Dracula eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 582 pages of information about Dracula.
to her mind, that she thinks of her terrible scar.  We are to meet here in my study in half an hour and decide on our course of action.  I see only one immediate difficulty, I know it by instinct rather than reason.  We shall all have to speak frankly.  And yet I fear that in some mysterious way poor Mrs. Harker’s tongue is tied.  I know that she forms conclusions of her own, and from all that has been I can guess how brilliant and how true they must be.  But she will not, or cannot, give them utterance.  I have mentioned this to Van Helsing, and he and I are to talk it over when we are alone.  I suppose it is some of that horrid poison which has got into her veins beginning to work.  The Count had his own purposes when he gave her what Van Helsing called “the Vampire’s baptism of blood.”  Well, there may be a poison that distills itself out of good things.  In an age when the existence of ptomaines is a mystery we should not wonder at anything!  One thing I know, that if my instinct be true regarding poor Mrs. Harker’s silences, then there is a terrible difficulty, an unknown danger, in the work before us.  The same power that compels her silence may compel her speech.  I dare not think further, for so I should in my thoughts dishonour a noble woman!

Later.—­When the Professor came in, we talked over the state of things.  I could see that he had something on his mind, which he wanted to say, but felt some hesitancy about broaching the subject.  After beating about the bush a little, he said, “Friend John, there is something that you and I must talk of alone, just at the first at any rate.  Later, we may have to take the others into our confidence.”

Then he stopped, so I waited.  He went on, “Madam Mina, our poor, dear Madam Mina is changing.”

A cold shiver ran through me to find my worst fears thus endorsed.  Van Helsing continued.

“With the sad experience of Miss Lucy, we must this time be warned before things go too far.  Our task is now in reality more difficult than ever, and this new trouble makes every hour of the direst importance.  I can see the characteristics of the vampire coming in her face.  It is now but very, very slight.  But it is to be seen if we have eyes to notice without prejudge.  Her teeth are sharper, and at times her eyes are more hard.  But these are not all, there is to her the silence now often, as so it was with Miss Lucy.  She did not speak, even when she wrote that which she wished to be known later.  Now my fear is this.  If it be that she can, by our hypnotic trance, tell what the Count see and hear, is it not more true that he who have hypnotize her first, and who have drink of her very blood and make her drink of his, should if he will, compel her mind to disclose to him that which she know?”

I nodded acquiescence.  He went on, “Then, what we must do is to prevent this.  We must keep her ignorant of our intent, and so she cannot tell what she know not.  This is a painful task!  Oh, so painful that it heartbreak me to think of it, but it must be.  When today we meet, I must tell her that for reason which we will not to speak she must not more be of our council, but be simply guarded by us.”

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Dracula from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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