disappeared he pulled me, suddenly and forcibly, into the dining room and closed
the door.
Then, for the first time in my life, I saw Van Helsing break down. He raised his
hands over his head in a sort of mute despair, and then beat his palms together
in a helpless way. Finally he sat down on a chair, and putting his hands before
his face, began to sob, with loud, dry sobs that seemed to come from the very
racking of his heart.
Then he raised his arms again, as though appealing to the whole universe. "God!
God! God!" he said. "What have we done, what has this poor thing done, that we
are so sore beset? Is there fate amongst us still, send down from the pagan
world of old, that such things must be, and in such way? This poor mother, all
unknowing, and all for the best as she think, does such thing as lose her
daughter body and soul, and we must not tell her, we must not even warn her, or
she die, then both die. Oh, how we are beset! How are all the powers of the
devils against us!"
Suddenly he jumped to his feet. "Come," he said."come, we must see and act.
Devils or no devils, or all the devils at once, it matters not. We must fight him all
the same." He went to the hall door for his bag, and together we went up to
Lucy's room.
Once again I drew up the blind, whilst Van Helsing went towards the bed. This
time he did not start as he looked on the poor face with the same awful, waxen
pallor as before. He wore a look of stern sadness and infinite pity.
"As I expected," he murmured, with that hissing inspiration of his which meant so
much. Without a word he went and locked the door, and then began to set out on
the little table the instruments for yet another operation of transfusion of blood. I
had long ago recognized the necessity, and begun to take off my coat, but he
stopped me with a warning hand. "No!" he said. "Today you must operate. I shall
provide. You are weakened already." As he spoke he took off his coat and rolled
up his shirtsleeve.
Again the operation. Again the narcotic. Again some return of color to the ashy
cheeks, and the regular breathing of healthy sleep. This time I watched whilst
Van Helsing recruited himself and rested.
Presently he took an opportunity of telling Mrs. Westenra that she must not
remove anything from Lucy's room without consulting him. That the flowers were
of medicinal value, and that the breathing of their odor was a part of the system
of cure. Then he took over the care of the case himself, saying that he would
watch this night and the next, and would send me word when to come.
After another hour Lucy waked from her sleep, fresh and bright and seemingly
not much the worse for her terrible ordeal.
What does it all mean? I am beginning to wonder if my long habit of life amongst
the insane is beginning to tell upon my own brain.
17 September.--Four days and nights of peace. I am getting so strong again that
I hardly know myself. It is as if I had passed through some long nightmare, and
had just awakened to see the beautiful sunshine and feel the fresh air of the
morning around me. I have a dim half remembrance of long, anxious times of