Original Gothic Novel
3 October- The
time seemed terribly long whilst we were waiting for the coming of Godalming
and Quincey Morris. The Professor tried to keep our minds active by using
them all the time. I could see his beneficent purpose, by the side glances
which he threw from time to time at Harker. The poor fellow is overwhelmed
in a misery that is appalling to see. Last night he was a frank, happy-looking
man, with strong, youthful face, full of energy, and with dark brown hair.
To-day he is a drawn, haggard old man, whose white hair matches well with
the hollow burning eyes and grief-written lines of his face. His energy is
still intact; in fact, he is like a living flame. This may yet be his salvation,
for, if all go well, it will tide him over the despairing period; he will
then, in a kind of way, wake again to the realities of life. Poor fellow,
I thought my own trouble was bad enough, but his-! The Professor knows this
well enough, and is doing his best to keep his mind active. What he has been
saying was, under the circumstances, of absorbing interest. So well as I can
remember, here it is:-
"I have studied,
over and over again since they came into my hands, all the papers relating
to this monster; and the more I have studied, the greater seems the necessity
to utterly stamp him out. All through there are signs of his advance; not
only of his power, but of his knowledge of it. As I learned from the researches
of my friend Arminius of Buda-Pesth, he was in life a most wonderful man.
Soldier, statesman, and alchemist- which latter was the highest development
of the science knowledge of his time. He had a mighty brain, a learning beyond
compare, and a heart that knew no fear and no remorse. He dared even to attend
the Scholomance, and there was no branch of knowledge of his time that he
did not essay. Well, in him the brain powers survived the physical death;
though it would seem that memory was not all complete. In some faculties of
mind he has been, and is, only a child; but he is growing, and some things
that were childish at the first are now of man's stature. He is experimenting,
and doing it well; and if it had not been that we have crossed his path he
would be yet- he may be yet if we fail- the father or furtherer of a new order
of beings, whose road must lead through Death, not Life."
and said, "And this is all arrayed against my darling! But how is he
experimenting? The knowledge may help us to defeat him!"
"He has all
along, since his coming, been trying his power, slowly but surely; that big
child-brain of his working. Well for us, it is, as yet, a child-brain; for
had he dared, at the first, to attempt certain things he would long ago have
been beyond our power. However, he means to succeed, and a man who has centuries
before him can afford to wait and to go slow. Festina lente may well be his
"I fail to
understand," said Harker wearily. "Oh, do be more plain to me! Perhaps
grief and trouble are dulling my brain." The Professor laid his hand
tenderly on his shoulder as he spoke:- \
"Ah, my child,
I will be plain. Do you not see how, of late, this monster has been creeping
into knowledge experimentally. How he has been making use of the zoophagous
patient to effect his entry into friend John's home; for your Vampire, though
in all afterwards he can come when and how he will, must at the first make
entry only when asked thereto by an inmate. But these are not his most important
experiments. Do we not see how at the first all these so great boxes were
moved by others. He knew not then but that must be so. But all the time that
so great child-brain of his was growing, and he began to consider whether
might not himself move the box. So he began to help; and then, when he found
that this be all-right, he try to move them all alone. And so he progress,
and he scatter these graves of him; and none but he know where they are hidden.
He may have intend to bury them deep in the ground. So that he only use them
in the night, or at such time as he can change his form, they do him equal
well; and none may know these are his hiding place But, my child, do not despair,
this knowledge come to him just too late! Already all of his lairs but one
be sterilise as for him; and before the sunset this shall be so. Then he have
no place where he can move and hide. I delayed this morning that so we might
be sure. Is there not more at stake for us than for him? Then why we not be
even more careful than him? By my clock it is one hour, and already, if all
be well, friend Arthur and Quincey are on their way to us. To-day is our day,
and we must go sure, if slow, and lose no chance. See! there are five of us
when those absent ones return."
Whilst he was
speaking we were startled by a knock at the hall door, the double postman's
knock of the telegraph boy. We all moved out to the hall with one impulse,
and Van Helsing, holding up his hand to us to keep silence, stepped to the
door and opened it. The boy handed in a despatch. The Professor closed the
door again and, after looking at the direction, opened it and read aloud.
for D. He has just now, 12.45, come from Carfax hurriedly and hastened towards
the South. He seems to be going the round and may want to see you: Mina."
There was a pause,
broken by Jonathan Harker's voice:-
be thanked, we shall soon meet!" Van Helsing turned to him quickly and
act in His own way and time. Do not fear, and do not rejoice as yet; for what
we wish for at the moment may be our undoings."
"I care for
nothing now," he answered hotly, "except to wipe out this brute
from the face of creation. I would sell my soul to do it!"
hush, my child!" said Van Helsing, "God does not purchase souls
in this wise; and the Devil, though he may purchase, does not keep faith.
But God is merciful and just, and knows your pain and your devotion to that
dear Madam Mina. Think you, how her pain would be doubled, did she but hear
your wild words. Do not fear any of us, we are all devoted to this cause,
and to-day shall see the end. The time is coming for action; to-day this Vampire
is limit to the powers of man, and fill sunset he may not change. It will
take him time to arrive here- see, it is twenty minutes past one- and there
are yet some times before he can hither come, be he never so quick. What we
must hope for is that my Lord Arthur and Quincey arrive first."
About half an
hour after we had received Mrs. Harker's telegram, there came a quiet, resolute
knock at the hall door. It was just an ordinary knock, such as is given hourly
by thousands of gentlemen, but it made the Professor's heart and mine beat
loudly. We looked at each other, and together moved out into the hall; we
each held ready to use our various armaments- the spiritual in the left hand,
the mortal in the right. Van Helsing pulled back the latch, and, holding the
door half open, stood back, having both hands ready for action. The gladness
of our hearts must have shown upon our faces when on the step, close to the
door, we saw Lord Godalming and Quincey Morris. They came quickly in and closed
the door behind them, the former saying, as they moved along the hall:-
"It is all
right. We found both places; six boxes in each, and we destroyed them all!"
asked the Professor.
We were silent for a minute, and then Quincey said:-
nothing to do but to wait here. If, however, he doesn't turn up by five o'clock,
we must start off, for it won't do to leave Mrs. Harker alone after sunset."
be here before long now," said Van Helsing, who had been consulting his
pocket-book. "Nota bene, in Madam's telegram he went south from Carfax,
that means he went to cross the river, and he could only do so at slack of
tide, which should be something before one o'clock. That he went south has
a meaning for us. He is as yet only suspicious; and he went from Carfax first
to the place where he would suspect interference least. You must have been
at Bermondsey only a short time before him. That he is not here already shows
that he went to Mile End next. This took him some time; for he would then
have to be carried over the river in some way. Believe me, my friends, we
shall not have long to wait now. We should have ready some plan of attack,
so that we may throw away no chance. Hush, there is no time now. Have all
your arms! Be ready!" He held up a warning hand as he spoke, for we all
could hear a key softly inserted in the lock of the hall door.
I could not but
admire, even at such a moment, the way in which a dominant spirit asserted
itself. In all our hunting parties and adventures in different parts of the
world, Quincey Morris had always been the one to arrange the plan of action,
and Arthur and I had been accustomed to obey him implicitly. Now, the old
habit seemed to be renewed instinctively. With a swift glance around the room,
he at once laid out our plan of attack, and, without speaking a word, with
a gesture, placed us each in position. Van Helsing, Harker and I were just
behind the door, so that when it was opened the Professor could guard it whilst
we two stepped between the incomer and the door. Godalming behind and Quincey
in front stood just out of sight ready to move in front of the window. We
waited in a suspense that made the seconds pass with nightmare slowness. The
slow, careful steps came along the hall; the Count was evidently prepared
for some surprise- at least he feared it.
a single bound he leaped into the room, winning a way past us before any of
us could raise a hand to stay him. There was something so panther-like in
the movement- something so unhuman, that it seemed to sober us all from the
shock of his coming. The first to act was Harker, who, with a quick movement,
threw himself before the door leading into the room in the front of the house.
As the Count saw us, a horrible sort of snarl passed over his face, showing
the eye-teeth long and pointed; but the evil smile as quickly passed into
a cold stare of lion-like disdain. His expression again changed, as, with
a single impulse, we all advanced upon him. It was a pity that we had not
some better organised plan of attack, for even at the moment I wondered what
we were to do. I did not myself know whether our lethal weapons would avail
us anything. Harker evidently meant to try the matter, for he had ready his
great Kukri knife, and made a fierce and sudden cut at him. The blow was a
powerful one; only the diabolical quickness of the Count's leap back saved
him. A second less and the trenchant blade had shorne through his heart. As
it was, the point just cut the cloth of his coat, making a wide gap whence
a bundle of bank-notes and a stream of gold fell out. The expression of the
Count's face was so hellish, that for a moment I feared for Harker, though
I saw him throw the terrible knife aloft again for another stroke. Instinctively
I moved forward with a protective impulse, holding the Crucifix and Wafer
in my left-hand. I felt a mighty power fly along my arm; and it was without
surprise I saw that the monster cower back before a similar movement made
spontaneously by each one of us. It would be impossible to describe the expression
of hate and baffled malignity- of anger and hellish rage- which came over
the Count's face. His waxen hue became greenish-yellow by the contrast of
his burning eyes, and the red scar on the forehead showed on the pallid skin
like a palpitating wound. The next instant, with a sinuous dive he swept under
Harker's arm, ere his blow could fall, and, grasping a handful of the money
from the floor, dashed across the room, threw himself at the window. Amid
the crash and glitter of the falling glass, he tumbled into the flagged area
below. Through the sound of the shivering glass I could hear the "ting"
of the gold, as some of the sovereigns fell on the flagging.
We ran over and
saw him spring unhurt from the ground. He, rushing up the steps, crossed the
flagged yard, and pushed open the stable door. There he turned and spoke to
to baffle me, you- with your pale faces all in a row, like sheep in a butcher's.
You shall be sorry yet, each one of you You think you have left me without
a place to rest; but I have more. My revenge is just begun! I spread it over
centuries, and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already;
and through them you and others shall yet be mine- my creatures, to do my
bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed. Bah!" With a contemptuous
sneer, he passed quickly through the door, and we heard the rusty bolt creak
as he fastened it behind him. A door beyond opened and shut. The first of
us to speak was the Professor, as, realising the difficulty of following him
through the stable, we moved toward the hall. \
We have learnt
something- much! Notwithstanding his brave words, he fears us; he fear time,
he fear want! For if not, why he hurry so? His very tone betray him, or my
ears deceive. Why take that money? You follow quick. You are hunters of wild
beast, and understand it so. For me, I make sure that nothing here may be
of use to him, if so that he return.- As he spoke he put the money remaining
into his pocket; took the title-deeds in the bundle as Harker had left them;
and swept the remaining things into the open fireplace, where he set fire
to them with a match.
Morris had rushed out into the yard, and Harker had lowered himself from the
window to follow the Count. He had, however, bolted the stable door, and by
the time they had forced it open there was no sign of him. Van Helsing and
I tried to make inquiry at the back of the house; but the mews was deserted
and no one had seen him depart.
It was now late
in the afternoon, and sunset was not far off. We had to recognise that our
game was up; with heavy hearts we agreed with the Professor when he said:-
"Let us go
back to Madam Mina- poor, poor dear Madam Mina. All we can do just now is
done; and we can there, at least, protect her. But we need not despair. There
is but one more earth-box, and we must try to find it; when that is done all
may yet be well." I could see that he spoke as bravely as he could to
comfort Harker. The poor fellow was quite broken down; now and again he gave
a low groan which he could not suppress- he was thinking of his wife.
With sad hearts
we came back to my house, where we found Mrs. Harker waiting us, with an appearance
of cheerfulness which did honour to her bravery and unselfishness. When she
saw our faces, her own became as pale as death; for a second or two her eyes
were closed as if she were in secret prayer, and then she said cheerfully:-
"I can never
thank you all enough. Oh, my poor darling!" as she spoke, she took her
husband's grey head in her hands and kissed it- "Lay your poor head here
and rest it. All will yet be well, dear! God will protect us if he so will
it in His good intent." The poor fellow only groaned. There was no place
for words in his sublime misery.
We had a sort
of perfunctory supper together, and I think it cheered us all up somewhat.
It was, perhaps, the mere animal heat of food to hungry people- for none of
us had eaten anything since breakfast- or the sense of companionship may have
helped us; but anyhow we were all less miserable, and saw the morrow as not
altogether without hope. True to our promise, we told Mrs. Harker everything
which had passed; and although she grew snowy white at times when danger had
seemed to threaten her husband, and red at others when his devotion to her
was manifested, she listened bravely and with calmness. When we came to the
part where Harker had rushed at the Count so recklessly, she clung to her
husband's arm, and held it tight as though her clinging could protect him
from any harm that might come. She said nothing, however, till the narration
was all done, and matters had been brought right up to the present time. Then
without letting go her husband's hand she stood up amongst us and spoke. Oh
that I could give any idea of the scene; of that sweet, sweet, good, good
woman in all the radiant beauty of her youth and animation, with the red scar
on her forehead, of which she was conscious, and which we saw with grinding
of our teeth- remembering whence and how it came; her loving kindness against
our grim hate; her tender faith against all our fears and doubting; and we,
knowing that so far as symbols went, she with all her goodness and purity
and faith, was outcast from God.
she said, and the word sounded like music on her lips it was so full of love
and tenderness, "Jonathan dear, and you all my true, true friends, I
want you to bear something in mind through all this dreadful time. I know
that you must fight- that you must destroy even as you destroyed the false
Lucy so that the true Lucy might live hereafter, but it is not a work of hate.
That poor soul who has wrought all this misery is the saddest case of all.
Just think what will be his joy when he, too, is destroyed in his worser part
that his better part may have spiritual immortality. You must be pitiful to
him, too, though it may not hold your hands from his destruction."
As she spoke I
could see her husband's face darken and draw together, as though the passion
in him were shriveling his being to its core. Instinctively the clasp on his
wife's hand grew closer, till his knuckles looked white. She did not flinch
from the pain which I knew she must have suffered, but looked at him with
eyes that were more appealing than ever. As she stopped speaking he leaped
to his feet, almost tearing his hand from hers as he spoke:-
give him into my hand just for long enough to destroy that earthly life of
him which we are aiming at. If beyond it I could send his soul for ever and
ever to burning hell I would do it!"
oh, hush! In the name of the good God. Don't say such things, Jonathan, my
husband; or you will crush me with fear and horror. Just think, my dear- I
have been thinking all this long, long day of it- that... perhaps... some
day... I, too, may need such pity; and that some other like you- and with
equal cause for anger- may deny it to me! Oh, my husband! my husband, indeed
I would have spared you such a thought had there been another way; but I pray
that God may not have treasured your wild words, except as the heart-broken
wall of a very loving and sorely stricken man. Oh God, let these poor white
hairs go in evidence of what he has suffered, who all his life has done no
wrong, and on whom so many sorrows have come."
We men were all
in tears now. There was no resisting them, and we wept openly. She wept, too,
to see that her sweeter counsels had prevailed. Her husband flung himself
on his knees beside her, and putting his arms round her, hid his face in the
folds of her dress. Van Helsing beckoned to us and we stole out of the room,
leaving the two loving hearts alone with their God.
Before they retired
the Professor fixed up the room against any coming of the Vampire, and assured
Mrs. Harker that she might rest in peace. She tried to school herself to the
belief, and, manifestly for her husband's sake, tried to seem content. It
was a brave struggle; and was, I think and believe, not without its reward.
Van Helsing had placed at hand a bell which either of them was to sound in
case of any emergency. When they had retired, Quincey, Godalming, and I arranged
that we should sit up, dividing the night between us, and watch over the safety
of the poor stricken lady. The first watch falls to Quincey, so the rest of
us shall be off to bed as soon as we can. Godalming has already turned in,
for his is the second watch. Now that my work is done I, too, shall go to
3-4 October, close
to midnight.- I thought yesterday would never end. There was over me a yearning
for sleep, in some sort of blind belief that to wake would be to find things
changed, and that any change must now be for the better. Before we parted,
we discussed what our next step was to be, but we could arrive at no result.
All we knew was that one earth-box remained, and that the Count alone knew
where it was. If he chooses to lie hidden, he may baffle us for years; and
in the meantime!- the thought is too horrible, I dare not think of it even
now. This I know: that if ever there was a woman who was all perfection, that
one is my poor wronged darling. I love her a thousand times more for her sweet
pity of last night, a pity that made my own hate of the monster seem despicable.
Surely God will not permit the world to be the poorer by the loss of such
a creature. This is hope to me. We are all drifting reefwards now, and faith
is our only anchor. Thank God! Mina is sleeping, and sleeping without dreams.
I fear what her dreams might be like, with such terrible memories to ground
them in. She has not been so calm, within my seeing, since the sunset. Then,
for a while, there came over her face a repose which was like spring after
the blasts of March. I thought at the time that it was the softness of the
red sunset on her face, but somehow now I think it has a deeper meaning. I
am not sleepy myself, though I am weary- weary to death. However, I must try
to sleep; for there is to-morrow to think of, and there is no rest for me
Later.- I must
have fallen asleep, for I was awaked by Mina, who was sitting up in bed, with
a startled look on her face. I could see easily, for we did not leave the
room in darkness; she had placed a warning hand over my mouth, and now she
whispered in my ear:-
is someone in the corridor!" I got up softly, and, crossing the room,
gently opened the door.
stretched on a mattress, lay Mr. Morris, wide awake. He raised a warning hand
for silence as he whispered to me:-
back to bed; it is all right. One of us will be here all night. We don't mean
to take any chances!"
His look and gesture
forbade discussion, so I came back and told Mina. She sighed and positively
a shadow of a smile stole over her poor, pale face as she put her arms round
me and said softly:-
God for good brave men!" With a sigh she sank back again to sleep. I
write this now as I am not sleepy, though I must try again.
October, morning.- once again during the night I was wakened by Mina. This
time we had all had a good sleep, for the grey of the coming dawn was making
the windows into sharp oblongs, and the gas flame was like a speck rather
than a disc of light. She said to me hurriedly:-
call the Professor. I want to see him at once."
have an idea. I suppose it must have come in the night, and matured without
my knowing it. He must hypnotise me before the dawn, and then I shall be able
to speak. Go quick, dearest, the time is getting close." I went to the
door. Dr. Seward was resting on the mattress, and, seeing me, he sprang to
anything wrong?" he asked, in alarm.
I replied; "but Mina wants to see Dr. Van Helsing at once."
will go," he said, and hurried into the Professor's room. In two or three
minutes later Van Helsing was in the room in his dressing-gown, and Mr. Morris
and Lord Godalming were with Dr. Seward at the door asking questions. When
the Professor saw Mina a smile- a positive smile ousted the anxiety of his
face; he rubbed his hands as he said:-
my dear Madam Mina, this is indeed a change. See! friend Jonathan, we have
got our dear Madam Mina, as of old, back to us to-day!" Then turning
to her, he said, cheerfully: "And what am I do for you? For at this hour
you do not want me for nothings." \
want you to hypnotise me!" she said. "Do it before the dawn, for
I feel that then I can speak, and speak freely. Be quick, for the time is
short!" Without a word he motioned her to sit up in bed.
fixedly at her, he commenced to make passes in front of her, from over the
top of her head downward, with each hand in turn. Mina gazed at him fixedly
for a few minutes, during which my own heart beat like a trip hammer, for
I felt that some crisis was at hand. Gradually her eyes closed, and she sat,
stock still; only by the gentle heaving of her bosom could one know that she
was alive. The Professor made a few more passes and then stopped, and I could
see that his forehead was covered with great beads of perspiration. Mina opened
her eyes; but she did not seem the same woman. There was a far-away look in
her eyes, and her voice had a sad dreaminess which was new to me. Raising
his hand to impose silence, the Professor motioned to me to bring the others
in. They came on tip-toe, closing the door behind them, and stood at the foot
of the bed, looking on. Mina appeared not to see them. The stillness was broken
by Van Helsing's voice speaking in a low level tone which would not break
the current of her thoughts:-
are you?" The answer came in a neutral way:-
do not know. Sleep has no place it can call its own." For several minutes
there was silence. Mina sat rigid, and the Professor stood staring at her
fixedly; the rest of us hardly dared to breathe. The room was growing lighter,
without taking his eyes from Mina's face, Dr. Van Helsing motioned me to pull
up the blind. I did so, and the day seemed just upon us. A red streak shot
up, and a rosy light seemed to diffuse itself through the room. On the instant
the Professor spoke again:-
are you now?" The answer came dreamily, but with intention; it were as
though she were interpreting something. I have heard her use the same tone
when reading her shorthand notes.
do not know. It is all strange to me!"
do you see?"
can see nothing; it is all dark."
do you hear?" I could detect the strain in the Professor's patient voice.
lapping of water. It is gurgling by, and little waves leap. I can hear them
on the outside."
you are on a ship?" We all looked at each other, trying to glean something
each from the other. We were afraid to think. The answer came quick:-
else do you hear?"
sound of men stamping overhead as they run about. There is the creaking of
a chain, and the loud tinkle as the check of the capstan falls into the rachet."
are you doing?"
am still- oh, so still. It is like death!" The voice faded away into
a deep breath as of one sleeping, and the open eyes closed again.
this time the sun had risen, and we were all in the full light of day. Dr.
Van Helsing placed his hands on Mina's shoulders, and laid her head down softly
on her pillow. She lay like a sleeping child for a few moments, and then,
with a long sigh, awoke and stared in wonder to see us all around her. "Have
I been talking in my sleep?" was all she said. She seemed, however, to
know the situation without telling; though she was eager to know what she
had told. The Professor repeated the conversation, and she said:-
there is not a moment to lose: it may not be yet too late!" Mr. Morris
and Lord Godalming started for the door but the Professor's
calm voice called them back:-
my friends. That ship wherever it was, was weighing anchor whilst she spoke.
There are many ships weighing anchor at the moment in your so great Port of
London. Which of them is it that you seek? God be thanked that we have once
again a clue, though whither it may lead us we know not. We have been blind
somewhat: blind after the manner of men, since when we can look back we see
what we might have seen looking forward if we had been able to see what we
might have seen Alas! but that sentence is a puddle; is it not? We can know
now what was in the Count's mind when he seize that money, though Jonathan's
so fierce knife put him in the danger that even he dread. He meant escape.
Hear me, ESCAPE! He saw that with but one earth-box left, and a pack of men
following like dogs after a fox, this London was no place for him. He have
take his last earth-box on board a ship, and he leave the land. He think to
escape, but no! we follow him. Tally Ho! as friend Arthur would say when he
put on his red frock! Our old fox is wily; oh! so wily and we must follow
with wile. I too am wily and I think his mind in a little while. In meantime
we may rest and in peace, for there are waters between us which he do not
want to pass, and which he could not if he would- unless the ship were to
touch the land, and then only at full or slack tide. See, and the sun is just
rose, and all day to sunset is to us. Let us take bath, and dress, and have
breakfast which we all need, and which we can eat comfortably since he be
not in the same land with us." Mina looked at him appealingly as she
why need we seek him further, when he is gone away from us?" He took
her hand and patted it as he replied:-
me nothings as yet. When we have breakfast, then I answer all questions."
He would say no more, and we separated to dress.
breakfast Mina repeated her question. He looked at her gravely for a minute
and then said sorrowfully:-
my dear, dear Madam Mina, now more than ever must we find him even if we have
to follow him to the jaws of Hell!" She grew paler as she asked faintly:-
he answered solemnly, "he can live for centuries, and you are but mortal
woman. Time is now to be dreaded- since once he put that mark upon your throat."
was just in time to catch her as she fell forward in a faint.
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