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Chapter 22
3 October.--As I must do something or go mad, I write this diary. It is now six o'clock,
and we are to meet in the study in half an hour and take something to eat, for Dr. Van
Helsing and Dr. Seward are agreed that if we do not eat we cannot work our best. Our
best will be, God knows, required today. I must keep writing at every chance, for I dare
not stop to think. All, big and little, must go down. Perhaps at the end the little things
may teach us most. The teaching, big or little, could not have landed Mina or me
anywhere worse than we are today. However, we must trust and hope. Poor Mina told
me just now, with the tears running down her dear cheeks, that it is in trouble and trial
that our faith is tested. That we must keep on trusting, and that God will aid us up to the
end. The end! Oh my God! What end?. . . To work! To work!
When Dr. Van Helsing and Dr. Seward had come back from seeing poor Renfield, we
went gravely into what was to be done. First, Dr. Seward told us that when he and Dr.
Van Helsing had gone down to the room below they had found Renfield lying on the
floor, all in a heap. His face was all bruised and crushed in, and the bones of the neck
were broken.
Dr. Seward asked the attendant who was on duty in the passage if he had heard
anything. He said that he had been sitting down, he confessed to half dozing, when he
heard loud voices in the room, and then Renfield had called out loudly several times,
"God! God! God!" After that there was a sound of falling, and when he entered the room
he found him lying on the floor, face down, just as the doctors had seen him. Van
Helsing asked if he had heard "voices" or "a voice," and he said he could not say. That
at first it had seemed to him as if there were two, but as there was no one in the room it
could have been only one. He could swear to it, if required, that the word "God" was
spoken by the patient. Dr. Seward said to us, when we were alone, that he did not wish
to go into the matter. The question of an inquest had to be considered, and it would
never do to put forward the truth, as no one would believe it. As it was, he thought that
on the attendant's evidence he could give a certificate of death by misadventure in
falling from bed. In case the coroner should demand it, there would be a formal inquest,
necessarily to the same result.
When the question began to be discussed as to what should be our next step, the very
first thing we decided was that Mina should be in full confidence. That nothing of any
sort, no matter how painful, should be kept from her. She herself agreed as to its
wisdom, and it was pitiful to see her so brave and yet so sorrowful, and in such a depth
of despair.
"There must be no concealment," she said. "Alas! We have had too much already. And
besides there is nothing in all the world that can give me more pain than I have already
endured, than I suffer now! Whatever may happen, it must be of new hope or of new
courage to me!"