MINA HARKER'S JOURNAL
23 September.--Jonathan is
better after a bad night. I am
so glad that he has plenty of
work to do, for that keeps his
mind off the terrible things,
and oh, I am rejoiced that he
is not now weighed down with
the responsibility of his new
position. I knew he would be
true to himself, and now how
proud I am to see my Jonathan
rising to the height of his advancement
and keeping pace in all ways
with the duties that come upon
him. He will be away all day
till late, for he said he could
not lunch at home. My household
work is done, so I shall take
his foreign journal, and lock
myself up in my room and read
24 September.--I hadn't the
heart to write last night, that
terrible record of Jonathan's
upset me so. Poor dear! How he
must have suffered, whether it
be true or only imagination.
I wonder if there is any truth
in it at all. Did he get his
brain fever, and then write all
those terrible things, or had
he some cause for it all? I suppose
I shall never know, for I dare
not open the subject to him.
And yet that man we saw yesterday!
He seemed quite certain of him,
poor fellow! I suppose it was
the funeral upset him and sent
his mind back on some train of
it all himself. I remember
how on our wedding
day he said "Unless some solemn
duty come upon me to go back
to the bitter hours, asleep or
awake, mad or sane . . ." There
seems to be through it all some
thread of continuity. That fearful
Count was coming to London. If
it should be, and he came to
London, with its teeming millions
. . . There may be a solemn duty,
and if it come we must not shrink
from it. I shall be prepared.
I shall get my typewriter this
very hour and begin transcribing.
Then we shall be ready for other
eyes if required. And if it be
wanted, then, perhaps, if I am
ready, poor Jonathan may not
be upset, for I can speak for
him and never let him be troubled
or worried with it at all. If
ever Jonathan quite gets over
the nervousness he may want to
tell me of it all, and I can
ask him questions and find out
things, and see how I may comfort
LETTER, VAN HELSING TO MRS.
"I pray you
to pardon my writing, in that
I am so far friend as
that I sent to you sad news of
Miss Lucy Westenra's death. By
the kindness of Lord Godalming,
I am empowered to read her letters
and papers, for I am deeply concerned
about certain matters vitally
important. In them I find some
letters from you, which show
how great friends you were and
how you love her. Oh, Madam Mina,
by that love, I implore you,
help me. It is for others' good
that I ask, to redress great
wrong, and to lift much and terrible
troubles, that may be more great
than you can know. May it be
that I see you? You can trust
me. I am friend of Dr. John Seward
and of Lord Godalming (that was
Arthur of Miss Lucy). I must
keep it private for the present
from all. I should come to Exeter
to see you at once if you tell
me I am privilege to come, and
where and when. I implore your
pardon, Madam. I have read your
letters to poor Lucy, and know
how good you are and how your
husband suffer. So I pray you,
if it may be, enlighten him not,
least it may harm. Again your
pardon, and forgive me.
TELEGRAM, MRS. HARKER TO VAN
today by quarter past ten train
can catch it. Can see you any
time you call. "WILHELMINA HARKER"
MINA HARKER'S JOURNAL
25 September.--I cannot help
feeling terribly excited as the
time draws near for the visit
of Dr. Van Helsing, for somehow
I expect that it will throw some
light upon Jonathan's sad experience,
and as he attended poor dear
Lucy in her last illness, he
can tell me all about her. That
is the reason of his coming.
It is concerning Lucy and her
sleepwalking, and not about Jonathan.
Then I shall never know the real
truth now! How silly I am. That
awful journal gets hold of my
imagination and tinges everything
with something of its own color.
Of course it is about Lucy. That
habit came back to the poor dear,
and that awful night on the cliff
must have made her ill. I had
almost forgotten in my own affairs
how ill she was afterwards. She
must have told him of her sleep-walking
adventure on the cliff, and that
I knew all about it, and now
he wants me to tell him what
I know, so that he may understand.
I hope I did right in not saying
anything of it to Mrs. Westenra.
I should never forgive myself
if any act of mine, were it even
a negative one, brought harm
on poor dear Lucy. I hope too,
Dr. Van Helsing will not blame
me. I have had so much trouble
and anxiety of late that I feel
I cannot bear more just at present.
I suppose a cry does us all
good at times, clears the air
as other rain does. Perhaps it
was reading the journal yesterday
that upset me, and then Jonathan
went away this morning to stay
away from me a whole day and
night, the first time we have
been parted since our marriage.
I do hope the dear fellow will
take care of himself, and that
nothing will occur to upset him.
It is two o'clock, and the doctor
will be here soon now. I shall
say nothing of Jonathan's journal
unless he asks me. I am so glad
I have typewritten out my own
journal, so that, in case he
asks about Lucy, I can hand it
to him. It will save much questioning.
has come and gone. Oh, what
a strange meeting, and
how it all makes my head whirl
round. I feel like one in a dream.
Can it be all possible, or even
a part of it? If I had not read
Jonathan's journal first, I should
never have accepted even a possibility.
Poor, poor, dear Jonathan! How
he must have suffered. Please
the good God, all this may not
upset him again. I shall try
to save him from it. But it may
be even a consolation and a help
to him, terrible though it be
and awful in its consequences,
to know for certain that his
eyes and ears and brain did not
deceive him, and that it is all
true. It may be that it is the
doubt which haunts him, that
when the doubt is removed, no
matter which, waking or dreaming,
may prove the truth, he will
be more satisfied and better
able to bear the shock. Dr. Van
Helsing must be a good man as
well as a clever one if he is
Arthur's friend and Dr. Seward's,
and if they brought him all the
way from Holland to look after
Lucy. I feel from having seen
him that he is good and kind
and of a noble nature. When he
comes tomorrow I shall ask him
about Jonathan. And then, please
God, all this sorrow and anxiety
may lead to a good end. I used
to think I would like to practice
interviewing. Jonathan's friend
on "The Exeter News" told him
that memory is everything in
such work, that you must be able
to put down exactly almost every
word spoken, even if you had
to refine some of it afterwards.
Here was a rare interview. I
shall try to record it verbatim.
It was half-past
two o'clock when the knock
came. I took my
courage a deux mains and waited.
In a few minutes Mary opened
the door, and announced "Dr.
I rose and bowed, and he came
towards me, a man of medium weight,
strongly built, with his shoulders
set back over a broad, deep chest
and a neck well balanced on the
trunk as the head is on the neck.
The poise of the head strikes
me at once as indicative of thought
and power. The head is noble,
well-sized, broad, and large
behind the ears. The face, cleanshaven,
shows a hard, square chin, a
large resolute, mobile mouth,
a good-sized nose, rather straight,
but with quick, sensitive nostrils,
that seem to broaden as the big
bushy brows come down and the
mouth tightens. The forehead
is broad and fine, rising at
first almost straight and then
sloping back above two bumps
or ridges wide apart, such a
forehead that the reddish hair
cannot possibly tumble over it,
but falls naturally back and
to the sides. Big, dark blue
eyes are set widely apart, and
are quick and tender or stern
with the man's moods. He said
"Mrs. Harker, is it not?" I
"That was Miss Mina Murray?" Again
"It is Mina
Murray that I came to see that
was friend of that
poor dear child Lucy Westenra.
Madam Mina, it is on account
of the dead that I come."
"Sir," I said, "you could have
no better claim on me than that
you were a friend and helper
of Lucy Westenra."And I held
out my hand. He took it and said
"Oh, Madam Mina, I know that
the friend of that poor little
girl must be good, but I had
yet to learn . . ." He finished
his speech with a courtly bow.
I asked him what it was that
he wanted to see me about, so
he at once began.
"I have read
your letters to Miss Lucy.
Forgive me, but I
had to begin to inquire somewhere,
and there was none to ask. I
know that you were with her at
Whitby. She sometimes kept a
diary, you need not look surprised,
Madam Mina. It was begun after
you had left, and was an imitation
of you, and in that diary she
traces by inference certain things
to a sleep-walking in which she
puts down that you saved her.
In great perplexity then I come
to you, and ask you out of your
so much kindness to tell me all
of it that you can remember."
"I can tell
you, I think, Dr. Van Helsing,
all about it."
"Ah, then you
have good memory for facts,
for details? It is
not always so with young ladies."
but I wrote it all down at
the time. I can show
it to you if you like."
Mina, I well be grateful. You
will do me much
I could not
resist the temptation of mystifying
him a bit, I suppose
it is some taste of the original
apple that remains still in our
mouths, so I handed him the shorthand
diary. He took it with a grateful
bow, and said, "May I read it?"
"If you wish," I
answered as demurely as I could.
it, and for an instant his face
fell. Then he stood up and bowed.
"Oh, you so clever woman!" he
said. "I knew long that Mr. Jonathan
was a man of much thankfulness,
but see, his wife have all the
good things. And will you not
so much honor me and so help
me as to read it for me? Alas!
I know not the shorthand."
By this time my little joke
was over, and I was almost ashamed.
So I took the typewritten copy
from my work basket and handed
it to him.
"Forgive me," I said. "I
could not help it, but I had
that it was of dear Lucy that
you wished to ask, and so that
you might not have time to wait,
not on my account, but because
I know your time must be precious,
I have written it out on the
typewriter for you."
He took it
and his eyes glistened. "You
are so good," he said. "And may
I read it now? I may want to
ask you some things when I have
"By all means," I said. "read
it over whilst I order lunch,
and then you can ask me questions
whilst we eat."
He bowed and settled himself
in a chair with his back to the
light, and became so absorbed
in the papers, whilst I went
to see after lunch chiefly in
order that he might not be disturbed.
When I came back, I found him
walking hurriedly up and down
the room, his face all ablaze
with excitement. He rushed up
to me and took me by both hands.
"Oh, Madam Mina," he said, "how
can I say what I owe to you?
This paper is as sunshine. It
opens the gate to me. I am dazed,
I am dazzled, with so much light,
and yet clouds roll in behind
the light every time. But that
you do not, cannot comprehend.
Oh, but I am grateful to you,
you so clever woman. Madame," he
said this very solemnly, "if
ever Abraham Van Helsing can
do anything for you or yours,
I trust you will let me know.
It will be pleasure and delight
if I may serve you as a friend,
as a friend, but all I have ever
learned, all I can ever do, shall
be for you and those you love.
There are darknesses in life,
and there are lights. You are
one of the lights. You will have
a happy life and a good life,
and your husband will be blessed
you praise me too much, and
you do not know
"Not know you,
I, who am old, and who have
studied all my life
men and women, I who have made
my specialty the brain and all
that belongs to him and all that
follow from him! And I have read
your diary that you have so goodly
written for me, and which breathes
out truth in every line. I, who
have read your so sweet letter
to poor Lucy of your marriage
and your trust, not know you!
Oh, Madam Mina, good women tell
all their lives, and by day and
by hour and by minute, such things
that angels can read. And we
men who wish to know have in
us something of angels' eyes.
Your husband is noble nature,
and you are noble too, for you
trust, and trust cannot be where
there is mean nature. And your
husband, tell me of him. Is he
quite well? Is all that fever
gone, and is he strong and hearty?"
I saw here
an opening to ask him about
Jonathan, so I said,"He
was almost recovered, but he
has been greatly upset by Mr.
He interrupted, "Oh,
yes. I know. I know. I have
last two letters."
I went on, "I
suppose this upset him, for
when we were in
town on Thursday last he had
a sort of shock."
"A shock, and
after brain fever so soon!
That is not good. What
kind of shock was it?"
"He thought he saw some one
who recalled something terrible,
something which led to his brain
fever." And here the whole thing
seemed to overwhelm me in a rush.
The pity for Jonathan, the horror
which he experienced, the whole
fearful mystery of his diary,
and the fear that has been brooding
over me ever since, all came
in a tumult. I suppose I was
hysterical, for I threw myself
on my knees and held up my hands
to him, and implored him to make
my husband well again. He took
my hands and raised me up, and
made me sit on the sofa, and
sat by me. He held my hand in
his, and said to me with, oh,
such infinite sweetness,
"My life is
a barren and lonely one, and
so full of work that
I have not had much time for
friendships, but since I have
been summoned to here by my friend
John Seward I have known so many
good people and seen such nobility
that I feel more than ever, and
it has grown with my advancing
years, the loneliness of my life.
Believe me, then, that I come
here full of respect for you,
and you have given me hope, hope,
not in what I am seeking of,
but that there are good women
still left to make life happy,
good women, whose lives and whose
truths may make good lesson for
the children that are to be.
I am glad, glad, that I may here
be of some use to you. For if
your husband suffer, he suffer
within the range of my study
and experience. I promise you
that I will gladly do all for
him that I can, all to make his
life strong and manly, and your
life a happy one. Now you must
eat. You are over-wrought and
perhaps over-anxious. Husband
Jonathan would not like to see
you so pale, and what he like
not where he love, is not to
his good. Therefore for his sake
you must eat and smile. You have
told me about Lucy, and so now
we shall not speak of it, lest
it distress. I shall stay in
Exeter tonight, for I want to
think much over what you have
told me, and when I have thought
I will ask you questions, if
I may. And then too, you will
tell me of husband Jonathan's
trouble so far as you can, but
not yet. You must eat now, afterwards
you shall tell me all."
when we went back to the drawing
room, he said
to me, "And now tell me all about
When it came to speaking to
this great learned man, I began
to fear that he would think me
a weak fool, and Jonathan a madman,
that journal is all so strange,
and I hesitated to go on. But
he was so sweet and kind, and
he had promised to help, and
I trusted him, so I said,
"Dr. Van Helsing,
what I have to tell you is
so queer that
you must not laugh at me or at
my husband. I have been since
yesterday in a sort of fever
of doubt. You must be kind to
me, and not think me foolish
that I have even half believed
some very strange things."
me by his manner as well as
his words when he
said, "Oh, my dear, if you only
know how strange is the matter
regarding which I am here, it
is you who would laugh. I have
learned not to think little of
any one's belief, no matter how
strange it may be. I have tried
to keep an open mind, and it
is not the ordinary things of
life that could close it, but
the strange things, the extraordinary
things, the things that make
one doubt if they be mad or sane."
thank you a thousand times!
You have taken a weight
off my mind. If you will let
me, I shall give you a paper
to read. It is long, but I have
typewritten it out. It will tell
you my trouble and Jonathan's.
It is the copy of his journal
when abroad, and all that happened.
I dare not say anything of it.
You will read for yourself and
judge. And then when I see you,
perhaps, you will be very kind
and tell me what you think."
"I promise," he said as I gave
him the papers. "I shall in the
morning, as soon as I can, come
to see you and your husband,
if I may."
"Jonathan will be here at half-past
eleven, and you must come to
lunch with us and see him then.
You could catch the quick 3:34
train, which will leave you at
Paddington before eight." He
was surprised at my knowledge
of the trains offhand, but he
does not know that I have made
up all the trains to and from
Exeter, so that I may help Jonathan
in case he is in a hurry.
So he took the papers with
him and went away, and I sit
here thinking, thinking I don't
LETTER (by hand), VAN HELSING
TO MRS. HARKER
25 September, 6 o'clock
"I have read
your husband's so wonderful
diary. You may sleep
without doubt. Strange and terrible
as it is, it is true! I will
pledge my life on it. It may
be worse for others, but for
him and you there is no dread.
He is a noble fellow, and let
me tell you from experience of
men, that one who would do as
he did in going down that wall
and to that room, aye, and going
a second time, is not one to
be injured in permanence by a
shock. His brain and his heart
are all right, this I swear,
before I have even seen him,
so be at rest. I shall have much
to ask him of other things. I
am blessed that today I come
to see you, for I have learn
all at once so much that again
I am dazzled, dazzled more than
ever, and I must think.
LETTER, MRS. HARKER TO VAN
25 September, 6:30 p. m.
"My dear Dr.
thanks for your kind letter,
which has taken
a great weight off my mind. And
yet, if it be true, what terrible
things there are in the world,
and what an awful thing if that
man, that monster, be really
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 tonight
from Launceston and will be here
at 10:18,so that I shall have
no fear tonight. Will you, therefore,
instead of lunching with us,
please come to breakfast at eight
o'clock, if this be not too early
for you? You can get away, if
you are in a hurry, by the 10:30
train, which will bring you to
Paddington by 2:35. Do not answer
this, as I shall take it that,
if I do not hear, you will come
and grateful friend,
JONATHAN HARKER'S JOURNAL
26 September.--I thought never
to write in this diary again,
but the time has come. When I
got home last night Mina had
supper ready, and when we had
supped she told me of Van Helsing's
visit, and of her having given
him the two diaries copied out,
and of how anxious she has been
about me. She showed me in the
doctor's letter that all I wrote
down was true. It seems to have
made a new man of me. It was
the doubt as to the reality of
the whole thing that knocked
me over. I felt impotent, and
in the dark, and distrustful.
But, now that I know, I am not
afraid, even of the Count. He
has succeeded after all, then,
in his design in getting to London,
and it was he I saw. He has got
younger, and how? Van Helsing
is the man to unmask him and
hunt him out, if he is anything
like what Mina says. We sat late,
and talked it over. Mina is dressing,
and I shall call at the hotel
in a few minutes and bring him
He was, I think, surprised
to see me. When I came into the
room whee he was, and introduced
myself, he took me by the shoulder,
and turned my face round to the
light, and said, after a sharp
Mina told me you were ill,
that you had had a
It was 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."
"By your letter
to Mina last night. I was in
doubt, and then
everything took a hue of unreality,
and I did not know what to trust,
even the evidence of my own senses.
Not knowing what to trust, I
did not know what to do, and
so had only to keep on working
in what had hitherto been the
groove of my life. The groove
ceased to avail me, and I mistrusted
myself. Doctor, you don't know
what it is to doubt everything,
even yourself. No, you don't,
you couldn't with eyebrows like
He seemed pleased,
and laughed as he said, "So!
You are a physiognomist. I
learn more here with each hour.
I am with so much pleasure coming
to you to breakfast, and, oh,
sir, you will pardon praise from
an old man, but you are blessed
in your wife."
I would listen to him go on
praising Mina for a day, so I
simply nodded and stood silent.
"She is one
of God's women, fashioned by
His own hand to
show us men and other women that
there is a heaven where we can
enter, and that its light can
be here on earth. So true, so
sweet, so noble, so little an
egoist, and that, let me tell
you, is much in this age, so
sceptical and selfish. And you,
sir. . . I have read all the
letters to poor Miss Lucy, and
some of them speak of you, so
I know you since some days from
the knowing of others, but I
have seen your true self since
last night. You will give me
your hand, will you not? And
let us be friends for all our
We shook hands, and he was
so earnest and so kind that it
made me quite choky.
"and now," he said, "may
I ask you for some more help?
have a great task 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 I may 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
"It does," he
"Then I am
with you heart and soul. As
you go by the 10:30
train, you will 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."
I saw him to the station. When
we were parting
he said, "Perhaps you will come
to town if I send for you, and
take Madam Mina too."
"We shall both come when you
will," I said.
I had got him
the morning papers and the
London papers of the
previous night, and while we
were talking at the carriage
window, waiting for the train
to start, he was turning them
over. His eyes suddenly seemed
to catch something in one of
them, "The Westminster Gazette",
I knew it by the color, and he
grew quite white. He read something
intently, groaning to himself, "Mein
Gott! Mein Gott! So soon! So
soon!" I do not think he remembered
me at the moment. Just then the
whistle blew, and the train moved
off. This recalled him to himself,
and he leaned out of the window
and waved his hand, calling out, "Love
to Madam Mina. I shall write
so soon as ever I can."
DR. SEWARD'S DIARY
there is no such thing as finality.
Not a week since I said "Finis," and
yet here I am starting fresh
again, or rather going on with
the record. Until this afternoon
I had no cause to think of what
is done. Renfield had become,
to all intents, as sane as he
ever was. He was already well
ahead with his fly business,
and he had just started in the
spider line also, so he had not
been of any trouble to me. I
had a letter from Arthur, written
on Sunday, and from it I gather
that he is bearing up wonderfully
well. Quincey Morris is with
him, and that is much of a help,
for he himself is a bubbling
well of good spirits. Quincey
wrote me a line too, and from
him I hear that Arthur is beginning
to recover something of his old
buoyancy, so as to them all my
mind is at rest. As for myself,
I was settling down to my work
with the enthusiasm which I used
to have for it, so that I might
fairly have said that the wound
which poor Lucy left on me was
is, however, now reopened,
and what is to be the
end God only knows. I have an
idea that Van Helsing thinks
he knows, too, but he will only
let out enough at a time to whet
curiosity. He went to Exeter
yesterday, and stayed there all
night. Today he came back, and
almost bounded into the room
at about half-past five o'clock,
and thrust last night's "Westminster
Gazette" into my hand.
"What do you think of that?" he
asked as he stood back and folded
I looked over the paper, for
I really did not know what he
meant, but he took it from me
and pointed out a paragraph about
children being decoyed away at
Hampstead. It did not convey
much to me, until I reached a
passage where it described small
puncture wounds on their throats.
An idea struck me, and I looked
"It is like
"And what do
you make of it?"
"Simply that there is some
cause in common. Whatever it
was that injured her has injured
them." I did not quite understand
"That is true
indirectly, but not directly."
"How do you mean, Professor?" I
asked. I was a little inclined
to take his seriousness lightly,
for, after all, four days of
rest and freedom from burning,
harrowing, anxiety does help
to restore one's spirits, but
when I saw his face, it sobered
me. Never, even in the midst
of our despair about poor Lucy,
had he looked more stern.
"Tell me!" I said. "I
can hazard no opinion. I do
not know what
to think, and I have no data
on which to found a conjecture."
"Do you mean
to tell me, friend John, that
you have no suspicion
as to what poor Lucy died of,
not after all the hints given,
not only by events, but by me?"
prostration following a great
loss or waste of blood."
"And how was the blood lost
or wasted?" I shook my head.
over and sat down beside me,
and went on,"You are
a clever man, friend John. You
reason well, and your wit is
bold, but you are too prejudiced.
You do not let your eyes see
nor your ears hear, and that
which is outside your daily life
is not of account to you. Do
you not think that there are
things which you cannot understand,
and yet which are,that some people
see things that others cannot?
But there are things old and
new which must not be contemplated
by men's eyes, because they know,
or think they know, some things
which other men have told them.
Ah, it is the fault of our science
that it wants to explain all,
and if it explain not, then it
says there is nothing to explain.
But yet we see around us every
day the growth of new beliefs,
which think themselves new, and
which are yet but the old, which
pretend to be young, like the
fine ladies at the opera. I suppose
now you do not believe in corporeal
transference. No? Nor in materialization.
No? Nor in astral bodies. No?
Nor in the reading of thought.
No? Nor in hypnotism . . ."
"Yes," I said. "Charcot
has proved that pretty well."
He smiled as
he went on, "Then
you are satisfied as to it. Yes?
And of course then you understand
how it act, and can follow the
mind of the great Charcot, alas
that he is no more, into the
very soul of the patient that
he influence. No? Then, friend
John, am I to take it that you
simply accept fact, and are satisfied
to let from premise to conclusion
be a blank? No? Then tell me,
for I am a student of the brain,
how you accept hypnotism and
reject the thought reading. Let
me tell you, my friend, that
there are things done today in
electrical science which would
have been deemed unholy by the
very man who discovered electricity,
who would themselves not so long
before been burned as wizards.
There are always mysteries in
life. Why was it that Methuselah
lived nine hundred years, and
`Old Parr'one hundred and sixty-nine,
and yet that poor Lucy, with
four men's blood in her poor
veins, could not live even one
day? For, had she live one more
day, we could save her. Do you
know all the mystery of life
and death? Do you know the altogether
of comparative anatomy and can
say wherefore the qualities of
brutes are in some men, and not
in others? Can you tell me why,
when other spiders die small
and soon, that one great spider
lived for centuries in the tower
of the old Spanish church and
grew and grew, till, on descending,
he could drink the oil of all
the church lamps? Can you tell
me why in the Pampas, ay and
elsewhere, there are bats that
come out at night and open the
veins of cattle and horses and
suck dry their veins, how in
some islands of the Western seas
there are bats which hang on
the trees all day, and those
who have seen describe as like
giant nuts or pods, and that
when the sailors sleep on the
deck, because that it is hot,
flit down on them and then, and
then in the morning are found
dead men, white as even Miss
"Good God, Professor!" I said,
starting up. "Do you mean to
tell me that Lucy was bitten
by such a bat, and that such
a thing is here in London in
the nineteenth century?"
He waved his
hand for silence, and went
on,"Can you tell me
why the tortoise lives more long
than generations of men, why
the elephant goes on and on till
he have sees dynasties, and why
the parrot never die only of
bite of cat of dog or other complaint?
Can you tell me why men believe
in all ages and places that there
are men and women who cannot
die? We all know, because science
has vouched for the fact, that
there have been toads shut up
in rocks for thousands of years,
shut in one so small hole that
only hold him since the youth
of the world. Can you tell me
how the Indian fakir can make
himself to die and have been
buried, and his grave sealed
and corn sowed on it, and the
corn reaped and be cut and sown
and reaped and cut again, and
then men come and take away the
unbroken seal and that there
lie the Indian fakir, not dead,
but that rise up and walk amongst
them as before?"
Here I interrupted him. I was
getting bewildered. He so crowded
on my mind his list of nature's
eccentricities and possible impossibilities
that my imagination was getting
fired. I had a dim idea that
he was teaching me some lesson,
as long ago he used to do in
his study at Amsterdam. But he
used them to tell me the thing,
so that I could have the object
of thought in mind all the time.
But now I was without his help,
yet I wanted to follow him, so
let me be your pet student
again. Tell me the
thesis, so that I may apply your
knowledge as you go on. At present
I am going in my mind from point
to point as a madman, and not
a sane one, follows an idea.
I feel like a novice lumbering
through a bog in a midst, jumping
from one tussock to another in
the mere blind effort to move
on without knowing where I am
"That is a good image," he
said. "Well, I shall tell you.
My thesis is this, I want you
in things that you cannot.
Let me illustrate.
I heard once of an American who
so defined faith, `that fac ulty
which enables us to believe things
which we know to be untrue.'
For one, I follow that man. He
meant that we shall have an open
mind, and not let a little bit
of truth check the rush of the
big truth, like a small rock
does a railway truck. We get
the small truth first. Good!
We keep him, and we value him,
but all the same we must not
let him think himself all the
truth in the universe."
"Then you want
me not to let some previous
the receptivity of my mind with
regard to some strange matter.
Do I read your lesson aright?"
"Ah, you are
my favorite pupil still. It
is worth to teach you.
Now that you are willing to understand,
you have taken the first step
to understand. You think then
that those so small holes in
the children's throats were made
by the same that made the holes
in Miss Lucy?"
He stood up
and said solemnly, "Then
you are wrong. Oh, would it were
so! But alas! No. It is worse,
far, far worse."
"In God's name, Professor Van
Helsing, what do you mean?" I
He threw himself with a despairing
gesture into a chair, and placed
his elbows on the table, covering
his face with his hands as he
made by Miss Lucy!"