blood!"The remembrance seemed for a while to overpower her, and she drooped
and would have sunk down but for her husband's sustaining arm. With a great
effort she recovered herself and went on.
"Then he spoke to me mockingly, `And so you, like the others, would play your
brains against mine. You would help these men to hunt me and frustrate me in
my design! You know now, and they know in part already, and will know in full
before long, what it is to cross my path. They should have kept their energies for
use closer to home. Whilst they played wits against me, against me who
commanded nations, and intrigued for them, and fought for them, hundreds of
years before they were born, I was countermining them. And you, their best
beloved one, are now to me, flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood, kin of my kin,
my bountiful wine-press for a while, and shall be later on my companion and my
helper. You shall be avenged in turn, for not one of them but shall minister to
your needs. But as yet you are to be punished for what you have done. You have
aided in thwarting me. Now you shall come to my call. When my brain says
"Come!" to you, you shall cross land or sea to do my bidding. And to that end
With that he pulled open his shirt, and with his long sharp nails opened a vein in
his breast. When the blood began to spurt out, he took my hands in one of his,
holding them tight, and with the other seized my neck and pressed my mouth to
the wound, so that I must either suffocate or swallow some to the. . .Oh, my God!
My God! What have I done? What have I done to deserve such a fate, I who
have tried to walk in meekness and righteousness all my days. God pity me!
Look down on a poor soul in worse than mortal peril. And in mercy pity those to
whom she is dear!" Then she began to rub her lips as though to cleanse them
from pollution.
As she was telling her terrible story, the eastern sky began to quicken, and
everything became more and more clear. Harker was still and quiet. But over his
face, as the awful narrative went on, came a grey look which deepened and
deepened in the morning light, till when the first red streak of the coming dawn
shot up, the flesh stood darkly out against the whitening hair.
We have arranged that one of us is to stay within call of the unhappy pair till we
can meet together and arrange about taking action.
Of this I am sure. The sun rises today on no more miserable house in all the
great round of its daily course.