It is again early morning, but I have rested
and enjoyed the last twenty-four hours. I slept till late in the day, and awoke
of my own accord. When I had dressed myself I went into the room where we had
supped, and found a cold breakfast laid out, with coffee kept hot by the pot being
placed on the hearth. There was a card on the table, on which was written--
have to be absent for a while. Do not wait for me. D." I set to and enjoyed
a hearty meal. When I had done, I looked for a bell, so that I might let the servants
know I had finished, but I could not find one. There are certainly odd deficiencies
in the house, considering the extraordinary evidences of wealth which are round
me. The table service is of gold, and so beautifully wrought that it must be of
immense value. The curtains and upholstery of the chairs and sofas and the hangings
of my bed are of the costliest and most beautiful fabrics, and must have been
of fabulous value when they were made, for they are centuries old, though in excellent
order. I saw something like them in Hampton Court, but they were worn and frayed
and moth-eaten. But still in none of the rooms is there a mirror. There is not
even a toilet glass on my table, and I had to get the little shaving glass from
my bag before I could either shave or brush my hair. I have not yet seen a servant
anywhere, or heard a sound near the castle except the howling of wolves. Some
time after I had finished my meal, I do not know whether to call it breakfast
or dinner, for it was between five and six o'clock when I had it, I looked about
for something to read, for I did not like to go about the castle until I had asked
the Count's permission. There was absolutely nothing in the room, book, newspaper,
or even writing materials, so I opened another door in the room and found a sort
of library. The door opposite mine I tried, but found locked.
In the library
I found, to my great delight, a vast number of English books, whole shelves full
of them, and bound volumes of magazines and newspapers. A table in the center
was littered with English magazines and newspapers, though none of them were of
very recent date. The books were of the most varied kind, history, geography,
politics, political economy, botany, geology, law, all relating to England and
English life and customs and manners. There were even such books of reference
as the London Directory, the "Red" and "Blue" books, Whitaker's
Almanac, the Army and Navy Lists, and it somehow gladdened my heart to see it,
the Law List.
Whilst I was looking at the books, the door opened, and the
Count entered. He saluted me in a hearty way, and hoped that I had had a good
night's rest. Then he went on.
"I am glad you found your way in here,
for I am sure there is much that will interest you. These companions," and
he laid his hand on some of the books, "have been good friends to me, and
for some years past, ever since I had the idea of going to London, have given
me many, many hours of pleasure. Through them I have come to know your great England,
and to know her is to love her. I long to go through the crowded streets of your
mighty London, to be in the midst of the whirl and rush of humanity, to share
its life, its change, its death, and all that makes it what it is. But alas! As
yet I only know your tongue through books. To you, my friend, I look that I know
it to speak."
"But, Count," I said, "You know and speak
English thoroughly!" He bowed gravely.
"I thank you, my friend,
for your all too-flattering estimate, but yet I fear that I am but a little way
on the road I would travel. True, I know the grammar and the words, but yet I
know not how to speak them.
"Indeed," I said, "You speak
"Not so," he answered. "Well, I know that,
did I move and speak in your London, none there are who would not know me for
a stranger. That is not enough for me. Here I am noble. I am a Boyar. The common
people know me, and I am master. But a stranger in a strange land, he is no one.
Men know him not, and to know not is to care not for. I am content if I am like
the rest, so that no man stops if he sees me, or pauses in his speaking if he
hears my words, `Ha, ha! A stranger!' I have been so long master that I would
be master still, or at least that none other should be master of me. You come
to me not alone as agent of my friend Peter Hawkins, of Exeter, to tell me all
about my new estate in London. You shall, I trust, rest here with me a while,
so that by our talking I may learn the English intonation. And I would that you
tell me when I make error, even of the smallest, in my speaking. I am sorry that
I had to be away so long today, but you will, I know forgive one who has so many
important affairs in hand."
Of course I said all I could about being
willing, and asked if I might come into that room when I chose. He answered, "Yes,
certainly," and added.
"You may go anywhere you wish in the castle,
except where the doors are locked, where of course you will not wish to go. There
is reason that all things are as they are, and did you see with my eyes and know
with my knowledge, you would perhaps better understand." I said I was sure
of this, and then he went on.
"We are in Transylvania, and Transylvania
is not England. Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange
things. Nay, from what you have told me of your experiences already, you know
something of what strange things there may be."
This led to much conversation,
and as it was evident that he wanted to talk, if only for talking's sake, I asked
him many questions regarding things that had already happened to me or come within
my notice. Sometimes he sheered off the subject, or turned the conversation by
pretending not to understand, but generally he answered all I asked most frankly.
Then as time went on, and I had got somewhat bolder, I asked him of some of the
strange things of the preceding night, as for instance, why the coachman went
to the places where he had seen the blue flames. He then explained to me that
it was commonly believed that on a certain night of the year, last night, in fact,
when all evil spirits are supposed to have unchecked sway, a blue flame is seen
over any place where treasure has been concealed.
"That treasure has
been hidden," he went on, "in the region through which you came last
night, there can be but little doubt. For it was the ground fought over for centuries
by the Wallachian, the Saxon, and the Turk. Why, there is hardly a foot of soil
in all this region that has not been enriched by the blood of men, patriots or
invaders. In the old days there were stirring times, when the Austrian and the
Hungarian came up in hordes, and the patriots went out to meet them, men and women,
the aged and the children too, and waited their coming on the rocks above the
passes, that they might sweep destruction on them with their artificial avalanches.
When the invader was triumphant he found but little, for whatever there was had
been sheltered in the friendly soil."
"But how," said I,
"can it have remained so long undiscovered, when there is a sure index to
it if men will but take the trouble to look?" The Count smiled, and as his
lips ran back over his gums, the long, sharp, canine teeth showed out strangely.
"Because your peasant is at heart a coward and a fool!
Those flames only appear on one night, and on that night no man of this land will,
if he can help it, stir without his doors. And, dear sir, even if he did he would
not know what to do. Why, even the peasant that you tell me of who marked the
place of the flame would not know where to look in daylight even for his own work.
Even you would not, I dare be sworn, be able to find these places again?"
you are right," I said. "I know no more than the dead where even to
look for them." Then we drifted into other matters.
he said at last, "tell me of London and of the house which you have procured
for me." With an apology for my remissness, I went into my own room to get
the papers from my bag. Whilst I was placing them in order I heard a rattling
of china and silver in the next room, and as I passed through, noticed that the
table had been cleared and the lamp lit, for it was by this time deep into the
dark. The lamps were also lit in the study or library, and I found the Count lying
on the sofa, reading, of all things in the world, and English Bradshaw's Guide
. When I came in he cleared the books and papers from the table, and with him
I went into plans and deeds and figures of all sorts. He was interested in everything,
and asked me a myriad questions about the place and its surroundings. He clearly
had studied beforehand all he could get on the subject of the neighborhood, for
he evidently at the end knew very much more than I did. When I remarked this,
"Well, but, my friend, is it not needful that I should?
When I go there I shall be all alone, and my friend Harker Jonathan, nay, pardon
me. I fall into my country's habit of putting your patronymic first, my friend
Jonathan Harker will not be by my side to correct and aid me. He will be in Exeter,
miles away, probably working at papers of the law with my other friend, Peter
Hawkins. So!" We went thoroughly into the business of the purchase of the
estate at Purfleet. When I had told him the facts and got his signature to the
necessary papers, and had written a letter with them ready to post to Mr. Hawkins,
he began to ask me how I had come across so suitable a place. I read to him the
notes which I had made at the time, and which I inscribe here.
Purfleet, on a by-road, I came across just such a place as seemed to be required,
and where was displayed a dilapidated notice that the place was for sale. It was
surrounded by a high wall, of ancient structure, built of heavy stones, and has
not been repaired for a large number of years. The closed gates are of heavy old
oak and iron, all eaten with rust.
"The estate is called Carfax, no
doubt a corruption of the old Quatre Face, as the house is four sided, agreeing
with the cardinal points of the compass. It contains in all some twenty acres,
quite surrounded by the solid stone wall above mentioned. There are many trees
on it, which make it in places gloomy, and there is a deep, dark-looking pond
or small lake, evidently fed by some springs, as the water is clear and flows
away in a fair-sized stream. The house is very large and of all periods back,
I should say, to mediaeval times, for one part is of stone immensely thick, with
only a few windows high up and heavily barred with iron. It looks like part of
a keep, and is close to an old chapel or church . I could not enter it, as I had
not the key of the door leading to it from the house, but I have taken with my
Kodak views of it from various points. The house had been added to, but in a very
straggling way, and I can only guess at the amount of ground it covers, which
must be very great. There are but few houses close at hand, one being a very large
house only recently added to and formed into a private lunatic asylum . It is
not, however, visible from the grounds."
When I had finished, he said,
"I am glad that it is old and big. I myself am of an old family, and to live
in a new house would kill me. A house cannot be made habitable in a day, and after
all, how few days go to make up a century. I rejoice also that there is a chapel
of old times. We Transylvanian nobles love not to think that our bones may lie
amongst the common dead. I seek not gaiety nor mirth, not the bright voluptuousness
of much sunshine and sparkling waters which please the young and gay. I am no
longer young, and my heart, through weary years of mourning over the dead, is
attuned to mirth. Moreover, the walls of my castle are broken. The shadows are
many, and the wind breathes cold through the broken battlements and casements.
I love the shade and the shadow, and would be alone with my thoughts when I may."
Somehow his words and his look did not seem to accord, or else it was that his
cast of face made his smile look malignant and saturnine.
an excuse, he left me, asking me to pull my papers together. He was some little
time away, and I began to look at some of the books around me. One was an atlas,
which I found opened naturally to England, as if that map had been much used.
On looking at it I found in certain places little rings marked, and on examining
these I noticed that one was near London on the east side, manifestly where his
new estate was situated. The other two were Exeter, and Whitby on the Yorkshire
It was the better part of an hour when the Count returned. "Aha!"
he said. "Still at your books? Good! But you must not work always. Come!
I am informed that your supper is ready." He took my arm, and we went into
the next room, where I found an excellent supper ready on the table. The Count
again excused himself, as he had dined out on his being away from home. But he
sat as on the previous night, and chatted whilst I ate. After supper I smoked,
as on the last evening, and the Count stayed with me, chatting and asking questions
on every conceivable subject, hour after hour. I felt that it was getting very
late indeed, but I did not say anything, for I felt under obligation to meet my
host's wishes in every way. I was not sleepy, as the long sleep yesterday had
fortified me, but I could not help experiencing that chill which comes over one
at the coming of the dawn, which is like, in its way, the turn of the tide. They
say that people who are near death die generally at the change to dawn or at the
turn of the tide. Anyone who has when tired, and tied as it were to his post,
experienced this change in the atmosphere can well believe it. All at once we
heard the crow of the cock coming up with preternatural shrillness through the
clear morning air.
Count Dracula, jumping to his feet, said, "Why there
is the morning again! How remiss I am to let you stay up so long. You must make
your conversation regarding my dear new country of England less interesting, so
that I may not forget how time flies by us," and with a courtly bow, he quickly
I went into my room and drew the curtains, but there was little
to notice. My window opened into the courtyard, all I could see was the warm grey
of quickening sky. So I pulled the curtains again, and have written of this day.