The Journal of Mina Murry
Transcript of Mina Murry's Journal
24 July. Whitby —Lucy met me at the station, looking sweeter and lovelier than ever, and we drove up to the house at the Crescent in which they have rooms. This is a lovely place. The little river, the Esk, runs through a deep valley, which broadens out as it comes near the harbor. A great viaduct runs across, with high piers, through which the view seems somehow further away than it really is. The valley is beautifully green, and it is so steep that when you are on the high land on either side you look right across it, unless you are near enough to see down. The houses of the old town —the side away from us —are all red-roofed, and seem piled up one over the other anyhow, like the pictures we see of Nuremberg. Right over the town is the ruin of Whitby Abbey, which was sacked by the Danes, and which is the scene of part of “Marmion,” where the girl was built up in the wall. It is a most noble ruin, of immense size, and full of beautiful and romantic bits; there is a legend that a white lady is seen in one of the windows. Between it and the town there is another church, the parish one, round which is a big graveyard, all full of tombstones. This is to my mind the nicest spot in Whitby, for it lies right over the town, and has a full view of the harbor and all up the bay to where the headland called Kettleness stretches out into the sea. It descends so steeply over the harbor that part of the bank has fallen away, and some of the graves have been destroyed. In one place part of the stonework of the graves stretches out over the sandy pathway far below. There are walks, with seats beside them, through the churchyard; and people go and sit there all day long looking at the beautiful view and enjoying the breeze. I shall come and sit here very often myself and work. Indeed, I am writing now, with my book on my knee, and listening to the talk of three old men who are sitting beside me. They seem to do nothing all day but sit up here and talk.
The harbor lies below me, with, on the far side, one long granite wall stretching out into the sea, with a curve outward at the end of it, in the middle of which is a lighthouse. A heavy seawall runs along outside of it. On the near side, the seawall makes an elbow crooked inversely, and its end too has a lighthouse. Between the two piers there is a narrow opening into the harbor, which then suddenly widens.
It is nice at high water; but when the tide is out it shoals away to nothing, and there is merely the stream of the Esk, running between banks of sand, with rocks here and there. Outside the harbor on this side there rises for about half a mile a great reef, the sharp edge of which runs straight out from behind the south lighthouse. At the end of it is a buoy with a bell, which swings in bad weather, and sends in a mournful sound on the wind. They have a legend here that when a ship is lost bells are heard out at sea. I must ask the old man about this; he is coming this way....
He is a funny old man. He must be awfully old, for his face is all gnarled and twisted like the bark of a tree. He tells me that he is nearly a hundred, and that he was a sailor in the Greenland fishing fleet when Waterloo was fought. He is, I am afraid, a very skeptical person, for when I asked him about the bells at sea and the White Lady at the abbey he said very brusquely: —
“I wouldn’t fash masel’ about them, miss. Them things be all wore out. Mind, I don’t say that they never were, but I do say that they weren’t in my time. They be all very well for comers and trippers, an’ the like, but not for a nice young lady like you. Them feet-folks from York and Leeds that be always eatin’ cured herrin’s an’ drinkin’ tea an’ lookin’ out to buy cheap jet would creed aught. I wonder masel’ who’d be bothered tellin’ lies to them —even the newspapers, which is full of fool-talk.” I thought he would be a good person to learn interesting things from, so I asked him if he would mind telling me something about the whale-fishing in the old days. He was just settling himself to begin when the clock struck six, whereupon he laboured to get up, and said: —
“I must gang ageeanwards home now, miss. My grand-daughter doesn’t like to be kept waitin’ when the tea is ready, for it takes me time to crammle aboon the grees, for there be a many of ’em; an’, miss, I lack belly-timber sairly by the clock.”
He hobbled away, and I could see him hurrying, as well as he could, down the steps. The steps are a great feature on the place. They lead from the town up to the church, there are hundreds of them —I do not know how many —and they wind up in a delicate curve; the slope is so gentle that a horse could easily walk up and down them. I think they must originally have had something to do with the abbey. I shall go home too. Lucy went out visiting with her mother, and as they were only duty calls, I did not go. They will be home by this.
26 July. —I am anxious, and it soothes me to express myself here; it is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time. And there is also something about the shorthand symbols that makes it different from writing. I am unhappy about Lucy and about Jonathan. I had not heard from Jonathan for some time, and was very concerned; but yesterday dear Mr. Hawkins, who is always so kind, sent me a letter from him. I had written asking him if he had heard, and he said the enclosed had just been received. It is only a line dated from Castle Dracula and says that he is just starting for home. That is not like Jonathan; I do not understand it, and it makes me uneasy. Then, too, Lucy, although she is so well, has lately taken to her old habit of walking in her sleep. Her mother has spoken to me about it, and we have decided that I am to lock the door of our room every night. Mrs. Westenra has got an idea that sleepwalkers always go out on roofs of houses and along the edges of cliffs and then get suddenly wakened and fall over with a despairing cry that echoes all over the place. Poor dear, she is naturally anxious about Lucy, and she tells me that her husband, Lucy’s father, had the same habit; that he would get up in the night and dress himself and go out, if he were not stopped. Lucy is to be married in the autumn, and she is already planning out her dresses and how her house is to be arranged. I sympathize with her, for I do the same, only Jonathan and I will start in life in a very simple way and shall have to try to make both ends meet. Mr. Holmwood —he is the Hon. Arthur Holmwood, only son of Lord Godalming —is coming up here very shortly —as soon as he can leave town, for his father is not very well, and I think dear Lucy is counting the moments till he comes. She wants to take him up to the seat on the churchyard cliff and show him the beauty of Whitby. I daresay it is the waiting which disturbs her; she will be all right when he arrives.
27 July. —No news from Jonathan. I am getting quite uneasy about him, though why I should I do not know; but I do wish that he would write, if it were only a single line. Lucy walks more than ever, and each night I am awakened by her moving about the room. Fortunately, the weather is so hot that she cannot get cold; but still the anxiety and the perpetually being wakened is beginning to tell on me, and I am getting nervous and wakeful myself. Thank God, Lucy’s health keeps up. Mr. Holmwood has been suddenly called to Ring to see his father, who has been taken seriously ill. Lucy frets at the postponement of seeing him, but it does not touch her looks; she is a trifle stouter, and her cheeks are a lovely rose-pink. She has lost that anemic look which she had. I pray it will all last.
1 August. —I came up here an hour ago with Lucy, and we had a most interesting talk with my old friend and the two others who always come and join him. He is evidently the Sir Oracle of them, and I should think must have been in his time a most dictatorial person. He will not admit anything, and downfaces everybody. If he can’t out-argue them he bullies them, and then takes their silence for agreement with his views. Lucy was looking sweetly pretty in her white lawn frock; she has got a beautiful color since she has been here. I noticed that the old men did not lose any time in coming up and sitting near her when we sat down. She is so sweet with old people; I think they all fell in love with her on the spot. Even my old man succumbed and did not contradict her but gave me double share instead. I got him on the subject of the legends, and he went off at once into a sort of sermon. I must try to remember it and put it down: —
“It is all fool-talk, lock, stock, and barrel; that’s what it be, an’ nowt else. These bans an’ wafts an’ boh-ghosts an’ barguests an’ bogles an’ all anent them is only fit to set bairns an’ dizzy women a-belderin’. They be nowt but air-blebs. They, an’ all grims an’ signs an’ warnin’s, be all invented by parsons an’ illsome beuk-bodies an’ railway touters to skeer an’ scunner hafflin’s, an’ to get folks to do somethin’ that they don’t other incline to. It makes me ireful to think o’ them. Why, it’s them that, not content with printin’ lies on paper an’ preachin’ them out of pulpits, does want to be cuttin’ them on the tombstones. Look here all around you in what airt ye will; all them steans, holdin’ up their heads as well as they can out of their pride, is acant —simply tumblin’ down with the weight o’ the lies wrote on them, ‘Here lies the body’ or ‘Sacred to the memory’ wrote on all of them, an’ yet in nigh half of them there bean’t no bodies at all; an’ the memories of them bean’t cared a pinch of snuff about, much less sacred. Lies all of them, nothin’ but lies of one kind or another! My gog, but it’ll be a quare scowderment at the Day of Judgment when they come tumblin’ up in their death-sarks, all jouped together an’ tryin’ to drag their tombsteans with them to prove how good they were; some of them trimmlin’ and ditherin’, with their hands that dozzened an’ slippy from lyin’ in the sea that they can’t even keep their grup o’ them.”
I could see from the old fellow’s self-satisfied air and the way in which he looked round for the approval of his cronies that he was “showing off,” so I put in a word to keep him going: —
“Oh, Mr. Swales, you can’t be serious. Surely these tombstones are not all wrong?”
“Yabblins! There may be a poorish few not wrong, savin’ where they make out the people too good; for there be folk that do think a balm-bowl be like the sea, if only it be their own. The whole thing be only lies. Now look you here; you come here a stranger, an’ you see this kirk-garth.” I nodded, for I thought it better to assent, though I did not quite understand his dialect. I knew it had something to do with the church. He went on: “And you consate that all these steans be aboon folk that be happed here, snod an’ snog?” I assented again. “Then that be just where the lie comes in. Why, there be scores of these lay-beds that be toom as old Dun’s ’bacca-box on Friday night.” He nudged one of his companions, and they all laughed. “And my gog! how could they be otherwise? Look at that one, the aftest abaft the bier-bank: read it!” I went over and read: —
“Edward Spencelagh, master mariner, murdered by pirates off the coast of Andres, April 1854, at. 30.” When I came back Mr. Swales went on: —
“Who brought him home, I wonder, to hap him here? Murdered off the coast of Andres! an’ you consated his body lay under! Why, I could name ye a dozen whose bones lie in the Greenland seas above” —he pointed northwards — “or where the currents may have drifted them. There be the steans around ye. Ye can, with your young eyes, read the small print of the lies from here. This Braithwaite Lowrey —I knew his father, lost in the Lively off Greenland in ’20; or Andrew Woodhouse, drowned in the same seas in 1777; or John Paxton, drowned off Cape Farewell a year later; or old John Rawlings, whose grandfather sailed with me, drowned in the Gulf of Finland in ’50. Do ye think that all these men will have to make a rush to Whitby when the trumpet sounds? I have me antherums aboot it! I tell ye that when they got here, they’d be jommlin’ an’ jostlin’ one another that way that it ’ud be like a fight up on the ice in the old days, when we’d be at one another from daylight to dark, an’ tryin’ to tie up our cuts by the light of the aurora borealis.” This was evidently local pleasantry, for the old man cackled over it, and his cronies joined in with gusto.
“But” I said, “surely you are not quite correct, for you start on the assumption that all the poor people, or their spirits, will have to take their tombstones with them on the Day of Judgment. Do you think that will be really necessary?”
“Well, what else be they tombstones for? Answer me that, miss!”
“To please their relatives, I suppose.”
“To please their relatives, you suppose!” This he said with intense scorn. “How will it pleasure their relatives to know that lies are wrote over them, and that everybody in the place knows that they be lies?” He pointed to a stone at our feet which had been laid down as a slab, on which the seat was rested, close to the edge of the cliff. “Read the lies on that thruff-stean,” he said. The letters were upside down to me from where I sat, but Lucy was more opposite to them, so she leant over and read: —
“Sacred to the memory of George Canon, who died, in the hope of a glorious resurrection, on July 29, 1873, falling from the rocks at Kettleness. This tomb was erected by his sorrowing mother to her dearly beloved son. ‘He was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.’ Really, Mr. Swales, I don’t see anything very funny in that!” She spoke her comment very gravely and somewhat severely.
“Ye don’t see aught funny! Ha! ha! But that’s because ye don’t gawm the sorrowin’ mother was a hell-cat that hated him because he was acrewk’d —a regular lamiter he was —an’ he hated her so that he committed suicide in order that she mightn’t get an insurance she put on his life. He blew nigh the top of his head off with an old musket that they had for scarin’ the crows with. ’Twarn’t for crows then, for it brought the clegs and the dowps to him. That’s the way he fell off the rocks. And, as to hopes of a glorious resurrection, I’ve often heard him say masel’ that he hoped he’d go to hell, for his mother was so pious that she’d be sure to go to heaven, an’ he didn’t want to addle where she was. Now isn’t that stean at any rate” —he hammered it with his stick as he spoke — “a pack of lies? and won’t it make Gabriel keckle when Geordie comes pantin’ up the grees with the tombstean balanced on his hump, and asks it to be took as evidence!”
I did not know what to say, but Lucy turned the conversation as she said, rising up: —
“Oh, why did you tell us of this? It is my favorite seat, and I cannot leave it; and now I find I must go on sitting over the grave of a suicide.”
“That won’t harm ye, my pretty; an’ it may make poor Geordie gladsome to have so trim a lass sittin’ on his lap. That won’t hurt ye. Why, I’ve sat here off an’ on for nigh twenty years past, an’ it hasn’t done me no harm. Don’t ye fash about them as lies under ye, or that doesn’ lie there either! It’ll be time for ye to be getting scart when ye see the tombsteans all run away with, and the place as bare as a stubble-field. There’s the clock, an’ I must gang. My service to ye, ladies!” And off he hobbled.
Lucy and I sat awhile, and it was all so beautiful before us that we took hands as we sat; and she told me all over again about Arthur and their coming marriage. That made me just a little heart-sick, for I haven’t heard from Jonathan for a whole month.
The same day. I came up here alone, for I am very sad. There was no letter for me. I hope there cannot be anything the matter with Jonathan. The clock has just struck nine. I see the lights scattered all over the town, sometimes in rows where the streets are, and sometimes singly; they run right up the Esk and die away in the curve of the valley. To my left the view is cut off by a black line of roof of the old house next the abbey. The sheep and lambs are bleating in the fields away behind me, and there is a clatter of a donkey’s hoofs up the paved road below. The band on the pier is playing a harsh waltz in good time, and further along the quay there is a Salvation Army meeting in a back street. Neither of the bands hears the other, but up here I hear and see them both. I wonder where Jonathan is and if he is thinking of me! I wish he were here.
3 August. —Another week gone, and no news from Jonathan, not even to Mr. Hawkins, from whom I have heard. Oh, I do hope he is not ill. He surely would have written. I look at that last letter of his, but somehow it does not satisfy me. It does not read like him, and yet it is his writing. There is no mistake of that. Lucy has not walked much in her sleep the last week, but there is an odd concentration about her which I do not understand; even in her sleep she seems to be watching me. She tries the door, and finding it locked, goes about the room searching for the key.
6 August. —Another three days, and no news. This suspense is getting dreadful. If I only knew where to write to or where to go to, I should feel easier; but no one has heard a word of Jonathan since that last letter. I must only pray to God for patience. Lucy is more excitable than ever but is otherwise well. Last night was very threatening, and the fishermen say that we are in for a storm. I must try to watch it and learn the weather signs. To-day is a grey day, and the sun as I write is hidden in thick clouds, high over Kettleness. Everything is grey —except the green grass, which seems like emerald amongst it; grey earthy rock; grey clouds, tinged with the sunburst at the far edge, hang over the grey sea, into which the sand-points stretch like grey fingers. The sea is tumbling in over the shallows and the sandy flats with a roar, muffled in the sea-mists drifting inland. The horizon is lost in a grey mist. All is vastness; the clouds are piled up like giant rocks, and there is a “brool” over the sea that sounds like some presage of doom. Dark figures are on the beach here and there, sometimes half shrouded in the mist, and seem “men like trees walking.” The fishing-boats are racing for home and rise and dip in the ground swell as they sweep into the harbor, bending to the scuppers. Here comes old Mr. Swales. He is making straight for me, and I can see, by the way he lifts his hat, that he wants to talk....
I have been quite touched by the change in the poor old man. When he sat down beside me, he said in a very gentle way: —
“I want to say something to you, miss.” I could see he was not at ease, so I took his poor old, wrinkled hand in mine and asked him to speak fully; so he said, leaving his hand in mine: —
“I’m afraid, my deary, that I must have shocked you by all the wicked things I’ve been sayin’ about the dead, and such like, for weeks past; but I didn’t mean them, and I want ye to remember that when I’m gone. We aud folks that be daffled, and with one foot abaft the krok-hooal, don’t altogether like to think of it, and we don’t want to feel scart of it; an’ that’s why I’ve took to makin’ light of it, so that I’d cheer up my own heart a bit. But Lord love ye, miss, I ain’t afraid of dyin’, not a bit; only I don’t want to die if I can help it. My time must be nigh at hand now, for I be aud, and a hundred years is too much for any man to expect; and I’m so nigh it that the Aud Man is already whettin’ his scythe. Ye see, I can’t get out o’ the habit of caffin’ about it all at once; the chafts will wag as they be used to. Someday soon the Angel of Death will sound his trumpet for me. But don’t ye dooal an’ greet, my deary!” —for he saw that I was crying — “if he should come this very night I’d not refuse to answer his call. For life be, after all, only a waitin’ for somethin’ else than what we’re doin’; and death be all that we can rightly depend on. But I’m content, for its comin’ to me, my deary, and comin’ quick. It may be comin’ while we be lookin’ and wonderin’. Maybe it’s in that wind out over the sea that’s bringin’ with its loss and wreck, and sore distress, and sad hearts. Look! look!” he cried suddenly. “There’s something in that wind and in the hoast beyont that sounds, and looks, and tastes, and smells like death. It’s in the air; I feel it comin’. Lord, make me answer cheerful when my call comes!” He held up his arms devoutly and raised his hat. His mouth moved as though he were praying. After a few minutes’ silence, he got up, shook hands with me, and blessed me, and said good-bye, and hobbled off. It all touched me and upset me very much.
I was glad when the coastguard came along, with his spyglass under his arm. He stopped to talk with me, as he always does, but all the time kept looking at a strange ship.
“I can’t make her out,” he said; “she’s a Russian, by the look of her; but she’s knocking about in the queerest way. She does not know her mind a bit; she seems to see the storm coming but can’t decide whether to run up north in the open, or to put in here. Look there again! She is steered mighty strangely, for she does not mind the hand on the wheel, changes about with every puff of wind. We’ll hear more of her before this time to-morrow.”
8 August. —Lucy was very restless all night, and I, too, could not sleep. The storm was fearful, and as it boomed loudly among the chimneypots, it made me shudder. When a sharp puff came it seemed to be like a distant gun. Strangely enough, Lucy did not wake; but she got up twice and dressed herself. Fortunately, each time I awoke in time and managed to undress her without waking her and got her back to bed. It is a very strange thing, this sleepwalking, for as soon as her will is thwarted in any physical way, her intention, if there be any, disappears, and she yields herself almost exactly to the routine of her life.
Early in the morning we both got up and went down to the harbor to see if anything had happened in the night. There were very few people about, and though the sun was bright, and the air clear and fresh, the big, grim-looking waves, that seemed dark themselves because the foam that topped them was like snow, forced themselves in through the narrow mouth of the harbor —like a bullying man going through a crowd. Somehow, I felt glad that Jonathan was not on the sea last night, but on land. But, oh, is he on land or sea? Where is he, and how? I am getting fearfully anxious about him. If I only knew what to do and could do anything!
10 August. —The funeral of the poor sea-captain to-day was most touching. Every boat in the harbor seemed to be there, and the coffin was carried by captains all the way from Tate Hill Pier up to the churchyard. Lucy came with me, and we went early to our old seat, whilst the cortège of boats went up the river to the Viaduct and came down again. We had a lovely view and saw the procession nearly all the way. The poor fellow was laid to rest quite near our seat so that we stood on it when the time came and saw everything. Poor Lucy seemed much upset. She was restless and uneasy all the time, and I cannot but think that her dreaming at night is telling on her. She is quite odd in one thing: she will not admit to me that there is any cause for restlessness; or if there be, she does not understand it herself. There is an additional cause in that poor old Mr. Swales was found dead this morning on our seat, his neck being broken. He had evidently, as the doctor said, fallen back in the seat in some sort of fright, for there was a look of fear and horror on his face that the men said made them shudder. Poor dear old man! Perhaps he had seen Death with his dying eyes! Lucy is so sweet and sensitive that she feels influences more acutely than other people do. Just now she was quite upset by a little thing which I did not much heed, though I am myself very fond of animals. One of the men who came up here often to look for the boats was followed by his dog. The dog is always with him. They are both quiet persons, and I never saw the man angry, nor heard the dog bark. During the service the dog would not come to its master, who was on the seat with us, but kept a few yards off, barking and howling. Its master spoke to it gently, and then harshly, and then angrily; but it would neither come nor cease to make a noise. It was in a sort of fury, with its eyes savage, and all its hairs bristling out like a cat’s tail when puss is on the warpath. Finally, the man, too, got angry, and jumped down and kicked the dog, and then took it by the scruff of the neck and half dragged and half threw it on the tombstone on which the seat is fixed. The moment it touched the stone the poor thing became quiet and fell all into a tremble. It did not try to get away, but crouched down, quivering and cowering, and was in such a pitiable state of terror that I tried, though without effect, to comfort it. Lucy was full of pity, too, but she did not attempt to touch the dog, but looked at it in an agonized sort of way. I greatly fear that she is of too super-sensitive a nature to go through the world without trouble. She will be dreaming of this to-night, I am sure. The whole agglomeration of things —the ship steered into port by a dead man; his attitude, tied to the wheel with a crucifix and beads; the touching funeral; the dog, now furious and now in terror —will all afford material for her dreams.
I think it will be best for her to go to bed tired out physically, so I shall take her for a long walk by the cliffs to Robin Hood’s Bay and back. She ought not to have much inclination for sleepwalking then.
Same day, 11 o’clock p. m. —Oh, but I am tired! If it were not that I had made my diary a duty I should not open it to-night. We had a lovely walk. Lucy, after a while, was in gay spirits, owing, I think, to some dear cows who came nosing towards us in a field close to the lighthouse, and frightened the wits out of us. I believe we forgot everything except, of course, personal fear, and it seemed to wipe the slate clean and give us a fresh start. We had a capital “severe tea” at Robin Hood’s Bay in a sweet little old-fashioned inn, with a bow-window right over the seaweed-covered rocks of the strand. I believe we should have shocked the “New Woman” with our appetites. Men are more tolerant, bless them! Then we walked home with some, or rather many, stoppages to rest, and with our hearts full of a constant dread of wild bulls. Lucy was really tired, and we intended to creep off to bed as soon as we could. The young curate came in, however, and Mrs. Westenra asked him to stay for supper. Lucy and I had both a fight for it with the dusty miller; I know it was a hard fight on my part, and I am quite heroic. I think that someday the bishops must get together and see about breeding up a new class of curates, who don’t take supper, no matter how they may be pressed to, and who will know when girls are tired. Lucy is asleep and breathing softly. She has more color in her cheeks than usual, and looks, oh, so sweet. If Mr. Holmwood fell in love with her seeing her only in the drawing-room, I wonder what he would say if he saw her now. Some of the “New Women” writers will someday start an idea that men and women should be allowed to see each other asleep before proposing or accepting. But I suppose the New Woman will not condescend in future to accept; she will do the proposing herself. And a nice job she will make of it, too! There’s some consolation in that. I am so happy to-night because dear Lucy seems better. I really believe she has turned the corner, and that we are over her troubles with dreaming. I should be quite happy if I only knew if Jonathan.... God bless and keep him.
11 August, 3 a. m. —Diary again. No sleep now, so I may as well write. I am too agitated to sleep. We have had such an adventure, such an agonizing experience. I fell asleep as soon as I had closed my diary.... Suddenly I became broad awake, and sat up, with a horrible sense of fear upon me, and of some feeling of emptiness around me. The room was dark, so I could not see Lucy’s bed; I stole across and felt for her. The bed was empty. I lit a match and found that she was not in the room. The door was shut, but not locked, as I had left it. I feared to wake her mother, who has been more than usually ill lately, so threw on some clothes and got ready to look for her. As I was leaving the room it struck me that the clothes, she wore might give me some clue to her dreaming intention. Dressing-gown would mean house, dress, outside. Dressing-gown and dress were both in their places. “Thank God,” I said to myself, “she cannot be far, as she is only in her nightdress.” I ran downstairs and looked in the sitting-room. Not there! Then I looked in all the other open rooms of the house, with an ever-growing fear chilling my heart. Finally, I came to the hall door and found it open. It was not wide open, but the catch of the lock had not caught. The people of the house are careful to lock the door every night, so I feared that Lucy must have gone out as she was. There was no time to think of what might happen; a vague, overmastering fear obscured all details. I took a big, heavy shawl and ran out. The clock was striking one as I was in the Crescent, and there was not a soul in sight. I ran along the North Terrace but could see no sign of the white figure which I expected. At the edge of the West Cliff above the pier I looked across the harbor to the East Cliff, in the hope or fear —I do not know which —of seeing Lucy in our favorite seat. There was a bright full moon, with heavy black, driving clouds, which threw the whole scene into a fleeting diorama of light and shade as they sailed across. For a moment or two I could see nothing, as the shadow of a cloud obscured St. Mary’s Church and all around it. Then as the cloud passed, I could see the ruins of the abbey coming into view; and as the edge of a narrow band of light as sharp as a sword-cut moved along, the church and the churchyard became gradually visible. Whatever my expectation was, it was not disappointed, for there, on our favorite seat, the silver light of the moon struck a half-reclining figure, snowy white. The coming of the cloud was too quick for me to see much, for shadow shut down on light almost immediately; but it seemed to me as though something dark stood behind the seat where the white figure shone and bent over it. What it was, whether man or beast, I could not tell; I did not wait to catch another glance but flew down the steep steps to the pier and along by the fish-market to the bridge, which was the only way to reach the East Cliff. The town seemed as dead, for not a soul did I see; I rejoiced that it was so, for I wanted no witness of poor Lucy’s condition. The time and distance seemed endless, and my knees trembled, and my breath came labored as I toiled up the endless steps to the abbey. I must have gone fast, and yet it seemed to me as if my feet were weighted with lead, and as though every joint in my body were rusty. When I got almost to the top, I could see the seat and the white figure, for I was now close enough to distinguish it even through the spells of shadow. There was undoubtedly something, long and black, bending over the half-reclining white figure. I called in fright, “Lucy! Lucy!” and something raised a head, and from where I was, I could see a white face and red, gleaming eyes. Lucy did not answer, and I ran on to the entrance of the churchyard. As I entered, the church was between me and the seat, and for a minute or so I lost sight of her. When I came in view again the cloud had passed, and the moonlight struck so brilliantly that I could see Lucy half reclining with her head lying over the back of the seat. She was quite alone, and there was not a sign of any living thing about.
When I bent over her I could see that she was still asleep. Her lips were parted, and she was breathing —not softly as usual with her, but in long, heavy gasps, as though striving to get her lungs full at every breath. As I came close, she put up her hand in her sleep and pulled the collar of her nightdress close around her throat. Whilst she did so there came a little shudder through her, as though she felt the cold. I flung the warm shawl over her, and drew the edges tight round her neck, for I dreaded lest she should get some deadly chill from the night air, unclad as she was. I feared to wake her all at once, so, in order to have my hands free that I might help her, I fastened the shawl at her throat with a big safety-pin; but I must have been clumsy in my anxiety and pinched or pricked her with it, for by-and-by, when her breathing became quieter, she put her hand to her throat again and moaned. When I had her carefully wrapped up, I put my shoes on her feet and then began very gently to wake her. At first, she did not respond; but gradually she became more and more uneasy in her sleep, moaning and sighing occasionally. At last, as time was passing fast, and, for many other reasons, I wished to get her home at once, I shook her more forcibly, till finally she opened her eyes and awoke. She did not seem surprised to see me, as, of course, she did not realize all at once where she was. Lucy always wakes prettily, and even at such a time, when her body must have been chilled with cold, and her mind somewhat appalled at waking unclad in a churchyard at night, she did not lose her grace. She trembled a little, and clung to me; when I told her to come at once with me home, she rose without a word, with the obedience of a child. As we passed along, the gravel hurt my feet, and Lucy noticed me wince. She stopped and wanted to insist upon my taking my shoes; but I would not. However, when we got to the pathway outside the churchyard, where there was a puddle of water, remaining from the storm, I daubed my feet with mud, using each foot in turn on the other, so that as we went home, no one, in case we should meet anyone, should notice my bare feet.
Fortune favored us, and we got home without meeting a soul. Once we saw a man, who seemed not quite sober, passing along a street in front of us; but we hid in a door till he had disappeared up an opening such as there are here, steep little closes, or “wynds,” as they call them in Scotland. My heart beat so loud all the time that sometimes I thought I should faint. I was filled with anxiety about Lucy, not only for her health, lest she should suffer from the exposure, but for her reputation in case the story should get wind. When we got in, and had washed our feet, and had said a prayer of thankfulness together, I tucked her into bed. Before falling asleep she asked —even implored —me not to say a word to anyone, even her mother, about her sleep-walking adventure. I hesitated at first to promise; but on thinking of the state of her mother’s health, and how the knowledge of such a thing would fret her, and thinking, too, of how such a story might become distorted —nay, infallibly would —in case it should leak out, I thought it wiser to do so. I hope I did right. I have locked the door, and the key is tied to my wrist, so perhaps I shall not be again disturbed. Lucy is sleeping soundly; the reflex of the dawn is high and far over the sea....
Same day, noon. —All goes well. Lucy slept till I woke her and seemed not to have even changed her side. The adventure of the night does not seem to have harmed her; on the contrary, it has benefited her, for she looks better this morning than she has done for weeks. I was sorry to notice that my clumsiness with the safety-pin hurt her. Indeed, it might have been serious, for the skin of her throat was pierced. I must have pinched up a piece of loose skin and have transfixed it, for there are two little red points like pinpricks, and on the band of her nightdress was a drop of blood. When I apologized and was concerned about it, she laughed and petted me, and said she did not even feel it. Fortunately, it cannot leave a scar, as it is so tiny.
Same day, night. —We passed a happy day. The air was clear, and the sun bright, and there was a cool breeze. We took our lunch to Mulgrave Woods, Mrs. Westenra driving by the road and Lucy and I walking by the cliff-path and joining her at the gate. I felt a little sad myself, for I could not but feel how absolutely happy it would have been had Jonathan been with me. But there! I must only be patient. In the evening we strolled in the Casino Terrace, and heard some good music by Spohr and Mackenzie, and went to bed early. Lucy seems more restful than she has been for some time and fell asleep at once. I shall lock the door and secure the key the same as before, though I do not expect any trouble to-night.
12 August. —My expectations were wrong, for twice during the night I was wakened by Lucy trying to get out. She seemed, even in her sleep, to be a little impatient at finding the door shut and went back to bed under a sort of protest. I woke with the dawn, and heard the birds chirping outside of the window. Lucy woke, too, and I was glad to see, was even better than on the previous morning. All her old gaiety of manner seemed to have come back, and she came and snuggled in beside me and told me all about Arthur. I told her how anxious I was about Jonathan, and then she tried to comfort me. Well, she succeeded somewhat, for, though sympathy can’t alter facts, it can help to make them more bearable.
13 August. —Another quiet day, and to bed with the key on my wrist as before. Again, I awoke in the night, and found Lucy sitting up in bed, still asleep, pointing to the window. I got up quietly, and pulling aside the blind, looked out. It was brilliant moonlight, and the soft effect of the light over the sea and sky —merged together in one great, silent mystery —was beautiful beyond words. Between me and the moonlight flitted a great bat, coming and going in great whirling circles. Once or twice, it came quite close, but was, I suppose, frightened at seeing me, and flitted away across the harbor towards the abbey. When I came back from the window Lucy had lain down again and was sleeping peacefully. She did not stir again all night.
14 August. —On the East Cliff, reading and writing all day. Lucy seems to have become as much in love with the spot as I am, and it is hard to get her away from it when it is time to come home for lunch or tea or dinner. This afternoon she made a funny remark. We were coming home for dinner and had come to the top of the steps up from the West Pier and stopped to look at the view, as we generally do. The setting sun, low down in the sky, was just dropping behind Kettleness; the red light was thrown over on the East Cliff and the old abbey and seemed to bathe everything in a beautiful rosy glow. We were silent for a while, and suddenly Lucy murmured as if to herself: —
“His red eyes again! They are just the same.” It was such an odd expression, coming apropos of nothing, that it quite startled me. I slewed round a little, so as to see Lucy well without seeming to stare at her and saw that she was in a half-dreamy state, with an odd look on her face that I could not quite make out; so, I said nothing, but followed her eyes. She appeared to be looking over at our own seat, whereon was a dark figure seated alone. I was a little startled myself, for it seemed for an instant as if the stranger had great eyes like burning flames; but a second look dispelled the illusion. The red sunlight was shining on the windows of St. Mary’s Church behind our seat, and as the sun dipped there was just sufficient change in the refraction and reflection to make it appear as if the light moved. I called Lucy’s attention to the peculiar effect, and she became herself with a start, but she looked sad all the same; it may have been that she was thinking of that terrible night up there. We never refer to it; so, I said nothing, and we went home to dinner. Lucy had a headache and went early to bed. I saw her asleep and went out for a little stroll myself; I walked along the cliffs to the westward, and was full of sweet sadness, for I was thinking of Jonathan. When coming home —it was then bright moonlight, so bright that, though the front of our part of the Crescent was in shadow, everything could be well seen —I threw a glance up at our window and saw Lucy’s head leaning out. I thought that perhaps she was looking out for me, so I opened my handkerchief and waved it. She did not notice or make any movement whatever. Just then, the moonlight crept round an angle of the building, and the light fell on the window. There distinctly was Lucy with her head lying up against the side of the windowsill and her eyes shut. She was fast asleep, and by her, seated on the windowsill, was something that looked like a good-sized bird. I was afraid she might get a chill, so I ran upstairs, but as I came into the room she was moving back to her bed, fast asleep, and breathing heavily; she was holding her hand to her throat, as though to protect it from cold.
I did not wake her but tucked her up warmly; I have taken care that the door is locked, and the window securely fastened.
She looks so sweet as she sleeps; but she is paler than is her wont, and there is a drawn, haggard look under her eyes which I do not like. I fear she is fretting about something. I wish I could find out what it is.
15 August. —Rose later than usual. Lucy was languid and tired, and slept on after we had been called. We had a happy surprise at breakfast. Arthur’s father is better and wants the marriage to come off soon. Lucy is full of quiet joy, and her mother is glad and sorry at once. Later on, in the day she told me the cause. She is grieved to lose Lucy as her very own, but she is rejoiced that she is soon to have someone to protect her. Poor dear, sweet lady! She confided to me that she has got her death-warrant. She has not told Lucy and made me promise secrecy; her doctor told her that within a few months, at most, she must die, for her heart is weakening. At any time, even now, a sudden shock would be almost sure to kill her. Ah, we were wise to keep from her the affair of the dreadful night of Lucy’s sleepwalking.
17 August. —No diary for two whole days. I have not had the heart to write. Some sort of shadowy pall seems to be coming over our happiness. No news from Jonathan, and Lucy seems to be growing weaker, whilst her mother’s hours are numbering to a close. I do not understand Lucy’s fading away as she is doing. She eats well and sleeps well and enjoys the fresh air; but all the time the roses in her cheeks are fading, and she gets weaker and more languid day by day; at night I hear her gasping as if for air. I keep the key to our door always fastened to my wrist at night, but she gets up and walks about the room, and sits at the open window. Last night I found her leaning out when I woke up, and when I tried to wake her I could not; she was in a faint. When I managed to restore her, she was as weak as water, and cried silently between long, painful struggles for breath. When I asked her how she came to be at the window she shook her head and turned away. I trust her feeling ill may not be from that unlucky prick of the safety-pin. I looked at her throat just now as she lay asleep, and the tiny wounds seem not to have healed. They are still open, and, if anything, larger than before, and the edges of them are faintly white. They are like little white dots with red centers. Unless they heal within a day or two, I shall insist on the doctor seeing about them.
18 August. —I am happy to-day and write sitting on the seat in the churchyard. Lucy is ever so much better. Last night she slept well all night and did not disturb me once. The roses seem coming back already to her cheeks, though she is still sadly pale and wan looking. If she were in any way anemic, I could understand it, but she is not. She is in gay spirits and full of life and cheerfulness. All the morbid reticence seems to have passed from her, and she has just reminded me, as if I needed any reminding, of that night, and that it was here, on this very seat, I found her asleep. As she told me she tapped playfully with the heel of her boot on the stone slab and said: —
“My poor little feet didn’t make much noise then! I daresay poor old Mr. Swales would have told me that it was because I didn’t want to wake up Geordie.” As she was in such a communicative humor, I asked her if she had dreamed at all that night. Before she answered that sweet, puckered look came into her forehead, which Arthur —I call him Arthur from her habit —says he loves; and, indeed, I don’t wonder that he does. Then she went on in a half-dreaming kind of way, as if trying to recall it to herself: —
“I didn’t quite dream; but it all seemed to be real. I only wanted to be here in this spot —I don’t know why, for I was afraid of something —I don’t know what. I remember, though I suppose I was asleep, passing through the streets and over the bridge. A fish leaped as I went by, and I leaned over to look at it, and I heard a lot of dogs howling —the whole town seemed as if it must be full of dogs all howling at once —as I went up the steps. Then I had a vague memory of something long and dark with red eyes, just as we saw in the sunset, and something very sweet and very bitter all around me at once; and then I seemed sinking into deep green water, and there was a singing in my ears, as I have heard there is to drowning men; and then everything seemed passing away from me; my soul seemed to go out from my body and float about the air. I seem to remember that once the West Lighthouse was right under me, and then there was a sort of agonizing feeling, as if I were in an earthquake, and I came back and found you shaking my body. I saw you do it before I felt you.”
Then she began to laugh. It seemed a little uncanny to me, and I listened to her breathlessly. I did not quite like it and thought it better not to keep her mind on the subject, so we drifted on to other subjects, and Lucy was like her old self again. When we got home the fresh breeze had braced her up, and her pale cheeks were really rosier. Her mother rejoiced when she saw her, and we all spent a very happy evening together.
19 August. —Joy, joy, joy! although not all joy. At last, news of Jonathan. The dear fellow has been ill; that is why he did not write. I am not afraid to think it or say it, now that I know. Mr. Hawkins sent me on the letter, and wrote himself, oh, so kindly. I am to leave in the morning and go over to Jonathan, and to help to nurse him if necessary, and to bring him home. Mr. Hawkins says it would not be a bad thing if we were to be married out there. I have cried over the good Sister’s letter till I can feel it wet against my bosom, where it lies. It is of Jonathan, and must be next my heart, for he is in my heart. My journey is all mapped out, and my luggage ready. I am only taking one change of dress; Lucy will bring my trunk to London and keep it till I send for it, for it may be that ... I must write no more; I must keep it to say to Jonathan, my husband. The letter that he has seen and touched must comfort me till we meet.
23 August. — “The unexpected always happens.” How well Disraeli knew life. Our bird when he found the cage open would not fly, so all our subtle arrangements were for naught. At any rate, we have proved one thing; that the spells of quietness last a reasonable time. We shall in future be able to ease his bonds for a few hours each day. I have given orders to the night attendant merely to shut him in the padded room, when once he is quiet, until an hour before sunrise. The poor soul’s body will enjoy the relief even if his mind cannot appreciate it. Hark! The unexpected again! I am called; the patient has once more escaped.
Later. —Another night adventures. Renfield artfully waited until the attendant was entering the room to inspect. Then he dashed out past him and flew down the passage. I sent word for the attendants to follow. Again, he went into the grounds of the deserted house, and we found him in the same place, pressed against the old chapel door. When he saw me, he became furious, and had not the attendants seized him in time, he would have tried to kill me. As we were holding him a strange thing happened. He suddenly redoubled his efforts, and then as suddenly grew calm. I looked round instinctively but could see nothing. Then I caught the patient’s eye and followed it but could trace nothing as it looked into the moonlit sky except a big bat, which was flapping its silent and ghostly way to the west. Bats usually wheel and flit about, but this one seemed to go straight on, as if it knew where it was bound for or had some intention of its own. The patient grew calmer every instant, and presently said: —
“You needn’t tie me; I shall go quietly!” Without trouble we came back to the house. I feel there is something ominous in his calm and shall not forget this night....
22 September. —In the train to Exeter. Jonathan sleeping.
It seems only yesterday that the last entry was made, and yet how much between then, in Whitby and all the world before me, Jonathan away and no news of him; and now, married to Jonathan, Jonathan a solicitor, a partner, rich, master of his business, Mr. Hawkins dead and buried, and Jonathan with another attack that may harm him. Some day he may ask me about it. Down it all goes. I am rusty in my shorthand —see what unexpected prosperity does for us —so it may be as well to freshen it up again with an exercise anyhow....
The service was very simple and very solemn. There were only us and the servants there, one or two old friends of his from Exeter, his London agent, and a gentleman representing Sir John Paxton, the President of the Incorporated Law Society. Jonathan and I stood hand in hand, and we felt that our best and dearest friend was gone from us....
We came back to town quietly, taking a ’bus to Hyde Park Corner. Jonathan thought it would interest me to go into the Row for a while, so we sat down; but there were very few people there, and it was sad-looking and desolate to see so many empty chairs. It made us think of the empty chair at home; so, we got up and walked down Piccadilly. Jonathan was holding me by the arm, the way he used to in old days before I went to school. I felt it very improper, for you can’t go on for some years teaching etiquette and decorum to other girls without the pedantry of it biting into yourself a bit; but it was Jonathan, and he was my husband, and we didn’t know anybody who saw us —and we didn’t care if they did —so on we walked. I was looking at a very beautiful girl, in a big cart-wheel hat, sitting in a Victoria outside Giuliano’s, when I felt Jonathan clutch my arm so tight that he hurt me, and he said under his breath: “My God!” I am always anxious about Jonathan, for I fear that some nervous fit may upset him again; so, I turned to him quickly, and asked him what it was that disturbed him.
He was very pale, and his eyes seemed bulging out as, half in terror and half in amazement, he gazed at a tall, thin man, with a beaky nose and black moustache and pointed beard, who was also observing the pretty girl. He was looking at her so hard that he did not see either of us, or so I had a good view of him. His face was not a good face; it was hard, and cruel, and sensual, and his big white teeth, that looked all the whiter because his lips were so red, were pointed like an animal’s. Jonathan kept staring at him, till I was afraid he would notice. I feared he might take it ill, he looked so fierce and nasty. I asked Jonathan why he was disturbed, and he answered, evidently thinking that I knew as much about it as he did: “Do you see who it is?”
“No, dear,” I said; “I don’t know him; who is it?” His answer seemed to shock and thrill me, for it was said as if he did not know that it was to me, Mina, to whom he was speaking: —
“It is the man himself!”
The poor dear was evidently terrified at something —very greatly terrified; I do believe that if he had not had me to lean on and to support him, he would have sunk down. He kept staring; a man came out of the shop with a small parcel, and gave it to the lady, who then drove off. The dark man kept his eyes fixed on her, and when the carriage moved up Piccadilly he followed in the same direction and hailed a hansom. Jonathan kept looking after him, and said, as if to himself: —
“I believe it is the Count, but he has grown young. My God, if this be so! Oh, my God! my God! If I only knew! if I only knew!” He was distressing himself so much that I feared to keep his mind on the subject by asking him any questions, so I remained silent. I drew him away quietly, and he, holding my arm, came easily. We walked a little further, and then went in and sat for a while in the Green Park. It was a hot day for autumn, and there was a comfortable seat in a shady place. After a few minutes’ staring at nothing, Jonathan’s eyes closed, and he went quietly into a sleep, with his head on my shoulder. I thought it was the best thing for him, so did not disturb him. In about twenty minutes he woke up, and said to me quite cheerfully: —
“Why, Mina, have I been asleep! Oh, do forgive me for being so rude. Come, and we’ll have a cup of tea somewhere.” He had evidently forgotten all about the dark stranger, as in his illness he had forgotten all that this episode had reminded him of. I don’t like this lapsing into forgetfulness; it may make or continue some injury to the brain. I must not ask him, for fear I shall do more harm than good; but I must somehow learn the facts of his journey abroad. The time is come, I fear, when I must open that parcel, and know what is written. Oh, Jonathan, you will, I know, forgive me if I do wrong, but it is for your own dear sake.
Later. —A sad home-coming in every way —the house empty of the dear soul who was so good to us; Jonathan still pale and dizzy under a slight relapse of his malady; and now a telegram from Van Helsing, whoever he may be: —
“You will be grieved to hear that Mrs. Westenra died five days ago, and that Lucy died the day before yesterday. They were both buried to-day.”
Oh, what a wealth of sorrow in a few words! Poor Mrs. Westenra! poor Lucy! Gone, gone, never to return to us! And poor, poor Arthur, to have lost such sweetness out of his life! God help us all to bear our troubles.
23 September. —Jonathan is better after a bad night. I am so glad that he has plenty of work to do, for that keeps his mind off the terrible things; and oh, I am rejoiced that he is not now weighed down with the responsibility of his new position. I knew he would be true to himself, and now how proud I am to see my Jonathan rising to the height of his advancement and keeping pace in all ways with the duties that come upon him. He will be away all day till late, for he said he could not lunch at home. My household work is done, so I shall take his foreign journal, and lock myself up in my room and read it....
24 September. —I had not the heart to write last night; that terrible record of Jonathan’s upset me so. Poor dear! How he must have suffered, whether it be true or only imagination. I wonder if there is any truth in it at all. Did he get his brain fever, and then write all those terrible things, or had he some cause for it all? I suppose I shall never know, for I dare not open the subject to him.... And yet that man we saw yesterday! He seemed quite certain of him.... Poor fellow! I suppose it was the funeral upset him and sent his mind back on some train of thought.... He believes it all himself. I remember how on our wedding-day he said: “Unless some solemn duty come upon me to go back to the bitter hours, asleep or awake, mad or sane.” There seems to be through it all some thread of continuity.... That fearful Count was coming to London.... If it should be, and he came to London, with his teeming millions.... There may be a solemn duty; and if it come, we must not shrink from it.... I shall be prepared. I shall get my typewriter this very hour and begin transcribing. Then we shall be ready for other eyes if required. And if it be wanted; then, perhaps, if I am ready, poor Jonathan may not be upset, for I can speak for him and never let him be troubled or worried with it at all. If ever Jonathan quite gets over the nervousness, he may want to tell me of it all, and I can ask him questions and find out things, and see how I may comfort him.
25 September. —I cannot help feeling terribly excited as the time draws near for the visit of Dr. Van Helsing, for somehow, I expect that it will throw some light upon Jonathan’s sad experience; and as he attended poor dear Lucy in her last illness, he can tell me all about her. That is the reason of his coming; it is concerning Lucy and her sleepwalking, and not about Jonathan. Then I shall never know the real truth now! How silly I am. That awful journal gets hold of my imagination and tinges everything with something of its own color. Of course, it is about Lucy. That habit came back to the poor dear, and that awful night on the cliff must have made her ill. I had almost forgotten in my own affairs how ill she was afterwards. She must have told him of her sleep-walking adventure on the cliff, and that I knew all about it; and now he wants me to tell him what she knows, so that he may understand. I hope I did right in not saying anything of it to Mrs. Westenra; I should never forgive myself if any act of mine, were it even a negative one, brought harm on poor dear Lucy. I hope, too, Dr. Van Helsing will not blame me; I have had so much trouble and anxiety of late that I feel I cannot bear more just at present.
I suppose a cry does us all good at times —clears the air as other rain does. Perhaps it was reading the journal yesterday that upset me, and then Jonathan went away this morning to stay away from me a whole day and night, the first time we have been parted since our marriage. I do hope the dear fellow will take care of himself, and that nothing will occur to upset him. It is two o’clock, and the doctor will be here soon now. I shall say nothing of Jonathan’s journal unless he asks me. I am so glad I have type-written out my own journal, so that, in case he asks about Lucy, I can hand it to him; it will save much questioning.
Later. —He has come and gone. Oh, what a strange meeting, and how it all makes my head whirl round! I feel like one in a dream. Can it be all possible, or even a part of it? If I had not read Jonathan’s journal first, I should never have accepted even a possibility. Poor, poor, dear Jonathan! How he must have suffered. Please the good God, all this may not upset him again. I shall try to save him from it; but it may be even a consolation and some help to him —terrible though it be and awful in its consequences —to know for certain that his eyes and ears and brain did not deceive him, and that it is all true. It may be that it is the doubt which haunts him; that when the doubt is removed, no matter which —waking or dreaming —may prove the truth, he will be more satisfied and better able to bear the shock. Dr. Van Helsing must be a good man as well as a clever one if he is Arthur’s friend and Dr. Seward’s, and if they brought him all the way from Holland to look after Lucy. I feel from having seen him that he is good and kind and of a noble nature. When he comes to-morrow I shall ask him about Jonathan; and then, please God, all this sorrow and anxiety may lead to a good end. I used to think I would like to practice interviewing; Jonathan’s friend on “The Exeter News” told him that memory was everything in such work —that you must be able to put down exactly almost every word spoken, even if you had to refine some of it afterwards. Here was a rare interview; I shall try to record it verbatim.
It was half-past two o’clock when the knock came. I took my courage à deux mains and waited. In a few minutes Mary opened the door and announced, “Dr. Van Helsing.”
I rose and bowed, and he came towards me; a man of medium weight, strongly built, with his shoulders set back over a broad, deep chest and a neck well balanced on the trunk as the head is on the neck. The poise of the head strikes one at once as indicative of thought and power; the head is noble, well-sized, broad, and large behind the ears. The face, clean-shaven, shows a hard, square chin, a large, resolute, mobile mouth, a good-sized nose, rather straight, but with quick, sensitive nostrils, that seem to broaden as the big, bushy brows come down and the mouth tightens. The forehead is broad and fine, rising at first almost straight and then sloping back above two bumps or ridges wide apart; such a forehead that the reddish hair cannot possibly tumble over it, but falls naturally back and to the sides. Big, dark blue eyes are set widely apart, and are quick and tender or stern with the man’s moods. He said to me: —
“Mrs. Harker, is it not?” I bowed assent.
“That was Miss Mina Murray?” Again, I assented.
“It is Mina Murray that I came to see that was friend of that poor dear child Lucy Westenra. Madam Mina, it is on account of the dead I come.”
“Sir,” I said, “you could have no better claim on me than that you were a friend and helper of Lucy Westenra.” And I held out my hand. He took it and said tenderly: —
“Oh, Madam Mina, I knew that the friend of that poor lily girl must be good, but I had yet to learn — —” He finished his speech with a courtly bow. I asked him what it was that he wanted to see me about, so he at once began: —
“I have read your letters to Miss Lucy. Forgive me, but I had to begin to inquire somewhere, and there was none to ask. I know that you were with her at Whitby. She sometimes kept a diary —you need not look surprised, Madam Mina; it was begun after you had left and was in imitation of you —and in that diary she traces by inference certain things to a sleepwalking in which she puts down that you saved her. In great perplexity then I come to you and ask you out of your so much kindness to tell me all of it that you can remember.”
“I can tell you, I think, Dr. Van Helsing, all about it.”
“Ah, then you have good memory for facts, for details. It is not always so with young ladies.”
“No, doctor, but I wrote it all down at the time. I can show it to you if you like.”
“Oh, Madam Mina, I will be grateful; you will do me much favor.” I could not resist the temptation of mystifying him a bit —I suppose it is some of the taste of the original apple that remains still in our mouths —so I handed him the shorthand diary. He took it with a grateful bow, and said: —
“May I read it?”
“If you wish,” I answered as demurely as I could. He opened it, and for an instant his face fell. Then he stood up and bowed.
“Oh, you are so clever woman!” he said. “I knew long that Mr. Jonathan was a man of much thankfulness; but see, his wife has all the good things. And will you not so much honor me and so help me as to read it for me? Alas! I know not the shorthand.” By this time my little joke was over, and I was almost ashamed; so, I took the typewritten copy from my workbasket and handed it to him.
“Forgive me,” I said: “I could not help it; but I had been thinking that it was of dear Lucy that you wished to ask, and so that you might not have time to wait —not on my account, but because I know your time must be precious —I have written it out on the typewriter for you.”
He took it and his eyes glistened. “You are so good,” he said. “And may I read it now? I may want to ask you some things when I have read.”
“By all means,” I said, “read it over whilst I order lunch; and then you can ask me questions whilst we eat.” He bowed and settled himself in a chair with his back to the light, and became absorbed in the papers, whilst I went to see after lunch chiefly in order that he might not be disturbed. When I came back, I found him walking hurriedly up and down the room, his face all ablaze with excitement. He rushed up to me and took me by both hands.
“Oh, Madam Mina,” he said, “how can I say what I owe to you? This paper is as sunshine. It opens the gate to me. I am daze, I am dazzle, with so much light, and yet clouds roll in behind the light every time. But that you do not, cannot, comprehend. Oh, but I am grateful to you, you are so clever woman. Madam” —he said this very solemnly — “if ever Abraham Van Helsing can do anything for you or yours, I trust you will let me know. It will be pleasure and delight if I may serve you as a friend; as a friend, but all I have ever learned, all I can ever do, shall be for you and those you love. There are darkness’s in life, and there are lights; you are one of the lights. You will have happy life and good life, and your husband will be blessed in you.”
“But, doctor, you praise me too much, and —and you do not know me.”
“Not know you —I, who am old, and who have studied all my life men and women; I, who have made my specialty the brain and all that belongs to him and all that follow from him! And I have read your diary that you have so goodly written for me, and which breathes out truth in every line. I, who have read your so sweet letter to poor Lucy of your marriage and your trust, not know you! Oh, Madam Mina, good women tell all their lives, and by day and by hour and by minute, such things that angels can read; and we men who wish to know have in us something of angels’ eyes. Your husband is noble nature, and you are noble too, for you trust, and trust cannot be where there is mean nature. And your husband —tell me of him. Is he quite well? Is all that fever gone, and is he strong and hearty?” I saw here an opening to ask him about Jonathan, so I said: —
“He was almost recovered, but he has been greatly upset by Mr. Hawkins’s death.” He interrupted: —
“Oh, yes, I know, I know. I have read your last two letters.” I went on: —
“I suppose this upset him, for when we were in town on Thursday last, he had a sort of shock.”
“A shock, and after brain fever so soon! That was not good. What kind of a shock was it?”
“He thought he saw someone who recalled something terrible, something which led to his brain fever.” And here the whole thing seemed to overwhelm me in a rush. The pity for Jonathan, the horror which he experienced, the whole fearful mystery of his diary, and the fear that has been brooding over me ever since, all came in a tumult. I suppose I was hysterical, for I threw myself on my knees and held up my hands to him and implored him to make my husband well again. He took my hands and raised me up, and made me sit on the sofa, and sat by me; he held my hand in his, and said to me with, oh, such infinite sweetness: —
“My life is a barren and lonely one, and so full of work that I have not had much time for friendships; but since I have been summoned to here by my friend John Seward, I have known so many good people and seen such nobility that I feel more than ever —and it has grown with my advancing years —the loneliness of my life. Believe, me, then, that I come here full of respect for you, and you have given me hope —hope, not in what I am seeking of, but that there are good women still left to make life happy —good women, whose lives and whose truths may make good lesson for the children that are to be. I am glad, glad, that I may here be of some use to you; for if your husband suffers, he suffers within the range of my study and experience. I promise you that I will gladly do all for him that I can —all to make his life strong and manly, and your life a happy one. Now you must eat. You are overwrought and perhaps over-anxious. Husband Jonathan would not like to see you so pale; and what he like not where he loves, is not to his good. Therefore, for his sake you must eat and smile. You have told me all about Lucy, and so now we shall not speak of it, lest it distress. I shall stay in Exeter to-night, for I want to think much over what you have told me, and when I have thought I will ask you questions, if I may. And then, too, you will tell me of husband Jonathan’s trouble so far as you can, but not yet. You must eat now; afterwards, you shall tell me all.”
After lunch, when we went back to the drawing-room, he said to me: —
“And now tell me all about him.” When it came to speaking to this great learned man, I began to fear that he would think me a weak fool, and Jonathan a madman —that journal is all so strange —and I hesitated to go on. But he was so sweet and kind, and he had promised to help, and I trusted him, so I said: —
“Dr. Van Helsing, what I have to tell you is so queer that you must not laugh at me or at my husband. I have been since yesterday in a sort of fever of doubt; you must be kind to me, and not think me foolish that I have even half believed some very strange things.” He reassured me by his manner as well as his words when he said: —
“Oh, my dear, if you only know how strange is the matter regarding which I am here, it is you who would laugh. I have learned not to think little of any one’s belief, no matter how strange it be. I have tried to keep an open mind; and it is not the ordinary things of life that could close it, but the strange things, the extraordinary things, the things that make one doubt if they be mad or sane.”
“Thank you, thank you, a thousand times! You have taken a weight off my mind. If you will let me, I shall give you a paper to read. It is long, but I have typewritten it out. It will tell you my trouble and Jonathan’s. It is the copy of his journal when abroad, and all that happened. I dare not say anything of it; you will read for yourself and judge. And then when I see you, perhaps, you will be very kind and tell me what you think.”
“I promise,” he said as I gave him the papers; “I shall in the morning, so soon as I can, come to see you and your husband, if I may.”
“Jonathan will be here at half-past eleven, and you must come to lunch with us and see him then; you could catch the quick 3:34 train, which will leave you at Paddington before eight.” He was surprised at my knowledge of the trains off-hand, but he does not know that I have made up all the trains to and from Exeter, so that I may help Jonathan in case he is in a hurry.
So, he took the papers with him and went away, and I sit here thinking —thinking I don’t know what.
29 September. —After I had tidied myself, I went down to Dr. Seward’s study. At the door I paused a moment, for I thought I heard him talking with someone. As, however, he had pressed me to be quick, I knocked at the door, and on his calling out, “Come in,” I entered.
To my intense surprise, there was no one with him. He was quite alone, and on the table opposite him was what I knew at once from the description to be a phonograph. I had never seen one and was much interested.
“I hope I did not keep you waiting,” I said; “but I stayed at the door as I heard you talking and thought there was someone with you.”
“Oh,” he replied with a smile, “I was only entering my diary.”
“Your diary?” I asked him in surprise.
“Yes,” he answered. “I keep it in this.” As he spoke, he laid his hand on the phonograph. I felt quite excited over it, and blurted out: —
“Why, this beats even shorthand! May I hear it say something?”
“Certainly,” he replied with alacrity, and stood up to put it in train for speaking. Then he paused, and a troubled look overspread his face.
“The fact is,” he began awkwardly, “I only keep my diary in it; and as it is entirely —almost entirely —about my cases, it may be awkward —that is, I mean — —” He stopped, and I tried to help him out of his embarrassment: —
“You helped to attend dear Lucy at the end. Let me hear how she died; for all that I know of her, I shall be very grateful. She was very, very dear to me.”
To my surprise, he answered, with a horrorstruck look in his face: —
“Tell you of her death? Not for the wide world!”
“Why not?” I asked, for some grave, terrible feeling was coming over me. Again, he paused, and I could see that he was trying to invent an excuse. At length he stammered out: —
“You see, I do not know how to pick out any particular part of the diary.” Even while he was speaking an idea dawned upon him, and he said with unconscious simplicity, in a different voice, and with the naïveté of a child: “That’s quite true, upon my honor. Honest Indian!” I could not but smile, at which he grimaced. “I gave myself away that time!” he said. “But do you know that, although I have kept the diary for months past, it never once struck me how I was going to find any particular part of it in case I wanted to look it up?” By this time my mind was made up that the diary of a doctor who attended Lucy might have something to add to the sum of our knowledge of that terrible Being, and I said boldly: —
“Then, Dr. Seward, you had better let me copy it out for you on my typewriter.” He grew to a positively deathly pallor as he said: —
“No! no! no! For all the world, I wouldn’t let you know that terrible story!”
Then it was terrible; my intuition was right! For a moment I thought, and as my eyes ranged the room, unconsciously looking for something or some opportunity to aid me, they lit on a great batch of typewriting on the table. His eyes caught the look in mine, and, without his thinking, followed their direction. As they saw the parcel, he realized my meaning.
“You do not know me,” I said. “When you have read those papers —my own diary and my husband’s also, which I have typed —you will know me better. I have not faltered in giving every thought of my own heart in this cause; but, of course, you do not know me —yet; and I must not expect you to trust me so far.”
He is certainly a man of noble nature; poor dear Lucy was right about him. He stood up and opened a large drawer, in which were arranged in order a number of hollow cylinders of metal covered with dark wax, and said: —
“You are quite right. I did not trust you because I did not know you. But I know you now; and let me say that I should have known you long ago. I know that Lucy told you of me; she told me of you too. May I make the only atonement in my power? Take the cylinders and hear them —the first half-dozens of them are personal to me, and they will not horrify you; then you will know me better. Dinner will by then be ready. In the meantime, I shall read over some of these documents, and shall be better able to understand certain things.” He carried the phonograph himself up to my sitting-room and adjusted it for me. Now I shall learn something pleasant, I am sure; for it will tell me the other side of a true love episode of which I know one side already....
29 September. —After dinner I came with Dr. Seward to his study. He brought back the phonograph from my room, and I took my typewriter. He placed me in a comfortable chair and arranged the phonograph so that I could touch it without getting up and showed me how to stop it in case I should want to pause. Then he very thoughtfully took a chair, with his back to me, so that I might be as free as possible, and began to read. I put the forked metal to my ears and listened.
When the terrible story of Lucy’s death, and —and all that followed, was done, I lay back in my chair powerless. Fortunately, I am not of a fainting disposition. When Dr. Seward saw me, he jumped up with a horrified exclamation, and hurriedly taking a case-bottle from a cupboard, gave me some brandy, which in a few minutes somewhat restored me. My brain was all in a whirl, and only that there came through all the multitude of horrors, the holy ray of light that my dear, dear Lucy was at last at peace, I do not think I could have borne it without making a scene. It is all so wild, and mysterious, and strange that if I had not known Jonathan’s experience in Transylvania I could not have believed. As it was, I didn’t know what to believe, and so got out of my difficulty by attending to something else. I took the cover off my typewriter, and said to Dr. Seward: —
“Let me write this all out now. We must be ready for Dr. Van Helsing when he comes. I have sent a telegram to Jonathan to come on here when he arrives in London from Whitby. In this matter dates are everything, and I think that if we get all our material ready, and have every item put in chronological order, we shall have done much. You tell me that Lord Godalming and Mr. Morris are coming too. Let us be able to tell him when they come.” He accordingly set the phonograph at a slow pace, and I began to typewrite from the beginning of the seventh cylinder. I used manifold, and so took three copies of the diary, just as I had done with all the rest. It was late when I got through, but Dr. Seward went about his work of going his round of the patients; when he had finished, he came back and sat near me, reading, so that I did not feel too lonely whilst I worked. How good and thoughtful he is; the world seems full of good men —even if there are monsters in it. Before I left him, I remembered what Jonathan put in his diary of the Professor’s perturbation at reading something in an evening paper at the station at Exeter; so, seeing that Dr. Seward keeps his newspapers, I borrowed the files of “The Westminster Gazette” and “The Pall Mall Gazette,” and took them to my room. I remember how much “The Dailygraph” and “The Whitby Gazette,” of which I had made cuttings, helped us to understand the terrible events at Whitby when Count Dracula landed, so I shall look through the evening papers since then, and perhaps I shall get some new light. I am not sleepy, and the work will help to keep me quiet.
30 September. —I am so glad that I hardly know how to contain myself. It is, I suppose, the reaction from the haunting fear which I have had that this terrible affair and the reopening of his old wound might act detrimentally on Jonathan. I saw him leave for Whitby with as brave a face as I could, but I was sick with apprehension. The effort has, however, done him good. He was never so resolute, never so strong, never so full of volcanic energy, as at present. It is just as that dear, good Professor Van Helsing said: he is true grit, and he improves under strain that would kill a weaker nature. He came back full of life and hope and determination; we have got everything in order for to-night. I feel myself quite wild with excitement. I suppose one ought to pity anything so hunted as is the Count. That is just it: this Thing is not human —not even beast. To read Dr. Seward’s account of poor Lucy’s death, and what followed, is enough to dry up the springs of pity in one’s heart.
Later. —Lord Godalming and Mr. Morris arrived earlier than we expected. Dr. Seward was out on business, and had taken Jonathan with him, so I had to see them. It was to me a painful meeting, for it brought back all poor dear Lucy’s hopes of only a few months ago. Of course, they had heard Lucy speak of me, and it seemed that Dr. Van Helsing, too, has been quite “blowing my trumpet,” as Mr. Morris expressed it. Poor fellows, neither of them is aware that I know all about the proposals they made to Lucy. They did not quite know what to say or do, as they were ignorant of the amount of my knowledge; so, they had to keep on neutral subjects. However, I thought the matter over, and concluded that the best thing I could do would be to post them in affairs right up to date. I knew from Dr. Seward’s diary that they had been at Lucy’s death —her real death —and that I need not fear to betray any secret before the time. So, I told them, as well as I could, that I had read all the papers and diaries, and that my husband and I, having typewritten them, had just finished putting them in order. I gave them each a copy to read in the library. When Lord Godalming got his and turned it over —it does make a pretty good pile —he said: —
“Did you write all this, Mrs. Harker?”
I nodded, and he went on: —
“I don’t quite see the drift of it; but you people are all so good and kind, and have been working so earnestly and so energetically, that all I can do is to accept your ideas blindfold and try to help you. I have had one lesson already in accepting facts that should make a man humble to the last hour of his life. Besides, I know you loved my poor Lucy —” Here he turned away and covered his face with his hands. I could hear the tears in his voice. Mr. Morris, with instinctive delicacy, just laid a hand for a moment on his shoulder, and then walked quietly out of the room. I suppose there is something in woman’s nature that makes a man free to break down before her and express his feelings on the tender or emotional side without feeling it derogatory to his manhood; for when Lord Godalming found himself alone with me he sat down on the sofa and gave way utterly and openly. I sat down beside him and took his hand. I hope he didn’t think it forward of me, and that if he ever thinks of it afterwards, he never will have such a thought. There I wrong him; I know he never will —he is too true a gentleman. I said to him, for I could see that his heart was breaking: —
“I loved dear Lucy, and I know what she was to you, and what you were to her. She and I were like sisters; and now she is gone, will you not let me be like a sister to you in your trouble? I know what sorrows you have had, though I cannot measure the depth of them. If sympathy and pity can help in your affliction, won’t you let me be of some little service —for Lucy’s sake?”
In an instant the poor dear fellow was overwhelmed with grief. It seemed to me that all that he had of late been suffering in silence found a vent at once. He grew quite hysterical, and raising his open hands, beat his palms together in a perfect agony of grief. He stood up and then sat down again, and the tears rained down his cheeks. I felt an infinite pity for him and opened my arms unthinkingly. With a sob he laid his head on my shoulder and cried like a wearied child, whilst he shook with emotion.
We women have something of the mother in us that makes us rise above smaller matters when the mother-spirit is invoked; I felt this big sorrowing man’s head resting on me, as though it were that of the baby that someday may lie on my bosom, and I stroked his hair as though he were my own child. I never thought at the time how strange it all was.
After a little bit his sobs ceased, and he raised himself with an apology, though he made no disguise of his emotion. He told me that for days and nights past —weary days and sleepless nights —he had been unable to speak with anyone, as a man must speak in his time of sorrow. There was no woman whose sympathy could be given to him, or with whom, owing to the terrible circumstance with which his sorrow was surrounded, he could speak freely. “I know now how I suffered,” he said, as he dried his eyes, “but I do not know even yet —and none other can ever know —how much your sweet sympathy has been to me to-day. I shall know better in time; and believe me that, though I am not ungrateful now, my gratitude will grow with my understanding. You will let me be like a brother, will you not, for all our lives —for dear Lucy’s sake?”
“For dear Lucy’s sake,” I said as we clasped hands. “Ay, and for your own sake,” he added, “for if a man’s esteem and gratitude are ever worth the winning, you have won mine to-day. If ever the future should bring to you a time when you need a man’s help, believe me, you will not call in vain. God grant that no such time may ever come to you to break the sunshine of your life; but if it should ever come, promise me that you will let me know.” He was so earnest, and his sorrow was so fresh, that I felt it would comfort him, so I said: —
As I came along the corridor, I saw Mr. Morris looking out of a window. He turned as he heard my footsteps. “How is Art?” he said. Then noticing my red eyes, he went on: “Ah, I see you have been comforting him. Poor old fellow! he needs it. No one but a woman can help a man when he is in trouble of the heart; and he had no one to comfort him.”
He bore his own trouble so bravely that my heart bled for him. I saw the manuscript in his hand, and I knew that when he read it, he would realize how much I knew; so, I said to him: —
“I wish I could comfort all who suffer from the heart. Will you let me be your friend, and will you come to me for comfort if you need it? You will know, later on, why I speak.” He saw that I was in earnest, and stooping, took my hand, and raising it to his lips, kissed it. It seemed but poor comfort to so brave and unselfish a soul, and impulsively I bent over and kissed him. The tears rose in his eyes, and there was a momentary choking in his throat; he said quite calmly: —
“Little girl, you will never regret that true-hearted kindness, so long as ever you live!” Then he went into the study to his friend.
“Little girl!” —the very words he had used to Lucy, and oh, but he proved himself a friend!
30 September. —When we met in Dr. Seward’s study two hours after dinner, which had been at six o’clock, we unconsciously formed a sort of board or committee. Professor Van Helsing took the head of the table, to which Dr. Seward motioned him as he came into the room. He made me sit next to him on his right and asked me to act as secretary; Jonathan sat next to me. Opposite us were Lord Godalming, Dr. Seward, and Mr. Morris —Lord Godalming being next the Professor, and Dr. Seward in the center. The Professor said: —
“I may, I suppose, take it that we are all acquainted with the facts that are in these papers.” We all expressed assent, and he went on: —
“Then it was, I think good that I tell you something of the kind of enemy with which we have to deal. I shall then make known to you something of the history of this man, which has been ascertained for me. So, we then can discuss how we shall act, and can take our measure according.
“There are such beings as vampires; some of us have evidence that they exist. Even had we not the proof of our own unhappy experience, the teachings and the records of the past give proof enough for sane peoples. I admit that at the first I was sceptic. Were it not that through long years I have train myself to keep an open mind, I could not have believe until such time as that fact thunder on my ear? ‘See! see! I prove; I prove.’ Alas! Had I known at the first what now I know —nay, had I even guess at him —one so precious life had been spared to many of us who did love her. But that is gone; and we must so work, that other poor souls perish not, whilst we can save. The nosferatu do not die like the bee when he stings once. He is only stronger; and being stronger, have yet more power to work evil. This vampire which is amongst us is of himself so strong in person as twenty men; he is of cunning more than mortal, for his cunning be the growth of ages; he have still the aids of necromancy, which is, as his etymology imply, the divination by the dead, and all the dead that he can come nigh to are for him at command; he is brute, and more than brute; he is devil in callous, and the heart of him is not; he can, within limitations, appear at will when, and where, and in any of the forms that are to him; he can, within his range, direct the elements; the storm, the fog, the thunder; he can command all the meaner things: the rat, and the owl, and the bat —the moth, and the fox, and the wolf; he can grow and become small; and he can at times vanish and come unknown. How then are we to begin our strike to destroy him? How shall we find his where; and having found it, how can we destroy? My friends, this is much; it is a terrible task that we undertake, and there may be consequence to make the brave shudder. For if we fail in this our fight he must surely win; and then where end we? Life is nothings; I heed him not. But to fail here, is not mere life or death. It is that we become as him; that we henceforward become foul things of the night like him —without heart or conscience, preying on the bodies and the souls of those we love best. To us forever are the gates of heaven shut; for who shall open them to us again? We go on for all time abhorred by all; a blot on the face of God’s sunshine; an arrow in the side of Him who died for man. But we are face to face with duty; and in such case must we shrink? For me, I say, no; but then I am old, and life, with his sunshine, his fair places, his song of birds, his music and his love, lie far behind. Your others are young. Some have seen sorrow; but there are fair days yet in store. What say you?”
Whilst he was speaking, Jonathan had taken my hand. I feared, oh so much, that the appalling nature of our danger was overcoming him when I saw his hand stretch out; but it was life to me to feel its touch —so strong, so self-reliant, so resolute. A brave man’s hand can speak for itself; it does not even need a woman’s love to hear its music.
When the Professor had done speaking my husband looked in my eyes, and I in his; there was no need for speaking between us.
“I answer for Mina and myself,” he said.
“Count me in, Professor,” said Mr. Quincey Morris, laconically as usual.
“I am with you,” said Lord Godalming, “for Lucy’s sake, if for no other reason.”
Dr. Seward simply nodded. The Professor stood up and, after laying his golden crucifix on the table, held out his hand on either side. I took his right hand, and Lord Godalming his left; Jonathan held my right with his left and stretched across to Mr. Morris. So, as we all took hands our solemn compact was made. I felt my heart icy cold, but it did not even occur to me to draw back. We resumed our places, and Dr. Van Helsing went on with a sort of cheerfulness which showed that the serious work had begun. It was to be taken as gravely, and in as businesslike a way, as any other transaction of life: —
“Well, you know what we have to contend against; but we, too, are not without strength. We have on our side power of combination —a power denied to the vampire kind; we have sources of science; we are free to act and think, and the hours of the day and the night are ours equally. In fact, so far as our powers extend, they are unfettered, and we are free to use them. We have self-devotion in a cause, and an end to achieve which is not a selfish one. These things are much.
“Now let us see how far the general powers arrayed against us are restrict, and how the individual cannot. In fine, let us consider the limitations of the vampire in general, and of this one in particular.
“All we have to go upon are traditions and superstitions. These do not at the first appear much, when the matter is one of life and death —nay of more than either life or death. Yet must we be satisfied; in the first place because we have to be —no other means is at our control —and secondly, because, after all, these things —tradition and superstition —are everything. Does not the belief in vampires rest for others —though not, alas! for us —on them? A year ago, which of us would have received such a possibility, in the midst of our scientific, skeptical, matter of fact nineteenth century? We even scouted a belief that we saw justified under our very eyes. Take it, then, that the vampire, and the belief in his limitations and his cure, rest for the moment on the same base. For, let me tell you, he is known everywhere that men have been. In old Greece, in old Rome; he flourishes in Germany all over, in France, in India, even in the Chernosese; and in China, so far from us in all ways, there even is he, and the peoples fear him at this day. He has follow the wake of the berserker Icelander, the devil-begotten Hun, the Slav, the Saxon, the Magyar. So far, then, we have all we may act upon; and let me tell you that very much of the beliefs are justified by what we have seen in our own so unhappy experience. The vampire lives on and cannot die by mere passing of the time; he can flourish when that he can fatten on the blood of the living. Even more, we have seen amongst us that he can even grow younger; that his vital faculties grow strenuous and seem as though they refresh themselves when his special pabulum is plenty. But he cannot flourish without this diet; he eats not as others. Even friend Jonathan, who lived with him for weeks, did never see him to eat, never! He throws no shadow; he makes in the mirror no reflect, as again Jonathan observes. He has the strength of many of his hand —witness again Jonathan when he shut the door against the wolfs, and when he helps him from the diligence too. He can transform himself to wolf, as we gather from the ship arrival in Whitby, when he tears open the dog; he can be as bat, as Madam Mina saw him on the window at Whitby, and as friend John saw him fly from this so near house, and as my friend Quincey saw him at the window of Miss Lucy. He can come in mist which he creates —that noble ship’s captain proved him of this; but, from what we know, the distance he can make this mist is limited, and it can only be round himself. He come on moonlight rays as elemental dust —as again Jonathan saw those sisters in the castle of Dracula. He became so small —we ourselves saw Miss Lucy, ere she was at peace, slip through a hairbreadth space at the tomb door. He can, when once he finds his way, come out from anything or into anything, no matter how close it be bound or even fused up with fire —solder you call it. He can see in the dark —no small power this, in a world which is one half shut from the light. Ah, but hear me through. He can do all these things, yet he is not free. Nay: he is even more prisoner than the slave of the galley, than the madman in his cell. He cannot go where he lists; he who is not of nature has yet to obey some of nature’s laws —why we know not. He may not enter anywhere at the first, unless there be some one of the households who bid him to come; though afterwards he can come as he please. His power ceases, as does that of all evil things, at the coming of the day. Only at certain times can he have limited freedom. If he be not at the place whither, he is bound, he can only change himself at noon or at exact sunrise or sunset. These things are we told, and in this record of ours we have proof by inference. Thus, whereas he can do as he will within his limit, when he has his earth-home, his coffin-home, his hell-home, the place unhallowed, as we saw when he went to the grave of the suicide at Whitby; still at other time he can only change when the time come. It is said, too, that he can only pass running water at the slack or the flood of the tide. Then there are things which so afflict him that he has no power, as the garlic that we know of; and as for things sacred, as this symbol, my crucifix, that was amongst us even now when we resolve, to them he is nothing, but in their presence, he take his place far off and silent with respect. There are others, too, which I shall tell you of, lest in our seeking we may need them. The branch of wild rose on his coffin keeps him that he move not from it; a sacred bullet fired into the coffin kill him so that he be true dead; and as for the stake through him, we know already of its peace; or the cut-off head that giveth rest. We have seen it with our eyes.
“Thus, when we find the habitation of this man-that-was, we can confine him to his coffin and destroy him, if we obey what we know. But he is clever. I have asked my friend Arminius, of Buda-Pesth University, to make his record; and, from all the means that are, he tells me of what he has been. He must, indeed, have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk, over the great river on the very frontier of Turkey-land. If it be so, then was he no common man; for in that time, and for centuries after, he was spoken of as the cleverest and the most cunning, as well as the bravest of the sons of the ‘land beyond the forest.’ That mighty brain and that iron resolution went with him to his grave and are even now arrayed against us. The Dracula’s were, says Arminius, a great and noble race, though now and again were scions who were held by their coevals to have had dealings with the Evil One. They learned his secrets in the Scholomance, amongst the mountains over Lake Hermanstadt, where the devil claims the tenth scholar as his due. In the records are such words as ‘stregoica’ —witch, ‘ordog,’ and ‘pokol’ —Satan and hell; and in one manuscript this very Dracula is spoken of as ‘wampyr,’ which we all understand too well. There have been from the loins of this very one great men and good women, and their graves make sacred the earth where alone this foulness can dwell. For it is not the least of its terrors that this evil thing is rooted deep in all good; in soil barren of holy memories, it cannot rest.”
Whilst they were talking Mr. Morris was looking steadily at the window, and he now got up quietly, and went out of the room. There was a little pause, and then the Professor went on: —
“And now we must settle what we do. We have here much data, and we must proceed to lay out our campaign. We know from the inquiry of Jonathan that from the castle to Whitby came fifty boxes of earth, all of which were delivered at Carfax; we also know that at least some of these boxes have been removed. It seems to me, that our first step should be to ascertain whether all the rest remain in the house beyond that wall where we look to-day; or whether any more have been removed. If the latter, we must trace — —”
Here we were interrupted in a very startling way. Outside the house came the sound of a pistol-shot; the glass of the window was shattered with a bullet, which, ricocheting from the top of the embrasure, struck the far wall of the room. I am afraid I am at heart a coward, for I shrieked out. The men all jumped to their feet; Lord Godalming flew over to the window and threw up the sash. As he did so we heard Mr. Morris’s voice without: —
“Sorry! I fear I have alarmed you. I shall come in and tell you about it.” A minute later he came in and said: —
“It was an idiotic thing of me to do, and I ask your pardon, Mrs. Harker, most sincerely; I fear I must have frightened you terribly. But the fact is that whilst the Professor was talking there came a big bat and sat on the windowsill. I have got such a horror of the damned brutes from recent events that I cannot stand them, and I went out to have a shot, as I have been doing of late of evenings, whenever I have seen one. You used to laugh at me for it then, Art.”
“Did you hit it?” asked Dr. Van Helsing.
“I don’t know; I fancy not, for it flew away into the wood.” Without saying any more, he took his seat, and the Professor began to resume his statement: —
“We must trace each of these boxes; and when we are ready, we must either capture or kill this monster in his lair; or we must, so to speak, sterilize the earth, so that no more he can seek safety in it. Thus, in the end we may find him in his form of man between the hours of noon and sunset, and so engage with him when he is at his most weak.
“And now for you, Madam Mina, this night is the end until all be well. You are too precious to us to have such risk. When we part to-night, you no more must question. We shall tell you all in good time. We are men and are able to bear; but you must be our star and our hope, and we shall act all the freer that you are not in the danger, such as we are.”
All the men, even Jonathan, seemed relieved; but it did not seem to me good that they should brave danger and, perhaps, lessen their safety —strength being the best safety —through care of me; but their minds were made up, and, though it was a bitter pill for me to swallow, I could say nothing, save to accept their chivalrous care of me.
Mr. Morris resumed the discussion: —
“As there is no time to lose, I vote we have a look at his house right now. Time is everything with him; and swift action on our part may save another victim.”
I own that my heart began to fail me when the time for action came so close, but I did not say anything, for I had a greater fear that if I appeared as a drag or a hindrance to their work, they might even leave me out of their counsels altogether. They have now gone off to Carfax, with means to get into the house.
Manlike, they had told me to go to bed and sleep as if a woman can sleep when those she loves are in danger! I shall lie down and pretend to sleep, lest Jonathan have added anxiety about me when he returns.
1 October. —It is strange to me to be kept in the dark as I am to-day; after Jonathan’s full confidence for so many years, to see him manifestly avoid certain matters, and those the most vital of all. This morning I slept late after the fatigues of yesterday, and though Jonathan was late too, he was the earlier. He spoke to me before he went out, never more sweetly or tenderly, but he never mentioned a word of what had happened in the visit to the Count’s house. And yet he must have known how terribly anxious I was. Poor dear fellow! I suppose it must have distressed him even more than it did me. They all agreed that it was best that I should not be drawn further into this awful work, and I acquiesced. But to think that he keeps anything from me! And now I am crying like a silly fool, when I know it comes from my husband’s great love and from the good, good wishes of those other strong men.
That has done me good. Well, someday Jonathan will tell me all; and lest it should ever be that he should think for a moment that I kept anything from him, I still keep my journal as usual. Then if he has feared of my trust, I shall show it to him, with every thought of my heart put down for his dear eyes to read. I feel strangely sad and low-spirited to-day. I suppose it is the reaction from the terrible excitement.
Last night I went to bed when the men had gone, simply because they told me to. I did not feel sleepy, and I did feel full of devouring anxiety. I kept thinking over everything that has been ever since Jonathan came to see me in London, and it all seems like a horrible tragedy, with fate pressing on relentlessly to some destined end. Everything that one does seems, no matter how right it may be, to bring on the very thing which is most to be deplored. If I had not gone to Whitby, perhaps poor dear Lucy would be with us now. She hadn’t taken to visiting the churchyard till I came, and if she hadn’t come there in the daytime with me she wouldn’t have walked there in her sleep; and if she hadn’t gone there at night and asleep, that monster couldn’t have destroyed her as he did. Oh, why did I ever go to Whitby? There now, crying again! I wonder what has come over me to-day. I must hide it from Jonathan, for if he knew that I had been crying twice in one morning —I, who never cried on my own account, and whom he has never caused to shed a tear —the dear fellow would fret his heart out. I shall put a bold face on, and if I do feel weepy, he shall never see it. I suppose it is one of the lessons that we poor women have to learn....
I cannot quite remember how I fell asleep last night. I remember hearing the sudden barking of the dogs and a lot of queer sounds, like praying on a very tumultuous scale, from Mr. Renfield’s room, which is somewhere under this. And then there was silence over everything, silence so profound that it startled me, and I got up and looked out of the window. All was dark and silent, the black shadows thrown by the moonlight seeming full of a silent mystery of their own. Not a thing seemed to be stirring, but all to be grim and fixed as death or fate; so that a thin streak of white mist, that crept with almost imperceptible slowness across the grass towards the house, seemed to have a sentience and a vitality of its own. I think that the digression of my thoughts must have done me good, for when I got back to bed, I found a lethargy creeping over me. I lay a while, but could not quite sleep, so I got out and looked out of the window again. The mist was spreading, and was now close up to the house, so that I could see it lying thick against the wall, as though it were stealing up to the windows. The poor man was louder than ever, and though I could not distinguish a word he said, I could in some way recognize in his tones some passionate entreaty on his part. Then there was the sound of a struggle, and I knew that the attendants were dealing with him. I was so frightened that I crept into bed, and pulled the clothes over my head, putting my fingers in my ears. I was not then a bit sleepy, at least so I thought; but I must have fallen asleep, for, except dreams, I do not remember anything until the morning, when Jonathan woke me. I think that it took me an effort and a little time to realize where I was, and that it was Jonathan who was bending over me. My dream was very peculiar and was almost typical of the way that waking thoughts become merged in, or continued in, dreams.
I thought that I was asleep and waiting for Jonathan to come back. I was very anxious about him, and I was powerless to act; my feet, and my hands, and my brain were weighted, so that nothing could proceed at the usual pace. And so I slept uneasily and thought. Then it began to dawn upon me that the air was heavy, and dank, and cold. I put back the clothes from my face, and found, to my surprise, that all was dim around. The gaslight which I had left lit for Jonathan, but turned down, came only like a tiny red spark through the fog, which had evidently grown thicker and poured into the room. Then it occurred to me that I had shut the window before I had come to bed. I would have got out to make certain on the point, but some leaden lethargy seemed to chain my limbs and even my will. I lay still and endured; that was all. I closed my eyes but could still see through my eyelids. (It is wonderful what tricks our dreams play us, and how conveniently we can imagine.) The mist grew thicker and thicker and I could see now how it came in, for I could see it like smoke —or with the white energy of boiling water —pouring in, not through the window, but through the joining’s of the door. It got thicker and thicker, till it seemed as if it became concentrated into a sort of pillar of cloud in the room, through the top of which I could see the light of the gas shining like a red eye. Things began to whirl through my brain just as the cloudy column was now whirling in the room, and through it all came the scriptural words “a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night.” Was it indeed some such spiritual guidance that was coming to me in my sleep? But the pillar was composed of both the day and the night-guiding, for the fire was in the red eye, which at the thought got a new fascination for me; till, as I looked, the fire divided, and seemed to shine on me through the fog like two red eyes, such as Lucy told me of in her momentary mental wandering when, on the cliff, the dying sunlight struck the windows of St. Mary’s Church. Suddenly the horror burst upon me that it was thus that Jonathan had seen those awful women growing into reality through the whirling mist in the moonlight, and in my dream, I must have fainted, for all became black darkness. The last conscious effort which imagination made was to show me a livid white face bending over me out of the mist. I must be careful of such dreams, for they would unseat one’s reason if there were too much of them. I would get Dr. Van Helsing or Dr. Seward to prescribe something for me which would make me sleep, only that I fear to alarm them. Such a dream at the present time would become woven into their fears for me. To-night I shall strive hard to sleep naturally. If I do not, I shall to-morrow night get them to give me a dose of chloral; that cannot hurt me for once, and it will give me a good night’s sleep. Last night tired me more than if I had not slept at all.
2 October 10 p. m. —Last night I slept but did not dream. I must have slept soundly, for I was not waked by Jonathan coming to bed; but the sleep has not refreshed me, for to-day I feel terribly weak and spiritless. I spent all yesterday trying to read or lying down dozing. In the afternoon Mr. Renfield asked if he might see me. Poor man, he was very gentle, and when I came away, he kissed my hand and bade God bless me. Some way it affected me much; I am crying when I think of him. This is a new weakness, of which I must be careful. Jonathan would be miserable if he knew I had been crying. He and the others were out till dinnertime, and they all came in tired. I did what I could to brighten them up, and I suppose that the effort did me good, for I forgot how tired I was. After dinner they sent me to bed, and all went off to smoke together, as they said, but I knew that they wanted to tell each other of what had occurred to each during the day; I could see from Jonathan’s manner that he had something important to communicate. I was not so sleepy as I should have been so before they went I asked Dr. Seward to give me a little opiate of some kind, as I had not slept well the night before. He very kindly made me up a sleeping draught, which he gave to me, telling me that it would do me no harm, as it was very mild.... I have taken it, and am waiting for sleep, which still keeps aloof. I hope I have not done wrong, for as sleep begins to flirt with me, a new fear comes that I may have been foolish in thus depriving myself of the power of waking. I might want it. Here comes sleep. Good night.
5 October, 5 p. m. —Our meeting for report. Present: Professor Van Helsing, Lord Godalming, Dr. Seward, Mr. Quincey Morris, Jonathan Harker, Mina Harker.
Dr. Van Helsing described what steps were taken during the day to discover on what boat and whither bound Count Dracula made his escape: —
“As I knew that he wanted to get back to Transylvania, I felt sure that he must go by the Danube mouth; or by somewhere in the Black Sea, since by that way he come. It was a dreary blank that was before us. Omne ignotum pro magnifico; and so, with heavy hearts we start to find what ships leave for the Black Sea last night. He was in sailing ship, since Madam Mina tell of sails being set. These not so important as to go in your list of the shipping in the Times, and so we go, by suggestion of Lord Godalming, to your Lloyd’s, where are note of all ships that sail, however so small. There we find that only one Black-Sea-bound ship go out with the tide. She is the Czarina Catherine, and she sail from Doolittle’s Wharf for Varna, and thence on to other parts and up the Danube. ‘Soh!’ said I, ‘this is the ship whereon is the Count.’ So off we go to Doolittle’s Wharf, and there we find a man in an office of wood so small that the man looks bigger than the office. From him we inquire of the goings of the Czarina Catherine. He swears much, and he red face and loud of voice, but he good fellow all the same; and when Quincey give him something from his pocket which crackle as he roll it up, and put it in a so small bag which he have hid deep in his clothing, he still better fellow and humble servant to us. He come with us and ask many men who are rough and hot; these be better fellows too when they have been no thirstier. They say much of blood and bloom, and of others which I comprehend not, though I guess what they mean; but nevertheless, they tell us all things which we want to know.
“They make known to us among them, how last afternoon at about five o’clock comes a man so hurry. A tall man, thin and pale, with high nose and teeth so white, and eyes that seem to be burning. That he be all in black, except that he have a hat of straw which suit not him or the time. That he scatter his money in making quick inquiry as to what ship sails for the Black Sea and for where. Some took him to the office and then to the ship, where he will not go aboard but halt at shore end of gang-plank, and ask that the captain come to him. The captain come, when told that he will be pay well; and though he swear much at the first he agree to term. Then the thin man go and someone tell him where horse and cart can be hired. He goes there and soon he come again, himself driving cart on which a great box; this he himself lift down, though it take several to put it on truck for the ship. He give much talk to captain as to how and where his box is to be place; but the captain like it not and swear at him in many tongues, and tell him that if he like he can come and see where it shall be. But he say ‘no’; that he come not yet, for that he have much to do. Whereupon the captain tell him that he had better be quick —with blood —for that his ship will leave the place —of blood —before the turn of the tide —with blood. Then the thin man smile and say that of course he must go when he think fit; but he will be surprise if he go quite so soon. The captain swear again, polyglot, and the thin man make him bow, and thank him, and say that he will so far intrude on his kindness as to come aboard before the sailing. Final the captain, redder than ever, and in more tongues tell him that he doesn’t want no Frenchmen —with bloom upon them and also with blood —in his ship —with blood on her also. And so, after asking where there might be close at hand a ship where he might purchase ship forms, he departed.
“No one knew where he went ‘or bloomin’ well cared,’ as they said, for they had something else to think of —well with blood again; for it soon became apparent to all that the Czarina Catherine would not sail as was expected. A thin mist began to creep up from the river, and it grew, and grew; till soon a dense fog enveloped the ship and all around her. The captain swore polyglot —very polyglot —polyglot with bloom and blood; but he could do nothing. The water rose and rose; and he began to fear that he would lose the tide altogether. He was in no friendly mood, when just at full tide, the thin man came up the gangplank again and asked to see where his box had been stowed. Then the captain replied that he wished that he and his box —old and with much bloom and blood —were in hell. But the thin man did not be offend and went down with the mate and saw where it was place, and came up and stood awhile on deck in fog. He must have come off by himself, for none notice him. Indeed, they thought not of him; for soon the fog begin to melt away, and all was clear again. My friends of the thirst and the language that was of bloom and blood laughed, as they told how the captains swears exceeded even his usual polyglot, and was more than ever full of picturesque, when on questioning other mariners who were on movement up and down on the river that hour, he found that few of them had seen any of fog at all, except where it lay round the wharf. However, the ship went out on the ebb tide; and was doubtless by morning far down the river mouth. She was by then, when they told us, well out to sea.
“And so, my dear Madam Mina, it is that we have to rest for a time, for our enemy is on the sea, with the fog at his command, on his way to the Danube mouth. To sail a ship takes time, go she never so quick; and when we start, we go on land quicker, and we meet him there. Our best hope is to come on him when in the box between sunrise and sunset; for then he can make no struggle, and we may deal with him as we should. There are days for us, in which we can make ready our plan. We know all about where he go; for we have seen the owner of the ship, who have shown us invoices and all papers that can be. The box we seek is to be landed in Varna, and to be given to an agent, one Ristics who will there present his credentials; and so our merchant friend will have done his part. When he asks if there be any wrong, for that so, he can telegraph and have inquiry made at Varna, we say ‘no’; for what is to be done is not for police or of the customs. It must be done by us alone and in our own way.”
When Dr. Van Helsing had done speaking, I asked him if he were certain that the Count had remained on board the ship. He replied: “We have the best proof of that: your own evidence, when in the hypnotic trance this morning.” I asked him again if it were really necessary that they should pursue the Count, for oh! I dread Jonathan leaving me, and I know that he would surely go if the others went. He answered in growing passion, at first quietly. As he went on, however, he grew more angry and more forceful, till in the end we could not but see wherein was at least some of that personal dominance which made him so long a master amongst men: —
“Yes, it is necessary —necessary —necessary! For your sake in the first, and then for the sake of humanity. This monster has done much harm already, in the narrow scope where he find himself, and in the short time when as yet he was only as a body groping his so small measure in darkness and not knowing. All this have I told these others; you, my dear Madam Mina, will learn it in the phonograph of my friend John, or in that of your husband. I have told them how the measure of leaving his own barren land —barren of peoples —and coming to a new land where life of man teems till they are like the multitude of standing corn, was the work of centuries. Were another of the Un-Dead, like him, to try to do what he has done, perhaps not all the centuries of the world that have been, or that will be, could aid him. With this one, all the forces of nature that are occult and deep and strong must have worked together in some wondrous way. The very place, where he have been alive, Un-Dead for all these centuries, is full of strangeness of the geologic and chemical world. There are deep caverns and fissures that reach none know whither. There have been volcanoes, some of whose openings still send out waters of strange properties, and gases that kill or make to vivify. Doubtless, there is something magnetic or electric in some of these combinations of occult forces which work for physical life in strange way; and in himself were from the first some great qualities. In a hard and warlike time, he was celebrate that he have more iron nerve, more subtle brain, more braver heart, than any man. In him some vital principle have in strange way found their utmost; and as his body keep strong and grow and thrive, so his brain grow too. All this without that diabolic aid which is surely to him; for it have to yield to the powers that come from, and are, symbolic of good. And now this is what he is to us. He has infect you —oh, forgive me, my dear, that I must say such; but it is for good of you that I speak. He infect you in such wise, that even if he do no more, you have only to live —to live in your own old, sweet way; and so in time, death, which is of man’s common lot and with God’s sanction, shall make you like to him. This must not be! We have sworn together that it must not. Thus, are we ministers of God’s own wish: that the world, and men for whom His Son die, will not be given over to monsters, whose very existence would defame Him. He have allowed us to redeem one soul already, and we go out as the old knights of the Cross to redeem more. Like them we shall travel towards the sunrise; and like them, if we fall, we fall in good cause.” He paused and I said: —
“But will not the Count take his rebuff wisely? Since he has been driven from England, will he not avoid it, as a tiger does the village from which he has been hunted?”
“Aha!” he said, “your simile of the tiger good, for me, and I shall adopt him. Your man-eater, as they of India call the tiger who has once tasted blood of the human, care no more for the other prey, but prowl unceasing till he get him. This that we hunt from our village is a tiger, too, a man-eater, and he never cease to prowl. Nay, in himself he is not one to retire and stay afar. In his life, his living life, he goes over the Turkey frontier and attack his enemy on his own ground; he be beaten back, but did he stay? No! He come again, and again, and again. Look at his persistence and endurance. With the child-brain that was to him he has long since conceive the idea of coming to a great city. What does he do? He finds out the place of all the world most of promise for him. Then he deliberately set himself down to prepare for the task. He finds in patience just how is his strength, and what are his powers. He studies new tongues. He learns new social life; new environment of old ways, the politic, the law, the finance, the science, the habit of a new land and a new people who have come to be since he was. His glimpse that he has had, whet his appetite only and enkeen his desire. Nay, it helps him to grow as to his brain; for it all prove to him how right he was at the first in his surmises. He has done this alone; all alone! from a ruin tomb in a forgotten land. What more may he not do when the greater world of thought is open to him? He that can smile at death, as we know him, who can flourish in the midst of diseases that kill off whole peoples. Oh, if such an one were to come from God, and not the Devil, what a force for good might he not be in this old world of ours. But we are pledged to set the world free. Our toil must be in silence, and our efforts all in secret; for in this enlightened age, when men believe not even what they see, the doubting of wise men would be his greatest strength. It would be at once his sheath and his armor, and his weapons to destroy us, his enemies, who are willing to peril even our own souls for the safety of one we love —for the good of mankind, and for the honor and glory of God.”
After a general discussion it was determined that for to-night nothing be definitely settled; that we should all sleep on the facts and try to think out the proper conclusions. To-morrow, at breakfast, we are to meet again, and, after making our conclusions known to one another, we shall decide on some definite cause of action.
I feel a wonderful peace and rest to-night. It is as if some haunting presence were removed from me. Perhaps ...
My surmise was not finished, could not be for I caught sight in the mirror of the red mark upon my forehead; and I knew that I was still unclean.
30 October. —Mr. Morris took me to the hotel where our rooms had been ordered by telegraph, he being the one who could best be spared, since he does not speak any foreign language. The forces were distributed much as they had been at Varna, except that Lord Godalming went to the Vice-Consul, as his rank might serve as an immediate guarantee of some sort to the official, we being in extreme hurry. Jonathan and the two doctors went to the shipping agent to learn particulars of the arrival of the Czarina Catherine.
Later. —Lord Godalming has returned. The Consul is away, and the Vice-Consul sick; so the routine work has been attended to by a clerk. He was very obliging and offered to do anything in his power.
30 October, evening. —They were so tired and worn out and dispirited that there was nothing to be done till they had some rest; so I asked them all to lie down for half an hour whilst I should enter everything up to the moment. I feel so grateful to the man who invented the “Traveler’s” typewriter, and to Mr. Morris for getting this one for me. I should have felt quite; astray doing the work if I had to write with a pen....
It is all done; poor dear, dear Jonathan, what he must have suffered, what must he be suffering now. He lies on the sofa hardly seeming to breathe, and his whole body appears in collapse. His brows are knit; his face is drawn with pain. Poor fellow, maybe he is thinking, and I can see his face all wrinkled up with the concentration of his thoughts. Oh! if I could only help at all.... I shall do what I can.
I have asked Dr. Van Helsing, and he has got me all the papers that I have not yet seen.... Whilst they are resting, I shall go over all carefully, and perhaps I may arrive at some conclusion. I shall try to follow the Professor’s example and think without prejudice on the facts before me....
I do believe that under God’s providence I have made a discovery. I shall get the maps and look over them....
I am more than ever sure that I am right. My new conclusion is ready, so I shall get our party together and read it. They can judge it; it is well to be accurate, and every minute is precious.
Ground of inquiry. —Count Dracula’s problem is to get back to his own place.
(a) He must be brought back by someone. This is evident; for had the power to move himself as he wished he could go either as man, or wolf, or bat, or in some other way. He evidently fears discovery or interference, in the state of helplessness in which he must be —confined as he is between dawn and sunset in his wooden box.
(b) How is he to be taken? —Here a process of exclusions may help us. By road, by rail, by water?
- By Road. —There are endless difficulties, especially in leaving the city.
(x) There are people; and people are curious and investigate. A hint, a surmise, a doubt as to what might be in the box, would destroy him.
(y) There are, or there may be, customs and octroi officers to pass.
(z) His pursuers might follow. This is his highest fear; and in order to prevent his being betrayed he has repelled, so far as he can, even his victim —me!
- By Rail. —There is no one in charge of the box. It would have to take its chance of being delayed; and delay would be fatal, with enemies on the track. True, he might escape at night; but what would he be, if left in a strange place with no refuge that he could fly to? This is not what he intends; and he does not mean to risk it.
- By Water. —Here is the safest way, in one respect, but with most danger in another. On the water he is powerless except at night; even then he can only summon fog and storm and snow and his wolves. But were he wrecked, the living water would engulf him, helpless; and he would indeed be lost. He could have the vessel drive to land; but if it were unfriendly land, wherein he was not free to move, his position would still be desperate.
We know from the record that he was on the water; so what we have to do is to ascertain what water.
The first thing is to realize exactly what he has done as yet; we may, then, get a light on what his later task is to be.
Firstly. —We must differentiate between what he did in London as part of his general plan of action, when he was pressed for moments and had to arrange as best he could.
Secondly, — We must see, as well as we can surmise it from the facts we know of, what he has done here.
As to the first, he evidently intended to arrive at Galatz, and sent invoice to Varna to deceive us lest we should ascertain his means of exit from England; his immediate and sole purpose then was to escape. The proof of this, is the letter of instructions sent to Immanuel Hildesheim to clear and take away the box before sunrise. There is also the instruction to Petrof Skinsky. These we must only guess at; but there must have been some letter or message, since Skinsky came to Hildesheim.
That, so far, his plans were successful we know. The Czarina Catherine made a phenomenally quick journey —so much so that Captain Donelson’s suspicions were aroused; but his superstition united with his canniness played the Count’s game for him, and he ran with his favoring wind through fogs and all till he brought up blindfold at Galatz. That the Count’s arrangements were well made, has been proved. Hildesheim cleared the box, took it off, and gave it to Skinsky. Skinsky took it —and here we lose the trail. We only know that the box is somewhere on the water, moving along. The customs and the octroi, if there be any, have been avoided.
Now we come to what the Count must have done after his arrival —on land, at Galatz.
The box was given to Skinsky before sunrise. At sunrise the Count could appear in his own form. Here, we ask why Skinsky was chosen at all to aid in the work? In my husband’s diary, Skinsky is mentioned as dealing with the Slovaks who trade down the river to the port; and the man’s remark, that the murder was the work of a Slovak, showed the general feeling against his class. The Count wanted isolation.
My surmise is, this: that in London the Count decided to get back to his castle by water, as the most safe and secret way. He was brought from the castle by Szgany, and probably they delivered their cargo to Slovaks who took the boxes to Varna, for there they were shipped for London. Thus, the Count had knowledge of the persons who could arrange this service. When the box was on land, before sunrise or after sunset, he came out from his box, met Skinsky and instructed him what to do as to arranging the carriage of the box up some river. When this was done, and he knew that all was in train, he blotted out his traces, as he thought, by murdering his agent.
I have examined the map and find that the river most suitable for the Slovaks to have ascended is either the Pruth or the Sereth. I read in the typescript that in my trance I heard cows low and water swirling level with my ears and the creaking of wood. The Count in his box, then, was on a river in an open boat —propelled probably either by oars or poles, for the banks are near and it is working against stream. There would be no such sound if floating down stream.
Of course, it may not be either the Sereth or the Pruth, but we may possibly investigate further. Now of these two, the Pruth is the more easily navigated, but the Sereth is, at Fundu, joined by the Bistritza which runs up round the Borgo Pass. The loop it makes is manifestly as close to Dracula’s castle as can be got by water.
When I had done reading, Jonathan took me in his arms and kissed me. The others kept shaking me by both hands, and Dr. Van Helsing said: —
“Our dear Madam Mina is once more our teacher. Her eyes have been where we were blinded. Now we are on the track once again, and this time we may succeed. Our enemy is at his most helpless; and if we can come on him by day, on the water, our task will be over. He has a start, but he is powerless to hasten, as he may not leave his box lest those who carry him may suspect; for them to suspect would be to prompt them to throw him in the stream where he perish. This he knows and will not. Now men, to our Council of War; for, here and now, we must plan what each and all shall do.”
“I shall get a steam launch and follow him,” said Lord Godalming.
“And I, horses to follow on the bank lest by chance he land,” said Mr. Morris.
“Good!” said the Professor, “both good. But neither must go alone. There must be force to overcome force if need be; the Slovak is strong and rough, and he carries rude arms.” All the men smiled, for amongst them they carried a small arsenal. Said Mr. Morris: —
“I have brought some Winchesters; they are pretty handy in a crowd, and there may be wolves. The Count, if you remember, took some other precautions; he made some requisitions on others that Mrs. Harker could not quite hear or understand. We must be ready at all points.” Dr. Seward said: —
“I think I had better go with Quincey. We have been accustomed to hunt together, and we two, well-armed, will be a match for whatever may come along. You must not be alone, Art. It may be necessary to fight the Slovaks, and a chance thrust —for I do not suppose these fellows carry guns —would undo all our plans. There must be no chances, this time; we shall, not rest until the Count’s head and body have been separated, and we are sure that he cannot re-incarnate.” He looked at Jonathan as he spoke, and Jonathan looked at me. I could see that the poor dear was torn about in his mind. Of course, he wanted to be with me; but then the boat service would, most likely, be the one which would destroy the ... the ... the ... Vampire. (Why did I hesitate to write the word?) He was silent awhile, and during his silence Dr. Van Helsing spoke: —
“Friend Jonathan, this is to you for twice reasons. First, because you are young and brave and can fight, and all energies may be needed at the last; and again, that it is your right to destroy him —that —which has wrought such woe to you and yours. Be not afraid for Madam Mina; she will be my care if I may. I am old. My legs are not so quick to run as once; and I am not used to ride so long or to pursue as need be, or to fight with lethal weapons. But I can be of other service; I can fight in other way. And I can die, if need be, as well as younger men. Now let me say that what I would is this: while you, my Lord Godalming and friend Jonathan go in your so swift little steamboat up the river, and whilst John and Quincey guard the bank where perchance he might be landed, I will take Madam Mina right into the heart of the enemy’s country. Whilst the old fox is tied in his box, floating on the running stream whence he cannot escape to land —where he dares not raise the lid of his coffin-box lest his Slovak carriers should in fear leave him to perish —we shall go in the track where Jonathan went, —from Bistritz over the Borgo, and find our way to the Castle of Dracula. Here, Madam Mina’s hypnotic power will surely help, and we shall find our way —all dark and unknown otherwise —after the first sunrise when we are near that fateful place. There is much to be done, and other places to be made sanctify, so that that nest of vipers be obliterated.” Here Jonathan interrupted him hotly: —
“Do you mean to say, Professor Van Helsing, that you would bring Mina, in her sad case and tainted as she is with that devil’s illness, right into the jaws of his death-trap? Not for the world! Not for Heaven or Hell!” He became almost speechless for a minute, and then went on: —
“Do you know what the place is? Have you seen that awful den of hellish infamy —with the very moonlight alive with grisly shapes, and every speck of dust that whirls in the wind a devouring monster in embryo? Have you felt the Vampire’s lips upon your throat?” Here he turned to me, and as his eyes lit on my forehead, he threw up his arms with a cry: “Oh, my God, what have we done to have this terror upon us!” and he sank down on the sofa in a collapse of misery. The Professor’s voice, as he spoke in clear, sweet tones, which seemed to vibrate in the air, calmed us all: —
“Oh, my friend, it is because I would save Madam Mina from that awful place that I would go. God forbid that I should take her into that place. There is work —wild work —to be done there, that her eyes may not see. We men here, all save Jonathan, have seen with their own eyes what is to be done before that place can be purify. Remember that we are in terrible straits. If the Count escape us this time —and he is strong and subtle and cunning —he may choose to sleep him for a century, and then in time our dear one” —he took my hand — “would come to him to keep him company, and would be as those others that you, Jonathan, saw. You have told us of their gloating lips; you heard their ribald laugh as they clutched the moving bag that the Count threw to them. You shudder; and well may it be. Forgive me that I make you so much pain, but it is necessary. My friend, is it not a dire need for the which I am giving, possibly my life? If it were that anyone went into that place to stay, it is I who would have to go to keep them company.”
“Do as you will,” said Jonathan, with a sob that shook him all over, “we are in the hands of God!”
Later. —Oh, it did me good to see the way that these brave men worked. How can women help loving men when they are so earnest, and so true, and so brave! And, too, it made me think of the wonderful power of money! What can it not do when it is properly applied; and what might it do when basely used? I felt so thankful that Lord Godalming is rich, and that both he and Mr. Morris, who also has plenty of money, are willing to spend it so freely. For if they did not, our little expedition could not start, either so promptly or so well equipped, as it will within another hour. It is not three hours since it was arranged what part each of us was to do; and now Lord Godalming and Jonathan have a lovely steam launch, with steam up ready to start at a moment’s notice. Dr. Seward and Mr. Morris have half a dozen good horses, well appointed. We have all the maps and appliances of various kinds that can be had. Professor Van Helsing and I are to leave by the 11:40 train to-night for Veresti, where we are to get a carriage to drive to the Borgo Pass. We are bringing a good deal of ready money, as we are to buy a carriage and horses. We shall drive ourselves, for we have no one whom we can trust in the matter. The Professor knows something of a great many languages, so we shall get on all right. We have all got arms, even for me a large-bore revolver; Jonathan would not be happy unless I was armed like the rest. Alas! I cannot carry one arm that the rest do; the scar on my forehead forbids that. Dear Dr. Van Helsing comforts me by telling me that I am fully armed as there may be wolves; the weather is getting colder every hour, and there are snow-flurries which come and go as warnings.
Later. —It took all my courage to say good-bye to my darling. We may never meet again. Courage, Mina! the Professor is looking at you keenly; his look is a warning. There must be no tears now —unless it may be that God will let them fall in gladness.
31 October. —Arrived at Veresti at noon. The Professor tells me that this morning at dawn he could hardly hypnotize me at all, and that all I could say was: “dark and quiet.” He is off now buying a carriage and horses. He says that he will later on try to buy additional horses, so that we may be able to change them on the way. We have something more than 70 miles before us. The country is lovely, and most interesting; if only we were under different conditions, how delightful it would be to see it all. If Jonathan and I were driving through it alone what a pleasure it would be. To stop and see people, and learn something of their life, and to fill our minds and memories with all the color and picturesqueness of the whole wild, beautiful country and the quaint people! But, alas! —
Later. —Dr. Van Helsing has returned. He has got the carriage and horses; we are to have some dinner, and to start in an hour. The landlady is putting us up a huge basket of provisions; it seems enough for a company of soldiers. The Professor encourages her, and whispers to me that it may be a week before we can get any good food again. He has been shopping too, and has sent home such a wonderful lot of fur coats and wraps, and all sorts of warm things. There will not be any chance of our being cold.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
We shall soon be off. I am afraid to think what may happen to us. We are truly in the hands of God. He alone knows what may be, and I pray Him, with all the strength of my sad and humble soul, that He will watch over my beloved husband; that whatever may happen, Jonathan may know that I loved him and honored him more than I can say, and that my latest and truest thought will be always for him.
1 November. —All day long we have travelled, and at a good speed. The horses seem to know that they are being kindly treated, for they go willingly their full stage at best speed. We have now had so many changes and find the same thing so constantly that we are encouraged to think that the journey will be an easy one. Dr. Van Helsing is laconic; he tells the farmers that he is hurrying to Bistritz and pays them well to make the exchange of horses. We get hot soup, or coffee, or tea; and off we go. It is a lovely country; full of beauties of all imaginable kinds, and the people are brave, and strong, and simple, and seem full of nice qualities. They are very, very superstitious. In the first house where we stopped, when the woman who served us saw the scar on my forehead, she crossed herself and put out two fingers towards me, to keep off the evil eye. I believe they went to the trouble of putting an extra amount of garlic into our food; and I can’t abide garlic. Ever since then I have taken care not to take off my hat or veil, and so have escaped their suspicions. We are travelling fast, and as we have no driver with us to carry tales, we go ahead of scandal; but I daresay that fear of the evil eye will follow hard behind us all the way. The Professor seems tireless; all day he would not take any rest, though he made me sleep for a long spell. At sunset time he hypnotized me, and he says that I answered as usual “darkness, lapping water and creaking wood”; so, our enemy is still on the river. I am afraid to think of Jonathan, but somehow, I have now no fear for him, or for myself. I write this whilst we wait in a farmhouse for the horses to be got ready. Dr. Van Helsing is sleeping, Poor dear, he looks very tired and old and grey, but his mouth is set as firmly as a conqueror’s; even in his sleep he is instinct with resolution. When we have well started, I must make him rest whilst I drive. I shall tell him that we have days before us, and we must not break down when most of all his strength will be needed.... All is ready; we are off shortly.
2 November, morning. —I was successful, and we took turns driving all night; now the day is on us, bright though cold. There is a strange heaviness in the air —I say heaviness for want of a better word; I mean that it oppresses us both. It is very cold, and only our warm furs keep us comfortable. At dawn Van Helsing hypnotized me; he says I answered “darkness, creaking wood and roaring water,” so the river is changing as they ascend. I do hope that my darling will not run any chance of danger —more than need be; but we are in God’s hands.
2 November, night. —All day long driving. The country gets wilder as we go, and the great spurs of the Carpathians, which at Veresti seemed so far from us and so low on the horizon, now seem to gather round us and tower in front. We both seem in good spirits; I think we make an effort each to cheer the other; in the doing so we cheer ourselves. Dr. Van Helsing says that by morning we shall reach the Borgo Pass. The houses are very few here now, and the Professor says that the last horse we got will have to go on with us, as we may not be able to change. He got two in addition to the two we changed, so that now we have a rude four-in-hand. The dear horses are patient and good, and they give us no trouble. We are not worried with other travelers, and so even I can drive. We shall get to the Pass in daylight; we do not want to arrive before. So we take it easy, and have each a long rest in turn. Oh, what will to-morrow bring to us? We go to seek the place where my poor darling suffered so much. God grant that we may be guided aright, and that He will deign to watch over my husband and those dear to us both, and who are in such deadly peril. As for me, I am not worthy in His sight. Alas! I am unclean to His eyes and shall be until He may deign to let me stand forth in His sight as one of those who have not incurred His wrath.
6 November. —It was late in the afternoon when the Professor and I took our way towards the east whence I knew Jonathan was coming. We did not go fast, though the way was steeply downhill, for we had to take heavy rugs and wraps with us; we dared not face the possibility of being left without warmth in the cold and the snow. We had to take some of our provisions, too, for we were in a perfect desolation, and, so far as we could see through the snowfall, there was not even the sign of habitation. When we had gone about a mile, I was tired with the heavy walking and sat down to rest. Then we looked back and saw where the clear line of Dracula’s castle cut the sky; for we were so deep under the hill whereon it was set that the angle of perspective of the Carpathian Mountains was far below it. We saw it in all its grandeur, perched a thousand feet on the summit of a sheer precipice, and with seemingly a great gap between it and the steep of the adjacent mountain on any side. There was something wild and uncanny about the place. We could hear the distant howling of wolves. They were far off, but the sound, even though coming muffled through the deadening snowfall, was full of terror. I knew from the way Dr. Van Helsing was searching about that he was trying to seek some strategic point, where we would be less exposed in case of attack. The rough roadway still led downwards; we could trace it through the drifted snow.
In a little while the Professor signaled to me, so I got up and joined him. He had found a wonderful spot, a sort of natural hollow in a rock, with an entrance like a doorway between two boulders. He took me by the hand and drew me in: “See!” he said, “here you will be in shelter; and if the wolves do come, I can meet them one by one.” He brought in our furs, and made a snug nest for me, and got out some provisions and forced them upon me. But I could not eat; to even try to do so was repulsive to me, and, much as I would have liked to please him, I could not bring myself to the attempt. He looked very sad but did not reproach me. Taking his field-glasses from the case, he stood on the top of the rock, and began to search the horizon. Suddenly he called out: —
“Look! Madam Mina, look! look!” I sprang up and stood beside him on the rock; he handed me his glasses and pointed. The snow was now falling more heavily, and swirled about fiercely, for a high wind was beginning to blow. However, there were times when there were pauses between the snow flurries and I could see a long way round. From the height where we were it was possible to see a great distance; and far off, beyond the white waste of snow, I could see the river lying like a black ribbon in kinks and curls as it wound its way. Straight in front of us and not far off —in fact, so near that I wondered we had not noticed before —came a group of mounted men hurrying along. In the midst of them was a cart, a long leiter-wagon which swept from side to side, like a dog’s tail wagging, with each stern inequality of the road. Outlined against the snow as they were, I could see from the men’s clothes that they were peasants or gypsies of some kind.
On the cart was a great square chest. My heart leaped as I saw it, for I felt that the end was coming. The evening was now drawing close, and well I knew that at sunset the Thing, which was till then imprisoned there, would take new freedom and could in any of many forms elude all pursuit. In fear I turned to the Professor; to my consternation, however, he was not there. An instant later, I saw him below me. Round the rock he had drawn a circle, such as we had found shelter in last night. When he had completed it he stood beside me again, saying: —
“At least you shall be safe here from him!” He took the glasses from me, and at the next lull of the snow swept the whole space below us. “See,” he said, “they come quickly; they are flogging the horses and galloping as hard as they can.” He paused and went on in a hollow voice: —
“They are racing for the sunset. We may be too late. God’s will be done!” Down came another blinding rush of driving snow, and the whole landscape was blotted out. It soon passed, however, and once more his glasses were fixed on the plain. Then came a sudden cry: —
“Look! Look! Look! See, two horsemen follow fast, coming up from the south. It must be Quincey and John. Take the glass. Look before the snow blots it all out!” I took it and looked. The two men might be Dr. Seward and Mr. Morris. I knew at all events that neither of them was Jonathan. At the same time, I knew that Jonathan was not far off; looking around I saw on the north side of the coming party two other men, riding at break-neck speed. One of them I knew was Jonathan, and the other I took, of course, to be Lord Godalming. They, too, were pursuing the party with the cart. When I told the Professor, he shouted in glee like a schoolboy, and, after looking intently till a snow fall made sight impossible, he laid his Winchester rifle ready for use against the boulder at the opening of our shelter. “They are all converging,” he said. “When the time comes, we shall have gypsies on all sides.” I got out my revolver ready to hand, for whilst we were speaking the howling of wolves came louder and closer. When the snowstorm abated a moment, we looked again. It was strange to see the snow falling in such heavy flakes close to us, and beyond, the sun shining more and more brightly as it sank down towards the far mountain tops. Sweeping the glass all around us I could see here and there dots moving singly and in twos and threes and larger numbers —the wolves were gathering for their prey.
Every instant seemed an age whilst we waited. The wind came now in fierce bursts, and the snow was driven with fury as it swept upon us in circling eddies. At times we could not see an arm’s length before us; but at others, as the hollow-sounding wind swept by us, it seemed to clear the airspace around us so that we could see afar off. We had of late been so accustomed to watch for sunrise and sunset, that we knew with fair accuracy when it would be; and we knew that before long the sun would set. It was hard to believe that by our watches it was less than an hour that we waited in that rocky shelter before the various bodies began to converge close upon us. The wind came now with fiercer and more bitter sweeps, and more steadily from the north. It seemingly had driven the snow clouds from us, for, with only occasional bursts, the snow fell. We could clearly distinguish the individuals of each party, the pursued and the pursuers. Strangely enough those pursued did not seem to realize, or at least to care, that they were pursued; they seemed, however, to hasten with redoubled speed as the sun dropped lower and lower on the mountain tops.
Closer and closer they drew. The Professor and I crouched down behind our rock and held our weapons ready; I could see that he was determined that they should not pass. One and all were quite unaware of our presence.
All at once two voices shouted out to: “Halt!” One was my Jonathan’s, raised in a high key of passion, the other Mr. Morris’ strong resolute tone of quiet command. The gypsies may not have known the language, but there was no mistaking the tone, in whatever tongue the words were spoken. Instinctively they reined in, and at the instant Lord Godalming and Jonathan dashed up at one side and Dr. Seward and Mr. Morris on the other. The leader of the gypsies, a splendid-looking fellow who sat his horse like a centaur, waved them back, and in a fierce voice gave to his companions some word to proceed. They lashed the horses which sprang forward; but the four men raised their Winchester rifles, and in an unmistakable way commanded them to stop. At the same moment Dr. Van Helsing and I rose behind the rock and pointed our weapons at them. Seeing that they were surrounded the men tightened their reins and drew up. The leader turned to them and gave a word at which every man of the gypsy party drew what weapon he carried, knife or pistol, and held himself in readiness to attack. Issue was joined in an instant.
The leader, with a quick movement of his rein, threw his horse out in front, and pointing first to the sun —now close down on the hill tops —and then to the castle, said something which I did not understand. For answer, all four men of our party threw themselves from their horses and dashed towards the cart. I should have felt terrible fear at seeing Jonathan in such danger, but that the ardor of battle must have been upon me as well as the rest of them; I felt no fear, but only a wild, surging desire to do something. Seeing the quick movement of our parties, the leader of the gypsies gave a command; his men instantly formed round the cart in a sort of undisciplined endeavor, each one shouldering and pushing the other in his eagerness to carry out the order.
In the midst of this I could see that Jonathan on one side of the ring of men, and Quincey on the other, were forcing a way to the cart; it was evident that they were bent on finishing their task before the sun should set. Nothing seemed to stop or even to hinder them. Neither the levelled weapons nor the flashing knives of the gypsies in front, nor the howling of the wolves behind, appeared to even attract their attention. Jonathan’s impetuosity, and the manifest singleness of his purpose, seemed to overawe those in front of him; instinctively they cowered, aside and let him pass. In an instant he had jumped upon the cart, and, with a strength which seemed incredible, raised the great box, and flung it over the wheel to the ground. In the meantime, Mr. Morris had had to use force to pass through his side of the ring of Szgany. All the time I had been breathlessly watching Jonathan I had, with the tail of my eye, seen him pressing desperately forward, and had seen the knives of the gypsies’ flash as he won a way through them, and they cut at him. He had parried with his great bowie knife, and at first, I thought that he too had come through in safety; but as he sprang beside Jonathan, who had by now jumped from the cart, I could see that with his left hand he was clutching at his side, and that the blood was spurting through his fingers. He did not delay notwithstanding this, for as Jonathan, with desperate energy, attacked one end of the chest, attempting to prize off the lid with his great Kukri knife, he attacked the other frantically with his bowie. Under the efforts of both men the lid began to yield; the nails drew with a quick screeching sound, and the top of the box was thrown back.
By this time the gypsies, seeing themselves covered by the Winchesters, and at the mercy of Lord Godalming and Dr. Seward, had given in and made no resistance. The sun was almost down on the mountain tops, and the shadows of the whole group fell long upon the snow. I saw the Count lying within the box upon the earth, some of which the rude falling from the cart had scattered over him. He was deathly pale, just like a waxen image, and the red eyes glared with the horrible vindictive look which I knew too well.
As I looked, the eyes saw the sinking sun, and the look of hate in them turned to triumph.
But, on the instant, came the sweep and flash of Jonathan’s great knife. I shrieked as I saw it shear through the throat; whilst at the same moment Mr. Morris’s bowie knife plunged into the heart.
It was like a miracle; but before our very eyes, and almost in the drawing of a breath, the whole-body crumble into dust and passed from our sight.
I shall be glad as long as I live that even in that moment of final dissolution, there was in the face a look of peace, such as I never could have imagined might have rested there.
The Castle of Dracula now stood out against the red sky, and every stone of its broken battlements was articulated against the light of the setting sun.
The gypsies, taking us as in some way the cause of the extraordinary disappearance of the dead man, turned, without a word, and rode away as if for their lives. Those who were unmounted jumped upon the leiter-wagon and shouted to the horsemen not to desert them. The wolves, which had withdrawn to a safe distance, followed in their wake, leaving us alone.
Mr. Morris, who had sunk to the ground, leaned on his elbow, holding his hand pressed to his side; the blood still gushed through his fingers. I flew to him, for the Holy circle did not now keep me back; so, did the two doctors. Jonathan knelt behind him and the wounded man laid back his head on his shoulder. With a sigh he took, with a feeble effort, my hand in that of his own which was unstained. He must have seen the anguish of my heart in my face, for he smiled at me and said: —
“I am only too happy to have been of any service! Oh, God!” he cried suddenly, struggling up to a sitting posture and pointing to me, “It was worth for this to die! Look! look!”
The sun was now right down upon the mountain top, and the red gleams fell upon my face, so that it was bathed in rosy light. With one impulse the men sank on their knees and a deep and earnest “Amen” broke from all as their eyes followed the pointing of his finger. The dying man spoke: —
“Now God be thanked that all has not been in vain! See! the snow is not more stainless than her forehead! The curse has passed away!”
And, to our bitter grief, with a smile and in silence, he died, a gallant gentleman.