Chapter 19
1 October, 5 A.M.--I went with the party to the search with an easy mind, for I
think I never saw Mina so absolutely strong and well. I am so glad that she
consented to hold back and let us men do the work. Somehow, it was a dread to
me that she was in this fearful business at all, but now that her work is done, and
that it is due to her energy and brains and foresight that the whole story is put
together in such a way that every point tells, she may well feel that her part is
finished, and that she can henceforth leave the rest to us. We were, I think, all a
little upset by the scene with Mr. Renfield. When we came away from his room
we were silent till we got back to the study.
Then Mr. Morris said to Dr. Seward, "Say, Jack, if that man wasn't attempting a
bluff, he is about the sanest lunatic I ever saw. I'm not sure, but I believe that he
had some serious purpose, and if he had, it was pretty rough on him not to get a
Lord Godalming and I were silent, but Dr. Van Helsing added, "Friend John, you
know more lunatics than I do, and I'm glad of it, for I fear that if it had been to me
to decide I would before that last hysterical outburst have given him free. But we
live and learn, and in our present task we must take no chance, as my friend
Quincey would say. All is best as they are."
Dr. Seward seemed to answer them both in a dreamy kind of way, "I don't know
but that I agree with you. If that man had been an ordinary lunatic I would have
taken my chance of trusting him, but he seems so mixed up with the Count in an
indexy kind of way that I am afraid of doing anything wrong by helping his fads. I
can't forget how he prayed with almost equal fervor for a cat, and then tried to
tear my throat out with his teeth. Besides, he called the Count `lord and master',
and he may want to get out to help him in some diabolical way. That horrid thing
has the wolves and the rats and his own kind to help him, so I suppose he isn't
above trying to use a respectable lunatic. He certainly did seem earnest, though.
I only hope we have done what is best. These things, in conjunction with the wild
work we have in hand, help to unnerve a man."
The Professor stepped over, and laying his hand on his shoulder, said in his
grave, kindly way, "Friend John, have no fear. We are trying to do our duty in a
very sad and terrible case, we can only do as we deem best. What else have we
to hope for, except the pity of the good God?"
Lord Godalming had slipped away for a few minutes, but now he returned. He
held up a little silver whistle, as he remarked, "That old place may be full of rats,
and if so, I've got an antidote on call."
Having passed the wall, we took our way to the house, taking care to keep in the
shadows of the trees on the lawn when the moonlight shone out. When we got to
the porch the Professor opened his bag and took out a lot of things, which he laid
on the step, sorting them into four little groups, evidently one for each. Then he