
about the vampyre; but is there no foundation at all for it? We
generally find that at the bottom of these common reports there is
a something around which, as a nucleus, the whole has formed."
"My sister is unwell."
"Ah, and that's all. It really is too bad, now."
"We had a visitor last night."
"A thief, I suppose?"
"Yes, yes—I believe a thief. I do believe it was a thief, and
she was terrified."
"Of course, and upon such a thing is grafted a story of a
vampyre, and the marks of his teeth being in her neck, and all the
"Good morning, Mr. Bannerworth."
Henry bade the gentleman good morning, and much vexed at the
publicity which the affair had already obtained, he set spurs to
his horse, determined that he would speak to no one else upon so
uncomfortable a theme. Several attempts were made to stop him, but
he only waved his hand and trotted on, nor did he pause in his
speed till he reached the door of Mr. Chillingworth, the medical
man whom he intended to consult.
Henry knew that at such a time he would be at home, which was
the case, and he was soon closeted with the man of drugs. Henry
begged his patient hearing, which being accorded, he related to him
at full length what had happened, not omitting, to the best of his
remembrance, any one particular. When he had concluded his
narration, the doctor shifted his position several times, and then
"Yes—and enough too."
"More than enough, I should say, my young friend. You astonish
"Can you form any supposition, sir, on the subject?"
"Not just now. What is your own idea?"
"I cannot be said to have one about it. It is too absurd to tell
you that my brother George is impressed with a belief a vampyre has
visited the house."
"I never in all my life heard a more circumstantial narrative in
favour of so hideous a superstition."
"Well, but you cannot believe—"
"That the dead can come to life again, and by such a process
keep up vitality."
"Do you take me for a fool?"
"Then why do you ask me such questions?"
"But the glaring facts of the case."
"I don't care if they were ten times more glaring, I won't
believe it. I would rather believe you were all mad, the whole
family of you—that at the full of the moon you all were a little
"And so would I."
"You go home now, and I will call and see your sister in the
course of two hours. Something may turn up yet, to throw some new
light upon this strange subject."
With this understanding Henry went home, and he took care to
ride as fast as before, in order to avoid questions, so that he got
back to his old ancestral home without going through the
disagreeable ordeal of having to explain to any one what had
disturbed the peace of it.
When Henry reached his home, he found that the evening was
rapidly coming on, and before he could permit himself to think upon
any other subject, he inquired how his terrified sister had passed
the hours during his absence.
He found that but little improvement had taken place in her, and
that she had occasionally slept, but to awaken and speak
incoherently, as if the shock she had received had had some serious
affect upon her nerves. He repaired at once to her room, and,
finding that she was awake, he leaned over her, and spoke tenderly
"Flora," he said, "dear Flora, you are better now?"
"Harry, is that you?"
"Oh, tell me what has happened?"
"Have you not a recollection, Flora?"
"Yes, yes, Henry; but what was it? They none of them will tell
me what it was, Henry."
"Be calm, dear. No doubt some attempt to rob the house."
"Think you so?"
"Yes; the bay window was peculiarly adapted for such a purpose;
but now that you are removed here to this room, you will be able to
rest in peace."
"I shall die of terror, Henry. Even now those eyes are glaring
on me so hidiously. Oh, it is fearful—it is very fearful, Henry. Do
you not pity me, and no one will promise to remain with me at
"Indeed, Flora, you are mistaken, for I intend to sit by your
bedside armed, and so preserve you from all harm."
She clutched his hand eagerly, as she said,—
"You will, Henry. You will, and not think it too much trouble,
"It can be no trouble, Flora."
"Then I shall rest in peace, for I know that the dreadful
vampyre cannot come to me when you are by-"
"The what, Flora!"
"The vampyre, Henry. It was a vampyre."
"Good God, who told you so?"
"No one. I have read of them in the book of travels in Norway,
which Mr. Marchdale lent us all."
"Alas, alas!" groaned Henry. "Discard, I pray you, such a
thought from your mind."
"Can we discard thoughts. What power have we but from that mind,
which is ourselves?"
"Hark, what noise is that? I thought I heard a noise. Henry,
when you go, ring for some one first. Was there not a noise?"
"The accidental shutting of some door, dear."
"Was it that?"
"Then I am relieved. Henry, I sometimes fancy I am in the tomb,
and that some one is feasting on my flesh. They do say, too, that
those who in life have been bled by a vampyre, become themselves
vampyres, and have the same horrible taste for blood as those
before them. Is it not horrible?"
"You only vex yourself by such thoughts, Flora. Mr.
Chillingworth is coming to see you."
"Can he minister to a mind diseased?"
"But yours is not, Flora. Your mind is healthful, and so,
although his power extends not so far, we will thank Heaven, dear
Flora, that you need it not."
She sighed deeply, as she said,—
"Heaven help me! I know not, Henry. The dreadful being held on
by my hair. I must have it all taken off. I tried to get away, but
it dragged me back—a brutal thing it was. Oh, then at that moment,
Henry, I felt as if something strange took place in my brain, and
that I was going mad! I saw those glazed eyes close to, mine—I felt
a hot, pestiferous breath upon my face—help—help!"
"Hush! my Flora, hush! Look at me."
"I am calm again. It fixed its teeth in my throat. Did I faint
"You did, dear; but let me pray you to refer all this to
imagination; or at least the greater part of it."
"But you saw it."
"All saw it."
"We all saw some man—a housebreaker—It must have been some
housebreaker. What more easy, you know, dear Flora, than to assume
some such disguise?"
"Was anything stolen?"
"Not that I know of; but there was an alarm, you know."
Flora shook her head, as she said, in a low voice,—
"That which came here was more than mortal. Oh, Henry, if it had
but killed me, now I had been happy; but I cannot live—I hear it
"Talk of something else, dear Flora," said the much distressed
Henry; "you will make yourself much worse, if you indulge yourself
in these strange fancies."
"Oh, that they were but fancies!"
"They are, believe me."
"There is a strange confusion in my brain, and sleep comes over
me suddenly, when I least expect it. Henry, Henry, what I was, I
shall never, never be again."
"Say not so. All this will pass away like a dream, and leave so
faint a trace upon your memory, that the time will come when you
will wonder it ever made so deep an impression on your mind."
"You utter these words, Henry," she said, "but they do not come
from your heart. Ah, no, no, no! Who comes?"
The door was opened by Mrs. Bannerworth, who said,—
"It is only me, my dear. Henry, here is Dr. Chillingworth in the
Henry turned to Flora, saying,—
"You will see him, dear Flora? You know Mr. Chillingworth
"Yes, Henry, yes, I will see him, or whoever you please."
"Shew Mr. Chillingworth up," said Henry to the servant.
In a few moments the medical man was in the room, and he at once
approached the bedside to speak to Flora, upon whose pale
countenance he looked with evident interest, while at the same time
it seemed mingled with a painful feeling—at least so his own face
"Well, Miss Bannerworth," he said, "what is all this I hear
about an ugly dream you have had?"
"A dream?" said Flora, as she fixed her beautiful eyes on his
"Yes, as I understand."
She shuddered, and was silent.
"Was it not a dream, then?" added Mr. Chillingworth.
She wrung her hands, and in a voice of extreme anguish and
"Would it were a dream—would it were a dream! Oh, if any one
could but convince me it was a dream!"
"Well, will you tell me what it was?"
"Yes, sir, it was a vampyre."
Mr. Chillingworth glanced at Henry, as he said, in reply to
"I suppose that is, after all, another name, Flora, for the
"Do you really, then, persist in believing anything so absurd,
"What can I say to the evidence of my own senses?" she replied.
"I saw it, Henry saw it, George saw, Mr. Marchdale, my mother—all
saw it. We could not all be at the same time the victims of the
"How faintly you speak."
"I am very faint and ill."
"Indeed. What wound is that on your neck?"
A wild expression came over the face of Flora; a spasmodic
action of the muscles, accompanied with a shuddering, as if a
sudden chill had come over the whole mass of blood took place, and
"It is the mark left by the teeth of the vampyre."
The smile was a forced one upon the face of Mr.
"Draw up the blind of the window, Mr. Henry," he said, "and let
me examine this puncture to which your sister attaches so
extraordinary a meaning."
The blind was drawn up, and a strong light was thrown into the
room. For full two minutes Mr. Chillingworth attentively examined
the two small wounds in the neck of Flora. He took a powerful
magnifying glass from his pocket, and looked at them through it,
and after his examination was concluded, he said,—
"They are very trifling wounds, indeed."
"But how inflicted?" said Henry.
"By some insect, I should say, which probably—it being the
season for many insects—has flown in at the window"
"I know the motive," said Flora "which prompts all these
suggestions it is a kind one, and I ought to be the last to quarrel
with it; but what I have seen, nothing can make me believe I saw
not, unless I am, as once or twice I have thought myself, really
"How do you now feel in general health?"
"Far from well; and a strange drowsiness at times creeps over
me. Even now I feel it."
She sunk back on the pillows as she spoke and closed her eyes
with a deep sigh.
Mr. Chillingworth beckoned Henry to come with him from the room,
but the latter had promised that he would remain with Flora; and as
Mrs. Bannerworth had left the chamber because she was unable to
control her feelings, he rang the bell, and requested that his
mother would come.
She did so, and then Henry went down stairs along with the
medical man, whose opinion he was certainly eager to be now made
As soon as they were alone in an old-fashioned room which was
called the oak closet, Henry turned to Mr. Chillingworth, and
"What, now, is your candid opinion, sir? You have seen my
sister, and those strange indubitable evidences of something
"I have; and to tell you candidly the truth, Mr. Henry, I am
"I thought you would be."
"It is not often that a medical man likes to say so much, nor is
it, indeed, often prudent that he should do so, but in this case I
own I am much puzzled. It is contrary to all my notions upon all
"Those wounds, what do you think of them?"
"I know not what to think. I am completely puzzled as regards
"But, but do they not really bear the appearance of being
"They really do."
"And so far, then, they are actually in favour of the dreadful
supposition which poor Flora entertains."
"So far they certainly are. I have no doubt in the world of
their being bites; but we not must jump to a conclusion that the
teeth which inflicted them were human. It is a strange case, and
one which I feel assured must give you all much uneasiness, as,
indeed, it gave me; but, as I said before, I will not let my
judgment give in to the fearful and degrading superstition which
all the circumstances connected with this strange story would seem
"It is a degrading superstition."
"To my mind your sister seems to be labouring under the effect
of some narcotic."
"Yes; unless she really has lost a quantity of blood, which loss
has decreased the heart's action sufficiently to produce the
languor under which she now evidently labours."
"Oh, that I could believe the former supposition, but I am
confident she has taken no narcotic; she could not even do so by
mistake, for there is no drug of the sort in the house. Besides,
she is not heedless by any means. I am quite convinced she has not
"Then I am fairly puzzled, my young friend, and I can only say
that I would freely have given half of what I am worth to see that
figure you saw last night."
"What would you have done?"
"I would not have lost sight of it for the world's wealth."
"You would have felt your blood freeze with horror. The face was
"And yet let it lead me where it liked I would have followed
"I wish you had been here."
"I wish to Heaven I had. If I though there was the least chance
of another visit I would come and wait with patience every night
for a month."
"I cannot say," replied Henry. "I am going to sit up to-night
with my sister, and I believe, our friend Mr. Marchdale will share
my watch with me."
Mr. Chillingworth appeared to be for a few moments lost in
thought, and then suddenly rousing himself, as if he found it
either impossible to come to any rational conclusion upon the
subject, or had arrived at one which he chose to keep to himself,
"Well, well, we must leave the matter at present as it stands.
Time may accomplish something towards its development, but at
present so palpable a mystery I never came across, or a matter in
which human calculation was so completely foiled."
"Nor I—nor I."
"I will send you some medicines, such as I think will be of
service to Flora, and depend upon seeing me by ten o'clock
"You have, of course, heard something," said Henry to the
doctor, as he was pulling on his gloves, "about vampyres."
"I certainly have, and I understand that in some countries,
particularly Norway and Sweden, the superstition is a very common
"And in the Levant."
"Yes. The ghouls of the Mahometans are of the same description
of beings. All that I have heard of the European vampyre has made
it a being which can be killed, but is restored to life again by
the rays of a full moon falling on the body."
"Yes, yes, I have heard as much."
"And that the hideous repast of blood has to be taken very
frequently, and that if the vampyre gets it not he wastes away,
presenting the appearance of one in the last stage of a
consumption, and visibly, so to speak, dying."
"That is what I have understood."
"To-night, do you know, Mr. Bannerworth, is the full of the
"If now you had succeeded in killing—. Pshaw, what am I saying.
I believe I am getting foolish, and that the horrible superstition
is beginning to fasten itself upon me as well as upon all of you.
How strangely the fancy will wage war with the judgment in such a
way as this."
"The full of the moon," repeated Henry, as he glanced towards
the window, "and the night is near at hand."
"Banish these thoughts from your mind," said the doctor, "or
else, my young friend, you will make yourself decidedly ill. Good
evening to you, for it is evening. I shall see you to-morrow
Mr. Chillingworth appeared now to be anxious to go, and Henry no
longer opposed his departure; but when he was gone a sense of great
loneliness came over him.
"To-night," he repeated, "is the full of the moon. How strange
that this dreadful adventure should have taken place just the night
before. 'Tis very strange. Let me see—let me see."
He took from the shelves of a book case the work which Flora had
mentioned, entitled, "Travels in Norway," in which work he found
some account of the popular belief in vampyres.
He opened the work at random, and then some of the leaves turned
over of themselves to a particular place, as the leaves of a book
will frequently do when it has been kept open a length of time at
that part, and the binding stretched there more than anywhere else.
There was a note at the bottom of one of the pages at this part of
the book, and Henry read as follows:—
"With regard to these vampyres, it is believed by those who are
inclined to give credence to so dreadful a superstition, that they
always endeavour to make their feast of blood, for the revival of
their bodily powers, on some evening immediately preceding a full
moon, because if any accident befal them, such as being shot, or
otherwise killed or wounded, they can recover by lying down
somewhere where the full moon's rays will fall upon them."
Henry let the book drop from his hands with a groan and a