Chapter 21
3 October.--Let me put down with exactness all that happened, as well as I can
remember, since last I made an entry. Not a detail that I can recall must be
forgotten. In all calmness I must proceed.
When I came to Renfield's room I found him lying on the floor on his left side in a
glittering pool of blood. When I went to move him, it became at once apparent
that he had received some terrible injuries. There seemed none of the unity of
purpose between the parts of the body which marks even lethargic sanity. As the
face was exposed I could see that it was horribly bruised, as though it had been
beaten against the floor. Indeed it was from the face wounds that the pool of
blood originated.
The attendant who was kneeling beside the body said to me as we turned him
over, "I think, sir, his back is broken. See, both his right arm and leg and the
whole side of his face are paralysed." How such a thing could have happened
puzzled the attendant beyond measure. He seemed quite bewildered, and his
brows were gathered in as he said, "I can't understand the two things. He could
mark his face like that by beating his own head on the floor. I saw a young
woman do it once at the Eversfield Asylum before anyone could lay hands on
her. And I suppose he might have broken his neck by falling out of bed, if he got
in an awkward kink. But for the life of me I can't imagine how the two things
occurred. If his back was broke, he couldn't beat his head, and if his face was like
that before the fall out of bed, there would be marks of it."
I said to him, "Go to Dr. Van Helsing, and ask him to kindly come here at once. I
want him without an instant's delay."
The man ran off, and within a few minutes the Professor, in his dressing gown
and slippers, appeared. When he saw Renfield on the ground, he looked keenly
at him a moment, and then turned to me. I think he recognized my thought in my
eyes, for he said very quietly, manifestly for the ears of the attendant, "Ah, a sad
accident! He will need very careful watching, and much attention. I shall stay with
you myself, but I shall first dress myself. If you will remain I shall in a few minutes
join you."
The patient was now breathing stertorously and it was easy to see that he had
suffered some terrible injury.
Van Helsing returned with extraordinary celerity, bearing with him a surgical
case. He had evidently been thinking and had his mind made up, for almost
before he looked at the patient, he whispered to me, "Send the attendant away.
We must be alone with him when he becomes conscious, after the operation."
I said, "I think that will do now, Simmons. We have done all that we can at
present. You had better go your round, and Dr. Van Helsing will operate. Let me
know instantly if there be anything unusual anywhere."
The man withdrew, and we went into a strict examination of the patient. The
wounds of the face were superficial. The real injury was a depressed fracture of
the skull, extending right up through the motor area.