danger, to which you are, or may be, more liable than any of us from. . .from
circumstances. . .things that have been." He paused embarrassed. As she replied, she
raised her finger and pointed to her forehead. "I know. That is why I must go. I can tell
you now, whilst the sun is coming up. I may not be able again. I know that when the
Count wills me I must go. I know that if he tells me to come in secret, I must by wile. By
any device to hoodwink, even Jonathan." God saw the look that she turned on me as
she spoke, and if there be indeed a Recording Angel that look is noted to her ever-
lasting honor. I could only clasp her hand. I could not speak. My emotion was too great
for even the relief of tears. She went on. "You men are brave and strong. You are strong
in your numbers, for you can defy that which would break down the human endurance
of one who had to guard alone. Besides, I may be of service, since you can hypnotize
me and so learn that which even I myself do not know."
Dr. Van Helsing said gravely, "Madam Mina, you are, as always, most wise. You shall
with us come. And together we shall do that which we go forth to achieve." When he
had spoken, Mina's long spell of silence made me look at her. She had fallen back on
her pillow asleep. She did not even wake when I had pulled up the blind and let in the
sunlight which flooded the room. Van Helsing motioned to me to come with him quietly.
We went to his room, and within a minute Lord Godalming, Dr. Seward, and Mr. Morris
were with us also.
He told them what Mina had said, and went on. "In the morning we shall leave for
Varna. We have now to deal with a new factor, Madam Mina. Oh, but her soul is true. It
is to her an agony to tell us so much as she has done. But it is most right, and we are
warned in time. There must be no chance lost, and in Varna we must be ready to act
the instant when that ship arrives."
"What shall we do exactly?" asked Mr. Morris laconically.
The Professor paused before replying, "We shall at the first board that ship. Then,
when we have identified the box, we shall place a branch of the wild rose on it. This we
shall fasten, for when it is there none can emerge, so that at least says the superstition.
And to superstition must we trust at the first. It was man's faith in the early, and it have
its root in faith still. Then, when we get the opportunity that we seek, when none are
near to see, we shall open the box, and. . .and all will be well."
"I shall not wait for any opportunity," said Morris. "When I see the box I shall open it and
destroy the monster, though there were a thousand men looking on, and if I am to be
wiped out for it the next moment!" I grasped his hand instinctively and found it as firm as
a piece of steel. I think he understood my look. I hope he did. "Good boy," said Dr. Van
Helsing. "Brave boy. Quincey is all man. God bless him for it. My child, believe me none
of us shall lag behind or pause from any fear. I do but say what we may do. . .what we
must do. But, indeed, indeed we cannot say what we may do. There are so many things
which may happen, and their ways and their ends are so various that until the moment
we may not say. We shall all be armed, in all ways. And when the time for the end has
come, our effort shall not be lack. Now let us today put all our affairs in order. Let all
things which touch on others dear to us, and who on us depend, be complete. For none
of us can tell what, or when, or how, the end may be. As for me, my own affairs are