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how mischievous a shock would be. He actually smiled on her as he held open the door
for her to pass into her room. But the instant she had disappeared he pulled me,
suddenly and forcibly, into the dining room and closed the door.
Then, for the first time in my life, I saw Van Helsing break down. He raised his hands
over his head in a sort of mute despair, and then beat his palms together in a helpless
way. Finally he sat down on a chair, and putting his hands before his face, began to
sob, with loud, dry sobs that seemed to come from the very racking of his heart.
Then he raised his arms again, as though appealing to the whole universe. "God! God!
God!" he said. "What have we done, what has this poor thing done, that we are so sore
beset? Is there fate amongst us still, send down from the pagan world of old, that such
things must be, and in such way? This poor mother, all unknowing, and all for the best
as she think, does such thing as lose her daughter body and soul, and we must not tell
her, we must not even warn her, or she die, then both die. Oh, how we are beset! How
are all the powers of the devils against us!"
Suddenly he jumped to his feet. "Come," he said."come, we must see and act. Devils or
no devils, or all the devils at once, it matters not. We must fight him all the same." He
went to the hall door for his bag, and together we went up to Lucy's room.
Once again I drew up the blind, whilst Van Helsing went towards the bed. This time he
did not start as he looked on the poor face with the same awful, waxen pallor as before.
He wore a look of stern sadness and infinite pity. "As I expected," he murmured, with
that hissing inspiration of his which meant so much. Without a word he went and locked
the door, and then began to set out on the little table the instruments for yet another
operation of transfusion of blood. I had long ago recognized the necessity, and begun to
take off my coat, but he stopped me with a warning hand. "No!" he said. "Today you
must operate. I shall provide. You are weakened already." As he spoke he took off his
coat and rolled up his shirtsleeve.
Again the operation. Again the narcotic. Again some return of color to the ashy cheeks,
and the regular breathing of healthy sleep. This time I watched whilst Van Helsing
recruited himself and rested.
Presently he took an opportunity of telling Mrs. Westenra that she must not remove
anything from Lucy's room without consulting him. That the flowers were of medicinal
value, and that the breathing of their odor was a part of the system of cure. Then he
took over the care of the case himself, saying that he would watch this night and the
next, and would send me word when to come. After another hour Lucy waked from her
sleep, fresh and bright and seemingly not much the worse for her terrible ordeal.
What does it all mean? I am beginning to wonder if my long habit of life amongst the
insane is beginning to tell upon my own brain.
17 September.--Four days and nights of peace. I am getting so strong again that I
hardly know myself. It is as if I had passed through some long nightmare, and had just
awakened to see the beautiful sunshine and feel the fresh air of the morning around me.