Man, it's been a long time since I posted. Sorry about that. I blame my husband for introducing me to Diablo.
Previously in Varney the Vampire: The vampire returns. Flora shoots him and then runs away, but is caught by some unidentified person. Could it be the vampire?
Don't worry; it's just her fiancé, Charles! You know, the one we met in Chapter 6? Bet you didn't see that coming. And by "that," I mean JMR remembering a character's name from three chapters ago.
So, the boys are shocked to return from their little
Such a strange scene as that small room now exhibited had never been equalled in Bannerworth Hall. There was young Mr. Holland, of whom mention has already been made, as the affianced lover of Flora, supporting her fainting form. There was Henry doing equal service to his mother; and on the floor lay the two pistols, and one of the candles which had been upset in the confusion: while the terrified attitudes of George and Mr. Marchdale at the window completed the strange-looking picture.Flora awakes and, upon recognizing Charles:
She burst into a hysterical flood of tears, and clung to him like some terrified child to its only friend in the whole wide world.This exchange, like so many in Varney the Vampire, is bizarre on several levels. First, I must note that JMR manages to give Flora realistic emotional reactions and very human characteristics here (although he does slip into bathos), something which has only shown up at a few points in the story so far. (The one that sticks in my mind is the scene where Henry stays up guarding Flora at the end of Chapter 4.)
"Oh, my dear friends," cried Charles Holland, "do not deceive me; has Flora been ill?"
"We have all been ill," said George.
But then Charles's reaction—to be fair, at this point he has no idea what is going on, and his confusion is one of the few things that JMR almost gets right in the dialogue—Charles's reaction is to ignore Flora's unspoken cry for support and to ask The Boys what's wrong with her, rather than talking to her?
And then George's reaction is to pull attention away from Flora—you know, the one who actually got attacked by a vampire—and make it All About the Boys, like so much of the rest of the story is already?
As with the last post, I find it difficult to pick stuff like this apart too much. Sometimes it's hard to tell what's the bad writing, what's a product of the time and what's just plain sexism.
Anyway, the prize for the stupidest line of dialogue in the chapter goes to Marchdale:
"You -- you hit it with the bullet?" interposed Mr. Marchdale. "Perhaps you killed it?"Yes, Marchdale, she killed it. That's why it got up and left after Henry shot it in the garden. And why it got up and left when you shot it in the light of the full moon. And why it wasn't in its coffin.
IT'S A F***ING VAMPIRE AND YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO ACCEPT THAT BY F***ING CHAPTER 10!
Anyway, Charles is still confused, not in the least because Flora is now raving about how they have to break up because she's been cursed by the vampire's visit, so Henry takes Charles away to explain everything to him. I rather like him so far; like Flora, he seems more human than the other characters. Perhaps he can inject some sanity in the situation.
(By the way: I automatically read/write chapter titles and previous chapter recaps in the voice of Yami from Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series. Maybe that's just me.)
Chapter 11: In Which the Blogger Returns after a Long Hiatus