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Arthur was so taken aback that he did not for a moment know what to do or say, and
before any impulse of violence could seize him he realized the place and the occasion,
and stood silent, waiting.
I kept my eyes fixed on Lucy, as did Van Helsing, and we saw a spasm as of rage flit
like a shadow over her face. The sharp teeth clamped together. Then her eyes closed,
and she breathed heavily.
Very shortly after she opened her eyes in all their softness, and putting out her poor,
pale, thin hand, took Van Helsing's great brown one, drawing it close to her, she kissed
it. "My true friend," she said, in a faint voice, but with untellable pathos, "My true friend,
and his! Oh, guard him, and give me peace!" "I swear it!" he said solemnly, kneeling
beside her and holding up his hand, as one who registers an oath. Then he turned to
Arthur, and said to him, "Come, my child, take her hand in yours, and kiss her on the
forehead, and only once." Their eyes met instead of their lips, and so they parted.
Lucy's eyes closed, and Van Helsing, who had been watching closely, took Arthur's
arm, and drew him away.
And then Lucy's breathing became stertorous again, and all at once it ceased. "It is all
over," said Van Helsing. "She is dead!"
I took Arthur by the arm, and led him away to the drawing room, where he sat down,
and covered his face with his hands, sobbing in a way that nearly broke me down to
see.
I went back to the room, and found Van Helsing looking at poor Lucy, and his face was
sterner than eve. Some change had come over her body. Death had given back part of
her beauty, for her brow and cheeks had recovered some of their flowing lines. Even the
lips had lost their deadly pallor. It was as if the blood, no longer needed for the working
of the heart, had gone to make the harshness of death as little rude as might be.
"We thought her dying whilst she slept, And sleeping when she died." I stood beside
Van Helsing, and said, "Ah well, poor girl, there is peace for her at last. It is the end!"
He turned to me, and said with grave solemnity, "Not so, alas! Not so. It is only the
beginning!"
When I asked him what he meant, he only shook his head and answered, "We can do
nothing as yet. Wait and see."