Page 60 of Dracula

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"We four?" said Harker interrogatively, looking from one to another ofus.

"Of course!" answered the Professor quickly. "You must remain to takecare of your so sweet wife!" Harker was silent for a while and then saidin a hollow voice:--

"Let us talk of that part of it in the morning. I want to consult withMina." I thought that now was the time for Van Helsing to warn him notto disclose our plans to her; but he took no notice. I looked at himsignificantly and coughed. For answer he put his finger on his lip andturned away.

/Jonathan Harker's Journal./

_5 October, afternoon._--For some time after our meeting this morning Icould not think. The new phases of things leave my mind in a state ofwonder which allows no room for active thought. Mina's determinationnot to take any part in the discussion set me thinking; and as I couldnot argue the matter with her, I could only guess. I am as far as everfrom a solution now. The way the others received it, too, puzzled me;the last time we talked of the subject we agreed that there was to be nomore concealment of anything amongst us. Mina is sleeping now, calmlyand sweetly like a little child. Her lips are curved and her face beamswith happiness. Thank God there are such moments still for her.

_Later._--How strange it all is. I sat watching Mina's happy sleep, andcame as near to being happy myself as I suppose I shall ever be. As theevening drew on, and the earth took its shadows from the sun sinkinglower, the silence of the room grew more and more solemn to me. All atonce Mina opened her eyes, and looking at me tenderly, said:--

"Jonathan, I want you to promise me something on your word of honour.A promise made to me, but made holily in God's hearing, and not to bebroken though I should go down on my knees and implore you with bittertears. Quick, you must make it to me at once."

"Mina," I said, "a promise like that, I cannot make at once. I may haveno right to make it."

"But, dear one," she said, with such spiritual intensity that her eyeswere like pole stars, "it is I who wish it; and it is not for myself.You can ask Dr. Van Helsing if I am not right; if he disagrees you maydo as you will. Nay, more, if you all agree, later, you are absolvedfrom the promise."

"I promise!" I said, and for a moment she looked supremely happy; thoughto me all happiness for her was denied by the red scar on her forehead.She said:--

"Promise me that you will not tell me anything of the plans formedfor the campaign against the Count. Not by word, or inference, orimplication; not at any time whilst this remains to me!" and shesolemnly pointed to the scar. I saw that she was in earnest, and saidsolemnly:--

"I promise!" and as I said it I felt that from that instant a door hadbeen shut between us.

_Later, midnight._--Mina has been bright and cheerful all the evening.So much so that all the rest seemed to take courage, as if infectedsomewhat with her gaiety; as a result even I myself felt as if the pallof gloo

m which weighs us down were somewhat lifted. We all retiredearly. Mina is now sleeping like a little child; it is a wonderful thingthat her faculty of sleep remains to her in the midst of her terribletrouble. Thank God for it, for then at least she can forget her care.Perhaps her example may affect me as her gaiety did to-night. I shalltry it. Oh! for a dreamless sleep.

_6 October, morning._--Another surprise. Mina woke me early, about thesame time as yesterday, and asked me to bring Dr. Van Helsing. I thoughtthat it was another occasion for hypnotism, and without question wentfor the Professor. He had evidently expected some such call, for I foundhim dressed in his room. His door was ajar, so that he could hear theopening of the door of our room. He came at once; as he passed into theroom, he asked Mina if the others might come too.

"No," she said quite simply, "it will not be necessary. You can tellthem just as well. I must go with you on your journey."

Dr. Van Helsing was as startled as I was. After a moment's pause heasked:--

"But why?"

"You must take me with you. I am safer with you, and you shall be safertoo."

"But why, dear Madam Mina? You know that your safety is our solemnestduty. We go into danger, to which you are, or may be, more liable thanany of us from--from circumstances--things that have been." He pausedembarrassed.

As she replied, she raised her finger and pointed to her forehead:--

"I know. That is why I must go. I can tell you now, whilst the sun iscoming up; I may not be able again. I know that when the Count wills meI must go. I know that if he tells me to come in secret, I must come bywile; by any device to hoodwink--even Jonathan." God saw the look thatshe turned on me as she spoke, and if there be indeed a Recording Angelthat look is noted to her everlasting honour. I could only clasp herhand. I could not speak; my emotion was too great for even the relief oftears. She went on:--

"You men are brave and strong. You are strong in your numbers, for youcan defy that which would break down the human endurance of one who hadto guard alone. Besides, I may be of service, since you can hypnotise meand so learn that which even I myself do not know." Dr. Van Helsing saidvery gravely:--

"Madam Mina, you are, as always, most wise. You shall with us come; andtogether we shall do that which we go forth to achieve." When he hadspoken, Mina's long spell of silence made me look at her. She had fallenback on her pillow asleep; she did not even wake when I had pulled upthe blind and let in the sunlight which flooded the room. Van Helsingmotioned to me to come with him quietly. We went to his room, and withina minute Lord Godalming, Dr. Seward, and Mr. Morris were with us also.He told them what Mina had said, and went on:--

"In the morning we shall leave for Varna. We have now to deal with a newfactor: Madam Mina. Oh, but her soul is true. It is to her an agony totell us so much as she has done; but it is most right, and we are warnedin time. There must be no chance lost, and in Varna we must be ready toact the instant when that ship arrives."

"What shall we do exactly?" asked Mr. Morris laconically. The Professorpaused before replying:--

"We shall at the first board that ship; then, when we have identifiedthe box, we shall place a branch of the wild rose on it. This we shallfasten, for when it is there none can emerge; so at least says thesuperstition. And to superstition must we trust at the first; it wasman's faith in the early, and it have its root in faith still. Then,when we get the opportunity that we seek, when none are near to see, weshall open the box, and--and all will be well."

"I shall not wait for any opportunity," said Morris. "When I see the boxI shall open it and destroy the monster, though there were a thousandmen looking on, and if I am to be wiped out for it the next moment!" Igrasped his hand instinctively and found it as firm as a piece of steel.I think he understood my look; I hope he did.

"Good boy," said Dr. Van Helsing. "Brave boy. Quincey is all man, Godbless him for it. My child, believe me none of us shall lag behind orpause from any fear. I do but say what we may do--what we must do. But,indeed, indeed we cannot say what we shall do. There are so many thingswhich may happen, and their ways and their ends are so various thatuntil the moment we may not say. We shall all be armed, in all ways;and when the time for the end has come, our effort shall not be lack.Now let us to-day put all our affairs in order. Let all things whichtouch on others dear to us, and who on us depend, be complete; for noneof us can tell what, or when, or how, the end may be. As for me, my ownaffairs are regulate; and as I have nothing else to do, I shall go makearrangement for the travel. I shall have all tickets and so forth forour journey."

There was nothing further to be said, and we parted. I shall now settleup all my affairs of earth, and be ready for whatever may come....

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