All day long we have travelled, and at
a good speed. The horses seem to know that they are being kindly treated, for
they go willingly their full stage at best speed. We have now had so many changes
and find the same thing so constantly that we are encouraged to think that the
journey will be an easy one. Dr. Van Helsing is laconic, he tells the farmers
that he is hurrying to Bistritz, and pays them well to make the exchange of horses.
We get hot soup, or coffee, or tea, and off we go.
It is a lovely country.
Full of beauties of all imaginable kinds, and the people are brave, and strong,
and simple, and seem full of nice qualities. They are very, very superstitious.
In the first house where we stopped, when the woman who served us saw the scar
on my forehead, she crossed herself and put out two fingers towards me, to keep
off the evil eye. I believe they went to the trouble of putting an extra amount
of garlic into our food, and I can't abide garlic. Ever since then I have taken
care not to take off my hat or veil, and so have escaped their suspicions.
are travelling fast, and as we have no driver with us to carry tales, we go ahead
of scandal. But I daresay that fear of the evil eye will follow hard behind us
all the way. The Professor seems tireless. All day he would not take any rest,
though he made me sleep for a long spell. At sunset time he hypnotized me, and
he says I answered as usual, "darkness, lapping water and creaking wood."
So our enemy is still on the river. I am afraid to think of Jonathan, but somehow
I have now no fear for him, or for myself.
I write this whilst we wait
in a farmhouse for the horses to be ready. Dr. Van Helsing is sleeping. Poor dear,
he looks very tired and old and grey, but his mouth is set as firmly as a conqueror's.
Even in his sleep he is intense with resolution. When we have well started I must
make him rest whilst I drive. I shall tell him that we have days before us, and
he must not break down when most of all his strength will be needed . . . All
is ready. We are off shortly.