Chapter 22
3 October.--As I must do something or go mad, I write this diary. It is now six
o'clock, and we are to meet in the study in half an hour and take something to
eat, for Dr. Van Helsing and Dr. Seward are agreed that if we do not eat we
cannot work our best. Our best will be, God knows, required today. I must keep
writing at every chance, for I dare not stop to think. All, big and little, must go
down. Perhaps at the end the little things may teach us most. The teaching, big
or little, could not have landed Mina or me anywhere worse than we are today.
However, we must trust and hope. Poor Mina told me just now, with the tears
running down her dear cheeks, that it is in trouble and trial that our faith is tested.
That we must keep on trusting, and that God will aid us up to the end. The end!
Oh my God! What end?. . . To work! To work!
When Dr. Van Helsing and Dr. Seward had come back from seeing poor
Renfield, we went gravely into what was to be done. First, Dr. Seward told us that
when he and Dr. Van Helsing had gone down to the room below they had found
Renfield lying on the floor, all in a heap. His face was all bruised and crushed in,
and the bones of the neck were broken.
Dr. Seward asked the attendant who was on duty in the passage if he had heard
anything. He said that he had been sitting down, he confessed to half dozing,
when he heard loud voices in the room, and then Renfield had called out loudly
several times, "God! God! God!" After that there was a sound of falling, and when
he entered the room he found him lying on the floor, face down, just as the
doctors had seen him. Van Helsing asked if he had heard "voices" or "a voice,"
and he said he could not say. That at first it had seemed to him as if there were
two, but as there was no one in the room it could have been only one. He could
swear to it, if required, that the word "God" was spoken by the patient.
Dr. Seward said to us, when we were alone, that he did not wish to go into the
matter. The question of an inquest had to be considered, and it would never do to
put forward the truth, as no one would believe it. As it was, he thought that on the
attendant's evidence he could give a certificate of death by misadventure in
falling from bed. In case the coroner should demand it, there would be a formal
inquest, necessarily to the same result.
When the question began to be discussed as to what should be our next step,
the very first thing we decided was that Mina should be in full confidence. That
nothing of any sort, no matter how painful, should be kept from her. She herself
agreed as to its wisdom, and it was pitiful to see her so brave and yet so
sorrowful, and in such a depth of despair.
"There must be no concealment," she said. "Alas! We have had too much
already. And besides there is nothing in all the world that can give me more pain
than I have already endured, than I suffer now! Whatever may happen, it must be
of new hope or of new courage to me!"