Chapter 11
12 September.--How good they all are to me. I quite love that dear Dr. Van
Helsing. I wonder why he was so anxious about these flowers. He positively
frightened me, he was so fierce. And yet he must have been right, for I feel
comfort from them already. Somehow, I do not dread being alone tonight, and I
can go to sleep without fear. I shall not mind any flapping outside the window.
Oh, the terrible struggle that I have had against sleep so often of late, the pain of
sleeplessness, or the pain of the fear of sleep, and with such unknown horrors as
it has for me! How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no
dreads, to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but
sweet dreams. Well, here I am tonight, hoping for sleep, and lying like Ophelia in
the play, with`virgin crants and maiden strewments.' I never liked garlic before,
but tonight it is delightful! There is peace in its smell. I feel sleep coming already.
Goodnight, everybody.
13 September.--Called at the Berkeley and found Van Helsing, as usual, up to
time. The carriage ordered from the hotel was waiting. The Professor took his
bag, which he always brings with him now.
Let all be put down exactly. Van Helsing and I arrived at Hillingham at eight
o'clock. It was a lovely morning. The bright sunshine and all the fresh feeling of
early autumn seemed like the completion of nature's annual work. The leaves
were turning to all kinds of beautiful colors, but had not yet begun to drop from
the trees. When we entered we met Mrs. Westenra coming out of the morning
room. She is always an early riser. She greeted us warmly and said,
"You will be glad to know that Lucy is better. The dear child is still asleep. I
looked into her room and saw her, but did not go in, lest I should disturb her."
The Professor smiled, and looked quite jubilant. He rubbed his hands together,
and said, "Aha! I thought I had diagnosed the case. My treatment is working."
To which she replied, "You must not take all the credit to yourself, doctor. Lucy's
state this morning is due in part to me."
"How do you mean, ma'am?" asked the Professor.
"Well, I was anxious about the dear child in the night, and went into her room.
She was sleeping soundly, so soundly that even my coming did not wake her.
But the room was awfully stuffy. There were a lot of those horrible, strong-
smelling flowers about everywhere, and she had actually a bunch of them round
her neck. I feared that the heavy odor would be too much for the dear child in her
weak state, so I took them all away and opened a bit of the window to let in a
little fresh air. You will be pleased with her, I am sure."
She moved off into her boudoir, where she usually breakfasted early. As she had
spoken, I watched the Professor's face, and saw it turn ashen gray. He had been
able to retain his self-command whilst the poor lady was present, for he knew her
state and how mischievous a shock would be. He actually smiled on her as he
held open the door for her to pass into her room. But the instant she had