How shall I describe what we saw? On the bed lay two women, Lucy and her mother.
The latter lay farthest in, and she was covered with a white sheet, the edge of which
had been blown back by the drought through the broken window, showing the drawn,
white, face, with a look of terror fixed upon it. By her side lay Lucy, with face white and
still more drawn. The flowers which had been round her neck we found upon her
mother's bosom, and her throat was bare, showing the two little wounds which we had
noticed before, but looking horribly white and mangled. Without a word the Professor
bent over the bed, his head almost touching poor Lucy's breast. Then he gave a quick
turn of his head, as of one who listens, and leaping to his feet, he cried out to me, "It is
not yet too late! Quick! Quick! Bring the brandy!"
I flew downstairs and returned with it, taking care to smell and taste it, lest it, too, were
drugged like the decanter of sherry which I found on the table. The maids were still
breathing, but more restlessly, and I fancied that the narcotic was wearing off. I did not
stay to make sure, but returned to Van Helsing. He rubbed the brandy, as on another
occasion, on her lips and gums and on her wrists and the palms of her hands. He said
to me, "I can do this, all that can be at the present. You go wake those maids. Flick
them in the face with a wet towel, and flick them hard. Make them get heat and fire and
a warm bath. This poor soul is nearly as cold as that beside her. She will need be
heated before we can do anything more."
I went at once, and found little difficulty in waking three of the women. The fourth was
only a young girl, and the drug had evidently affected her more strongly so I lifted her on
the sofa and let her sleep.
The others were dazed at first, but as remembrance came back to them they cried and
sobbed in a hysterical manner. I was stern with them, however, and would not let them
talk. I told them that one life was bad enough to lose, and if they delayed they would
sacrifice Miss Lucy. So, sobbing and crying they went about their way, half clad as they
were, and prepared fire and water. Fortunately, the kitchen and boiler fires were still
alive, and there was no lack of hot water. We got a bath and carried Lucy out as she
was and placed her in it. Whilst we were busy chafing her limbs there was a knock at
the hall door. One of the maids ran off, hurried on some more clothes, and opened it.
Then she returned and whispered to us that there was a gentleman who had come with
a message from Mr. Holmwood. I bade her simply tell him that he must wait, for we
could see no one now. She went away with the message, and, engrossed with our
work, I clean forgot all about him.
I never saw in all my experience the Professor work in such deadly earnest. I knew, as
he knew, that it was a stand-up fight with death, and in a pause told him so. He
answered me in a way that I did not understand, but with the sternest look that his face
"If that were all, I would stop here where we are now, and let her fade away into peace,
for I see no light in life over her horizon." He went on with his work with, if possible,
renewed and more frenzied vigour.
Presently we both began to be conscious that the heat was beginning to be of some
effect. Lucy's heart beat a trifle more audibly to the stethoscope, and her lungs had a