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Chapter 9
LETTER, MINA HARKER TO LUCY WESTENRA
Buda-Pesth, 24 August.
"My dearest Lucy,
"I know you will be anxious to hear all that has happened since we parted at the railway
station at Whitby.
"Well, my dear, I got to Hull all right, and caught the boat to Hamburg, and then the
train on here. I feel that I can hardly recall anything of the journey, except that I knew I
was coming to Jonathan, and that as I should have to do some nursing, I had better get
all the sleep I could. I found my dear one, oh, so thin and pale and weak-looking. All the
resolution has gone out of his dear eyes, and that quiet dignity which I told you was in
his face has vanished. He is only a wreck of himself, and he does not remember
anything that has happened to him for a long time past. At least, he wants me to believe
so, and I shall never ask. "He has had some terrible shock, and I fear it might tax his
poor brain if he were to try to recall it. Sister Agatha, who is a good creature and a born
nurse, tells me that he wanted her to tell me what they were, but she would only cross
herself, and say she would never tell. That the ravings of the sick were the secrets of
God, and that if a nurse through her vocation should hear them, she should respect her
trust..
"She is a sweet, good soul, and the next day, when she saw I was troubled, she
opened up the subject my poor dear raved about, added, `I can tell you this much, my
dear. That it was not about anything which he has done wrong himself, and you, as his
wife to be, have no cause to be concerned. He has not forgotten you or what he owes to
you. His fear was of great and terrible things, which no mortal can treat of.'
"I do believe the dear soul thought I might be jealous lest my poor dear should have
fallen in love with any other girl. The idea of my being jealous about Jonathan! And yet,
my dear, let me whisper, I felt a thrill of joy through me when I knew that no other
woman was a cause for trouble. I am now sitting by his bedside, where I can see his
face while he sleeps. He is waking!
"When he woke he asked me for his coat, as he wanted to get something from the
pocket. I asked Sister Agatha, and she brought all his things. I saw amongst them was
his notebook, and was was going to ask him to let me look at it, for I knew that I might
find some clue to his trouble, but I suppose he must have seen my wish in my eyes, for
he sent me over to the window, saying he wanted to be quite alone for a moment.
"Then he called me back, and he said to me very solemnly, `Wilhelmina', I knew then
that he was in deadly earnest, for he has never called me by that name since he asked
me to marry him, `You know, dear, my ideas of the trust between husband and wife.
There should be no secret, no concealment. I have had a great shock, and when I try to
think of what it is I feel my head spin round, and I do not know if it was real of the