Dracula HTML version

night there was no exodus, so tonight before the sundown I took away my garlic and
other things. And so it is we find this coffin empty. But bear with me. So far there is
much that is strange. Wait you with me outside, unseen and unheard, and things much
stranger are yet to be. So," here he shut the dark slide of his lantern, "now to the
outside." He opened the door, and we filed out, he coming last and locking the door
behind him. Oh! But it seemed fresh and pure in the night air after the terror of that
vault. How sweet it was to see the clouds race by, and the passing gleams of the
moonlight between the scudding clouds crossing and passing, like the gladness and
sorrow of a man's life. How sweet it was to breathe the fresh air, that had no taint of
death and decay. How humanizing to see the red lighting of the sky beyond the hill, and
to hear far away the muffled roar that marks the life of a great city. Each in his own way
was solemn and overcome. Arthur was silent, and was, I could see, striving to grasp the
purpose and the inner meaning of the mystery. I was myself tolerably patient, and half
inclined again to throw aside doubt and to accept Van Helsing's conclusions. Quincey
Morris was phlegmatic in the way of a man who accepts all things, and accepts them in
the spirit of cool bravery, with hazard of all he has at stake. Not being able to smoke, he
cut himself a goodsized plug of tobacco and began to chew. As to Van Helsing, he was
employed in a definite way. First he took from his bag a mass of what looked like thin,
wafer-like biscuit, which was carefully rolled up in a white napkin. Next he took out a
double handful of some whitish stuff, like dough or putty. He crumbled the wafer up fine
and worked it into the mass between his hands. This he then took, and rolling it into thin
strips, began to lay them into the crevices between the door and its setting in the tomb. I
was somewhat puzzled at this, and being close, asked him what it was that he was
doing. Arthur and Quincey drew near also, as they too were curious.
He answered, "I am closing the tomb so that the UnDead may not enter." "And is that
stuff you have there going to do it?"
"It Is."
"What is that which you are using?" This time the question was by Arthur. Van Helsing
reverently lifted his hat as he answered.
"The Host. I brought it from Amsterdam. I have an Indulgence."
It was an answer that appalled the most sceptical of us, and we felt individually that in
the presence of such earnest purpose as the Professor's, a purpose which could thus
use the to him most sacred of things, it was impossible to distrust. In respectful silence
we took the places assigned to us close round the tomb, but hidden from the sight of
any one approaching. I pitied the others, especially Arthur. I had myself been
apprenticed by my former visits to this watching horror, and yet I, who had up to an hour
ago repudiated the proofs, felt my heart sink within me. Never did tombs look so ghastly
white. Never did cypress, or yew, or juniper so seem the embodiment of funeral gloom.
Never did tree or grass wave or rustle so ominously. Never did bough creak so
mysteriously, and never did the far-away howling of dogs send such a woeful presage
through the night. There was a long spell of silence, big, aching, void, and then from the
Professor a keen "S-s-s-s!" He pointed, and far down the avenue of yews we saw a
white figure advance, a dim white figure, which held something dark at its breast. The
figure stopped, and at the moment a ray of moonlight fell upon the masses of driving