from Patrick Hennessey
to Dr. Seward
REPORT FROM PATRICK HENNESSEY,
MD, MRCSLK, QCPI, ETC, ETC,
TO JOHN SEWARD, MD
"In accordance with your wishes, I enclose report of the
conditions of everything left in my charge. With regard to patient, Renfield,
there is more to say. He has had another outbreak, which might have had a dreadful
ending, but which, as it fortunately happened, was unattended with any unhappy
results. This afternoon a carrier's cart with two men made a call at the empty
house whose grounds abut on ours, the house to which, you will remember, the patient
twice ran away. The men stopped at our gate to ask the porter their way, as they
"I was myself looking out of the study window, having
a smoke after dinner, and saw one of them come up to the house. As he passed the
window of Renfield's room, the patient began to rate him from within, and called
him all the foul names he could lay his tongue to. The man, who seemed a decent
fellow enough, contented himself by telling him to 'shut up for a foul-mouthed
beggar', whereon our man accused him of robbing him and wanting to murder him
and said that he would hinder him if he were to swing for it. I opened the window
and signed to the man not to notice, so he contented himself after looking the
place over and making up his mind as to what kind of place he had got to by saying,
'Lor' bless yer, sir, I wouldn't mind what was said to me in a bloomin' madhouse.
I pity ye and the guv'nor for havin' to live in the house with a wild beast like
"Then he asked his way civilly enough, and I told him where
the gate of the empty house was. He went away followed by threats and curses and
revilings from our man. I went down to see if I could make out any cause for his
anger, since he is usually such a well-behaved man, and except his violent fits
nothing of the kind had ever occurred. I found him, to my astonishment, quite
composed and most genial in his manner. I tried to get him to talk of the incident,
but he blandly asked me questions as to what I meant, and led me to believe that
he was completely oblivious of the affair. It was, I am sorry to say, however,
only another instance of his cunning, for within half an hour I heard of him again.
This time he had broken out through the window of his room, and was running down
the avenue. I called to the attendants to follow me, and ran after him, for I
feared he was intent on some mischief. My fear was justified when I saw the same
cart which had passed before coming down the road, having on it some great wooden
boxes. The men were wiping their foreheads, and were flushed in the face, as if
with violent exercise. Before I could get up to him, the patient rushed at them,
and pulling one of them off the cart, began to knock his head against the ground.
If I had not seized him just at the moment, I believe he would have killed the
man there and then. The other fellow jumped down and struck him over the head
with the butt end of his heavy whip. It was a horrible blow, but he did not seem
to mind it, but seized him also, and struggled with the three of us, pulling us
to and fro as if we were kittens. You know I am no lightweight, and the others
were both burly men. At first he was silent in his fighting, but as we began to
master him, and the attendants were putting a strait waistcoat on him, he began
to shout, 'I'll frustrate them! They shan't rob me! They shan't murder me by inches!
I'll fight for my Lord and Master!' and all sorts of similar incoherent ravings.
It was with very considerable difficulty that they got him back to the house and
put him in the padded room. One of the attendants, Hardy, had a finger broken.
However, I set it all right, and he is going on well.
"The two carriers
were at first loud in their threats of actions for damages, and promised to rain
all the penalties of the law on us. Their threats were, however, mingled with
some sort of indirect apology for the defeat of the two of them by a feeble madman.
They said that if it had not been for the way their strength had been spent in
carrying and raising the heavy boxes to the cart they would have made short work
of him. They gave as another reason for their defeat the extraordinary state of
drouth to which they had been reduced by the dusty nature of their occupation
and the reprehensible distance from the scene of their labors of any place of
public entertainment. I quite understood their drift, and after a stiff glass
of strong grog, or rather more of the same, and with each a sovereign in hand,
they made light of the attack, and swore that they would encounter a worse madman
any day for the pleasure of meeting so 'bloomin' good a bloke' as your correspondent.
I took their names and addresses, in case they might be needed. They are as follows:
Jack Smollet, of Dudding's Rents, King George's Road, Great Walworth, and Thomas
Snelling, Peter Farley's Row, Guide Court, Bethnal Green. They are both in the
employment of Harris & Sons, Moving and Shipment Company, Orange Master's
"I shall report to you any matter of interest occurring
here, and shall wire you at once if there is anything of importance.
me, dear Sir,