Dracula eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 484 pages of information about Dracula.

Arthur held out his hand, and took the old man’s warmly.  “Call me what you will,” he said.  “I hope I may always have the title of a friend.  And let me say that I am at a loss for words to thank you for your goodness to my poor dear.”  He paused a moment, and went on, “I know that she understood your goodness even better than I do.  And if I was rude or in any way wanting at that time you acted so, you remember”—­the Professor nodded—­“you must forgive me.”

He answered with a grave kindness, “I know it was hard for you to quite trust me then, for to trust such violence needs to understand, and I take it that you do not, that you cannot, trust me now, for you do not yet understand.  And there may be more times when I shall want you to trust when you cannot, and may not, and must not yet understand.  But the time will come when your trust shall be whole and complete in me, and when you shall understand as though the sunlight himself shone through.  Then you shall bless me from first to last for your own sake, and for the sake of others, and for her dear sake to whom I swore to protect.”

“And indeed, indeed, sir,” said Arthur warmly.  “I shall in all ways trust you.  I know and believe you have a very noble heart, and you are Jack’s friend, and you were hers.  You shall do what you like.”

The Professor cleared his throat a couple of times, as though about to speak, and finally said, “May I ask you something now?”

“Certainly.”

“You know that Mrs. Westenra left you all her property?”

“No, poor dear.  I never thought of it.”

“And as it is all yours, you have a right to deal with it as you will.  I want you to give me permission to read all Miss Lucy’s papers and letters.  Believe me, it is no idle curiosity.  I have a motive of which, be sure, she would have approved.  I have them all here.  I took them before we knew that all was yours, so that no strange hand might touch them, no strange eye look through words into her soul.  I shall keep them, if I may.  Even you may not see them yet, but I shall keep them safe.  No word shall be lost, and in the good time I shall give them back to you.  It is a hard thing that I ask, but you will do it, will you not, for Lucy’s sake?”

Arthur spoke out heartily, like his old self, “Dr. Van Helsing, you may do what you will.  I feel that in saying this I am doing what my dear one would have approved.  I shall not trouble you with questions till the time comes.”

The old Professor stood up as he said solemnly, “And you are right.  There will be pain for us all, but it will not be all pain, nor will this pain be the last.  We and you too, you most of all, dear boy, will have to pass through the bitter water before we reach the sweet.  But we must be brave of heart and unselfish, and do our duty, and all will be well!”

I slept on a sofa in Arthur’s room that night.  Van Helsing did not go to bed at all.  He went to and fro, as if patroling the house, and was never out of sight of the room where Lucy lay in her coffin, strewn with the wild garlic flowers, which sent through the odour of lily and rose, a heavy, overpowering smell into the night.

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Dracula from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.