I got home at five o'clock, and found
that Godalming and Morris had not only arrived, but had already studied the transcript
of the various diaries and letters which Harker had not yet returned from his
visit to the carriers' men, of whom Dr. Hennessey had written to me. Mrs. Harker
gave us a cup of tea, and I can honestly say that, for the first time since I
have lived in it, this old house seemed like home. When we had finished, Mrs.
"Dr. Seward, may I ask a favour? I want to see your patient,
Mr. Renfield. Do let me see him. What you have said of him in your diary interests
me so much!"
She looked so appealing and so pretty that I could not
refuse her, and there was no possible reason why I should, so I took her with
me. When I went into the room, I told the man that a lady would like to see him,
to which he simply answered, "Why?"
"She is going through
the house, and wants to see every one in it," I answered.
very well," he said, "let her come in, by all means, but just wait a
minute till I tidy up the place."
His method of tidying was peculiar,
he simply swallowed all the flies and spiders in the boxes before I could stop
him. It was quite evident that he feared, or was jealous of, some interference.
When he had got through his disgusting task, he said cheerfully, "Let the
lady come in," and sat down on the edge of his bed with his head down, but
with his eyelids raised so that he could see her as she entered. For a moment
I thought that he might have some homicidal intent. I remembered how quiet he
had been just before he attacked me in my own study, and I took care to stand
where I could seize him at once if he attempted to make a spring at her.
came into the room with an easy gracefulness which would at once command the respect
of any lunatic, for easiness is one of the qualities mad people most respect.
She walked over to him, smiling pleasantly, and held out her hand.
evening, Mr. Renfield," said she. "You see, I know you, for Dr. Seward
has told me of you." He made no immediate reply, but eyed her all over intently
with a set frown on his face. This look gave way to one of wonder, which merged
in doubt, then to my intense astonishment he said, "You're not the girl the
doctor wanted to marry, are you? You can't be, you know, for she's dead."
Harker smiled sweetly as she replied, "Oh no! I have a husband of my own,
to whom I was married before I ever saw Dr. Seward, or he me. I am Mrs. Harker."
what are you doing here?"
"My husband and I are staying on a visit
with Dr. Seward."
"Then don't stay."
I thought that this style of conversation might not be pleasant
to Mrs. Harker, any more than it was to me, so I joined in, "How did you
know I wanted to marry anyone?"
His reply was simply contemptuous,
given in a pause in which he turned his eyes from Mrs. Harker to me, instantly
turning them back again, "What an asinine question!"
see that at all, Mr. Renfield," said Mrs. Harker, at once championing me.
replied to her with as much courtesy and respect as he had shown contempt to me,
"You will, of course, understand, Mrs. Harker, that when a man is so loved
and honoured as our host is, everything regarding him is of interest in our little
community. Dr. Seward is loved not only by his household and his friends, but
even by his patients, who, being some of them hardly in mental equilibrium, are
apt to distort causes and effects. Since I myself have been an inmate of a lunatic
asylum, I cannot but notice that the sophistic tendencies of some of its inmates
lean towards the errors of non causa and ignoratio elenche."
opened my eyes at this new development. Here was my own pet lunatic, the most
pronounced of his type that I had ever met with, talking elemental philosophy,
and with the manner of a polished gentleman. I wonder if it was Mrs. Harker's
presence which had touched some chord in his memory. If this new phase was spontaneous,
or in any way due to her unconscious influence, she must have some rare gift or
We continued to talk for some time, and seeing that he was seemingly
quite reasonable, she ventured, looking at me questioningly as she began, to lead
him to his favourite topic. I was again astonished, for he addressed himself to
the question with the impartiality of the completest sanity. He even took himself
as an example when he mentioned certain things.
"Why, I myself am an
instance of a man who had a strange belief. Indeed, it was no wonder that my friends
were alarmed, and insisted on my being put under control. I used to fancy that
life was a positive and perpetual entity, and that by consuming a multitude of
live things, no matter how low in the scale of creation, one might indefinitely
prolong life. At times I held the belief so strongly that I actually tried to
take human life. The doctor here will bear me out that on one occasion I tried
to kill him for the purpose of strengthening my vital powers by the assimilation
with my own body of his life through the medium of his blood, relying of course,
upon the Scriptural phrase, 'For the blood is the life.' Though, indeed, the vendor
of a certain nostrum has vulgarized the truism to the very point of contempt.
Isn't that true, doctor?"
I nodded assent, for I was so amazed that
I hardly knew what to either think or say, it was hard to imagine that I had seen
him eat up his spiders and flies not five minutes before. Looking at my watch,
I saw that I should go to the station to meet Van Helsing, so I told Mrs. Harker
that it was time to leave.
She came at once, after saying pleasantly to
Mr. Renfield, "Goodbye, and I hope I may see you often, under auspices pleasanter
To which, to my astonishment, he replied, "Goodbye,
my dear. I pray God I may never see your sweet face again. May He bless and keep
When I went to the station to meet Van Helsing I left the boys
behind me. Poor Art seemed more cheerful than he has been since Lucy first took
ill, and Quincey is more like his own bright self than he has been for many a
Van Helsing stepped from the carriage with the eager nimbleness
of a boy. He saw me at once, and rushed up to me, saying, "Ah, friend John,
how goes all? Well? So! I have been busy, for I come here to stay if need be.
All affairs are settled with me, and I have much to tell. Madam Mina is with you?
Yes. And her so fine husband? And Arthur and my friend Quincey, they are with
you, too? Good!"
As I drove to the house I told him of what had passed,
and of how my own diary had come to be of some use through Mrs. Harker's suggestion,
at which the Professor interrupted me.
"Ah, that wonderful Madam Mina!
She has man's brain, a brain that a man should have were he much gifted, and a
woman's heart. The good God fashioned her for a purpose, believe me, when He made
that so good combination. Friend John, up to now fortune has made that woman of
help to us, after tonight she must not have to do with this so terrible affair.
It is not good that she run a risk so great. We men are determined, nay, are we
not pledged, to destroy this monster? But it is no part for a woman. Even if she
be not harmed, her heart may fail her in so much and so many horrors and hereafter
she may suffer, both in waking, from her nerves, and in sleep, from her dreams.
And, besides, she is young woman and not so long married, there may be other things
to think of some time, if not now. You tell me she has wrote all, then she must
consult with us, but tomorrow she say goodbye to this work, and we go alone."
agreed heartily with him, and then I told him what we had found in his absence,
that the house which Dracula had bought was the very next one to my own. He was
amazed, and a great concern seemed to come on him.
"Oh that we had
known it before!" he said, "for then we might have reached him in time
to save poor Lucy. However, 'the milk that is spilt cries not out afterwards,'
as you say. We shall not think of that, but go on our way to the end." Then
he fell into a silence that lasted till we entered my own gateway. Before we went
to prepare for dinner he said to Mrs. Harker, "I am told, Madam Mina, by
my friend John that you and your husband have put up in exact order all things
that have been, up to this moment."
"Not up to this moment, Professor,"
she said impulsively, "but up to this morning."
not up to now? We have seen hitherto how good light all the little things have
made. We have told our secrets, and yet no one who has told is the worse for it."
Harker began to blush, and taking a paper from her pockets, she said, "Dr.
Van Helsing, will you read this, and tell me if it must go in. It is my record
of today. I too have seen the need of putting down at present everything, however
trivial, but there is little in this except what is personal. Must it go in?"
Professor read it over gravely, and handed it back, saying, "It need not
go in if you do not wish it, but I pray that it may. It can but make your husband
love you the more, and all us, your friends, more honour you, as well as more
esteem and love." She took it back with another blush and a bright smile.
so now, up to this very hour, all the records we have are complete and in order.
The Professor took away one copy to study after dinner, and before our meeting,
which is fixed for nine o'clock. The rest of us have already read everything,
so when we meet in the study we shall all be informed as to facts, and can arrange
our plan of battle with this terrible and mysterious enemy.