Part 2 - Dracula Audiobook by Bram Stoker (Chs 05-08)


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Transcript:
CHAPTER 5. LETTER FROM MISS MINA MURRAY TO MISS LUCY
WESTENRA
9 May. My dearest Lucy,
Forgive my long delay in writing, but I have been simply overwhelmed with work.
The life of an assistant schoolmistress is sometimes trying.
I am longing to be with you, and by the sea, where we can talk together freely and
build our castles in the air.
I have been working very hard lately, because I want to keep up with Jonathan's
studies, and I have been practicing shorthand very assiduously.
When we are married I shall be able to be useful to Jonathan, and if I can stenograph
well enough I can take down what he wants to say in this way and write it out for him
on the typewriter, at which also I am practicing very hard.
He and I sometimes write letters in shorthand, and he is keeping a stenographic
journal of his travels abroad.
When I am with you I shall keep a diary in the same way.
I don't mean one of those two-pages-to-the- week-with-Sunday-squeezed- in-a-corner
diaries, but a sort of journal which I can write in whenever I feel inclined.
I do not suppose there will be much of interest to other people, but it is not
intended for them.
I may show it to Jonathan some day if there is in it anything worth sharing, but it is
really an exercise book.
I shall try to do what I see lady journalists do, interviewing and writing
descriptions and trying to remember conversations.
I am told that, with a little practice, one can remember all that goes on or that one
hears said during a day. However, we shall see.
I will tell you of my little plans when we meet.
I have just had a few hurried lines from Jonathan from Transylvania.
He is well, and will be returning in about a week.
I am longing to hear all his news. It must be nice to see strange countries.
I wonder if we, I mean Jonathan and I, shall ever see them together.
There is the ten o'clock bell ringing. Goodbye.
Your loving
Mina
Tell me all the news when you write. You have not told me anything for a long
time. I hear rumours, and especially of a tall,
handsome, curly-haired man???
LETTER, LUCY WESTENRA TO MINA MURRAY 17, Chatham Street
Wednesday My dearest Mina,
I must say you tax me very unfairly with being a bad correspondent.
I wrote you twice since we parted, and your last letter was only your second.
Besides, I have nothing to tell you.
There is really nothing to interest you. Town is very pleasant just now, and we go a
great deal to picture-galleries and for walks and rides in the park.
As to the tall, curly-haired man, I suppose it was the one who was with me at the last
Pop. Someone has evidently been telling tales.
That was Mr. Holmwood.
He often comes to see us, and he and Mamma get on very well together, they have so
many things to talk about in common.
We met some time ago a man that would just do for you, if you were not already engaged
to Jonathan. He is an excellent parti, being handsome,
well off, and of good birth.
He is a doctor and really clever. Just fancy!
He is only nine-and twenty, and he has an immense lunatic asylum all under his own
care.
Mr. Holmwood introduced him to me, and he called here to see us, and often comes now.
I think he is one of the most resolute men I ever saw, and yet the most calm.
He seems absolutely imperturbable.
I can fancy what a wonderful power he must have over his patients.
He has a curious habit of looking one straight in the face, as if trying to read
one's thoughts.
He tries this on very much with me, but I flatter myself he has got a tough nut to
crack. I know that from my glass.
Do you ever try to read your own face?
I do, and I can tell you it is not a bad study, and gives you more trouble than you
can well fancy if you have never tried it.
He says that I afford him a curious psychological study, and I humbly think I
do.
I do not, as you know, take sufficient interest in dress to be able to describe
the new fashions. Dress is a bore.
That is slang again, but never mind.
Arthur says that every day. There, it is all out, Mina, we have told
all our secrets to each other since we were children.
We have slept together and eaten together, and laughed and cried together, and now,
though I have spoken, I would like to speak more.
Oh, Mina, couldn't you guess?
I love him. I am blushing as I write, for although I
think he loves me, he has not told me so in words.
But, oh, Mina, I love him.
I love him! There, that does me good.
I wish I were with you, dear, sitting by the fire undressing, as we used to sit, and
I would try to tell you what I feel.
I do not know how I am writing this even to you.
I am afraid to stop, or I should tear up the letter, and I don't want to stop, for I
do so want to tell you all.
Let me hear from you at once, and tell me all that you think about it.
Mina, pray for my happiness. Lucy
P.S.--I need not tell you this is a secret.
Goodnight again. L.
LETTER, LUCY WESTENRA TO MINA MURRAY 24 May
My dearest Mina, Thanks, and thanks, and thanks again for
your sweet letter.
It was so nice to be able to tell you and to have your sympathy.
My dear, it never rains but it pours. How true the old proverbs are.
Here am I, who shall be twenty in September, and yet I never had a proposal
till today, not a real proposal, and today I had three.
Just fancy!
Three proposals in one day! Isn't it awful!
I feel sorry, really and truly sorry, for two of the poor fellows.
Oh, Mina, I am so happy that I don't know what to do with myself.
And three proposals!
But, for goodness' sake, don't tell any of the girls, or they would be getting all
sorts of extravagant ideas, and imagining themselves injured and slighted if in their
very first day at home they did not get six at least.
Some girls are so vain!
You and I, Mina dear, who are engaged and are going to settle down soon soberly into
old married women, can despise vanity.
Well, I must tell you about the three, but you must keep it a secret, dear, from every
one except, of course, Jonathan. You will tell him, because I would, if I
were in your place, certainly tell Arthur.
A woman ought to tell her husband everything.
Don't you think so, dear? And I must be fair.
Men like women, certainly their wives, to be quite as fair as they are.
And women, I am afraid, are not always quite as fair as they should be.
Well, my dear, number One came just before lunch.
I told you of him, Dr. John Seward, the lunatic asylum man, with the strong jaw and
the good forehead.
He was very cool outwardly, but was nervous all the same.
He had evidently been schooling himself as to all sorts of little things, and
remembered them, but he almost managed to sit down on his silk hat, which men don't
generally do when they are cool, and then
when he wanted to appear at ease he kept playing with a lancet in a way that made me
nearly scream. He spoke to me, Mina, very
straightforwardly.
He told me how dear I was to him, though he had known me so little, and what his life
would be with me to help and cheer him.
He was going to tell me how unhappy he would be if I did not care for him, but
when he saw me cry he said he was a brute and would not add to my present trouble.
Then he broke off and asked if I could love him in time, and when I shook my head his
hands trembled, and then with some hesitation he asked me if I cared already
for any one else.
He put it very nicely, saying that he did not want to wring my confidence from me,
but only to know, because if a woman's heart was free a man might have hope.
And then, Mina, I felt a sort of duty to tell him that there was some one.
I only told him that much, and then he stood up, and he looked very strong and
very grave as he took both my hands in his and said he hoped I would be happy, and
that If I ever wanted a friend I must count him one of my best.
Oh, Mina dear, I can't help crying, and you must excuse this letter being all blotted.
Being proposed to is all very nice and all that sort of thing, but it isn't at all a
happy thing when you have to see a poor fellow, whom you know loves you honestly,
going away and looking all broken hearted,
and to know that, no matter what he may say at the moment, you are passing out of his
life. My dear, I must stop here at present, I
feel so miserable, though I am so happy.
Evening. Arthur has just gone, and I feel in better
spirits than when I left off, so I can go on telling you about the day.
Well, my dear, number Two came after lunch.
He is such a nice fellow, an American from Texas, and he looks so young and so fresh
that it seems almost impossible that he has been to so many places and has such
adventures.
I sympathize with poor Desdemona when she had such a stream poured in her ear, even
by a black man.
I suppose that we women are such cowards that we think a man will save us from
fears, and we marry him. I know now what I would do if I were a man
and wanted to make a girl love me.
No, I don't, for there was Mr. Morris telling us his stories, and Arthur never
told any, and yet... My dear, I am somewhat previous.
Mr. Quincy P. Morris found me alone.
It seems that a man always does find a girl alone.
No, he doesn't, for Arthur tried twice to make a chance, and I helping him all I
could, I am not ashamed to say it now.
I must tell you beforehand that Mr. Morris doesn't always speak slang, that is to say,
he never does so to strangers or before them, for he is really well educated and
has exquisite manners, but he found out
that it amused me to hear him talk American slang, and whenever I was present, and
there was no one to be shocked, he said such funny things.
I am afraid, my dear, he has to invent it all, for it fits exactly into whatever else
he has to say. But this is a way slang has.
I do not know myself if I shall ever speak slang.
I do not know if Arthur likes it, as I have never heard him use any as yet.
Well, Mr. Morris sat down beside me and looked as happy and jolly as he could, but
I could see all the same that he was very nervous.
He took my hand in his, and said ever so sweetly...
"Miss Lucy, I know I ain't good enough to regulate the fixin's of your little shoes,
but I guess if you wait till you find a man that is you will go join them seven young
women with the lamps when you quit.
Won't you just hitch up alongside of me and let us go down the long road together,
driving in double harness?"
Well, he did look so good humoured and so jolly that it didn't seem half so hard to
refuse him as it did poor Dr. Seward.
So I said, as lightly as I could, that I did not know anything of hitching, and that
I wasn't broken to harness at all yet.
Then he said that he had spoken in a light manner, and he hoped that if he had made a
mistake in doing so on so grave, so momentous, and occasion for him, I would
forgive him.
He really did look serious when he was saying it, and I couldn't help feeling a
sort of exultation that he was number Two in one day.
And then, my dear, before I could say a word he began pouring out a perfect torrent
of love-making, laying his very heart and soul at my feet.
He looked so earnest over it that I shall never again think that a man must be
playful always, and never earnest, because he is merry at times.
I suppose he saw something in my face which checked him, for he suddenly stopped, and
said with a sort of manly fervour that I could have loved him for if I had been
free...
"Lucy, you are an honest hearted girl, I know.
I should not be here speaking to you as I am now if I did not believe you clean grit,
right through to the very depths of your soul.
Tell me, like one good fellow to another, is there any one else that you care for?
And if there is I'll never trouble you a hair's breadth again, but will be, if you
will let me, a very faithful friend."
My dear Mina, why are men so noble when we women are so little worthy of them?
Here was I almost making fun of this great hearted, true gentleman.
I burst into tears, I am afraid, my dear, you will think this a very sloppy letter in
more ways than one, and I really felt very badly.
Why can't they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this
trouble? But this is heresy, and I must not say it.
I am glad to say that, though I was crying, I was able to look into Mr. Morris' brave
eyes, and I told him out straight... "Yes, there is some one I love, though he
has not told me yet that he even loves me."
I was right to speak to him so frankly, for quite a light came into his face, and he
put out both his hands and took mine, I think I put them into his, and said in a
hearty way...
"That's my brave girl. It's better worth being late for a chance
of winning you than being in time for any other girl in the world.
Don't cry, my dear.
If it's for me, I'm a hard nut to crack, and I take it standing up.
If that other fellow doesn't know his happiness, well, he'd better look for it
soon, or he'll have to deal with me.
Little girl, your honesty and pluck have made me a friend, and that's rarer than a
lover, it's more selfish anyhow. My dear, I'm going to have a pretty lonely
walk between this and Kingdom Come.
Won't you give me one kiss? It'll be something to keep off the darkness
now and then.
You can, you know, if you like, for that other good fellow, or you could not love
him, hasn't spoken yet."
That quite won me, Mina, for it was brave and sweet of him, and noble too, to a
rival, wasn't it? And he so sad, so I leant over and kissed
him.
He stood up with my two hands in his, and as he looked down into my face, I am afraid
I was blushing very much, he said, "Little girl, I hold your hand, and you've kissed
me, and if these things don't make us friends nothing ever will.
Thank you for your sweet honesty to me, and goodbye."
He wrung my hand, and taking up his hat, went straight out of the room without
looking back, without a tear or a quiver or a pause, and I am crying like a baby.
Oh, why must a man like that be made unhappy when there are lots of girls about
who would worship the very ground he trod on?
I know I would if I were free, only I don't want to be free.
My dear, this quite upset me, and I feel I cannot write of happiness just at once,
after telling you of it, and I don't wish to tell of the number Three until it can be
all happy.
Ever your loving... Lucy
P.S.--Oh, about number Three, I needn't tell you of number Three, need I?
Besides, it was all so confused.
It seemed only a moment from his coming into the room till both his arms were round
me, and he was kissing me. I am very, very happy, and I don't know
what I have done to deserve it.
I must only try in the future to show that I am not ungrateful to God for all His
goodness to me in sending to me such a lover, such a husband, and such a friend.
Goodbye.
DR. SEWARD'S DIARY (Kept in phonograph) 25 May.--Ebb tide in appetite today.
Cannot eat, cannot rest, so diary instead. Since my rebuff of yesterday I have a sort
of empty feeling.
Nothing in the world seems of sufficient importance to be worth the doing.
As I knew that the only cure for this sort of thing was work, I went amongst the
patients.
I picked out one who has afforded me a study of much interest.
He is so quaint that I am determined to understand him as well as I can.
Today I seemed to get nearer than ever before to the heart of his mystery.
I questioned him more fully than I had ever done, with a view to making myself master
of the facts of his hallucination.
In my manner of doing it there was, I now see, something of cruelty.
I seemed to wish to keep him to the point of his madness, a thing which I avoid with
the patients as I would the mouth of hell.
(Mem., Under what circumstances would I not avoid the pit of hell?)
Omnia Romae venalia sunt. Hell has its price!
If there be anything behind this instinct it will be valuable to trace it afterwards
accurately, so I had better commence to do so, therefore...
R. M, Renfield, age 59.
Sanguine temperament, great physical strength, morbidly excitable, periods of
gloom, ending in some fixed idea which I cannot make out.
I presume that the sanguine temperament itself and the disturbing influence end in
a mentally-accomplished finish, a possibly dangerous man, probably dangerous if
unselfish.
In selfish men caution is as secure an armour for their foes as for themselves.
What I think of on this point is, when self is the fixed point the centripetal force is
balanced with the centrifugal.
When duty, a cause, etc., is the fixed point, the latter force is paramount, and
only accident or a series of accidents can balance it.
LETTER, QUINCEY P. MORRIS TO HON. ARTHUR HOLMOOD
25 May. My dear Art,
We've told yarns by the campfire in the prairies, and dressed one another's wounds
after trying a landing at the Marquesas, and drunk healths on the shore of Titicaca.
There are more yarns to be told, and other wounds to be healed, and another health to
be drunk. Won't you let this be at my campfire
tomorrow night?
I have no hesitation in asking you, as I know a certain lady is engaged to a certain
dinner party, and that you are free. There will only be one other, our old pal
at the Korea, Jack Seward.
He's coming, too, and we both want to mingle our weeps over the wine cup, and to
drink a health with all our hearts to the happiest man in all the wide world, who has
won the noblest heart that God has made and best worth winning.
We promise you a hearty welcome, and a loving greeting, and a health as true as
your own right hand.
We shall both swear to leave you at home if you drink too deep to a certain pair of
eyes. Come!
Yours, as ever and always,
Quincey P. Morris
TELEGRAM FROM ARTHUR HOLMWOOD TO QUINCEY P. MORRIS
26 May Count me in every time.
I bear messages which will make both your ears tingle.
Art
>
CHAPTER 6. MINA MURRAY'S JOURNAL
24 July. Whitby.--Lucy met me at the station,
looking sweeter and lovelier than ever, and we drove up to the house at the Crescent in
which they have rooms.
This is a lovely place. The little river, the Esk, runs through a
deep valley, which broadens out as it comes near the harbour.
A great viaduct runs across, with high piers, through which the view seems somehow
further away than it really is.
The valley is beautifully green, and it is so steep that when you are on the high land
on either side you look right across it, unless you are near enough to see down.
The houses of the old town--the side away from us, are all red-roofed, and seem piled
up one over the other anyhow, like the pictures we see of Nuremberg.
Right over the town is the ruin of Whitby Abbey, which was sacked by the Danes, and
which is the scene of part of "Marmion," where the girl was built up in the wall.
It is a most noble ruin, of immense size, and full of beautiful and romantic bits.
There is a legend that a white lady is seen in one of the windows.
Between it and the town there is another church, the parish one, round which is a
big graveyard, all full of tombstones.
This is to my mind the nicest spot in Whitby, for it lies right over the town,
and has a full view of the harbour and all up the bay to where the headland called
Kettleness stretches out into the sea.
It descends so steeply over the harbour that part of the bank has fallen away, and
some of the graves have been destroyed.
In one place part of the stonework of the graves stretches out over the sandy pathway
far below.
There are walks, with seats beside them, through the churchyard, and people go and
sit there all day long looking at the beautiful view and enjoying the breeze.
I shall come and sit here often myself and work.
Indeed, I am writing now, with my book on my knee, and listening to the talk of three
old men who are sitting beside me.
They seem to do nothing all day but sit here and talk.
The harbour lies below me, with, on the far side, one long granite wall stretching out
into the sea, with a curve outwards at the end of it, in the middle of which is a
lighthouse.
A heavy seawall runs along outside of it. On the near side, the seawall makes an
elbow crooked inversely, and its end too has a lighthouse.
Between the two piers there is a narrow opening into the harbour, which then
suddenly widens.
It is nice at high water, but when the tide is out it shoals away to nothing, and there
is merely the stream of the Esk, running between banks of sand, with rocks here and
there.
Outside the harbour on this side there rises for about half a mile a great reef,
the sharp of which runs straight out from behind the south lighthouse.
At the end of it is a buoy with a bell, which swings in bad weather, and sends in a
mournful sound on the wind. They have a legend here that when a ship is
lost bells are heard out at sea.
I must ask the old man about this. He is coming this way...
He is a funny old man.
He must be awfully old, for his face is gnarled and twisted like the bark of a
tree.
He tells me that he is nearly a hundred, and that he was a sailor in the Greenland
fishing fleet when Waterloo was fought.
He is, I am afraid, a very sceptical person, for when I asked him about the
bells at sea and the White Lady at the abbey he said very brusquely,
"I wouldn't fash masel' about them, miss.
Them things be all wore out. Mind, I don't say that they never was, but
I do say that they wasn't in my time.
They be all very well for comers and trippers, an' the like, but not for a nice
young lady like you.
Them feet-folks from York and Leeds that be always eatin' cured herrin's and drinkin'
tea an' lookin' out to buy cheap jet would creed aught.
I wonder masel' who'd be bothered tellin' lies to them, even the newspapers, which is
full of fool-talk."
I thought he would be a good person to learn interesting things from, so I asked
him if he would mind telling me something about the whale fishing in the old days.
He was just settling himself to begin when the clock struck six, whereupon he laboured
to get up, and said, "I must gang ageeanwards home now, miss.
My grand-daughter doesn't like to be kept waitin' when the tea is ready, for it takes
me time to crammle aboon the grees, for there be a many of 'em, and miss, I lack
belly-timber sairly by the clock."
He hobbled away, and I could see him hurrying, as well as he could, down the
steps. The steps are a great feature on the place.
They lead from the town to the church, there are hundreds of them, I do not know
how many, and they wind up in a delicate curve.
The slope is so gentle that a horse could easily walk up and down them.
I think they must originally have had something to do with the abbey.
I shall go home too.
Lucy went out, visiting with her mother, and as they were only duty calls, I did not
go.
1 August.--I came up here an hour ago with Lucy, and we had a most interesting talk
with my old friend and the two others who always come and join him.
He is evidently the Sir Oracle of them, and I should think must have been in his time a
most dictatorial person. He will not admit anything, and down faces
everybody.
If he can't out-argue them he bullies them, and then takes their silence for agreement
with his views. Lucy was looking sweetly pretty in her
white lawn frock.
She has got a beautiful colour since she has been here.
I noticed that the old men did not lose any time in coming and sitting near her when we
sat down.
She is so sweet with old people, I think they all fell in love with her on the spot.
Even my old man succumbed and did not contradict her, but gave me double share
instead.
I got him on the subject of the legends, and he went off at once into a sort of
sermon. I must try to remember it and put it down.
"It be all fool-talk, lock, stock, and barrel, that's what it be and nowt else.
These bans an' wafts an' boh-ghosts an' bar-guests an' bogles an' all anent them is
only fit to set bairns an' dizzy women a'belderin'.
They be nowt but air-blebs.
They, an' all grims an' signs an' warnin's, be all invented by parsons an' illsome
berk-bodies an' railway touters to skeer an' scunner hafflin's, an' to get folks to
do somethin' that they don't other incline to.
It makes me ireful to think o' them.
Why, it's them that, not content with printin' lies on paper an' preachin' them
out of pulpits, does want to be cuttin' them on the tombstones.
Look here all around you in what airt ye will.
All them steans, holdin' up their heads as well as they can out of their pride, is
acant, simply tumblin' down with the weight o' the lies wrote on them, 'Here lies the
body' or 'Sacred to the memory' wrote on
all of them, an' yet in nigh half of them there bean't no bodies at all, an' the
memories of them bean't cared a pinch of snuff about, much less sacred.
Lies all of them, nothin' but lies of one kind or another!
My gog, but it'll be a quare scowderment at the Day of Judgment when they come tumblin'
up in their death-sarks, all jouped together an' trying' to drag their
tombsteans with them to prove how good they
was, some of them trimmlin' an' dithering, with their hands that dozzened an' slippery
from lyin' in the sea that they can't even keep their gurp o' them."
I could see from the old fellow's self- satisfied air and the way in which he
looked round for the approval of his cronies that he was "showing off," so I put
in a word to keep him going.
"Oh, Mr. Swales, you can't be serious. Surely these tombstones are not all wrong?"
"Yabblins!
There may be a poorish few not wrong, savin' where they make out the people too
good, for there be folk that do think a balm-bowl be like the sea, if only it be
their own.
The whole thing be only lies. Now look you here.
You come here a stranger, an' you see this kirkgarth."
I nodded, for I thought it better to assent, though I did not quite understand
his dialect. I knew it had something to do with the
church.
He went on, "And you consate that all these steans be aboon folk that be haped here,
snod an' snog?" I assented again.
"Then that be just where the lie comes in.
Why, there be scores of these laybeds that be toom as old Dun's 'baccabox on Friday
night." He nudged one of his companions, and they
all laughed.
"And, my gog! How could they be otherwise?
Look at that one, the aftest abaft the bier-bank, read it!"
I went over and read, "Edward Spencelagh, master mariner, murdered by pirates off the
coast of Andres, April, 1854, age 30." When I came back Mr. Swales went on,
"Who brought him home, I wonder, to hap him here?
Murdered off the coast of Andres! An' you consated his body lay under!
Why, I could name ye a dozen whose bones lie in the Greenland seas above," he
pointed northwards, "or where the currants may have drifted them.
There be the steans around ye.
Ye can, with your young eyes, read the small print of the lies from here.
This Braithwaite Lowery, I knew his father, lost in the Lively off Greenland in '20, or
Andrew Woodhouse, drowned in the same seas in 1777, or John Paxton, drowned off Cape
Farewell a year later, or old John
Rawlings, whose grandfather sailed with me, drowned in the Gulf of Finland in '50.
Do ye think that all these men will have to make a rush to Whitby when the trumpet
sounds?
I have me antherums aboot it!
I tell ye that when they got here they'd be jommlin' and jostlin' one another that way
that it 'ud be like a fight up on the ice in the old days, when we'd be at one
another from daylight to dark, an' tryin' to tie up our cuts by the aurora borealis."
This was evidently local pleasantry, for the old man cackled over it, and his
cronies joined in with gusto.
"But," I said, "surely you are not quite correct, for you start on the assumption
that all the poor people, or their spirits, will have to take their tombstones with
them on the Day of Judgment.
Do you think that will be really necessary?"
"Well, what else be they tombstones for? Answer me that, miss!"
"To please their relatives, I suppose."
"To please their relatives, you suppose!" This he said with intense scorn.
"How will it pleasure their relatives to know that lies is wrote over them, and that
everybody in the place knows that they be lies?"
He pointed to a stone at our feet which had been laid down as a slab, on which the seat
was rested, close to the edge of the cliff. "Read the lies on that thruff-stone," he
said.
The letters were upside down to me from where I sat, but Lucy was more opposite to
them, so she leant over and read, "Sacred to the memory of George Canon, who died, in
the hope of a glorious resurrection, on
July 29, 1873, falling from the rocks at Kettleness.
This tomb was erected by his sorrowing mother to her dearly beloved son.
'He was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.'
Really, Mr. Swales, I don't see anything very funny in that!"
She spoke her comment very gravely and somewhat severely.
"Ye don't see aught funny! Ha-ha!
But that's because ye don't gawm the sorrowin' mother was a hell-cat that hated
him because he was acrewk'd, a regular lamiter he was, an' he hated her so that he
committed suicide in order that she
mightn't get an insurance she put on his life.
He blew nigh the top of his head off with an old musket that they had for scarin'
crows with.
'Twarn't for crows then, for it brought the clegs and the dowps to him.
That's the way he fell off the rocks.
And, as to hopes of a glorious resurrection, I've often heard him say
masel' that he hoped he'd go to hell, for his mother was so pious that she'd be sure
to go to heaven, an' he didn't want to addle where she was.
Now isn't that stean at any rate," he hammered it with his stick as he spoke, "a
pack of lies?
And won't it make Gabriel keckle when Geordie comes pantin' ut the grees with the
tompstean balanced on his hump, and asks to be took as evidence!"
I did not know what to say, but Lucy turned the conversation as she said, rising up,
"Oh, why did you tell us of this?
It is my favourite seat, and I cannot leave it, and now I find I must go on sitting
over the grave of a suicide."
"That won't harm ye, my pretty, an' it may make poor Geordie gladsome to have so trim
a lass sittin' on his lap. That won't hurt ye.
Why, I've sat here off an' on for nigh twenty years past, an' it hasn't done me no
harm. Don't ye fash about them as lies under ye,
or that doesn' lie there either!
It'll be time for ye to be getting scart when ye see the tombsteans all run away
with, and the place as bare as a stubble- field.
There's the clock, and I must gang.
My service to ye, ladies!" And off he hobbled.
Lucy and I sat awhile, and it was all so beautiful before us that we took hands as
we sat, and she told me all over again about Arthur and their coming marriage.
That made me just a little heart-sick, for I haven't heard from Jonathan for a whole
month. The same day.
I came up here alone, for I am very sad.
There was no letter for me. I hope there cannot be anything the matter
with Jonathan. The clock has just struck nine.
I see the lights scattered all over the town, sometimes in rows where the streets
are, and sometimes singly. They run right up the Esk and die away in
the curve of the valley.
To my left the view is cut off by a black line of roof of the old house next to the
abbey.
The sheep and lambs are bleating in the fields away behind me, and there is a
clatter of donkeys' hoofs up the paved road below.
The band on the pier is playing a harsh waltz in good time, and further along the
quay there is a Salvation Army meeting in a back street.
Neither of the bands hears the other, but up here I hear and see them both.
I wonder where Jonathan is and if he is thinking of me!
I wish he were here.
DR. SEWARD'S DIARY 5 June.--The case of Renfield grows more
interesting the more I get to understand the man.
He has certain qualities very largely developed, selfishness, secrecy, and
purpose. I wish I could get at what is the object of
the latter.
He seems to have some settled scheme of his own, but what it is I do not know.
His redeeming quality is a love of animals, though, indeed, he has such curious turns
in it that I sometimes imagine he is only abnormally cruel.
His pets are of odd sorts.
Just now his hobby is catching flies. He has at present such a quantity that I
have had myself to expostulate.
To my astonishment, he did not break out into a fury, as I expected, but took the
matter in simple seriousness. He thought for a moment, and then said,
"May I have three days?
I shall clear them away." Of course, I said that would do.
I must watch him.
18 June.--He has turned his mind now to spiders, and has got several very big
fellows in a box.
He keeps feeding them his flies, and the number of the latter is becoming sensibly
diminished, although he has used half his food in attracting more flies from outside
to his room.
1 July.--His spiders are now becoming as great a nuisance as his flies, and today I
told him that he must get rid of them. He looked very sad at this, so I said that
he must some of them, at all events.
He cheerfully acquiesced in this, and I gave him the same time as before for
reduction.
He disgusted me much while with him, for when a horrid blowfly, bloated with some
carrion food, buzzed into the room, he caught it, held it exultantly for a few
moments between his finger and thumb, and
before I knew what he was going to do, put it in his mouth and ate it.
I scolded him for it, but he argued quietly that it was very good and very wholesome,
that it was life, strong life, and gave life to him.
This gave me an idea, or the rudiment of one.
I must watch how he gets rid of his spiders.
He has evidently some deep problem in his mind, for he keeps a little notebook in
which he is always jotting down something.
Whole pages of it are filled with masses of figures, generally single numbers added up
in batches, and then the totals added in batches again, as though he were focussing
some account, as the auditors put it.
8 July.--There is a method in his madness, and the rudimentary idea in my mind is
growing.
It will be a whole idea soon, and then, oh, unconscious cerebration, you will have to
give the wall to your conscious brother.
I kept away from my friend for a few days, so that I might notice if there were any
change.
Things remain as they were except that he has parted with some of his pets and got a
new one. He has managed to get a sparrow, and has
already partially tamed it.
His means of taming is simple, for already the spiders have diminished.
Those that do remain, however, are well fed, for he still brings in the flies by
tempting them with his food.
19 July--We are progressing. My friend has now a whole colony of
sparrows, and his flies and spiders are almost obliterated.
When I came in he ran to me and said he wanted to ask me a great favour, a very,
very great favour. And as he spoke, he fawned on me like a
dog.
I asked him what it was, and he said, with a sort of rapture in his voice and bearing,
"A kitten, a nice, little, sleek playful kitten, that I can play with, and teach,
and feed, and feed, and feed!"
I was not unprepared for this request, for I had noticed how his pets went on
increasing in size and vivacity, but I did not care that his pretty family of tame
sparrows should be wiped out in the same manner as the flies and spiders.
So I said I would see about it, and asked him if he would not rather have a cat than
a kitten.
His eagerness betrayed him as he answered, "Oh, yes, I would like a cat!
I only asked for a kitten lest you should refuse me a cat.
No one would refuse me a kitten, would they?"
I shook my head, and said that at present I feared it would not be possible, but that I
would see about it.
His face fell, and I could see a warning of danger in it, for there was a sudden
fierce, sidelong look which meant killing. The man is an undeveloped homicidal maniac.
I shall test him with his present craving and see how it will work out, then I shall
know more. 10 pm.--I have visited him again and found
him sitting in a corner brooding.
When I came in he threw himself on his knees before me and implored 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, whereupon he went
without a word, and sat down, gnawing his fingers, in the corner where I had found
him.
I shall see him in the morning early. 20 July.--Visited Renfield very early,
before attendant went his rounds. Found him up and humming a tune.
He was spreading out his sugar, which he had saved, in the window, and was
manifestly beginning his fly catching again, and beginning it cheerfully and with
a good grace.
I looked around for his birds, and not seeing them, asked him where they were.
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 of blood.
I said nothing, but went and told the keeper to report to me if there were
anything odd about him during the day.
11 am.--The attendant has just been to see me to say that Renfield has been 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 took
and ate them raw!"
11 pm.--I gave Renfield a strong opiate tonight, enough to make even him sleep, and
took away his pocketbook to look at it.
The thought that has been buzzing about my brain lately is complete, and the theory
proved. My homicidal maniac is of a peculiar kind.
I shall have 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 he can, and he has laid himself out to
achieve it in a cumulative way.
He gave many flies to one spider and many spiders to one bird, and then wanted a cat
to eat the many birds. What would have been his later steps?
It would almost be worth while to complete the experiment.
It might be done if there were only a sufficient cause.
Men sneered at vivisection, and yet look at its results today!
Why not advance science in its most difficult and vital aspect, the knowledge
of the brain?
Had I even the secret of one such mind, did I hold the key to the fancy of even one
lunatic, I might advance my own branch of science to a pitch compared with which
Burdon-Sanderson's physiology or Ferrier's brain knowledge would be as nothing.
If only there were a sufficient cause! I must not think too much of this, or I may
be tempted.
A good cause might turn 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 has closed the account most accurately, and today begun a new record.
How many 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 shall be until the Great Recorder sums me up and closes my ledger account
with a balance to profit or loss.
Oh, Lucy, Lucy, I cannot be angry with you, nor can I be angry with my friend whose
happiness is yours, but I must only wait on hopeless and work.
Work!
Work! If I could have as strong a cause as my
poor mad friend there, a good, 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 it different
from writing. I am unhappy about Lucy and about Jonathan.
I had not heard from Jonathan for some time, and was very concerned, but yesterday
dear Mr. Hawkins, who is always so kind, sent me a letter from him.
I had written asking him if he had heard, and he said the enclosed had just been
received.
It is only a line dated from Castle Dracula, and says that he is just starting
for home. That is not like Jonathan.
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 of
walking in her sleep.
Her mother has spoken to me about it, and we have 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 of houses
and along the edges of cliffs and then get suddenly wakened and fall over with a
despairing cry that echoes all over the place.
Poor dear, she is naturally anxious about Lucy, and she tells me that her husband,
Lucy's father, had the same habit, that he would get up in the night and dress himself
and go out, if he were not stopped.
Lucy is to be married in the autumn, and she is already planning out her dresses and
how her house is to be arranged.
I sympathise with her, for I do the same, only Jonathan and I will start in life in a
very simple way, and shall have to try to make both ends meet.
Mr. Holmwood, he is the Hon. Arthur Holmwood, only son of Lord Godalming, is
coming up here very shortly, as soon as he can leave town, for his father is not very
well, and I think dear Lucy is counting the moments till he comes.
She wants to take him up in the seat on the churchyard cliff and show him the 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 about him, though why I should I do not know, but I do wish
that he would write, if it were only a single line.
Lucy walks more than ever, and each night I am awakened by her moving about the room.
Fortunately, the weather is so hot that she cannot get cold.
But still, the anxiety and the perpetually being awakened is beginning to tell on me,
and I am getting nervous and wakeful myself.
Thank God, Lucy's health keeps up.
Mr. Holmwood has been suddenly called to Ring to see his father, who has been 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 cheeks are a lovely rose-pink.
She has lost the anemic look which she had. I pray it will all last.
3 August.--Another week gone by, and no news from Jonathan, not even to 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, but somehow it does not satisfy me.
It does not read like him, and yet it is his writing.
There is no mistake of that.
Lucy has not walked much in her sleep the last week, but there is an odd
concentration about her which I do not understand, even in her sleep she seems to
be watching me.
She tries the door, and finding it locked, goes about the room searching for the key.
6 August.--Another three days, and no news. This suspense is getting dreadful.
If I only knew where to write to or where to go to, I should feel easier.
But no one has heard a word of Jonathan since that last letter.
I must only pray to God for patience.
Lucy is more excitable than ever, but is otherwise well.
Last night was very threatening, and the fishermen say that we are in for a storm.
I must try to watch it and learn the weather signs.
Today is a gray day, and the sun as I write is hidden in thick clouds, high over
Kettleness.
Everything is gray except the green grass, which seems like emerald amongst it, gray
earthy rock, gray clouds, tinged with the sunburst at the far edge, hang over the
gray sea, into which the sandpoints stretch like gray figures.
The sea 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 gray mist. All vastness, the clouds are piled up like
giant rocks, and there is a 'brool' over the sea that sounds like some passage of
doom.
Dark figures are on the beach here and there, sometimes half shrouded in the mist,
and seem 'men like trees walking'.
The fishing boats are racing for home, and rise and dip in the ground swell as they
sweep into the harbour, bending to the scuppers.
Here comes old Mr. Swales.
He is making straight for me, and I can see, by the way he lifts his hat, that he
wants to talk. I have been quite touched by the change in
the poor old man.
When he sat down 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 speak fully.
So he said, leaving his hand in mine, "I'm afraid, my deary, that I must have shocked
you by all the wicked things 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'm 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 of it, and that's why I've took
to makin' light of it, so that I'd cheer up my 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 be nigh at hand now, for I be aud, and a hundred years is too much for
any man 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 it all at once.
The chafts will wag as they be used to. Some day soon the Angel 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 this very 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 be all that we can rightly depend on. But I'm content, for it's comin' to me, 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 hoast beyont that sounds, and looks, and
tastes, and smells like death.
It's in the air. I feel it comin'.
Lord, make me answer cheerful, when my call comes!"
He held up his arms devoutly, and raised his hat.
His mouth moved as though he were praying.
After a few minutes' silence, he got up, shook hands with me, and blessed me, and
said goodbye, and hobbled off. It all touched me, and upset me very much.
I was glad when the coastguard came along, with his spyglass under his arm.
He stopped to talk with me, as he always does, but all the time kept 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 mind a bit.
She seems to see the storm coming, but can't decide whether to run up north in the
open, or to put in here. Look there again!
She is steered 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 before this time
tomorrow."
>
CHAPTER 7. CUTTING FROM "THE DAILYGRAPH", 8 AUGUST.
(PASTED IN MINA MURRAY'S JOURNAL)
From a correspondent. Whitby.
One of the greatest and suddenest storms on record has just been experienced here, with
results both strange and unique.
The weather had been somewhat sultry, but not to any degree uncommon in the month of
August.
Saturday evening was as fine as was ever known, and the great body of holiday-makers
laid out yesterday for visits to Mulgrave Woods, Robin Hood's Bay, Rig Mill,
Runswick, Staithes, and the various trips in the neighborhood of Whitby.
The steamers Emma and Scarborough made trips up and down the coast, and there was
an unusual amount of 'tripping' both to and from Whitby.
The day was unusually fine till the afternoon, when some of the gossips who
frequent the East Cliff churchyard, and from the commanding eminence watch the wide
sweep of sea visible to the north and east,
called attention to a sudden show of 'mares tails' high in the sky to the northwest.
The wind was then blowing from the south- west in the mild degree which in
barometrical language is ranked 'No. 2, light breeze.'
The coastguard on duty at once made report, and one old fisherman, who for more than
half a century has kept watch on weather signs from the East Cliff, foretold in an
emphatic manner the coming of a sudden storm.
The approach of sunset was so very beautiful, so grand in its masses of
splendidly coloured clouds, that there was quite an assemblage on the walk along the
cliff in the old churchyard to enjoy the beauty.
Before the sun dipped below the black mass of Kettleness, standing boldly athwart the
western sky, its downward way was marked by myriad clouds of every sunset colour,
flame, purple, pink, green, violet, and all
the tints of gold, with here and there masses not large, but of seemingly absolute
blackness, in all sorts of shapes, as well outlined as colossal silhouettes.
The experience was not lost on the painters, and doubtless some of the
sketches of the 'Prelude to the Great Storm' will grace the R.A and R.I. walls in
May next.
More than one captain made up his mind then and there that his 'cobble' or his 'mule',
as they term the different classes of boats, would remain in the harbour till the
storm had passed.
The wind fell away entirely during the evening, and at midnight there was a dead
calm, a sultry heat, and that prevailing intensity which, on the approach of
thunder, affects persons of a sensitive nature.
There were but few lights in sight at sea, for even the coasting steamers, which
usually hug the shore so closely, kept well to seaward, and but few fishing boats were
in sight.
The only sail noticeable was a foreign schooner with all sails set, which was
seemingly going westwards.
The foolhardiness or ignorance of her officers was a prolific theme for comment
whilst she remained in sight, and efforts were made to signal her to reduce sail in
the face of her danger.
Before the night shut down she was seen with sails idly flapping as she gently
rolled on the undulating swell of the sea. "As idle as a painted ship upon a painted
ocean."
Shortly before ten o'clock the stillness of the air grew quite oppressive, and the
silence was so marked that the bleating of a sheep inland or the barking of a dog in
the town was distinctly heard, and the band
on the pier, with its lively French air, was like a dischord in the great harmony of
nature's silence.
A little after midnight came a strange sound from over the sea, and high overhead
the air began to carry a strange, faint, hollow booming.
Then without warning the tempest broke.
With a rapidity which, at the time, seemed incredible, and even afterwards is
impossible to realize, the whole aspect of nature at once became convulsed.
The waves rose in growing fury, each over- topping its fellow, till in a very few
minutes the lately glassy sea was like a roaring and devouring monster.
White-crested waves beat madly on the level sands and rushed up the shelving cliffs.
Others broke over the piers, and with their spume swept the lanthorns of the
lighthouses which rise from the end of either pier of Whitby Harbour.
The wind roared like thunder, and blew with such force that it was with difficulty that
even strong men kept their feet, or clung with grim clasp to the iron stanchions.
It was found necessary to clear the entire pier from the mass of onlookers, or else
the fatalities of the night would have increased manifold.
To add to the difficulties and dangers of the time, masses of sea-fog came drifting
inland.
White, wet clouds, which swept by in ghostly fashion, so dank and damp and cold
that it needed but little effort of imagination to think that the spirits of
those lost at sea were touching their
living brethren with the clammy hands of death, and many a one shuddered as the
wreaths of sea-mist swept by.
At times the mist cleared, and the sea for some distance could be seen in the glare of
the lightning, which came thick and fast, followed by such peals of thunder that the
whole sky overhead seemed trembling under the shock of the footsteps of the storm.
Some of the scenes thus revealed were of immeasurable grandeur and of absorbing
interest.
The sea, running mountains high, threw skywards with each wave mighty masses of
white foam, which the tempest seemed to snatch at and whirl away into space.
Here and there a fishing boat, with a rag of sail, running madly for shelter before
the blast, now and again the white wings of a storm-tossed seabird.
On the summit of the East Cliff the new searchlight was ready for experiment, but
had not yet been tried.
The officers in charge of it got it into working order, and in the pauses of
onrushing mist swept with it the surface of the sea.
Once or twice its service was most effective, as when a fishing boat, with
gunwale under water, rushed into the harbour, able, by the guidance of the
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 joy from the mass
of people on the shore, a shout which for a moment seemed to cleave the gale and was
then swept away in its rush.
Before long the searchlight discovered some distance away a schooner with all sails
set, apparently the same vessel which had been noticed earlier in the evening.
The wind had by this time backed to the east, and there was a shudder amongst the
watchers on the cliff as they realized the terrible danger in which she now was.
Between her and the port lay the great flat 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 quite impossible that she should fetch the entrance of the harbour.
It was now nearly the hour of high tide, but the waves were so great that in their
troughs the shallows of the shore were almost visible, and the schooner, with all
sails set, was rushing with such speed
that, in the words of one old salt, "she must fetch up somewhere, if it was only in
hell".
Then came another rush of sea-fog, greater than any hitherto, a mass of dank mist,
which seemed to close on all things like a gray pall, and left available to men only
the organ of hearing, for the roar of the
tempest, and the crash of the thunder, and the booming of the mighty billows came
through the damp oblivion even louder than before.
The rays of the searchlight were kept fixed on the harbour mouth across the East Pier,
where the shock was expected, and men waited breathless.
The wind suddenly shifted to the northeast, and the remnant of the sea fog melted in
the blast.
And then, mirabile dictu, between the piers, leaping from wave to wave as it
rushed at headlong speed, swept the strange schooner before the blast, with all sail
set, and gained the safety of the harbour.
The searchlight followed her, and a shudder ran through all who saw her, for lashed to
the helm was a corpse, with drooping head, which swung horribly to and fro at each
motion of the ship.
No other form could be seen on the deck at all.
A great awe came on all as they realised that the ship, as if by a miracle, had
found the harbour, unsteered save by the hand of a dead man!
However, all took place more quickly than it takes to write these words.
The schooner paused not, but rushing across the harbour, pitched herself on that
accumulation of sand and gravel washed by many tides and many storms into the
southeast 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 up on the
sand heap.
Every spar, rope, and stay was strained, and some of the 'top-hammer' came crashing
down.
But, strangest of all, the very instant the shore was touched, an immense dog sprang up
on deck from below, as if shot up by the concussion, and running forward, jumped
from the bow on the sand.
Making straight for the steep cliff, where the churchyard hangs over the laneway to
the East Pier so steeply that some of the flat tombstones, thruffsteans or through-
stones, as they call them in Whitby
vernacular, actually project over where the sustaining cliff has fallen away, it
disappeared in the darkness, which seemed 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 bed or were out on the heights
above.
Thus the coastguard on duty on the eastern side of the harbour, who at once ran down
to the little pier, was the first to climb aboard.
The men working the searchlight, after scouring the entrance of the harbour
without seeing anything, then turned the light on the derelict and kept it there.
The coastguard ran aft, and when he came beside the wheel, bent over to examine it,
and recoiled at once as though under some sudden emotion.
This seemed to pique general curiosity, and quite a number of people began to run.
It is a good way round from the West Cliff by the Draw-bridge to Tate Hill Pier, but
your correspondent is a fairly good runner, and came well ahead of the crowd.
When I arrived, however, I found already assembled on the pier a crowd, whom the
coastguard and police refused to allow to come on board.
By the courtesy of the chief boatman, I was, as your correspondent, permitted to
climb on deck, and was one of a small group who saw the dead seaman whilst actually
lashed to the wheel.
It was no wonder that the coastguard was surprised, or even awed, for not often can
such a sight have been seen.
The man was simply fastened by his hands, tied one over the other, to a spoke of the
wheel.
Between the inner hand and the wood was a crucifix, the set of beads on which it was
fastened being around both wrists and wheel, and all kept fast by the binding
cords.
The poor fellow may have been seated at one time, but the flapping and buffeting of the
sails had worked through the rudder of the wheel and had dragged him to and fro, so
that the cords with which he was tied had cut the flesh to the bone.
Accurate note was made of the state of things, and a doctor, Surgeon J. M. Caffyn,
of 33, East Elliot Place, who came immediately after me, declared, after
making examination, that the man must have been dead for quite two days.
In his pocket was a bottle, carefully corked, empty save for a little roll of
paper, which proved to be the addendum to the log.
The coastguard said the man must have tied up his own hands, fastening the knots with
his teeth.
The fact that a coastguard was the first on board may save some complications later on,
in the Admiralty Court, for coastguards cannot claim the salvage which is the right
of the first civilian entering on a derelict.
Already, however, the legal tongues are wagging, and one young law student is
loudly asserting that the rights of the owner are already completely sacrificed,
his property being held in contravention of
the statues of mortmain, since the tiller, as emblemship, if not proof, of delegated
possession, is held in a dead hand.
It is needless to say that the dead steersman has been reverently removed from
the place where he held his honourable watch and ward till death, a steadfastness
as noble as that of the young Casabianca,
and placed in the mortuary to await inquest.
Already the sudden storm is passing, and its fierceness is abating.
Crowds are scattering backward, and the sky is beginning to redden over the Yorkshire
wolds.
I shall send, in time for your next issue, further details of the derelict ship which
found her way so miraculously into harbour in the storm.
9 August.--The sequel to the strange arrival of the derelict in the storm last
night is almost more startling than the thing itself.
It turns out that the schooner is Russian from Varna, and is called the Demeter.
She is almost entirely in ballast of silver sand, with only a small amount of cargo, a
number of great wooden boxes filled with mould.
This cargo was consigned to a Whitby solicitor, Mr. S.F. Billington, of 7, The
Crescent, who this morning went aboard and took formal possession of the goods
consigned to him.
The Russian consul, too, acting for the charter-party, took formal possession of
the ship, and paid all harbour dues, etc. Nothing is talked about here today except
the strange coincidence.
The officials of the Board of Trade have been most exacting in seeing that every
compliance has been made with existing regulations.
As the matter is to be a 'nine days wonder', they are evidently determined that
there shall be no cause of other complaint.
A good deal of interest was abroad concerning the dog which landed when the
ship struck, and more than a few of the members of the S.P.C.A., which is very
strong in Whitby, have tried to befriend the animal.
To the general disappointment, however, it was not to be found.
It seems to have disappeared entirely from the town.
It may be that it was frightened and made its way on to the moors, where it is still
hiding in terror.
There are some who look with dread on such a possibility, lest later on it should in
itself become a danger, for it is evidently a fierce brute.
Early this morning a large dog, a half-bred mastiff belonging to a coal merchant close
to Tate Hill Pier, was found dead in the roadway opposite its master's yard.
It had been fighting, and manifestly had had a savage opponent, for its throat was
torn away, and its belly was slit open as if with a savage claw.
Later.--By the kindness of the Board of Trade inspector, I have been permitted to
look over the log book of the Demeter, which was in order up to within three days,
but contained nothing of special interest except as to facts of missing men.
The greatest interest, however, is with regard to the paper found in the bottle,
which was today produced at the inquest.
And a more strange narrative than the two between them unfold it has not been my lot
to come across.
As there is no motive for concealment, I am permitted to use them, and accordingly send
you a transcript, simply omitting technical details of seamanship and supercargo.
It almost seems as though the captain had been seized with some kind of mania before
he had got well into blue water, and that this had developed persistently throughout
the voyage.
Of course my statement must be taken cum grano, since I am writing from the
dictation of a clerk of the Russian consul, who kindly translated for me, time being
short.
LOG OF THE "DEMETER" Varna to Whitby
Written 18 July, things so strange happening, that I shall keep accurate note
henceforth till we land.
On 6 July we finished taking in cargo, silver sand and boxes of earth.
At noon set sail. East wind, fresh.
Crew, five hands... two mates, cook, and myself, (captain).
On 11 July at dawn entered Bosphorus. Boarded by Turkish Customs officers.
Backsheesh. All correct.
Under way at 4 p.m.
On 12 July through Dardanelles. More Customs officers and flagboat of
guarding squadron. Backsheesh again.
Work of officers thorough, but quick.
Want us off soon. At dark passed into Archipelago.
On 13 July passed Cape Matapan. Crew dissatisfied about something.
Seemed scared, but would not speak out.
On 14 July was somewhat anxious about crew. Men all steady fellows, who sailed with me
before. Mate could not make out what was wrong.
They only told him there was SOMETHING, and crossed themselves.
Mate lost temper with one of them that day and struck him.
Expected fierce quarrel, but all was quiet.
On 16 July mate reported in the morning that one of the crew, Petrofsky, was
missing. Could not account for it.
Took larboard watch eight bells last night, was relieved by Amramoff, but did not go to
bunk. Men more downcast than ever.
All said they expected something of the kind, but would not say more than there was
SOMETHING aboard. Mate getting very impatient with them.
Feared some trouble ahead.
On 17 July, yesterday, one of the men, Olgaren, came to my cabin, and in an
awestruck way confided to me that he thought there was a strange man aboard the
ship.
He said that in his watch he had been sheltering behind the deckhouse, as there
was a rain storm, when he saw a tall, thin man, who was not like any of the crew, come
up the companionway, and go along the deck forward and disappear.
He followed cautiously, but when he got to bows found no one, and the hatchways were
all closed.
He was in a panic of superstitious fear, and I am afraid the panic may spread.
To allay it, I shall today search the entire ship carefully from stem to stern.
Later in the day I got together the whole crew, and told them, as they evidently
thought there was some one in the ship, we would search from stem to stern.
First mate angry, said it was folly, and to yield to such foolish ideas would
demoralise the men, said he would engage to keep them out of trouble with the
handspike.
I let him take the helm, while the rest began a thorough search, all keeping
abreast, with lanterns. We left no corner unsearched.
As there were only the big wooden boxes, there were no odd corners where a man could
hide. Men much relieved when search over, and
went back to work cheerfully.
First mate scowled, but said nothing.
22 July.--Rough weather last three days, and all hands busy with sails, no time to
be frightened. Men seem to have forgotten their dread.
Mate cheerful again, and all on good terms.
Praised men for work in bad weather. Passed Gibraltar and out through Straits.
All well.
24 July.--There seems some doom over this ship.
Already a hand short, and entering the Bay of Biscay with wild weather ahead, and yet
last night another man lost, disappeared.
Like the first, he came off his watch and was not seen again.
Men all in a panic of fear, sent a round robin, asking to have double watch, as they
fear to be alone.
Mate angry. Fear there will be some trouble, as either
he or the men will do some violence.
28 July.--Four days in hell, knocking about in a sort of maelstrom, and the wind a
tempest. No sleep for any one.
Men all worn out.
Hardly know how to set a watch, since no one fit to go on.
Second mate volunteered to steer and watch, and let men snatch a few hours sleep.
Wind abating, seas still terrific, but feel them less, as ship is steadier.
29 July.--Another tragedy. Had single watch tonight, as crew too tired
to double. When morning watch came on deck could find
no one except steersman.
Raised outcry, and all came on deck. Thorough search, but no one found.
Are now without second mate, and crew in a panic.
Mate and I agreed to go armed henceforth and wait for any sign of cause.
30 July.--Last night. Rejoiced we are nearing England.
Weather fine, all sails set.
Retired worn out, slept soundly, awakened by mate telling me that both man of watch
and steersman missing. Only self and mate and two hands left to
work ship.
1 August.--Two days of fog, and not a sail sighted.
Had hoped when in the English Channel to be able to signal for help or get in
somewhere.
Not having power to work sails, have to run before wind.
Dare not lower, as could not raise them again.
We seem to be drifting to some terrible doom.
Mate now more demoralised than either of men.
His stronger nature seems to have worked inwardly against himself.
Men are beyond fear, working stolidly and patiently, with minds made up to worst.
They are Russian, he Roumanian.
2 August, midnight.--Woke up from few minutes sleep by hearing a cry, seemingly
outside my port. Could see nothing in fog.
Rushed on deck, and ran against mate.
Tells me he heard cry and ran, but no sign of man on watch.
One more gone. Lord, help us!
Mate says we must be past Straits of Dover, as in a moment of fog lifting he saw North
Foreland, just as he heard the man cry out.
If so we are now off in the North Sea, and only God can guide us in the fog, which
seems to move with us, and God seems to have deserted us.
3 August.--At midnight I went to relieve the man at the wheel and when I got to it
found no one there. The wind was steady, and as we ran before
it there was no yawing.
I dared not leave it, so shouted for the mate.
After a few seconds, he rushed up on deck in his flannels.
He looked wild-eyed and haggard, and I greatly fear his reason has given way.
He came close to me and whispered hoarsely, with his mouth to my ear, as though fearing
the very air might hear.
"It is here. I know it now.
On the watch last night I saw It, like a man, tall and thin, and ghastly pale.
It was in the bows, and looking out.
I crept behind It, and gave it my knife, but the knife went through It, empty as the
air." And as he spoke he took the knife and drove
it savagely into space.
Then he went on, "But It is here, and I'll find It.
It is in the hold, perhaps in one of those boxes.
I'll unscrew them one by one and see.
You work the helm." And with a warning look and his finger on
his lip, he went below. There was springing up a choppy wind, and I
could not leave the helm.
I saw him come out on deck again with a tool chest and lantern, and go down the
forward hatchway. He is mad, stark, raving mad, and it's no
use my trying to stop him.
He can't hurt those big boxes, they are invoiced as clay, and to pull them about is
as harmless a thing as he can do. So here I stay and mind the helm, and write
these notes.
I can only trust in God and wait till the fog clears.
Then, if I can't steer to any harbour with the wind that is, I shall cut down sails,
and lie by, and signal for help...
It is nearly all over now.
Just as I was beginning to hope that the mate would come out calmer, for I heard him
knocking away at something in the hold, and work is good for him, there came up the
hatchway a sudden, startled scream, which
made my blood run cold, and up on the deck he came as if shot from a gun, a raging
madman, with his eyes rolling and his face convulsed with fear.
"Save me!
Save me!" he cried, and then looked round on the blanket of fog.
His horror turned to despair, and in a steady voice he said, "You had better come
too, captain, before it is too late.
He is there! I know the secret now.
The sea will save me from Him, and it is all that is left!"
Before I could say a word, or move forward to seize him, he sprang on the bulwark and
deliberately threw himself into the sea. I suppose I know the secret too, now.
It was this madman who had got rid of the men one by one, and now he has followed
them himself. God help me!
How am I to account for all these horrors when I get to port?
When I get to port! Will that ever be?
4 August.--Still fog, which the sunrise cannot pierce, I know there is sunrise
because I am a sailor, why else I know not.
I dared not go below, I dared not leave the helm, so here all night I stayed, and in
the dimness of the night I saw it, Him! God, forgive me, but the mate was right to
jump overboard.
It was better to die like a man. To die like a sailor in blue water, no man
can object. But I am captain, and I must not leave my
ship.
But I shall baffle this fiend or monster, for I shall tie my hands to the wheel when
my strength begins to fail, and along with them I shall tie that which He, It, dare
not touch.
And then, come good wind or foul, I shall save my soul, and my honour as a captain.
I am growing weaker, and the night is coming on.
If He can look me in the face again, I may not have time to act...
If we are wrecked, mayhap this bottle may be found, and those who find it may
understand.
If not... well, then all men shall know that I have been true to my trust.
God and the Blessed Virgin and the Saints help a poor ignorant soul trying to do his
duty...
Of course the verdict was an open one. There is no evidence to adduce, and whether
or not the man himself committed the murders there is now none to say.
The folk here hold almost universally that the captain is simply a hero, and he is to
be given a public funeral.
Already it is arranged that his body is to be taken with a train of boats up the Esk
for a piece and then brought back to Tate Hill Pier and up the abbey steps, for he is
to be buried in the churchyard on the cliff.
The owners of more than a hundred boats have already given in their names as
wishing to follow him to the grave.
No trace has ever been found of the great dog, at which there is much mourning, for,
with public opinion in its present state, he would, I believe, be adopted by the
town.
Tomorrow will see the funeral, and so will end this one more 'mystery of the sea'.
MINA MURRAY'S JOURNAL 8 August.--Lucy was very restless all
night, and I too, could not sleep.
The storm was fearful, and as it boomed loudly among the chimney pots, it made me
shudder. When a sharp puff came it seemed to be like
a distant gun.
Strangely enough, Lucy did not wake, but she got up twice and dressed herself.
Fortunately, each time I awoke in time and managed to undress her without waking her,
and got her back to bed.
It is a very strange thing, this sleep- walking, for as soon as her will is
thwarted in any physical way, her intention, if there be any, disappears, and
she yields herself almost exactly to the routine of her life.
Early in the morning we both got up and went down to the harbour to see if anything
had happened in the night.
There were very few people about, and though the sun was bright, and the air
clear and fresh, the big, grim-looking waves, that seemed dark themselves because
the foam that topped them was like snow,
forced themselves in through the mouth of the harbour, like a bullying man going
through a crowd. Somehow I felt glad that Jonathan was not
on the sea last night, but on land.
But, oh, is he on land or sea? Where is he, and how?
I am getting fearfully anxious about him. If I only knew what to do, and could do
anything!
10 August.--The funeral of the poor sea captain today was most touching.
Every boat in the harbour seemed to be there, and the coffin was carried by
captains all the way from Tate Hill Pier up to the churchyard.
Lucy came with me, and we went early to our old seat, whilst the cortege of boats went
up the river to the Viaduct and came down again.
We had a lovely view, and saw the procession nearly all the way.
The poor fellow was laid to rest near our seat so that we stood on it, when the time
came and saw everything.
Poor Lucy seemed much upset. She was restless and uneasy all the time,
and I cannot but think that her dreaming at night is telling on her.
She is quite odd in one thing.
She will not admit to me that there is any cause for restlessness, or if there be, she
does not understand it herself.
There is an additional cause in that poor Mr. Swales was found dead this morning on
our seat, his neck being broken.
He had evidently, as the doctor said, fallen back in the seat in some sort of
fright, for there was a look of fear and horror on his face that the men said made
them shudder.
Poor dear old man! Lucy is so sweet and sensitive that she
feels influences more acutely than other people do.
Just now she was quite upset by a little thing which I did not much heed, though I
am myself very fond of animals. One of the men who came up here often to
look for the boats was followed by his dog.
The dog is always with him. They are both quiet persons, and I never
saw the man angry, nor heard the dog bark.
During the service the dog would not come to its master, who was on the seat with us,
but kept a few yards off, barking and howling.
Its master spoke to it gently, and then harshly, and then angrily.
But it would neither come nor cease to make a noise.
It was in a fury, with its eyes savage, and all its hair bristling out like a cat's
tail when puss is on the war path.
Finally the man too got angry, and jumped down and kicked the dog, and then took it
by the scruff of the neck and half dragged and half threw it on the tombstone on which
the seat is fixed.
The moment it touched the stone the poor thing began to tremble.
It did not try to get away, but crouched down, quivering and cowering, and was in
such a pitiable state of terror that I tried, though without effect, to comfort
it.
Lucy was full of pity, too, but she did not attempt to touch the dog, but looked at it
in an agonised sort of way.
I greatly fear that she is of too super sensitive a nature to go through the world
without trouble. She will be dreaming of this tonight, I am
sure.
The whole agglomeration of things, the ship steered into port by a dead man, his
attitude, tied to the wheel with a crucifix and beads, the touching funeral, the dog,
now furious and now in terror, will all afford material for her dreams.
I think it will be best for her to go to bed tired out physically, so I shall take
her for a long walk by the cliffs to Robin Hood's Bay and back.
She ought not to have much inclination for sleep-walking then.
>
CHAPTER 8. MINA MURRAY'S JOURNAL
Same day, 11 o'clock P.M.--Oh, but I am tired!
If it were not that I had made my diary a duty I should not open it tonight.
We had a lovely walk.
Lucy, after a while, was in gay spirits, owing, I think, to some dear cows who came
nosing towards us in a field close to the lighthouse, and frightened the wits out of
us.
I believe we forgot everything, except of course, personal fear, and it seemed to
wipe the slate clean and give us a fresh start.
We had a capital 'severe tea' at Robin Hood's Bay in a sweet little old-fashioned
inn, with a bow window right over the seaweed-covered rocks of the strand.
I believe we should have shocked the 'New Woman' with our appetites.
Men are more tolerant, bless them!
Then we walked home with some, or rather many, stoppages to rest, and with our
hearts full of a constant dread of wild bulls.
Lucy was really tired, and we intended to creep off to bed as soon as we could.
The young curate came in, however, and Mrs. Westenra asked him to stay for supper.
Lucy and I had both a fight for it with the dusty miller.
I know it was a hard fight on my part, and I am quite heroic.
I think that some day the bishops must get together and see about breeding up a new
class of curates, who don't take supper, no matter how hard they may be pressed to, and
who will know when girls are tired.
Lucy is asleep and breathing softly. She has more colour in her cheeks than
usual, and looks, oh so sweet.
If Mr. Holmwood fell in love with her seeing her only in the drawing room, I
wonder what he would say if he saw her now.
Some of the 'New Women' writers will some day start an idea that men and women should
be allowed to see each other asleep before proposing or accepting.
But I suppose the 'New Woman' won't condescend in future to accept.
She will do the proposing herself. And a nice job she will make of it too!
There's some consolation in that.
I am so happy tonight, because dear Lucy seems better.
I really believe she has turned the corner, and that we are over her troubles with
dreaming.
I should be quite happy if I only knew if Jonathan...
God bless and keep him. 11 August.--Diary again.
No sleep now, so I may as well write.
I am too agitated to sleep. We have had such an adventure, such an
agonizing experience. I fell asleep as soon as I had closed my
diary...
Suddenly I became broad awake, and sat up, with a horrible sense of fear upon me, and
of some feeling of emptiness around me. The room was dark, so I could not see
Lucy's bed.
I stole across and felt for her. The bed was empty.
I lit a match and found that she was not in the room.
The door was shut, but not locked, as I had left it.
I feared to wake her mother, who has been more than usually ill lately, so threw on
some clothes and got ready to look for her.
As I was leaving the room it struck me that the clothes she wore might give me some
clue to her dreaming intention. Dressing-gown would mean house, dress
outside.
Dressing-gown and dress were both in their places.
"Thank God," I said to myself, "she cannot be far, as she is only in her nightdress."
I ran downstairs and looked in the sitting room.
Not there!
Then I looked in all the other rooms of the house, with an ever-growing fear chilling
my heart. Finally, I came to the hall door and found
it open.
It was not wide open, but the catch of the lock had not caught.
The people of the house are careful to lock the door every night, so I feared that Lucy
must have gone out as she was.
There was no time to think of what might happen.
A vague over-mastering fear obscured all details.
I took a big, heavy shawl and ran out.
The clock was striking one as I was in the Crescent, and there was not a soul in
sight.
I ran along the North Terrace, but could see no sign of the white figure which I
expected.
At the edge of the West Cliff above the pier I looked across the harbour to the
East Cliff, in the hope or fear, I don't know which, of seeing Lucy in our favourite
seat.
There was a bright full moon, with heavy black, driving clouds, which threw the
whole scene into a fleeting diorama of light and shade as they sailed across.
For a moment or two I could see nothing, as the shadow of a cloud obscured St. Mary's
Church and all around it.
Then as the cloud passed I could see the ruins of the abbey coming into view, and as
the edge of a narrow band of light as sharp as a sword-cut moved along, the church and
churchyard became gradually visible.
Whatever my expectation was, it was not disappointed, for there, on our favourite
seat, the silver light of the moon struck a half-reclining figure, snowy white.
The coming of the cloud was too quick for me to see much, for shadow shut down on
light almost immediately, but it seemed to me as though something dark stood behind
the seat where the white figure shone, and bent over it.
What it was, whether man or beast, I could not tell.
I did not wait to catch another glance, but flew down the steep steps to the pier and
along by the fish-market to the bridge, which was the only way to reach the East
Cliff.
The town seemed as dead, for not a soul did I see.
I rejoiced that it was so, for I wanted no witness of poor Lucy's condition.
The time and distance seemed endless, and my knees trembled and my breath came
laboured as I toiled up the endless steps to the abbey.
I must have gone fast, and yet it seemed to me as if my feet were weighted with lead,
and as though every joint in my body were rusty.
When I got almost to the top I could see the seat and the white figure, for I was
now close enough to distinguish it even through the spells of shadow.
There was undoubtedly something, long and black, bending over the half-reclining
white figure. I called in fright, "Lucy!
Lucy!" and something raised a head, and from where I was I could see a white face
and red, gleaming eyes. Lucy did not answer, and I ran on to the
entrance of the churchyard.
As I entered, the church was between me and the seat, and for a minute or so I lost
sight of her.
When I came in view again the cloud had passed, and the moonlight struck so
brilliantly that I could see Lucy half reclining with her head lying over the back
of the seat.
She was quite alone, and there was not a sign of any living thing about.
When I bent over her I could see that she was still asleep.
Her lips were parted, and she was breathing, not softly as usual with her,
but in long, heavy gasps, as though striving to get her lungs full at every
breath.
As I came close, she put up her hand in her sleep and pulled the collar of her
nightdress close around her, as though she felt the cold.
I flung the warm shawl over her, and drew the edges tight around her neck, for I
dreaded lest she should get some deadly chill from the night air, unclad as she
was.
I feared to wake her all at once, so, in order to have my hands free to help her, I
fastened the shawl at her throat with a big safety pin.
But I must have been clumsy in my anxiety and pinched or pricked her with it, for by-
and-by, when her breathing became quieter, she put her hand to her throat again and
moaned.
When I had her carefully wrapped up I put my shoes on her feet, and then began very
gently to wake her.
At first she did not respond, but gradually she became more and more uneasy in her
sleep, moaning and sighing occasionally.
At last, as time was passing fast, and for many other reasons, I wished to get her
home at once, I shook her forcibly, till finally she opened her eyes and awoke.
She did not seem surprised to see me, as, of course, she did not realize all at once
where she was.
Lucy always wakes prettily, and even at such a time, when her body must have been
chilled with cold, and her mind somewhat appalled at waking unclad in a churchyard
at night, she did not lose her grace.
She trembled a little, and clung to me. When I told her to come at once with me
home, she rose without a word, with the obedience of a child.
As we passed along, the gravel hurt my feet, and Lucy noticed me wince.
She stopped and wanted to insist upon my taking my shoes, but I would not.
However, when we got to the pathway outside the churchyard, where there was a puddle of
water, remaining from the storm, I daubed my feet with mud, using each foot in turn
on the other, so that as we went home, no
one, in case we should meet any one, should notice my bare feet.
Fortune favoured us, and we got home without meeting a soul.
Once we saw a man, who seemed not quite sober, passing along a street in front of
us.
But we hid in a door till he had disappeared up an opening such as there are
here, steep little closes, or 'wynds', as they call them in Scotland.
My heart beat so loud all the time sometimes I thought I should faint.
I was filled with anxiety about Lucy, not only for her health, lest she should suffer
from the exposure, but for her reputation in case the story should get wind.
When we got in, and had washed our feet, and had said a prayer of thankfulness
together, I tucked her into bed.
Before falling asleep she asked, even implored, me not to say a word to any one,
even her mother, about her sleep-walking adventure.
I hesitated at first, to promise, but on thinking of the state of her mother's
health, and how the knowledge of such a thing would fret her, and think too, of how
such a story might become distorted, nay,
infallibly would, in case it should leak out, I thought it wiser to do so.
I hope I did right.
I have locked the door, and the key is tied to my wrist, so perhaps I shall not be
again disturbed. Lucy is sleeping soundly.
The reflex of the dawn is high and far over the sea...
Same day, noon.--All goes well. Lucy slept till I woke her and seemed not
to have even changed her side.
The adventure of the night does not seem to have harmed her, on the contrary, it has
benefited her, for she looks better this morning than she has done for weeks.
I was sorry to notice that my clumsiness with the safety-pin hurt her.
Indeed, it might have been serious, for the skin of her throat was pierced.
I must have pinched up a piece of loose skin and have transfixed it, for there are
two little red points like pin-pricks, and on the band of her nightdress was a drop of
blood.
When I apologised and was concerned about it, she laughed and petted me, and said she
did not even feel it. Fortunately it cannot leave a scar, as it
is so tiny.
Same day, night.--We passed a happy day. The air was clear, and the sun bright, and
there was a cool breeze.
We took our lunch to Mulgrave Woods, Mrs. Westenra driving by the road and Lucy and I
walking by the cliff-path and joining her at the gate.
I felt a little sad myself, for I could not but feel how absolutely happy it would have
been had Jonathan been with me. But there!
I must only be patient.
In the evening we strolled in the Casino Terrace, and heard some good music by Spohr
and Mackenzie, and went to bed early. Lucy seems more restful than she has been
for some time, and fell asleep at once.
I shall lock the door and secure the key the same as before, though I do not expect
any trouble tonight.
12 August.--My expectations were wrong, for twice during the night I was wakened by
Lucy trying to get out.
She seemed, even in her sleep, to be a little impatient at finding the door shut,
and went back to bed under a sort of protest.
I woke with the dawn, and heard the birds chirping outside of the window.
Lucy woke, too, and I was glad to see, was even better than on the previous morning.
All her old gaiety of manner seemed to have come back, and she came and snuggled in
beside me and told me all about Arthur. I told her how anxious I was about
Jonathan, and then she tried to comfort me.
Well, she succeeded somewhat, for, though sympathy can't alter facts, it can make
them more bearable. 13 August.--Another quiet day, and to bed
with the key on my wrist as before.
Again I awoke in the night, and found Lucy sitting up in bed, still asleep, pointing
to the window. I got up quietly, and pulling aside the
blind, looked out.
It was brilliant moonlight, and the soft effect of the light over the sea and sky,
merged together in one great silent mystery, was beautiful beyond words.
Between me and the moonlight flitted a great bat, coming and going in great
whirling circles.
Once or twice it came quite close, but was, I suppose, frightened at seeing me, and
flitted away across the harbour towards the abbey.
When I came back from the window Lucy had lain down again, and was sleeping
peacefully. She did not stir again all night.
14 August.--On the East Cliff, reading and writing all day.
Lucy seems to have become as much in love with the spot as I am, and it is hard to
get her away from it when it is time to come home for lunch or tea or dinner.
This afternoon she made a funny remark.
We were coming home for dinner, and had come to the top of the steps up from the
West Pier and stopped to look at the view, as we generally do.
The setting sun, low down in the sky, was just dropping behind Kettleness.
The red light was thrown over on the East Cliff and the old abbey, and seemed to
bathe everything in a beautiful rosy glow.
We were silent for a while, and suddenly Lucy murmured as if to herself...
"His red eyes again! They are just the same."
It was such an odd expression, coming apropos of nothing, that it quite startled
me.
I slewed round a little, so as to see Lucy well without seeming to stare at her, and
saw that she was in a half dreamy state, with an odd look on her face that I could
not quite make out, so I said nothing, but followed her eyes.
She appeared to be looking over at our own seat, whereon was a dark figure seated
alone.
I was quite a little startled myself, for it seemed for an instant as if the stranger
had great eyes like burning flames, but a second look dispelled the illusion.
The red sunlight was shining on the windows of St. Mary's Church behind our seat, and
as the sun dipped there was just sufficient change in the refraction and reflection to
make it appear as if the light moved.
I called Lucy's attention to the peculiar effect, and she became herself with a
start, but she looked sad all the same. It may have been that she was thinking of
that terrible night up there.
We never refer to it, so I said nothing, and we went home to dinner.
Lucy had a headache and went early to bed. I saw her asleep, and went out for a little
stroll myself.
I walked along the cliffs to the westward, and was full of sweet sadness, for I was
thinking of Jonathan.
When coming home, it was then bright moonlight, so bright that, though the front
of our part of the Crescent was in shadow, everything could be well seen, I threw a
glance up at our window, and saw Lucy's head leaning out.
I opened my handkerchief and waved it. She did not notice or make any movement
whatever.
Just then, the moonlight crept round an angle of the building, and the light fell
on the window.
There distinctly was Lucy with her head lying up against the side of the window
sill and her eyes shut.
She was fast asleep, and by her, seated on the window sill, was something that looked
like a good-sized bird.
I was afraid she might get a chill, so I ran upstairs, but as I came into the room
she was moving back to her bed, fast asleep, and breathing heavily.
She was holding her hand to her throat, as though to protect if from the cold.
I did not wake her, but tucked her up warmly.
I have taken care that the door is locked and the window securely fastened.
She looks so sweet as she sleeps, but she is paler than is her wont, and there is a
drawn, haggard look under her eyes which I do not like.
I fear she is fretting about something.
I wish I could find out what it is. 15 August.--Rose later than usual.
Lucy was languid and tired, and slept on after we had been called.
We had a happy surprise at breakfast.
Arthur's father is better, and wants the marriage to come off soon.
Lucy is full of quiet joy, and her mother is glad and sorry at once.
Later on in the day she told me the cause.
She is grieved to lose Lucy as her very own, but she is rejoiced that she is soon
to have some one to protect her. Poor dear, sweet lady!
She confided to me that she has got her death warrant.
She has not told Lucy, and made me promise secrecy.
Her doctor told her that within a few months, at most, she must die, for her
heart is weakening. At any time, even now, a sudden shock would
be almost sure to kill her.
Ah, we were wise to keep from her the affair of the dreadful night of Lucy's
sleep-walking. 17 August.--No diary for two whole days.
I have not had the heart to write.
Some sort of shadowy pall seems to be coming over our happiness.
No news from Jonathan, and Lucy seems to be growing weaker, whilst her mother's hours
are numbering to a close.
I do not understand Lucy's fading away as she is doing.
She eats well and sleeps well, and enjoys the fresh air, but all the time the roses
in her cheeks are fading, and she gets weaker and more languid day by day.
At night I hear her gasping as if for air.
I keep the key of our door always fastened to my wrist at night, but she gets up and
walks about the room, and sits at the open window.
Last night I found her leaning out when I woke up, and when I tried to wake her I
could not. She was in a faint.
When I managed to restore her, she was weak as water, and cried silently between long,
painful struggles for breath. When I asked her how she came to be at the
window she shook her head and turned away.
I trust her feeling ill may not be from that unlucky prick of the safety-pin.
I looked at her throat just now as she lay asleep, and the tiny wounds seem not to
have healed.
They are still open, and, if anything, larger than before, and the edges of them
are faintly white. They are like little white dots with red
centres.
Unless they heal within a day or two, I shall insist on the doctor seeing about
them.
LETTER, SAMUEL F. BILLINGTON & SON, SOLICITORS WHITBY, TO MESSRS.
CARTER, PATERSON & CO., LONDON. 17 August
"Dear Sirs,--Herewith please receive invoice of goods sent by Great Northern
Railway.
Same are to be delivered at Carfax, near Purfleet, immediately on receipt at goods
station King's Cross.
The house is at present empty, but enclosed please find keys, all of which are
labelled.
"You will please deposit the boxes, fifty in number, which form the consignment, in
the partially ruined building forming part of the house and marked 'A' on rough
diagrams enclosed.
Your agent will easily recognize the locality, as it is the ancient chapel of
the mansion.
The goods leave by the train at 9:30 tonight, and will be due at King's Cross at
4:30 tomorrow afternoon.
As our client wishes the delivery made as soon as possible, we shall be obliged by
your having teams ready at King's Cross at the time named and forthwith conveying the
goods to destination.
In order to obviate any delays possible through any routine requirements as to
payment in your departments, we enclose cheque herewith for ten pounds, receipt of
which please acknowledge.
Should the charge be less than this amount, you can return balance, if greater, we
shall at once send cheque for difference on hearing from you.
You are to leave the keys on coming away in the main hall of the house, where the
proprietor may get them on his entering the house by means of his duplicate key.
"Pray do not take us as exceeding the bounds of business courtesy in pressing you
in all ways to use the utmost expedition. "We are, dear Sirs,
Faithfully yours,
SAMUEL F. BILLINGTON & SON"
LETTER, MESSRS. CARTER, PATERSON & CO., LONDON,
TO MESSRS. BILLINGTON & SON, WHITBY.
21 August.
"Dear Sirs,--We beg to acknowledge 10 pounds received and to return cheque of 1
pound, 17s, 9d, amount of overplus, as shown in receipted account herewith.
Goods are delivered in exact accordance with instructions, and keys left in parcel
in main hall, as directed. "We are, dear Sirs,
Yours respectfully,
Pro CARTER, PATERSON & CO."
MINA MURRAY'S JOURNAL. 18 August.--I am happy today, and write
sitting on the seat in the churchyard. Lucy is ever so much better.
Last night she slept well all night, and did not disturb me once.
The roses seem coming back already to her cheeks, though she is still sadly pale and
wan-looking.
If she were in any way anemic I could understand it, but she is not.
She is in gay spirits and full of life and cheerfulness.
All the morbid reticence seems to have passed from her, and she has just reminded
me, as if I needed any reminding, of that night, and that it was here, on this very
seat, I found her asleep.
As she told me she tapped playfully with the heel of her boot on the stone slab and
said, "My poor little feet didn't make much noise
then!
I daresay poor old Mr. Swales would have told me that it was because I didn't want
to wake up Geordie."
As she was in such a communicative humour, I asked her if she had dreamed at all that
night.
Before she answered, that sweet, puckered look came into her forehead, which Arthur,
I call him Arthur from her habit, says he loves, and indeed, I don't wonder that he
does.
Then she went on in a half-dreaming kind of way, as if trying to recall it to herself.
"I didn't quite dream, but it all seemed to be real.
I only wanted to be here in this spot.
I don't know why, for I was afraid of something, I don't know what.
I remember, though I suppose I was asleep, passing through the streets and over the
bridge.
A fish leaped as I went by, and I leaned over to look at it, and I heard a lot of
dogs howling.
The whole town seemed as if it must be full of dogs all howling at once, as I went up
the steps.
Then I had a vague memory of something long and dark with red eyes, just as we saw in
the sunset, and something very sweet and very bitter all around me at once.
And then I seemed sinking into deep green water, and there was a singing in my ears,
as I have heard there is to drowning men, and then everything seemed passing away
from me.
My soul seemed to go out from my body and float about the air.
I seem to remember that once the West Lighthouse was right under me, and then
there was a sort of agonizing feeling, as if I were in an earthquake, and I came back
and found you shaking my body.
I saw you do it before I felt you." Then she began to laugh.
It seemed a little uncanny to me, and I listened to her breathlessly.
I did not quite like it, and thought it better not to keep her mind on the subject,
so we drifted on to another subject, and Lucy was like her old self again.
When we got home the fresh breeze had braced her up, and her pale cheeks were
really more rosy. Her mother rejoiced when she saw her, and
we all spent a very happy evening together.
19 August.--Joy, joy, joy! Although not all joy.
At last, news of Jonathan. The dear fellow has been ill, that is why
he did not write.
I am not afraid to think it or to say it, now that I know.
Mr. Hawkins sent me on the letter, and wrote himself, oh so kindly.
I am to leave in the morning and go over to Jonathan, and to help to nurse him if
necessary, and to bring him home. Mr. Hawkins says it would not be a bad
thing if we were to be married out there.
I have cried over the good Sister's letter till I can feel it wet against my bosom,
where it lies. It is of Jonathan, and must be near my
heart, for he is in my heart.
My journey is all mapped out, and my luggage ready.
I am only taking one change of dress.
Lucy will bring my trunk to London and keep it till I send for it, for it may be
that... I must write no more.
I must keep it to say to Jonathan, my husband.
The letter that he has seen and touched must comfort me till we meet.
LETTER, SISTER AGATHA, HOSPITAL OF ST. JOSEPH AND STE. MARY
BUDA-PESTH, TO MISS WILLHELMINA MURRAY
12 August,
"Dear Madam. "I write by desire of Mr. Jonathan Harker,
who is himself not strong enough to write, though progressing well, thanks to God and
St. Joseph and Ste. Mary.
He has been under our care for nearly six weeks, suffering from a violent brain
fever.
He wishes me to convey his love, and to say that by this post I write for him to Mr.
Peter Hawkins, Exeter, to say, with his dutiful respects, that he is sorry for his
delay, and that all of his work is completed.
He will require some few weeks' rest in our sanatorium in the hills, but will then
return.
He wishes me to say that he has not sufficient money with him, and that he
would like to pay for his staying here, so that others who need shall not be wanting
for help.
"Believe me, "Yours, with sympathy and all blessings.
Sister Agatha "P.S.--My patient being asleep, I open this
to let you know something more.
He has told me all about you, and that you are shortly to be his wife.
All blessings to you both!
He has had some fearful shock, so says our doctor, and in his delirium his ravings
have been dreadful, of wolves and poison and blood, of ghosts and demons, and I fear
to say of what.
Be careful of him always that there may be nothing to excite him of this kind for a
long time to come. The traces of such an illness as his do not
lightly die away.
We should have written long ago, but we knew nothing of his friends, and there was
nothing on him, nothing that anyone could understand.
He came in the train from Klausenburg, and the guard was told by the station master
there that he rushed into the station shouting for a ticket for home.
Seeing from his violent demeanour that he was English, they gave him a ticket for the
furthest station on the way thither that the train reached.
"Be assured that he is well cared for.
He has won all hearts by his sweetness and gentleness.
He is truly getting on well, and I have no doubt will in a few weeks be all himself.
But be careful of him for safety's sake.
There are, I pray God and St. Joseph and Ste. Mary, many, many, happy years for you
both."
DR. SEWARD'S DIARY 19 August.--Strange and sudden change in
Renfield last night. About eight o'clock he began to get excited
and sniff about as a dog does when setting.
The attendant was struck by his manner, and knowing my interest in him, encouraged him
to talk.
He is usually respectful to the attendant and at times servile, but tonight, the man
tells me, he was quite haughty. Would not condescend to talk with him at
all.
All he would say was, "I don't want to talk to you.
You don't count now. The master is at hand."
The attendant thinks it is some sudden form of religious mania which has seized him.
If so, we must look out for squalls, for a strong man with homicidal and religious
mania at once might be dangerous.
The combination is a dreadful one. At nine o'clock I visited him myself.
His attitude to me was the same as that to the attendant.
In his sublime self-feeling the difference between myself and the attendant seemed to
him as nothing. It looks like religious mania, and he will
soon think that he himself is God.
These infinitesimal distinctions between man and man are too paltry for an
Omnipotent Being. How these madmen give themselves away!
The real God taketh heed lest a sparrow fall.
But the God created from human vanity sees no difference between an eagle and a
sparrow.
Oh, if men only knew! For half an hour or more Renfield kept
getting excited in greater and greater degree.
I did not pretend to be watching him, but I kept strict observation all the same.
All at once that shifty look came into his eyes which we always see when a madman has
seized an idea, and with it the shifty movement of the head and back which asylum
attendants come to know so well.
He became quite quiet, and went and sat on the edge of his bed resignedly, and looked
into space with lack-luster eyes.
I thought I would find out if his apathy were real or only assumed, and tried to
lead him to talk of his pets, a theme which had never failed to excite his attention.
At first he made no reply, but at length said testily, "Bother them all!
I don't care a pin about them." "What?"
I said.
"You don't mean to tell me you don't care about spiders?"
(Spiders at present are his hobby and the notebook is filling up with columns of
small figures.)
To this he answered enigmatically, "The Bride maidens rejoice the eyes that wait
the coming of the bride.
But when the bride draweth nigh, then the maidens shine not to the eyes that are
filled."
He would not explain himself, but remained obstinately seated on his bed all the time
I remained with him. I am weary tonight and low in spirits.
I cannot but think of Lucy, and how different things might have been.
If I don't sleep at once, chloral, the modern Morpheus!
I must be careful not to let it grow into a habit.
No, I shall take none tonight! I have thought of Lucy, and I shall not
dishonour her by mixing the two.
If need be, tonight shall be sleepless. Later.--Glad I made the resolution, gladder
that I kept to it.
I had lain tossing about, and had heard the clock strike only twice, when the night
watchman came to me, sent up from the ward, to say that Renfield had escaped.
I threw on my clothes and ran down at once.
My patient is too dangerous a person to be roaming about.
Those ideas of his might work out dangerously with strangers.
The attendant was waiting for me.
He said he had seen him not ten minutes before, seemingly asleep in his bed, when
he had looked through the observation trap in the door.
His attention was called by the sound of the window being wrenched out.
He ran back and saw his feet disappear through the window, and had at once sent up
for me.
He was only in his night gear, and cannot be far off.
The attendant thought it would be more useful to watch where he should go than to
follow him, as he might lose sight of him whilst getting out of the building by the
door.
He is a bulky man, and couldn't get through the window.
I am thin, so, with his aid, I got out, but feet foremost, and as we were only a few
feet above ground landed unhurt.
The attendant told me the patient had gone to the left, and had taken a straight line,
so I ran as quickly as I could.
As I got through the belt of trees I saw a white figure scale the high wall which
separates our grounds from those of the deserted house.
I ran back at once, told the watchman to get three or four men immediately and
follow me into the grounds of Carfax, in case our friend might be dangerous.
I got a ladder myself, and crossing the wall, dropped down on the other side.
I could see Renfield's figure just disappearing behind the angle of the house,
so I ran after him.
On the far side of the house I found him pressed close against the old iron-bound
oak door of the chapel.
He was talking, apparently to some one, but I was afraid to go near enough to hear what
he was saying, lest I might frighten him, and he should run off.
Chasing an errant swarm of bees is nothing to following a naked lunatic, when the fit
of escaping is upon him!
After a few minutes, however, I could see that he did not take note of anything
around him, and so ventured to draw nearer to him, the more so as my men had now
crossed the wall and were closing him in.
I heard him say... "I am here to do your bidding, Master.
I am your slave, and you will reward me, for I shall be faithful.
I have worshipped you long and afar off.
Now that you are near, I await your commands, and you will not pass me by, will
you, dear Master, in your distribution of good things?"
He is a selfish old beggar anyhow.
He thinks of the loaves and fishes even when he believes he is in a real Presence.
His manias make a startling combination. When we closed in on him he fought like a
tiger.
He is immensely strong, for he was more like a wild beast than a man.
I never saw a lunatic in such a paroxysm of rage before, and I hope I shall not again.
It is a mercy that we have found out his strength and his danger in good time.
With strength and determination like his, he might have done wild work before he was
caged.
He is safe now, at any rate. Jack Sheppard himself couldn't get free
from the strait waistcoat that keeps him restrained, and he's chained to the wall in
the padded room.
His cries are at times awful, but the silences that follow are more deadly still,
for he means murder in every turn and movement.
Just now he spoke coherent words for the first time.
"I shall be patient, Master. It is coming, coming, coming!"
So I took the hint, and came too.
I was too excited to sleep, but this diary has quieted me, and I feel I shall get some
sleep tonight.
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