Welcome to Part Two of The Vampyre, this year's Halloween audio adventure in Tales for Our Time. It's the tale from which Count Dracula and his many progeny all derive, written as the contribution to a literary parlor game on a meteorologically miserable Swiss vacation by Lord Byron's personal physician, John William Polidori.
Tales for Our Time is a special feature for Mark Steyn Club members. If you're not yet a Steyn Clubber, I hope you'll consider joining us. It's not too grueling a schedule: we just had our pre-election Clubland Q&A - and there's still a couple of hours for you to get in your predictions for how Tuesday night will go and maybe win biggish.
In tonight's episode of The Vampyre, having parted company from the depraved Lord Ruthven, Aubrey travels east - where the young women are nubile but they have dark legends to share:
Under the same roof as himself existed a being, so beautiful and delicate that she might have formed the model for a painter wishing to pourtray on canvass the promised hope of the faithful in Mahomet's paradise, save that her eyes spoke too much mind for any one to think she could belong to those who had no souls. As she danced upon the plain, or tripped along the mountain's side, one would have thought the gazelle a poor type of her beauties...
Ah, but the young lovely has tales to tell - and one in particular:
Often as she told him the tale of the living vampyre, who had passed years amidst his friends, and dearest ties, forced every year, by feeding upon the life of a lovely female to prolong his existence for the ensuing months, his blood would run cold, whilst he attempted to laugh her out of such idle and horrible fantasies; but Ianthe cited to him the names of old men, who had at last detected one living among themselves, after several of their near relatives and children had been found marked with the stamp of the fiend's appetite; and when she found him so incredulous, she begged of him to believe her, for it had been, remarked, that those who had dared to question their existence, always had some proof given, which obliged them, with grief and heartbreaking, to confess it was true. She detailed to him the traditional appearance of these monsters, and his horror was increased, by hearing a pretty accurate description of Lord Ruthven...
Tales for Our Time started as an experimental feature we introduced as a bonus for Mark Steyn Club members, and, as you know, I said if it was a total stinkeroo, we'd eighty-six the thing and speak no more of it. But I'm thrilled to say it's proved very popular, and and we now have quite an archive. If you're a Club member and you incline more to the stinkeroo side of things, give it your best in the Comments Section below.
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One other benefit to membership is our Comment Club privileges. So, whether you like my reading of this spooky Tale for Our Time or find it less scary than a box of dimpled chads in Palm Beach County, feel free to comment away below. And do join us tomorrow, on All Hallows' Eve, for the conclusion of The Vampyre.