We went into the room, taking the flowers with us. The Professor's actions were
certainly odd and not to be found in any pharmacopeia that I ever heard of. First
he fastened up the windows and latched them securely. Next, taking a handful of
the flowers, he rubbed them all over the sashes, as though to ensure that every
whiff of air that might get in would be laden with the garlic smell. Then with the
wisp he rubbed all over the jamb of the door, above, below, and at each side,
and round the fireplace in the same way. It all seemed grotesque to me, and
presently I said, "Well, Professor, I know you always have a reason for what you
do, but this certainly puzzles me. It is well we have no sceptic here, or he would
say that you were working some spell to keep out an evil spirit."
"Perhaps I am!" He answered quietly as he began to make the wreath which
Lucy was to wear round her neck.
We then waited whilst Lucy made her toilet for the night, and when she was in
bed he came and himself fixed the wreath of garlic round her neck. The last
words he said to her were,
"Take care you do not disturb it, and even if the room feel close, do not tonight
open the window or the door."
"I promise," said Lucy. "And thank you both a thousand times for all your
kindness to me! Oh, what have I done to be blessed with such friends?"
As we left the house in my fly, which was waiting, Van Helsing said, "Tonight I
can sleep in peace, and sleep I want, two nights of travel, much reading in the
day between, and much anxiety on the day to follow, and a night to sit up, without
to wink. Tomorrow in the morning early you call for me, and we come together to
see our pretty miss, so much more strong for my `spell' which I have work. Ho,
He seemed so confident that I, remembering my own confidence two nights
before and with the baneful result, felt awe and vague terror. It must have been
my weakness that made me hesitate to tell it to my friend, but I felt it all the more,
like unshed tears.