Previously in Varney the Vampire: The Admiral arrives, and Charles angsts some more.
Clearly even penny dreadful writers get writers' block, because JMR decided to take Chapter 19 (FLORA IN HER CHAMBER. -- HER FEARS. -- THE MANUSCRIPT. -- AN ADVENTURE) off and write a short story, "Hugo de Verole; or, the Double Plot," instead. The chapter begins with Henry visiting Flora, Flora angsting over the arrival of the admiral, and then Flora randomly sitting down to read this story.
I don't really have much to say about this story, although that might just be because I have a headache. It's very dialogue-heavy in the beginning, but later falls into that 19th-century writing style I particularly dislike, where the narration feels more like the summary of a longer, better story than a short story in its own right. For example:
By a strange coincidence, the doctor and the young count became companions, and the former, meditating projects of revenge, educated the young count as well as he was able for several years in the mines, and cherished in the young man a spirit of revenge. They finally escaped together, and proceeded to Leyden, where the doctor had friends, and where he placed his pupil at the university, and thus made him a most efficient means of revenge, because the education of the count gave him a means of appreciating the splendour and rank he had been deprived of. He, therefore, determined to remain at Leyden until he was of age, and then apply to his father's friends, and then to his sovereign, to dispossess and punish them both for their double crimes.But don't take my word for it; you can read it for yourselves, even if you haven't been following along with the plot of Varney the Vampire. If I weren't blogging about Varney, I would have just skipped the chapter entirely and moved ahead to Flora's next exciting encounter with the vampire in Chapter 20.
Chapter 20: In Which Varney Makes a More Threatening Offer than Last Time