Page 11 of Dracula

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_10 p.m._--I have visited him again and found him sitting in a cornerbrooding. When I came in he threw himself on his knees before me andimplored me to let him have a cat; that his salvation depended upon it.I was firm, however, and told him that he could not have it, whereuponhe went without a word, and sat down, gnawing his fingers, in the cornerwhere I had found him. I shall see him in the morning early.

_20 July._--Visited Renfield very early, before the attendant went hisrounds. Found him up and humming a tune. He was spreading out his sugar,which he had saved, in the window, and was manifestly beginning hisfly-catching again; and beginning it cheerfully and with a good grace. Ilooked around for his birds, and not seeing them, asked him where theywere. He replied, without turning round, that they had all flown away.There were a few feathers about the room and on his pillow a drop ofblood. I said nothing, but went and told the keeper to report to me ifthere were anything odd about him during the day.

_11 a.m._--The attendant has just been to me to say that Renfield hasbeen very sick and has disgorged a whole lot of feathers. "My belief is,doctor," he said, "that he has eaten his birds, and that he just tookand ate them raw!"

_11 p.m._--I gave Renfield a strong opiate to-night; enough to makeeven him sleep, and took away his pocket-book to look at it. Thethought that has been buzzing about my brain lately is complete, andthe theory proved. My homicidal maniac is of a peculiar kind. I shallhave to invent a new classification for him, and call him a zoophagous(life-eating) maniac; what he desires is to absorb as many lives as hecan, and he has laid himself out to achieve it in a cumulative way. Hegave many flies to one spider and many spiders to one bird, and thenwanted a cat to eat the many birds. What would have been his latersteps? It would almost be worth while to complete the experiment. Itmight be done if there were only a sufficient cause. Men sneered atvivisection, and yet look at its results to-day! Why not advance sciencein its most difficult and vital aspect--the knowledge of the brain? HadI even the secret of one such mind--did I hold the key to the fancy ofeven one lunatic--I might advance my own branch of science to a pitchcompared with which Burdon-Sanderson's physiology or Ferrier's brainknowledge would be as nothing. If only there were a sufficient cause! Imust not think too much of this, or I may be tempted; a good cause mightturn the scale with me, for may not I too be of an exceptional brain,congenitally?

How well the man reasoned; lunatics always do within their own scope.I wonder at how many lives he values a man, or if at only one. He hasclosed the account most accurately, and to-day begun a new record. Howmany of us begin a new record with each day of our lives?

To me it seems only yesterday that my whole life ended with my new hope,and that truly I began a new record. So it will be until the GreatRecorder sums me up and closes my ledger account with a balance toprofit or loss. Oh, Lucy, Lucy, I cannot be angry with you, nor can I beangry with my friend whose happiness is yours; but I must only wait onhopeless and work. Work! work!

If I only could have as strong a cause as my poor mad friend there, agood, unselfish cause to make me work, that would be indeed happiness.

/Mina Murray's Journal./

_26 July._--I am anxious, and it soothes me to express myself here;it is like whispering to one's self and listening at the same time.And there is also something about the shorthand symbols that makes itdifferent from writing. I am unhappy about Lucy and about Jonathan. Ihad not heard from Jonathan for some time, and was very concerned; butyesterday dear Mr. Hawkins, who is always so kind, sent me a letterfrom him. I had written asking him if he had heard, and he said theenclosed had just been received. It is only a line dated from CastleDracula, and says that he is just starting for home. That is not likeJonathan; I do not understand it, and it makes me uneasy. Then, too,Lucy, although she is so well, has lately taken to her old habit ofwalking in her sleep. Her mother has spoken to me about it, and wehave decided that I am to lock the door of our room every night. Mrs.Westenra has got an idea that sleep-walkers always go out on roofs ofhouses and along the edges of cliffs, and then get suddenly awakenedand fall over with a despairing cry that echoes all over the place.Poor dear, she is naturally anxious about Lucy, and she tells me thather husband, Lucy's father, had the same habit; that he would get up inthe night and dress himself and go out, if he were not stopped. Lucyis to be married in the autumn, and she is already planning out herdresses and how her house is to be arranged. I sympathise with her, forI do the same, only Jonathan and I will start in life in a very simpleway, and shall have to try to make both ends meet. Mr. Holmwood--he isthe Hon. Arthur Holmwood, only son of Lord Godalming--is coming up herevery shortly--as soon as he can leave town, for his father is not verywell, and I think dear Lucy is counting the moments till he comes. Shewants to take him up to the seat on the churchyard cliff and show himthe beauty of Whitby. I daresay it is the waiting which disturbs her;she will be all right when he arrives.

_27 July._--No news from Jonathan. I am getting quite uneasy abouthim, though why I should I do not know; but I _do_ wish that he wouldwrite, if it were only a single line. Lucy walks more than ever, andeach night I am awakened by her moving about the room. Fortunately, theweather is so hot that she cannot get cold; but still the anxiety andthe perpetually being awakened is beginning to tell on me, and I amgetting nervous and wakeful myself. Thank God, Lucy's health keeps up.Mr. Holmwood has been suddenly called to Ring to see his father, who hasbeen taken seriously ill. Lucy frets at the postponement of seeing him,but it does not touch her looks; she is a trifle stouter, and her cheeksare a lovely rose pink. She has lost that anaemic look which she had. Ipray it will all last.

_3 August._--Another week gone, and no news from Jonathan, not evento Mr. Hawkins, from whom I have heard. Oh, I do hope he is not ill.He surely would have written. I look at that last letter of his, butsomehow it does not satisfy me. It does not read like him, and yet itis his writing. There is no mistake of that. Lucy has not walked muchin her sleep the last week, but there is an odd concentration about herwhich I do not understand; even in her sleep she seems to be watchingme. She tries the door, and finding it locked, goes about the roomsearching for the key.

_6 August._--Another three days, and no news. This suspense is gettingdreadful. If I only knew where to write to or where to go to, I shouldfeel easier; but no one has heard a word of Jonathan since that lastletter. I must only pray to God for patience. Lucy is more excitablethan ever, but is otherwise well. Last night was very threatening, andthe fishermen say that we are in for a storm. I must try to watch it andlearn the weather signs. To-day is a grey day, and the sun as I write ishidden in thick clouds, high over Kettleness. Everything is grey--exceptthe green grass, which seems like emerald amongst it; grey earthy rock;grey clouds, tinged with the sunburst at the far edge, hang over thegrey sea, into which the sand-points stretch like grey fingers. Thesea is tumbling in over the shallows and the sandy flats with a roar,muffled in the sea-mists drifting inland. The horizon is lost in a greymist. All is vastness; the clouds are piled up like giant rocks, andthere is a "brool" over the sea that sounds like some presage of doom.Dark figures are on the beach here and there, sometimes half shroudedin the mist, and seem "men like trees walking." The fishing-boats areracing for home, and rise and dip in the ground swell as they sweep intothe harbour, bending to the scuppers. Here comes old Mr. Swales. He ismaking straight for me, and I can see, by the way he lifts his hat, thathe wants to talk


I have been quite touched by the change in the poor old man. When he satdown beside me, he said in a very gentle way:--

"I want to say something to you, miss." I could see he was not at ease,so I took his poor old wrinkled hand in mine and asked him to speakfully; so he said, leaving his hand in mine:--

"I'm afraid, my deary, that I must have shocked you by all the wickedthings I've been sayin' about the dead, and such-like, for weeks past;but I didn't mean them, and I want ye to remember that when I've gone.We aud folks that be daffled, and with one foot abaft the krok-hooal,don't altogether like to think of it, and we don't want to feel scart ofit; an' that's why I've took to makin' light of it, so that I'd cheer upmy own heart a bit. But, Lord love ye, miss, I ain't afraid of dyin',not a bit; only I don't want to die if I can help it. My time must benigh at hand now, for I be aud, and a hundred years is too much for anyman to expect; and I'm so nigh it that the Aud Man is already whettin'his scythe. Ye see, I can't get out o' the habit of caffin' about itall at once; the chafts will wag as they be used to. Some day soon theAngel of Death will sound his trumpet for me. But don't ye dooal an'greet, my deary!"--for he saw that I was crying--"if he should come thisvery night I'd not refuse to answer his call. For life be, after all,only a waitin' for somethin' else than what we're doin'; and death beall that we can rightly depend on. But I'm content, for it's comin' tome, my deary, and comin' quick. It may be comin' while we be lookin'and wonderin'. Maybe it's in that wind out over the sea that's bringin'with it loss and wreck, and sore distress, and sad hearts. Look! look!"he cried suddenly. "There's something in that wind and in the hoastbeyont that sounds, and looks, and tastes, and smells like death. It'sin the air; I feel it comin'. Lord, make me answer cheerful when my callcomes!" He held up his arms devoutly, and raised his hat. His mouthmoved as though he were praying. After a few minutes' silence, he gotup, shook hands with me, and blessed me, and said good-bye, and hobbledoff. It all touched me, and upset me very much.

I was glad when the coastguard came along, with his spy-glass under hisarm. He stopped to talk with me, as he always does, but all the timekept looking at a strange ship.

"I can't make her out," he said; "she's a Russian, by the look of her;but she's knocking about in the queerest way. She doesn't know her minda bit; she seems to see the storm coming, but can't decide whether torun up north in the open, or to put in here. Look there again! She issteered mighty strangely, for she doesn't mind the hand on the wheel;changes about with every puff of wind. We'll hear more of her beforethis time to-morrow."


/Cutting from "The Dailygraph," 8 August./

(_Pasted in Mina Murray's Journal._)

From a Correspondent.


One of the greatest and suddenest storms on record has just beenexperienced here, with results both strange and unique. The weather hadbeen somewhat sultry, but not to any degree uncommon in the month ofAugust. Saturday evening was as fine as ever was known, and the greatbody of holiday-makers set out yesterday for visits to Mulgrave Woods,Robin Hood's Bay, Rig Mill, Runswick, Staithes, and the various tripsin the neighbourhood of Whitby. The steamers _Emma_ and _Scarborough_made excursions along the coast, and there was an unusual amount of"tripping" both to and from Whitby. The day was unusually fine tillthe afternoon, when some of the gossips who frequent the East Cliffchurchyard, and from that commanding eminence watch the wide sweep ofsea visible to the north and east, called attention to a sudden showof "mares'-tails" high in the sky to the north-west. The wind was thenblowing from the south-west in the mild degree which in barometricallanguage is ranked "No. 2: light breeze." The coastguard on duty at oncemade report, and one old fisherman, who for more than half a centuryhas kept watch on weather signs from the East Cliff, foretold in anemphatic manner the coming of a sudden storm. The approach of sunset wasso very beautiful, so grand in its masses of splendidly-coloured clouds,that there was quite an assemblage on the walk along the cliff in theold churchyard to enjoy the beauty. Before the sun dipped below theblack mass of Kettleness, standing boldly athwart the western sky, itsdownward way was marked by myriad clouds of every sunset-colour--flame,purple, pink, green, violet, and all the tints of gold; with hereand there masses not large, but seemingly of absolute blackness, inall sorts of shapes, as well outlined as colossal silhouettes. Theexperience was not lost on the painters, and doubtless some of thesketches of the "Prelude to the Great Storm" will grace the R.A. andR.I. walls in May next. More than one captain made up his mind thenand there that his "cobble" or his "mule," as they term the differentclasses of boats, would remain in the harbour till the storm had passed.The wind fell away entirely during the evening, and at midnight therewas a dead calm, a sultry heat, and that prevailing intensity which, onthe approach of thunder, affects persons of a sensitive nature. Therewere but few lights in sight at sea, for even the coasting steamers,which usually "hug" the shore so closely, kept well to seaward, and butfew fishing-boats were in sight. The only sail noticeable was a foreignschooner with all sails set, which was seemingly going westwards. Thefoolhardiness or ignorance of her officers was a prolific theme forcomment whilst she remained in sight, and efforts were made to signalher to reduce sail in face of her danger. Before the night shut down shewas seen with sails idly flapping as she gently rolled on the undulatingswell of the sea,

"As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean."

Shortly before ten o'clock the stillness of the air grew quiteoppressive, and the silence was so marked that the bleating of a sheepinland or the barking of a dog in the town was distinctly heard, andthe band on the pier, with its lively French air, was like a discordin the great harmony of nature's silence. A little after midnight camea strange sound from over the sea, and high overhead the air began tocarry a strange, faint hollow booming.

Then without warning the tempest broke. With a rapidity which, at thetime, seemed incredible, and even afterwards is impossible to realise,the whole aspect of nature at once became convulsed. The waves rose ingrowing fury, each over-topping its fellow, till in a very few minutesthe lately glassy sea was like a roaring and devouring monster.White-crested waves beat madly on the level sands and rushed up theshelving cliffs; others broke over the piers, and with their spumeswept the lanthorns of the lighthouses which rise from the end ofeither pier of Whitby Harbour. The wind roared like thunder, and blewwith such force that it was with difficulty that even strong men kepttheir feet, or clung with grim clasp to the iron stanchions. It wasfound necessary to clear the entire piers from the mass of onlookers,or else the fatalities of the night would have been increased manifold.To add to the difficulties and dangers of the time, masses of sea-fogcame drifting inland--white, wet clouds, which swept by in ghostlyfashion, so dank and damp and cold that it needed but little effortof imagination to think that the spirits of those lost at sea weretouching their living brethren with the clammy hands of death, andmany a one shuddered as the wreaths of sea-mist swept by. At timesthe mist cleared, and the sea for some distance could be seen in theglare of the lightning, which now came thick and fast, followed by suchsudden peals of thunder that the whole sky overhead seemed tremblingunder the shock of the footsteps of the storm. Some of the scenes thusrevealed were of immeasurable grandeur and of absorbing interest--thesea, running mountains high, threw skywards with each wave mightymasses of white foam, which the tempest seemed to snatch at and whirlaway into space; here and there a fishing-boat, with a rag of sail,running madly for shelter before the blast; now and again the whitewings of a storm-tossed sea-bird. On the summit of the East Cliff thenew searchlight was ready for experiment, but had not yet been tried.The officers in charge of it got it into working order, and in thepauses of the inrushing mist swept with it the surface of the sea. Onceor twice its service was most effective, as when a fishing-boat, withgunwale under water, rushed into the harbour, able, by the guidance ofthe sheltering light, to avoid the danger of dashing against the piers.As each boat achieved the safety of the port there was a shout of joyfrom the mass of people on shore, a shout which for a moment seemed tocleave the gale and was then swept away in its rush. Before long thesearchlight discovered some distance away a schooner with all sailsset, apparently the same vessel which had been noticed earlier in theevening. The wind had by this time backed to the east, and there was ashudder amongst the watchers on the cliff as they realised the terribledanger in which she now was. Between her and the port lay the greatflat reef on which so many good ships have from time to time suffered,and, with the wind blowing from its present quarter, it would be quiteimpossible that she should fetch the entrance of the harbour. It wasnow nearly the hour of high tide, but the waves were so great that intheir troughs the shallows of the shore were almost visible, and theschooner, with all sails set, was rushing with such speed that, in thewords of one old salt, "she must fetch up somewhere, if it was only inhell." Then came another rush of sea-fog, greater than any hitherto--amass of dank mist, which seemed to close on all things like a greypall, and left available to men only the organ of hearing, for the roarof the tempest, and the crash of the thunder, and the booming of themighty bellows came through the damp oblivion even louder than before.The rays of the searchlight were kept fixed on the harbour mouth acrossthe East Pier, where the shock was expected, and men waited breathless.The wind suddenly shifted to the north-east, and the remnant of thesea-fog melted in the blast; and then, _mirabile dictu_, between thepiers, leaping from wave to wave as it rushed at headlong speed, sweptthe strange schooner before the blast, with all sail set, and gainedthe safety of the harbour. The searchlight followed her, and a shudderran through all who saw her, for lashed to the helm was a corpse, withdrooping head, which swung horribly to and fro at each motion of theship. No other form could be seen on deck at all. A great awe came onall as they realised that the ship, as if by a miracle, had found theharbour, unsteered save by the hand of a dead man! However, all tookplace more quickly than it takes to write these words. The schoonerpaused not, but rushing across the harbour, pitched herself on thataccumulation of sand and gravel washed by many tides and many stormsinto the south-east corner of the pier jutting under the East Cliff,known locally as Tate Hill Pier.

There was of course a considerable concussion as the vessel drove upon the sand heap. Every spar, rope, and stay was strained, and some ofthe "top-hamper" came crashing down. But, strangest of all, the veryinstant the shore was touched, an immense dog sprang up on deck frombelow, as if shot up by the concussion, and running forward, jumped fromthe bow on to the sand. Making

straight for the steep cliff, where thechurchyard hangs over the laneway to the East Pier so steeply that someof the flat tombstones--"thruff-steans" or "through-stones," as theycall them in the Whitby vernacular--actually project over where thesustaining cliff has fallen away, it disappeared in the darkness, whichseemed intensified just beyond the focus of the searchlight.

It so happened that there was no one at the moment on Tate Hill Pier,as all those whose houses are in close proximity were either in bedor were out on the heights above. Thus the coastguard on duty on theeastern side of the harbour, who at once ran down to the little pier,was the first to climb on board. The men working the searchlight, afterscouring the entrance of the harbour without seeing anything, thenturned the light on the derelict and kept it there. The coastguard ranaft, and when he came beside the wheel, bent over to examine it andrecoiled at once as though under some sudden emotion. This seemed topique the general curiosity, and quite a number of people began to run.It is a good way round from the West Cliff by the Drawbridge to TateHill Pier, but your correspondent is a fairly good runner, and came wellahead of the crowd. When I arrived, however, I found already assembledon the pier a crowd, whom the coastguard and police refused to allow tocome on board. By the courtesy of the chief boat-man, I was, as yourcorrespondent, permitted to climb on deck, and was one of a small groupwho saw that dead seaman whilst actually lashed to the wheel.

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