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Chapter 4
I awoke in my own bed. If it be that I had not dreamt, the Count must have carried me
here. I tried to satisfy myself on the subject, but could not arrive at any unquestionable
result. To be sure, there were certain small evidences, such as that my clothes were
folded and laid by in a manner which was not my habit. My watch was still unwound,
and I am rigorously accustomed to wind it the last thing before going to bed, and many
such details. But these things are no proof, for they may have been evidences that my
mind was not as usual, and, for some cause or another, I had certainly been much
upset. I must watch for proof. Of one thing I am glad. If it was that the Count carried me
here and undressed me, he must have been hurried in his task, for my pockets are
intact. I am sure this diary would have been a mystery to him which he would not have
brooked. He would have taken or destroyed it. As I look round this room, although it has
been to me so full of fear, it is now a sort of sanctuary, for nothing can be more dreadful
than those awful women, who were, who are, waiting to suck my blood. 18 May.--I have
been down to look at that room again in daylight, for I must know the truth. When I got
to the doorway at the top of the stairs I found it closed. It had been so forcibly driven
against the jamb that part of the woodwork was splintered. I could see that the bolt of
the lock had not been shot, but the door is fastened from the inside. I fear it was no
dream, and must act on this surmise. 19 May.--I am surely in the toils. Last night the
Count asked me in the sauvest tones to write three letters, one saying that my work
here was nearly done, and that I should start for home within a few days,another that I
was starting on the next morning from the time of the letter, and the third that I had left
the castle and arrived at Bistritz. I would fain have rebelled, but felt that in the present
state of things it would be madness to quarrel openly with the Count whilst I am so
absolutely in his power. And to refuse would be to excite his suspicion and to arouse his
anger. He knows that I know too much, and that I must not live, lest I be dangerous to
him. My only chance is to prolong my opportunities. Something may occur which will
give ma a chance to escape. I saw in his eyes something of that gathering wrath which
was manifest when he hurled that fair woman from him. He explained to me that posts
were few and uncertain, and that my writing now would ensure ease of mind to my
friends. And he assured me with so much impressiveness that he would countermand
the later letters, which would be held over at Bistritz until due time in case chance would
admit of my prolonging my stay, that to oppose him would have been to create new
suspicion. I therefore pretended to fall in with his views, and asked him what dates I
should put on the letters.
He calculated a minute, and then said, "The first should be June 12, the second June
19,and the third June 29."
I know now the span of my life. God help me!
28 May.--There is a chance of escape, or at any rate of being able to send word home.
A band of Szgany have come to the castle, and are encamped in the courtyard. These
are gipsies. I have notes of them in my book. They are peculiar to this part of the world,