Page 33 of Dracula

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e papers with him and went away, and I sit herethinking--thinking I don't know what.

_Letter (by hand), Van Helsing to Mrs. Harker._

"_25 September, 6 o'clock._

"Dear Madam Mina,--

"I have read your husband's so wonderful diary. You may sleep withoutdoubt. Strange and terrible as it is, it is _true_! I will pledge mylife on it. It may be worse for others; but for him and you there isno dread. He is a noble fellow; and let me tell you from experience ofmen, that one who would do as he did in going down that wall and tothat room--ay, and going a second time--is not one to be injured inpermanence by a shock. His brain and his heart are all right; this Iswear, before I have even seen him; so be at rest. I shall have much toask him of other things. I am blessed that to-day I come to see you, forI have learn all at once so much that again I am dazzle--dazzle morethan ever, and I must think.

"Yours the most faithful, "/Abraham Van Helsing./"

_Letter, Mrs. Harker to Van Helsing._

"_25 September_, 6.30 _p.m._

"My dear Dr. Van Helsing,--

"A thousand thanks for your kind letter, which has taken a great weightoff my mind. And yet, if it be true, what terrible things there arein the world, and what an awful thing if that man, that monster, bereally in London! I fear to think. I have this moment, whilst writing,had a wire from Jonathan, saying that he leaves by the 6.25 to-nightfrom Launceston and will be here at 10.18, so that I shall have no fearto-night. Will you therefore, instead of lunching with us, please cometo breakfast, at eight o'clock, if this be not too early for you? Youcan get away, if you are in a hurry, by the 10.30 train, which willbring you to Paddington by 2.35. Do not answer this, as I shall take itthat, if I do not hear, you will come to breakfast.

"Believe me, "Your faithful and grateful friend, "/Mina Harker./"

/Jonathan Harker's Journal./

_26 September._--I thought never to write in this diary again, but thetime has come. When I got home last night Mina had supper ready, andwhen we had supped she told me of Van Helsing's visit, and of her havinggiven him the two diaries copied out, and of how anxious she had beenabout me. She showed me in the doctor's letter that all I wrote down wastrue. It seems to have made a new man of me. It was the doubt as to thereality of the whole thing that knocked me over. I felt impotent, and inthe dark, and distrustful. But, now that I _know_, I am not afraid, evenof the Count. He has succeeded after all, then, in his design in gettingto London, and it was he I saw. He has got younger, and how? Van Helsingis the man to unmask him and hunt him out, if he is anything like whatMina says. We sat late, and talked it all over. Mina is dressing, and Ishall call at the hotel in a few minutes and bring him over....

He was, I think, surprised to see me. When I came into the room wherehe was, and introduced myself, he took me by the shoulder and turned myface round to the light, and said, after a sharp scrutiny:--

"But Madam Mina told me you were ill, that you had had a shock." Itwas so funny to hear my wife called "Madam Mina" by this kindly,strong-faced old man. I smiled, and said:--

"I _was_ ill, I _have_ had a shock; but you have cured me already."

"And how?"

"By your letter to Mina last night. I was in doubt, and then everythingtook a hue of unreality, and I did not know what to trust, even theevidence of my own senses. Not knowing what to trust, I did not knowwhat to do; and so had only to keep on working in what had hitherto beenthe groove of my life. The groove ceased to avail me, and I mistrustedmyself. Doctor, you don't know what it is to doubt everything, evenyourself. No, you don't; you couldn't with eyebrows like yours." Heseemed pleased, and laughed as he said:--

"So! You are physiognomist. I learn more here with each hour. I am withso much pleasure coming to you to breakfast; and, oh, sir, you willpardon praise from an old man, but you are blessed in your wife." Iwould listen to him go on praising Mina for a day, so I simply noddedand stood silent.

"She is one of God's women, fashioned by His own hand to show us menand other women that there is a heaven where we can enter, and that itslight can be here on earth. So true, so sweet, so noble, so little anegoist--and that, let me tell you, is much in this age, so sceptical andselfish. And you, sir--I have read all the letters to poor Miss Lucyand some of them speak of you, so I know you since some days from theknowing of others; but I have seen your true self since last night. Youwill give me your hand, will you not? And let us be friends for all ourlives."

We shook hands, and he was so earnest and so kind that it made me quitechoky.

"And now," he said, "may I ask you for some more help? I have a greattask to do, and at the beginning it is to know. You can help me here.Can you tell me what went before your going to Transylvania? Later on Imay ask more help, and of a different kind; but at first this will do."

"Look here, sir," I said, "does what you have to do concern the Count?"

"It does," he said solemnly.

"Then I am with you heart and soul. As you go by the 10.30 train, youwill not have time to read them; but I shall get the bundle of papers.You can take them with you and read them in the train."

After breakfast I saw him to the station. When we were parting he said:

"Perhaps you will come to town if I send to you, and take Madam Minatoo."

"We shall both come when you will," I said.

I had got him the morning papers and the London papers of the previousnight, and while we were talking at the carriage window, waiting forthe train to start, he was turning them over. His eye suddenly seemedto catch something in one of them, "The Westminster Gazette"--I knewit by the colour--and he grew quite white. He read something intently,groaning to himself: "Mein Gott! Mein Gott! So soon! so soon!" I do notthink he remembered me at the moment. Just then the whistle blew, andthe train moved off. This recalled him to himself, and he leaned out ofthe window and waved his hand, calling out: "Love to Madam Mina; I shallwrite so soon as ever I can."

_Dr. Seward's Diary._

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