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Bram Stoker. Dracula - 3


the other room.

I found supper already laid out. My host, who stood on
one side of the great fireplace, leaning against the stone-
work, made a graceful wave of his hand to the table, and
said,

"I pray you, be seated and sup how you please. You will
I trust, excuse me that I do not join you, but I have dined
already, and I do not sup."

I handed to him the sealed letter which Mr. Hawkins had
entrusted to me. He opened it and read it gravely. Then,
with a charming smile, he handed it to me to read. One pass-
age of it, at least, gave me a thrill of pleasure.

"I must regret that an attack of gout, from which mal-
ady I am a constant sufferer, forbids absolutely any travel-
ling on my part for some time to come. But I am happy to say
I can send a sufficient substitute, one in whom I have every
possible confidence. He is a young man, full of energy and
talent in his own way, and of a very faithful disposition.
He is discreet and silent, and has grown into manhood in my
service. He shall be ready to attend on you when you will
during his stay, and shall take your instructions in all
matters."

The count himself came forward and took off the cover
of a dish, and I fell to at once on an excellent roast
chicken. This, with some cheese and a salad and a bottle of
old tokay, of which I had two glasses, was my supper. During
the time I was eating it the Count asked me many question
as to my journey, and I told him by degrees all I had
experienced.

By this time I had finished my supper,and by my host's
desire had drawn up a chair by the fire and begun to smoke
a cigar which he offered me, at the same time excusing him-
self that he did not smoke. I had now an opportunity of
observing him, and found him of a very marked physiognomy.

His face was a strong, a very strong, aquiline, with
high bridge of the thin nose and peculiarly arched nostrils,
with lofty domed forehead, and hair growing scantily round
the temples but profusely elsewhere. His eyebrows were very
massive, almost meeting over the nose, and with bushy hair
that seemed to curl in its own profusion. The mouth, so
far as I could see it under the heavy moustache, was fixed
and rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth.
These protruded over the lips, whose remarkable ruddiness
showed astonishing vitality in a man of his years. For the
rest, his ears were pale, and at the tops extremely point-
ed. The chin was broad and strong, and the cheeks firm
though thin. The general effect was one of extraordinary
pallor.

Hitherto I had noticed the backs of his hands as they
lay on his knees in the firelight, and they had seemed
rather white and fine. But seeing them now close to me, I
could not but notice that they were rather coarse, broad,
with squat fingers. Strange to say, there were hairs in the
centre of the palm. The nails were long and fine, and cut
to a sharp point. As the Count leaned over me and his hands
touched me, I could not repress a shudder. It may have been
that his breath was rank, but a horrible feeling of nausea
came over me, which, do what I would, I could not conceal.

The Count, evidently noticing it, drew back. And with
a grim sort of smile, which showed more than he had yet
done his protruberant teeth, sat himself down again on his
own side of the fireplace. We were both silent for a while,
and as I looked towards the window I saw the first dim
streak of the coming dawn. There seemed a strange stillness
over everything. But as I listened, I heard as if from down
below in the valley the howling of many wolves. The Count's
eyes gleamed, and he said.

"Listen to them, the children of the night. What music
they make!" Seeing, I suppose, some expression in my face
strange to him, he added, "Ah, sir, you dwellers in the city
cannot enter into the feelings of the hunter." Then he rose
and said.

"But you must be tired. Your bedroom is all ready, and
tomorrow you shall sleep as late as you will. I have to be
away till the afternoon, so sleep well and dream well!"
With a courteous bow, he opened for me himself the door to
the octagonal room, and I entered my bedroom.

I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt. I fear. I think
strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul.
God keep me, if only for the sake of those dear to me!

7 May.--It is again early morning, but I have rested
and enjoyed the last twenty-four hours. I slept till late
in the day, and awoke of my own accord. When I had dressed
myself I went into the room where we had supped, and found
a cold breakfast laid out, with coffee kept hot by the pot
being placed on the hearth. There was a card on the table,
on which was written--

"I have to be absent for a while. Do not wait for me.
D." I set to and enjoyed a hearty meal. When I had done,
I looked for a bell, so that I might let the servants know
I had finished, but I could not find one. There are cer-
tainly odd deficiencies in the house, considering the ex-
traordinary evidences of wealth which are round me. The
table service is of gold, and so beautifully wrought that
it must be of immense value. The curtains and upholstery
of the chairs and sofas and the hangings of my bed are of
the costliest and most beautiful fabrics, and must have
been of fabulous value when they were made, for they are
centuries old, though in excellent order. I saw something
like them in Hampton Court, but they were worn and frayed
and moth-eaten. But still in none of the rooms is there a
mirror. There is not even a toilet glass on my table, and
I had to get the little shaving glass from my bag before I
could either shave or brush my hair. I have not yet seen a
servant anywhere, or heard a sound near the castle except
the howling of wolves. Some time after I had finished my
meal, I do not know whether to call it breakfast of dinner,
for it was between five and six o'clock when I had it, I
looked about for something to read, for I did not like to
go about the castle until I had asked the Count's permiss-
ion. There was absolutely nothing in the room, book, news-
paper, or even writing materials, so I opened another door
in the room and found a sort of library. The door opposite
mine I tried, but found locked.

In the library I found, to my great delight, a vast
number of English books, whole shelves full of them, and
bound volumes of magazines and newspapers. A table in the
center was littered with English magazines and newspapers,
though none of them were of very recent date. The books
were of the most varied kind, history, geography, politics,
political economy, botany, geology, law, all relating to
England and English life and customs and manners. There
were even such books of reference as the London Directory,
the "Red" and "Blue" books, Whitaker's Almanac, the Army
and Navy Lists, and it somehow gladdened my heart to see
it, the Law List.

Whilst I was looking at the books, the door opened,
and the Count entered. He saluted me in a hearty way, and
hoped that I had had a good night's rest. Then he went on.

"I am glad you found your way in here, for I am sure
there is much that will interest you. These companions,"
and he laid his hand on some of the books, "have been good
friends to me, and for some years past, ever since I had
the idea of going to London, have given me many, many hours
of pleasure. Through them I have come to know your great
England, and to know her is to love her. I long to go
through the crowded streets of your mighty London, to be
in the midst of the whirl and rush of humanity, to share
its life, its change, its death, and all that makes it what
it is. But alas! As yet I only know your tongue through
books. To you, my friend, I look that I know it to speak."

"But, Count," I said, "You know and speak English
thoroughly!" He bowed gravely.

"I thank you, my friend, for your all too-flattering
estimate, but yet I fear that I am but a little way on the
road I would travel. True, I know the grammar and the words,
but yet I know not how to speak them.

"Indeed," I said, "You speak excellently."

"Not so," he answered. "Well, I know that, did I move
and speak in your London, none there are who would not know
me for a stranger. That is not enough for me. Here I am nob-
le. I am a Boyar. The common people know me, and I am master.
But a stranger in a strange land, he is no one. Men know
him not, and to know not is to care not for. I am content
if I am like the rest, so that no man stops if he sees me,
or pauses in his speaking if he hears my words, `Ha, ha!
A stranger!' I have been so long master that I would be
master still, or at least that none other should be master
of me. You come to me not alone as agent of my friend Peter
Hawkins, of Exeter, to tell me all about my new estate in
London. You shall, I trust, rest here with me a while, so
that by our talking I may learn the English intonation. And
I would that you tell me when I make error, even of the
smallest, in my speaking. I am sorry that I had to be away
so long today, but you will, I know forgive one who has so
many important affairs in hand."

Of course I said all I could about being willing, and
asked if I might come into that room when I chose. He ans-
wered, "Yes, certainly," and added.

"You may go anywhere you wish in the castle, except
where the doors are locked, where of course you will not
wish to go. There is reason that all things are as they are,
and did you see with my eyes and know with my knowledge,
you would perhaps better understand." I said I was sure of
this, and then he went on.

"We are in Transylvania, and Transylvania is not Eng-
land. Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you
many strange things. Nay, from what you have told me of
your experiences already, you know something of what
strange things there may be."

This led to much conversation, and as it was evident
that he wanted to talk, if only for talking's sake, I ask-
ed him many questions regarding things that had already
happened to me or come within my notice. Sometimes he
sheered off the subject, or turned the conversation by
pretending not to understand, but generally he answered
all I asked most frankly. Then as time went on, and I had
got somewhat bolder, I asked him of some of the strange
things of the preceding night, as for instance, why the
coachman went to the places where he had seen the blue
flames. He then explained to me that it was commonly
believed that on a certain night of the year, last night,
in fact, when all evil spirits are supposed to have un-
checked sway, a blue flame is seen over any place where
treasure has been concealed.

"That treasure has been hidden," he went on, "in the
region through which you came last night, there can be but
little doubt. For it was the ground fought over for centur-
ies by the Wallachian, the Saxon, and the Turk. Why, there
is hardly a foot of soil in all this region that has not
been enriched by the blood of men, patriots or invaders.
In the old days there were stirring times, when the Aust-
rian and the Hungarian came up in hordes, and the patriots
went out to meet them, men and women, the aged and the chil-
dren too, and waited their coming on the rocks above the
passes, that they might sweep destruction on them with
their artificial avalanches. When the invader was trium-
phant he found but little, for whatever there was had been
sheltered in the friendly soil."

"But how," said I, "can it have remained so long un-
discovered, when there is a sure index to it if men will
but take the trouble to look? "The Count smiled, and as his
lips ran back over his gums, the long, sharp, canine teeth
showed out strangely. He answered.

"Because your peasant is at heart a coward and a fool!
Those flames only appear on one night, and on that night no
man of this land will, if he can help it, stir without his
doors. And, dear sir, even if he did he would not know what
to do. Why, even the peasant that you tell me of who marked
the place of the flame would not know where to look in day-
light even for his own work. Even you would not, I dare be
sworn, be able to find these places again?"

"There you are right," I said. "I know no more than the
dead where even to look for them." Then we drifted into
other matters.

"Come," he said at last, "tell me of London and of the
house which you have procured for me." With an apology for
my remissness, I went into my own room to get the papers
from my bag. Whilst I was placing them in order I heard a
rattling of china and silver in the next room, and as I
passed through, noticed that the table had been cleared and
the lamp lit, for it was by this time deep into the dark.
The lamps were also lit in the study or library, and I
found the Count lying on the sofa, reading, of all things
in the world, and English Bradshaw's Guide. When I came in
he cleared the books and papers from the table, and with
him I went into plans and deeds and figures of all sorts.
He was interested in everything, and asked me a myriad
questions about the place and its surroundings. He clearly
had studied beforehand all he could get on the subject of
the neighborhood, for he evidently at the end knew very
much more than I did. When I remarked this, he answered.

"Well, but, my friend, is it not needful that I should?
When I go there I shall be all alone, and my friend Harker
Jonathan, nay, pardon me. I fall into my country's habit of
putting your patronymic first, my friend Jonathan Harker
will not be by my side to correct and aid me. He will be
in Exeter, miles away, probably working at papers of the
law with my other friend, Peter Hawkins. So!"

We went thoroughly into the business of the purchase
of the estate at Purfleet. When I had told him the facts
and got his signature to the necessary papers, and had
written a letter with them ready to post to Mr. Hawkins, he
began to ask me how I had come across so suitable a place.
I read to him the notes which I had made at the time, and
which I inscribe here.

"At Purfleet, on a by-road, I came across just such a
place as seemed to be required, and where was displayed a
dilapidated notice that the place was for sale. It was sur-
rounded by a high wall, of ancient structure, built of heavy
stones, and has not been repaired for a large number of
years. The closed gates are of heavy old oak and iron, all
eaten with rust.

"The estate is called Carfax, no doubt a corruption of
the old Quatre Face, as the house is four sided, agreeing
with the cardinal points of the compass. It contains in all
some twenty acres, quite surrounded by the solid stone wall
above mentioned. There are many trees on it, which make it
in places gloomy, and there is a deep, dark-looking pond
or small lake, evidently fed by some springs, as the water
is clear and flows away in a fair-sized stream. The house
is very large and of all periods back, I should say, to
mediaeval times, for one part is of stone immensely thick,
with only a few windows high up and heavily barred with
iron. It looks like part of a keep, and is close to an old
chapel or church. I could not enter it, as I had not the
key of the door leading to it from the house, but I have
taken with my Kodak views of it from various points. The
house had been added to, but in a very straggling way, and
I can only guess at the amount of ground it covers, which
must be very great. There are but few houses close at
hand, one being a very large house only recently added
to and formed into a private lunatic asylum. It is not, how-
ever, visible from the grounds."

When I had finished, he said, "I am glad that it is old
and big. I myself am of an old family, and to live in a new
house would kill me. A house cannot be made habitable in a
day, and after all, how few days go to make up a century. I
rejoice also that there is a chapel of old times. We Tran-
sylvanian nobles love not to think that our bones may lie
amongst the common dead. I seek not gaiety nor mirth, not
the bright voluptuousness of much sunshine and sparkling
waters which please the young and gay. I am no longer
young, and my heart, through weary years of mourning over
the dead, is attuned to mirth. Moreover, the walls of my
castle are broken. The shadows are many, and the wind
breathes cold through the broken battlements and casements.
I love the shade and the shadow, and would be alone with
my thoughts when I may." Somehow his words and his look
did not seem to accord, or else it was that his cast of
face made his smile look malignant and saturnine.

Presently, with an excuse, he left me, asking me to
pull my papers together. He was some little time away, and
I began to look at some of the books around me. One was an
atlas, which I found opened naturally to England, as if
that map had been much used. On looking at it I found in
certain places little rings marked, and on examining these
I noticed that one was near London on the east side, mani-
festly where his new estate was situated. The other two
were Exeter, and Whitby on the Yorkshire coast.

It was the better part of an hour when the Count re-
turned. "Aha!" he said. "Still at your books? Good! But
you must not work always. Come! I am informed that your
supper is ready." He took my arm, and we went into the next
room, where I found an excellent supper ready on the table.
The Count again excused himself, as he had dined out on
his being away from home. But he sat as on the previous
night, and chatted whilst I ate. After supper I smoked,
as on the last evening, and the Count stayed with me, chat-
ting and asking questions on every conceivable subject,
hour after hour. I felt that it was getting very late in-
deed, but I did not say anything, for I felt under
obligation to meet my host's wishes in every way. I was
not sleepy, as the long sleep yesterday had fortified me,
but I could not help experiencing that chill which comes
over one at the coming of the dawn, which is like, in its
way, the turn of the tide. They say that people who are
near death die generally at the change to dawn or at the
turn of the tide. Anyone who has when tired, and tied as
it were to his post, experienced this change in the
atmosphere can well believe it. All at once we heard the
crow of the cock coming up with preternatural shrillness
through the clear morning air.

Count Dracula, jumping to his feet, said, "Why there
is the morning again! How remiss I am to let you stay up so
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