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 ourselves 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
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 the 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 Guiliano's, when I felt Jonathan clutch my arm so
tight that he hurt me, and he said under his breath, "My God!"
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.
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, and so I had a good view of him. His
face was not a good face. It was hard, and cruel, and sensual, and 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 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 only I knew! If only I 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 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 quickly
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
"Why, Mina, have I been asleep! Oh, do forgive me
for being so rude. Come, and we'll have a cup of tea somewhere."
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 the 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.