Dr. Seward's Diary
This is written in the
train from Varna to Galatz. Last night we all assembled a little before the time
of sunset. Each of us had done his work as well as he could, so far as thought,
and endeavour, and opportunity go, we are prepared for the whole of our journey,
and for our work when we get to Galatz. When the usual time came round Mrs. Harker
prepared herself for her hypnotic effort, and after a longer and more serious
effort on the part of Van Helsing than has been usually necessary, she sank into
the trance. Usually she speaks on a hint, but this time the Professor had to ask
her questions, and to ask them pretty resolutely, before we could learn anything.
At last her answer came.
"I can see nothing. We are still. There are
no waves lapping, but only a steady swirl of water softly running against the
hawser. I can hear men's voices calling, near and far, and the roll and creak
of oars in the rowlocks. A gun is fired somewhere, the echo of it seems far away.
There is tramping of feet overhead, and ropes and chains are dragged along. What
is this? There is a gleam of light. I can feel the air blowing upon me."
she stopped. She had risen, as if impulsively, from where she lay on the sofa,
and raised both her hands, palms upwards, as if lifting a weight. Van Helsing
and I looked at each other with understanding. Quincey raised his eyebrows slightly
and looked at her intently, whilst Harker's hand instinctively closed round the
hilt of his Kukri. There was a long pause. We all knew that the time when she
could speak was passing, but we felt that it was useless to say anything.
she sat up, and as she opened her eyes said sweetly, "Would none of you like
a cup of tea? You must all be so tired!"
We could only make her happy,
and so acqueisced. She bustled off to get tea. When she had gone Van Helsing said,
"You see, my friends. He is close to land. He has left his earth chest. But
he has yet to get on shore. In the night he may lie hidden somewhere, but if he
be not carried on shore, or if the ship do not touch it, he cannot achieve the
land. In such case he can, if it be in the night, change his form and jump or
fly on shore, then, unless he be carried he cannot escape. And if he be carried,
then the customs men may discover what the box contain. Thus, in fine, if he escape
not on shore tonight, or before dawn, there will be the whole day lost to him.
We may then arrive in time. For if he escape not at night we shall come on him
in daytime, boxed up and at our mercy. For he dare not be his true self, awake
and visible, lest he be discovered."
There was no more to be said,
so we waited in patience until the dawn, at which time we might learn more from
Early this morning we listened, with breathless anxiety, for
her response in her trance. The hypnotic stage was even longer in coming than
before, and when it came the time remaining until full sunrise was so short that
we began to despair. Van Helsing seemed to throw his whole soul into the effort.
At last, in obedience to his will she made reply.
"All is dark. I hear
lapping water, level with me, and some creaking as of wood on wood." She
paused, and the red sun shot up. We must wait till tonight.
And so it is
that we are travelling towards Galatz in an agony of expectation. We are due to
arrive between two and three in the morning. But already, at Bucharest, we are
three hours late, so we cannot possibly get in till well after sunup. Thus we
shall have two more hypnotic messages from Mrs. Harker! Either or both may possibly
throw more light on what is happening.
Later.--Sunset has come and gone.
Fortunately it came at a time when there was no distraction. For had it occurred
whilst we were at a station, we might not have secured the necessary calm and
isolation. Mrs. Harker yielded to the hypnotic influence even less readily than
this morning. I am in fear that her power of reading the Count's sensations may
die away, just when we want it most. It seems to me that her imagination is beginning
to work. Whilst she has been in the trance hitherto she has confined herself to
the simplest of facts. If this goes on it may ultimately mislead us. If I thought
that the Count's power over her would die away equally with her power of knowledge
it would be a happy thought. But I am afraid that it may not be so.
she did speak, her words were enigmatical, "Something is going out. I can
feel it pass me like a cold wind. I can hear, far off, confused sounds, as of
men talking in strange tongues, fierce falling water, and the howling of wolves."
She stopped and a shudder ran through her, increasing in intensity for a few seconds,
till at the end, she shook as though in a palsy. She said no more, even in answer
to the Professor's imperative questioning. When she woke from the trance, she
was cold, and exhausted, and languid, but her mind was all alert. She could not
remember anything, but asked what she had said. When she was told, she pondered
over it deeply for a long time and in silence.