Dracula eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 484 pages of information about Dracula.
is lying down, having a rest preparatory to his journey.  He goes to Amsterdam tonight, but says he returns tomorrow night, that he only wants to make some arrangements which can only be made personally.  He is to stop with me then, if he can.  He says he has work to do in London which may take him some time.  Poor old fellow!  I fear that the strain of the past week has broken down even his iron strength.  All the time of the burial he was, I could see, putting some terrible restraint on himself.  When it was all over, we were standing beside Arthur, who, poor fellow, was speaking of his part in the operation where his blood had been transfused to his Lucy’s veins.  I could see Van Helsing’s face grow white and purple by turns.  Arthur was saying that he felt since then as if they two had been really married, and that she was his wife in the sight of God.  None of us said a word of the other operations, and none of us ever shall.  Arthur and Quincey went away together to the station, and Van Helsing and I came on here.  The moment we were alone in the carriage he gave way to a regular fit of hysterics.  He has denied to me since that it was hysterics, and insisted that it was only his sense of humor asserting itself under very terrible conditions.  He laughed till he cried, and I had to draw down the blinds lest any one should see us and misjudge.  And then he cried, till he laughed again, and laughed and cried together, just as a woman does.  I tried to be stern with him, as one is to a woman under the circumstances, but it had no effect.  Men and women are so different in manifestations of nervous strength or weakness!  Then when his face grew grave and stern again I asked him why his mirth, and why at such a time.  His reply was in a way characteristic of him, for it was logical and forceful and mysterious.  He said,

“Ah, you don’t comprehend, friend John.  Do not think that I am not sad, though I laugh.  See, I have cried even when the laugh did choke me.  But no more think that I am all sorry when I cry, for the laugh he come just the same.  Keep it always with you that laughter who knock at your door and say, ‘May I come in?’ is not true laughter.  No!  He is a king, and he come when and how he like.  He ask no person, he choose no time of suitability.  He say, ‘I am here.’  Behold, in example I grieve my heart out for that so sweet young girl.  I give my blood for her, though I am old and worn.  I give my time, my skill, my sleep.  I let my other sufferers want that she may have all.  And yet I can laugh at her very grave, laugh when the clay from the spade of the sexton drop upon her coffin and say ’Thud, thud!’ to my heart, till it send back the blood from my cheek.  My heart bleed for that poor boy, that dear boy, so of the age of mine own boy had I been so blessed that he live, and with his hair and eyes the same.

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Dracula from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.