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Chapter 17
When we arrived at the Berkely Hotel, Van Helsing found a telegram waiting for him.
"Am coming up by train. Jonathan at Whitby. Important news. Mina Harker." The
Professor was delighted. "Ah, that wonderful Madam Mina," he said, "pearl among
women! She arrive, but I cannot stay. She must go to your house, friend John. You
must meet her at the station. Telegraph her en route so that she may be prepared."
When the wire was dispatched he had a cup of tea. Over it he told me of a diary kept
by Jonathan Harker when abroad, and gave me a typewritten copy of it, as also of Mrs.
Harker's diary at Whitby. "Take these," he said, "and study them well. When I have
returned you will be master of all the facts, and we can then better enter on our
inquisition. Keep them safe, for there is in them much of treasure. You will need all your
faith, even you who have had such an experience as that of today. What is here told,"
he laid his hand heavily and gravely on the packet of papers as he spoke, "may be the
beginning of the end to you and me and many another, or it may sound the knell of the
UnDead who walk the earth. Read all, I pray you, with the open mind, and if you can
add in any way to the story here told do so, for it is all important. You have kept a diary
of all these so strange things, is it not so? Yes! Then we shall go through all these
together when we meet." He then made ready for his departure and shortly drove off to
Liverpool Street. I took my way to Paddington, where I arrived about fifteen minutes
before the train came in.
The crowd melted away, after the bustling fashion common to arrival platforms, and I
was beginning to feel uneasy, lest I might miss my guest, when a sweetfaced, dainty
looking girl stepped up to me, and after a quick glance said, "Dr. Seward, is it not?"
"And you are Mrs. Harker!" I answered at once, whereupon she held out her hand.
"I knew you from the description of poor dear Lucy, but. . ." She stopped suddenly, and
a quick blush overspread her face.
The blush that rose to my own cheeks somehow set us both at ease, for it was a tacit
answer to her own. I got her luggage, which included a typewriter, and we took the
Underground to Fenchurch Street, after I had sent a wire to my housekeeper to have a
sitting room and a bedroom prepared at once for Mrs. Harker.
In due time we arrived. She knew, of course, that the place was a lunatic asylum, but I
could see that she was unable to repress a shudder when we entered. She told me that,
if she might, she would come presently to my study, as she had much to say. So here I
am finishing my entry in my phonograph diary whilst I await her. As yet I have not had
the chance of looking at the papers which Van Helsing left with me, though they lie open
before me. I must get her interested in something, so that I may have an opportunity of
reading them. She does not know how precious time is, or what a task we have in hand.
I must be careful not to frighten her. Here she is!