... Three nights has the same thing happened--violent all day, thenquiet from moonrise to sunrise. I wish I could get some clue to thecause. It would almost seem as if there was some influence which cameand went. Happy thought! We shall to-night play sane wits against madones. He escaped before without our help; to-night he shall escape withit. We shall give him a chance, and have the men ready to follow in casethey are required....
_23 August._--"The unexpected always happens." How well Disraeli knewlife! Our bird when he found the cage open would not fly, so all oursubtle arrangements went for naught. At any rate, we have proved onething: that the spells of quietness last a reasonable time. We shall infuture be able to ease his bond for a few hours each day. I have givenorders to the night attendant merely to shut him in the padded room,when once he is quiet, until an hour before sunrise. The poor soul'sbody will enjoy the relief even if his mind cannot appreciate it. Hark!The unexpected again! I am called; the patient has once more escaped.
_Later._--Another night adventure. Renfield artfully waited until theattendant was entering the room to inspect. Then he dashed out past himand flew down the passage. I sent word for the attendants to follow.Again we went into the ground of the deserted house, and we found himin the same place, pressed against the old chapel door. When he saw mehe became furious, and had not the attendants seized him in time, hewould have tried to kill me. As we were holding him a strange thinghappened. He suddenly redoubled his efforts, and then he suddenly grewcalm. I looked round instinctively, but could see nothing. Then I caughtthe patient's eye and followed it, but could trace nothing as it lookedinto the moonlit sky except a big bat, which was flapping its silent andghostly way to the west. Bats usually wheel and flit about but this oneseemed to go straight on, as if it knew where it was bound for or hadsome intention of its own. The patient grew calmer every instant, andpresently said:--
"You needn't tie me; I shall go quietly!" Without trouble we came backto the house. I feel there is something ominous in his calm, and shallnot forget this night....
_Lucy Westenra's Diary._
_Hillingham, 24 August._--I must imitate Mina, and keep writing thingsdown. Then we can have long talks when we do meet. I wonder when it willbe. I wish she were with me again, for I feel so unhappy. Last night Iseemed to be dreaming again just as I was at Whitby. Perhaps it is thechange of air, or getting home again. It is all dark and horrid to me,for I can remember nothing; but I am full of vague fear, and I feel soweak and worn out. When Arthur came to lunch he looked quite grievedwhen he saw me, and I hadn't the spirit to be cheerful. I wonder if Icould sleep in mother's room to-night. I shall make an excuse and try.
_25 August._--Another bad night. Mother did not seem to take to myproposal. She seems not too well herself, and doubtless she fears toworry me. I tried to keep awake, and succeeded for a while; but whenthe clock struck twelve it waked me from a doze, so I must have beenfalling asleep. There was a sort of scratching or flapping at thewindow, but I did not mind it, and as I remember no more, I suppose Imust then have fallen asleep. More bad dreams. I wish I could rememberthem. This morning I am horribly weak. My face is ghastly pale, and mythroat pains me. It must be something wrong with my lungs, for I don'tseem ever to get air enough. I shall try to cheer up when Arthur comes,or else I know he will be miserable to see me so.
_Letter, Arthur Holmwood to Dr. Seward._
"_Albemarle Hotel, 31 August._
"My dear Jack,--
"I want you to do me a favour. Lucy is ill; that is, she has no specialdisease, but she looks awful, and is getting worse every day. I haveasked her if there is any cause; I do not dare to ask her mother, forto disturb the poor lady's mind about her daughter in her present stateof health would be fatal. Mrs. Westenra has confided to me that herdoom is spoken--disease of the heart--though poor Lucy does not know ityet. I am sure that there is something preying on my dear girl's mind.I am almost distracted when I think of her; to look at her gives me apang. I told her I should ask you to see her, and though she demurredat first--I know why, old fellow--she finally consented. It will be apainful task for you, I know, old friend, but it is for _her_ sake, andI must not hesitate to ask, or you to act. You are to come to lunch atHillingham tomorrow, two o'clock, so as not to arouse any suspicion inMrs. Westenra, and after lunch Lucy will take an opportunity of beingalone with you. I shall come in for tea, and we can go away together. Iam filled with anxiety, and want to consult with you alone as soon as Ican after you have seen her. Do not fail!
_Telegram, Arthur Holmwood to Seward._
"Am summoned to see my father, who is worse. Am writing. Write me fullyby to-night's post to Ring. Wire me if necessary."
_Letter from Dr. Seward to Arthur Holmwood._
"My dear old fellow,--
"With regard to Miss Westenra's health, I hasten to let you know atonce that in my opinion there is not any functional disturbance or anymalady that I know of. At the same time, I am not by any means satisfiedwith her appearance; she is woefully different from what she was when Isaw her last. Of course you must bear in mind that I did not have fullopportunity of examination such as I should wish; our very friendshipmakes a little difficulty which not even medical science or custom canbridge over. I had better tell you exactly what happened, leaving you todraw, in a measure, your own conclusions. I shall then say what I havedone and propose doing.
"I found Miss Westenra in seemingly gay spirits. Her mother was present,and in a few seconds I made up my mind that she was trying all sheknew to mislead her mother and prevent her from being anxious. I haveno doubt she guesses, if she does not know, what need of caution thereis. We lunched alone, and as we all exerted ourselves to be cheerful,we got, as some kind of reward for our labours, some real cheerfulnessamongst us. Then Mrs. Westenra went to lie down, and Lucy was left withme. We went into her boudoir, and till we got there her gaiety remained,for the servants were coming and going. As soon as the door was closed,however, the mask fell from her face, and she sank down into a chairwith a great sigh, and hid her eyes with her hand. When I saw that herhigh spirits had failed, I at once took advantage of her reaction tomake a diagnosis. She said to me very sweetly:--
"'I cannot tell you how I loathe talking about myself.' I reminded herthat a doctor's confidence was sacred, but that you were grievouslyanxious about her. She caught on to my meaning at once, and settled thatmatter in a word. 'Tell Arthur everything you choose. I do not care formyself, but all for him!' So I am quite free.
"I could easily see that she is somewhat bloodless, but I could notsee the usual anaemic signs, and by a chance I was actually able totest the quality of her blood, for in opening a window which was stiffa cord gave way, and she cut her hand slightly with broken glass. Itwas a slight matter in itself, but it gave me an evident chance, and Isecured a few drops of the blood and have analysed them. The qualitativeanalysis gives a quite normal condition, and shows, I should infer, initself a vigorous state of health. In other
physical matters I was quitesatisfied that there is no need for anxiety; but as there must be acause somewhere, I have come to the conclusion that it must be somethingmental. She complains of difficulty in breathing satisfactorily attimes, and of heavy, lethargic sleep, with dreams that frighten her,but regarding which she can remember nothing. She says that as a childshe used to walk in her sleep, and that when in Whitby the habit cameback, and that once she walked out in the night and went to the EastCliff, where Miss Murray found her; but she assures me that of late thehabit has not returned. I am in doubt, and so have done the best thingI know of; I have written to my old friend and master, Professor VanHelsing, of Amsterdam, who knows as much about obscure diseases as anyone in the world. I have asked him to come over, and as you told me thatall things were to be at your charge, I have mentioned to him who youare and your relations to Miss Westenra. This, my dear fellow, is onlyin obedience to your wishes, for I am only too proud and happy to doanything I can for her. Van Helsing would, I know, do anything for mefor a personal reason. So, no matter on what ground he comes, we mustaccept his wishes. He is a seemingly arbitrary man, but this is becausehe knows what he is talking about better than any one else. He is aphilosopher and a metaphysician, and one of the most advanced scientistsof his day; and he has, I believe, an absolutely open mind. This, withan iron nerve, a temper of the ice-brook, an indomitable resolution,self-command and toleration exalted from virtues to blessings, andthe kindest and truest heart that beats--these form his equipment forthe noble work that he is doing for mankind--work both in theory andpractice, for his views are as wide as his all-embracing sympathy.I tell you these facts that you may know why I have such confidencein him. I have asked him to come at once. I shall see Miss Westenrato-morrow again. She is to meet me at the Stores, so that I may notalarm her mother by too early a repetition of my call.
_Letter, Abraham Van Helsing, M.D., D.Ph., D.Litt., etc., etc., to Dr.Seward._
"My good Friend,--
"When I have received your letter I am already coming to you. By goodfortune I can leave just at once, without wrong to any of those whohave trusted me. Were fortune other, then it were bad for those whohave trusted, for I come to my friend when he call me to aid those heholds dear. Tell your friend that when that time you suck from my woundso swiftly the poison of the gangrene from that knife that our otherfriend, too nervous, let slip, you did more for him when he wants myaids and you call for them than all his great fortune could do. But itis pleasure added to do for him, your friend; it is to you that I come.Have then rooms for me at the Great Eastern Hotel, so that I may be nearto hand, and please it so arrange that we may see the young lady not toolate on tomorrow, for it is likely that I may have to return here thatnight. But if need be I shall come again in three days, and stay longerif it must. Till then good-bye, my friend John.