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Chapter 19
1 October, 5 A.M.--I went with the party to the search with an easy mind, for I think I
never saw Mina so absolutely strong and well. I am so glad that she consented to hold
back and let us men do the work. Somehow, it was a dread to me that she was in this
fearful business at all, but now that her work is done, and that it is due to her energy
and brains and foresight that the whole story is put together in such a way that every
point tells, she may well feel that her part is finished, and that she can henceforth leave
the rest to us. We were, I think, all a little upset by the scene with Mr. Renfield. When
we came away from his room we were silent till we got back to the study.
Then Mr. Morris said to Dr. Seward, "Say, Jack, if that man wasn't attempting a bluff,
he is about the sanest lunatic I ever saw. I'm not sure, but I believe that he had some
serious purpose, and if he had, it was pretty rough on him not to get a chance."
Lord Godalming and I were silent, but Dr. Van Helsing added, "Friend John, you know
more lunatics than I do, and I'm glad of it, for I fear that if it had been to me to decide I
would before that last hysterical outburst have given him free. But we live and learn, and
in our present task we must take no chance, as my friend Quincey would say. All is best
as they are."
Dr. Seward seemed to answer them both in a dreamy kind of way, "I don't know but
that I agree with you. If that man had been an ordinary lunatic I would have taken my
chance of trusting him, but he seems so mixed up with the Count in an indexy kind of
way that I am afraid of doing anything wrong by helping his fads. I can't forget how he
prayed with almost equal fervor for a cat, and then tried to tear my throat out with his
teeth. Besides, he called the Count `lord and master', and he may want to get out to
help him in some diabolical way. That horrid thing has the wolves and the rats and his
own kind to help him, so I suppose he isn't above trying to use a respectable lunatic. He
certainly did seem earnest, though. I only hope we have done what is best. These
things, in conjunction with the wild work we have in hand, help to unnerve a man."
The Professor stepped over, and laying his hand on his shoulder, said in his grave,
kindly way, "Friend John, have no fear. We are trying to do our duty in a very sad and
terrible case, we can only do as we deem best. What else have we to hope for, except
the pity of the good God?"
Lord Godalming had slipped away for a few minutes, but now he returned. He held up a
little silver whistle, as he remarked, "That old place may be full of rats, and if so, I've got
an antidote on call."
Having passed the wall, we took our way to the house, taking care to keep in the
shadows of the trees on the lawn when the moonlight shone out. When we got to the
porch the Professor opened his bag and took out a lot of things, which he laid on the
step, sorting them into four little groups, evidently one for each. Then he spoke.