The attendant thought it would be more useful to watch where he should go than
to follow him, as he might lose sight of him whilst getting out of the building by
the door. He is a bulky man, and couldn't get through the window.
I am thin, so, with his aid, I got out, but feet foremost, and as we were only a few
feet above ground landed unhurt.
The attendant told me the patient had gone to the left, and had taken a straight
line, so I ran as quickly as I could. As I got through the belt of trees I saw a white
figure scale the high wall which separates our grounds from those of the
deserted house.
I ran back at once, told the watchman to get three or four men immediately and
follow me into the grounds of Carfax, in case our friend might be dangerous. I got
a ladder myself, and crossing the wall, dropped down on the other side. I could
see Renfield's figure just disappearing behind the angle of the house, so I ran
after him. On the far side of the house I found him pressed close against the old
iron-bound oak door of the chapel.
He was talking, apparently to some one, but I was afraid to go near enough to
hear what he was saying, les t I might frighten him, and he should run off.
Chasing an errant swarm of bees is nothing to following a naked lunatic, when
the fit of escaping is upon him! After a few minutes, however, I could see that he
did not take note of anything around him, and so ventured to draw nearer to him,
the more so as my men had now crossed the wall and were closing him in. I
heard him say. . .
"I am here to do your bidding, Master. I am your slave, and you will reward me,
for I shall be faithful. I have worshipped you long and afar off. Now that you are
near, I await your commands, and you will not pass me by, will you, dear Master,
in your distribution of good things?"
He is a selfish old beggar anyhow. He thinks of the loaves and fishes even when
he believes his is in a real Presence. His manias make a startling combination.
When we closed in on him he fought like a tiger. He is immensely strong, for he
was more like a wild beast than a man.
I never saw a lunatic in such a paroxysm of rage before, and I hope I shall not
again. It is a mercy that we have found out his strength and his danger in good
time. With strength and determination like his, he might have done wild work
before he was caged.
He is safe now, at any rate. Jack Sheppard himself couldn't get free from the
strait waistcoat that keeps him restrained, and he's chained to the wall in the
padded room.
His cries are at times awful, but the silences that follow are more deadly still, for
he means murder in every turn and movement.
Just now he spoke coherent words for the first time. "I shall be patient, Master. It
is coming, coming, coming!"
So I took the hint, and came too. I was too excited to sleep, but this diary has
quieted me, and I feel I shall get some sleep tonight.