DR. SEWARD'S DIARY
The funeral was arranged for the next succeeding day, so that Lucy and her
mother might be buried
together. I attended to all the ghastly formalities, and the urbane undertaker
proved that his staff was
afflicted, or blessed, with something of his own obsequious suavity. Even
the woman who
performed the last offices for the dead remarked to me, in a confidential,
when she had come out from the death chamber, "She makes a very beautiful
corpse, sir. It's quite a privilege to attend on her. It's not too much
to say that she will do credit to our establishment!"
I noticed that Van Helsing never kept far away. This was possible from the
disordered state of things in the household. There were no relatives at
hand, and as Arthur had to be back the next day to attend at his father's
funeral, we were unable to notify any one who should have been bidden. Under
the circumstances, Van Helsing and I took it upon ourselves to examine papers,
etc. He insisted upon looking over Lucy's papers himself. I asked him why,
for I feared that he, being a foreigner, might not be quite aware of English
legal requirements, and so might in ignorance make some unnecessary trouble.
He answered me, "I know, I know. You forget that I am a lawyer as well
as a doctor. But this is not
altogether for the law. You knew that, when you avoided the coroner. I have
more than him to avoid. There may be papers more, such as this."
As he spoke he took from his pocket book the memorandum which had been in
Lucy's breast, and
which she had torn in her sleep. "When you find anything of the solicitor
who is for the late Mrs. Westenra, seal all her papers, and write him tonight.
For me, I watch here in the room and in Miss Lucy's old room all night,
and I myself search for what may be. It is not well that her very thoughts
go into the hands of strangers."
I went on with my part of the work, and in another half hour had found the
name and address of Mrs. Westenra's solicitor and had written to him. All
the poor lady's papers were in order. Explicit
directions regarding the place of burial were given. I had hardly sealed
the letter, when, to my
surprise, Van Helsing walked into the room, saying, "Can I help you
friend John? I am free, and if I may, my service is to you."
"Have you got what you looked for ?" I asked.
To which he replied, "I did not look for any specific thing. I only
hoped to find, and find I have, all
that there was, only some letters and a few memoranda, and a diary new begun.
But I have them here, and we shall for the present say nothing of them.
I shall see that poor lad tomorrow evening, and, with his sanction, I shall
When we had finished the work in hand, he said to me, "And now, friend
John, I think we may to
bed. We want sleep, both you and I, and rest to recuperate. Tomorrow we
shall have much to do, but for the tonight there is no need of us. Alas!"
Before turning in we went to look at poor Lucy. The undertaker had certainly
done his work well, for the room was turned into a small chapelle ardente.
There was a wilderness of beautiful white flowers, and death was made as
little repulsive as might be. The end of the winding sheet was laid over
the face. When the Professor bent over and turned it gently back, we both
started at the beauty before us. The tall wax candles showing a sufficient
light to note it well. All Lucy's loveliness had come back to her in death,
and the hours that had passed, instead of leaving traces of `decay's effacing
fingers', had but restored the beauty of life, till positively I could not
believe my eyes that I was looking at a corpse.
The Professor looked sternly grave. He had not loved her as I had, and there
was no need for tears in his eyes. He said to me, "Remain till I return,"
and left the room. He came back with a handful of
wild garlic from the box waiting in the hall, but which had not been opened,
and placed the flowers
amongst the others on and around the bed. Then he took from his neck, inside
his collar, a little gold
crucifix, and placed it over the mouth. He restored the sheet to its place,
and we came away.
I was undressing in my own room, when, with a premonitory tap at the door,
he entered, and at once began to speak.
"Tomorrow I want you to bring me, before night, a set of post-mortem
"Must we make an autopsy ?" I asked.
"Yes and no. I want to operate, but not what you think. Let me tell
you now, but not a word to another. I want to cut off her head and take
out her heart. Ah! You a surgeon, and so shocked! You,
whom I have seen with no tremble of hand or heart, do operations of life
and death that make the rest shudder. Oh, but I must not forget, my dear
friend John, that you loved her, and I have not forgotten it for is I that
shall operate, and you must not help. I would like to do it tonight, but
for Arthur I must not. He will be free after his father's funeral tomorrow,
and he will want to see her, to see it. Then, when she is coffined ready
for the next day, you and I shall come when all sleep. We shall unscrew
the coffin lid, and shall do our operation, and then replace all, so that
none know, save we alone."
"But why do it at all? The girl is dead. Why mutilate her poor body
without need ? And if there is no
necessity for a post-mortem and nothing to gain by it, no good to her, to
us, to science, to human
knowledge, why do it? Without such it is monstrous."
For answer he put his hand on my shoulder, and said, with infinite tenderness,
"Friend John, I pity
your poor bleeding heart, and I love you the more because it does so bleed.
If I could, I would take
on myself the burden that you do bear. But there are things that you know
not, but that you shall
know, and bless me for knowing, though they are not pleasant things. John,
my child, you have been my friend now many years, and yet did you ever know
me to do any without good cause? I may err, I am but man, but I believe
in all I do. Was it not for these causes that you send for me when the great
trouble came? Yes! Were you not amazed, nay horrified, when I would not
let Arthur kiss his love, though she was dying, and snatched him away by
all my strength? Yes! And yet you saw how she thanked me, with her so beautiful
dying eyes, her voice, too, so weak, and she kiss my rough old hand and
bless me? Yes! And did you not hear me swear promise to her, that so she
closed her eyes grateful? Yes!
"Well, I have good reason now for all I want to do. You have for many
years trust me. You have
believe me weeks past, when there be things so strange that you might have
well doubt. Believe me
yet a little, friend John. If you trust me not, then I must tell what I
think, and that is not perhaps well.
And if I work, as work I shall, no matter trust or no trust, without my
friend trust in me, I work with heavy heart and feel, oh so lonely when
I want all help and courage that may be!" He paused a
moment and went on solemnly, "Friend John, there are strange and terrible
days before us. Let us not be two, but one, that so we work to a good end.
Will you not have faith in me?"
I took his hand, and promised him. I held my door open as he went away,
and watched him go to his room and close the door. As I stood without moving,
I saw one of the maids pass silently along the passage, she had her back
to me, so did not see me, and go into the room where Lucy lay. The sight
touched me. Devotion is so rare, and we are so grateful to those who show
it unasked to those we love. Here was a poor girl putting aside the terrors
which she naturally had of death to go watch alone by the bier of the mistress
whom she loved, so that the poor clay might not be lonely till laid to eternal
I must have slept long and soundly, for it was broad daylight when Van Helsing
waked me by
coming into my room. He came over to my bedside and said, "You need
not trouble about the knives. We shall not do it."
"Why not?" I asked. For his solemnity of the night before had
greatly impressed me.
"Because," he said sternly, "it is too late, or too early.
See!" Here he held up the little golden crucifix.
"This was stolen in the night."
"How stolen,"I asked in wonder,"since you have it now ?"
"Because I get it back from the worthless wretch who stole it, from
the woman who robbed the dead and the living. Her punishment will surely
come, but not through me. She knew not altogether what she did, and thus
unknowing, she only stole. Now we must wait." He went away on the word,
leaving me with a new mystery to think of, a new puzzle to grapple with.
The forenoon was a dreary time, but at noon the solicitor came, Mr. Marquand,
of Wholeman, Sons, Marquand & Lidderdale. He was very genial and very
appreciative of what we had done, and took off our hands all cares as to
details. During lunch he told us that Mrs. Westenra had for some time expected
sudden death from her heart, and had put her affairs in absolute order.
He informed us that, with the exception of a certain entailed property of
Lucy's father which now, in default of direct issue, went back to a distant
branch of the family, the whole estate, real and personal, was left absolutely
to Arthur Holmwood. When he had told us so much he went on, "Frankly
we did our best to prevent such a testamentary disposition, and pointed
out certain contingencies that might leave her daughter either penniless
or not so free as she should be to act regarding a matrimonial alliance.
Indeed, we pressed the matter so far that we almost came into collision,
for she asked us if we were or were not prepared to carry out her wishes.
Of course, we had then no alternative but to accept. We were right in principle,
and ninety-nine times out of a hundred we should have proved, by the logic
of events, the accuracy of our judgment.
"Frankly, however, I must admit that in this case any other form of
disposition would have rendered
impossible the carrying out of her wishes. For by her predeceasing her daughter
the latter would have come into possession of the property, and, even had
she only survived her mother by five minutes, her property would, in case
there were no will, and a will was a practical impossibility in such a case,
have been treated at her decease as under intestacy. In which case Lord
Godalming, though so dear a friend, would have had no claim in the world.
And the inheritors, being remote, would not be likely to abandon their just
rights, for sentimental reasons regarding an entire stranger. I assure you,
my dear sirs, I am rejoiced at the result,perfectly rejoiced."
He was a good fellow, but his rejoicing at the one little part, in which
he was officially interested, of
so great a tragedy, was an object-lesson in the limitations of sympathetic
He did not remain long, but said he would look in later in the day and see
Lord Godalming. His
coming, however, had been a certain comfort to us, since it assured us that
we should not have to
dread hostile criticism as to any of our acts. Arthur was expected at five
o'clock, so a little before that
time we visited the death chamber. It was so in very truth, for now both
mother and daughter lay in it. The undertaker, true to his craft, had made
the best display he could of his goods, and there was a
mortuary air about the place that lowered our spirits at once.
Van Helsing ordered the former arrangement to be adhered to, explaining
that, as Lord Godalming
was coming very soon, it would be less harrowing to his feelings to see
all that was left of his fiancee quite alone.
The undertaker seemed shocked at his own stupidity and exerted himself to
restore things to the
condition in which we left them the night before, so that when Arthur came
such shocks to his
feelings as we could avoid were saved.
Poor fellow! He looked desperately sad and broken. Even his stalwart manhood
seemed to have
shrunk somewhat under the strain of his much-tried emotions. He had, I knew,
been very genuinely
and devotedly attached to his father, and to lose him, and at such a time,
was a bitter blow to him.
With me he was warm as ever, and to Van Helsing he was sweetly courteous.
But I could not help
seeing that there was some constraint with him. The professor noticed it
too, and motioned me to
bring him upstairs. I did so, and left him at the door of the room, as I
felt he would like to be quite
alone with her, but he took my arm and led me in, saying huskily, "You
loved her too, old fellow. She told me all about it, and there was no friend
had a closer place in her heart than you. I don't know how to thank you
for all you have done for her. I can't think yet . . ."
Here he suddenly broke down, and threw his arms round my shoulders and laid
his head on my
breast, crying, "Oh, Jack! Jack! What shall I do? The whole of life
seems gone from me all at once,
and there is nothing in the wide world for me to live for."
I comforted him as well as I could. In such cases men do not need much expression.
A grip of the
hand, the tightening of an arm over the shoulder, a sob in unison, are expressions
of sympathy dear
to a man's heart. I stood still and silent till his sobs died away, and
then I said softly to him, "Come
and look at her."
Together we moved over to the bed, and I lifted the lawn from her face.
God! How beautiful she was. Every hour seemed to be enhancing her loveliness.
It frightened and amazed me somewhat. And as for Arthur, he fell to trembling,
and finally was shaken with doubt as with an ague. At last, after a long
pause, he said to me in a faint whisper,"Jack, is she really dead ?"
I assured him sadly that it was so, and went on to suggest, for I felt that
such a horrible doubt should not have life for a moment longer than I could
help, that it often happened that after death faces become softened and
even resolved into their youthful beauty, that this was especially so when
death had been preceded by any acute or prolonged suffering. I seemed to
quite do away with any doubt, and after kneeling beside the couch for a
while and looking at her lovingly and long, he turned aside. I told him
that that must be goodbye, as the coffin had to be prepared, so he went
back and took her dead hand in his and kissed it, and bent over and kissed
her forehead. He came away, fondly looking back over his shoulder at her
as he came.
I left him in the drawing room, and told Van Helsing that he had said goodbye,
so the latter went to
the kitchen to tell the undertaker's men to proceed with the preperations
and to screw up the coffin.
When he came out of the room again I told him of Arthur's question, and
he replied, "I am not
surprised. Just now I doubted for a moment myself!"
We all dined together, and I could see that poor Art was trying to make
the best of things. Van
Helsing had been silent all dinner time, but when we had lit our cigars
he said, "Lord . . ., but Arthur
"No, no, not that, for God's sake! Not yet at any rate. Forgive me,
sir. I did not mean to speak
offensively. It is only because my loss is so recent."
The Professor answered very sweetly, "I only used that name because
I was in doubt. I must not call you Mr.' and I have grown to love you, yes,
my dear boy, to love you, as Arthur."
Arthur held out his hand, and took the old man's warmly. "Call me what
you will," he said. "I hope I may always have the title of a friend.
And let me say that I am at a loss for words to thank you for
your goodness to my poor dear." He paused a moment, and went on, "I
know that she understood
your goodness even better than I do. And if I was rude or in any way wanting
at that time you acted
so, you remember," the Professor nodded "You must forgive me."
He answered with a grave kindness, "I know it was hard for you to quite
trust me then, for to trust
such violence needs to understand, and I take it that you do not, that you
cannot, trust me now, for
you do not yet understand. And there may be more times when I shall want
you to trust when you
cannot, and may not, and must not yet understand. But the time will come
when your trust shall be
whole and complete in me, and when you shall understand as though the sunlight
through. Then you shall bless me from first to last for your own sake, and
for the sake of others, and for her dear sake to whom I swore to protect."
"And indeed, indeed, sir," said Arthur warmly. "I shall in
all ways trust you. I know and believe you have a very noble heart, and
you are Jack's friend, and you were hers. You shall do what you like."
The Professor cleared his throat a couple of times, as though about to speak,
and finally said, "May I
ask you something now?"
"You know that Mrs. Westenra left you all her property ?"
"No, poor dear. I never thought of it."
"And as it is all yours, you have a right to deal with it as you will.
I want you to give me permission
to read all Miss Lucy's papers and letters. Believe me, it is no idle curiosity.
I have a motive of which, be sure, she would have approved. I have them
all here. I took them before we knew that all
was yours, so that no strange hand might touch them, no strange eye look
through words into her
soul. I shall keep them, if I may. Even you may not see them yet, but I
shall keep them safe. No word shall be lost, and in the good time I shall
give them back to you. It is a hard thing that I ask, but you will do it,
will you not, for Lucy's sake ?"
Arthur spoke out heartily, like his old self, "Dr. Van Helsing, you
may do what you will. I feel that in saying this I am doing what my dear
one would have approved. I shall not trouble you with questions till the
The old Professor stood up as he said solemnly,"And you are right.
There will be pain for us all, but
it will not be all pain, nor will this pain be the last. We and you too,
you most of all, dear boy, will
have to pass through the bitter water before we reach the sweet. But we
must be brave of heart and
unselfish, and do our duty, and all will be well!"
I slept on a sofa in Arthur's room that night. Van Helsing did not go to
bed at all. He went to and fro, as if patroling the house, and was never
out of sight of the room where Lucy lay in her coffin, strewn with the wild
garlic flowers, which sent through the odor of lily and rose, a heavy, overpowering
smell into the night.
MINA HARKER'S JOURNAL
In the train to Exeter. Jonathan sleeping. It seems only yesterday that
the last entry was made, and yet how much between then, in Whitby and all
the world before me, Jonathan away and no news of him, and now, married
to Jonathan, Jonathan a solicitor, a partner, rich, master of his business,
Mr. Hawkins dead and buried, and Jonathan with another attack that may harm
him. Some day he may ask me about it. Down it all goes. I am rusty in my
shorthand, see what unexpected prosperity does for us, so it may be as well
to freshen it up again with an exercise anyhow.
The service was very simple and very solemn. There were only ourselves and
the servants there, one or two old friends of his from Exeter, his London
agent, and a gentleman representing Sir John
Paxton, the President of the Incorporated Law Society. Jonathan and I stood
hand in hand, and we
felt that our best and dearest friend was gone from us.
We came back to town quietly, taking a bus to Hyde Park Corner. Jonathan
thought it would interest
me to go into the Row for a while, so we sat down. But there were very few
people there, and it was
sad-looking and desolate to see so many empty chairs. It made us think of
the empty chair at home.
So we got up and walked down Piccadilly. Jonathan was holding me by the
arm, the way he used to
in the old days before I went to school. I felt it very improper, for you
can't go on for some years
teaching etiquette and decorum to other girls without the pedantry of it
biting into yourself a bit. But it was Jonathan, and he was my husband,
and we didn't know anybody who saw us, and we didn't
care if they did, so on we walked. I was looking at a very beautiful girl,
in a big cart-wheel hat, sitting in a victoria outside Guiliano's, when
I felt Jonathan clutch my arm so tight that he hurt me, and he said under
his breath, "My God!"
I am always anxious about Jonathan, for I fear that some nervous fit may
upset him again. So I turned to him quickly, and asked him what it was that
He was very pale, and his eyes seemed bulging out as, half in terror and
half in amazement, he gazed at a tall, thin man, with a beaky nose and black
moustache and pointed beard, who was also
observing the pretty girl. He was looking at her so hard that he did not
see either of us, and so I had a good view of him. His face was not a good
face. It was hard, and cruel, and sensual,and big white
teeth, that looked all the whiter because his lips were so red, were pointed
like an animal's. Jonathan
kept staring at him, till I was afraid he would notice. I feared he might
take it ill, he looked so fierce
and nasty. I asked Jonathan why he was disturbed, and he answered, evidently
thinking that I knew
as much about it as he did, "Do you see who it is?"
"No, dear," I said. "I don't know him, who is it?" His
answer seemed to shock and thrill me, for it
was said as if he did not know that it was me, Mina, to whom he was speaking.
"It is the man
The poor dear was evidently terrified at something, very greatly terrified.
I do believe that if he had
not had me to lean on and to support him he would have sunk down. He kept
staring. A man came
out of the shop with a small parcel, and gave it to the lady, who then drove
off. Th e dark man kept
his eyes fixed on her, and when the carriage moved up Piccadilly he followed
in the same direction,
and hailed a hansom. Jonathan kept looking after him, and said, as if to
himself, "I believe it is the Count, but he has grown young. My God,
if this be so! Oh, my God! My God! If only I knew! If only I knew!"
He was distressing himself so much that I feared to keep his mind on the
subject by asking him any questions, so I remained silent. I drew away quietly,
and he, holding my arm, came easily. We walked a little further, and then
went in and sat for a while in the Green Park. It was a hot day for autumn,
and there was a comfortable seat in a shady place. After a few minutes'
staring at nothing, Jonathan's eyes closed, and he went quickly into a sleep,
with his head on my shoulder. I thought it was the best thing for him, so
did not disturb him. In about twenty minutes he woke up, and said to me
quite cheerfully, "Why, Mina, have I been asleep! Oh, do forgive me
for being so rude. Come, and we'll have a cup of tea somewhere."
He had evidently forgotten all about the dark stranger, as in his illness
he had forgotten all that this
episode had reminded him of. I don't like this lapsing into forgetfulness.
It may make or continue
some injury to the brain. I must not ask him, for fear I shall do more harm
than good, but I must
somehow learn the facts of his journey abroad. The time is come, I fear,
when I must open the parcel, and know what is written. Oh, Jonathan, you
will, I know, forgive me if I do wrong, but it is for your own dear sake.
A sad home-coming in every way, the house empty of the dear soul who was
so good to us.
Jonathan still pale and dizzy under a slight relapse of his malady, and
now a telegram from Van
Helsing, whoever he may be. "You will be grieved to hear that Mrs.
Westenra died five days ago, and that Lucy died the day before yesterday.
They were both buried today."
Oh, what a wealth of sorrow in a few words! Poor Mrs. Westenra! Poor Lucy!
Gone, gone, never to return to us! And poor, poor Arthur, to have lost such
a sweetness out of his life! God help us all to bear our troubles.
DR. SEWARD'S DIARY
It is all over. Arthur has gone back to Ring, and has taken Quincey Morris
What a fine fellow is Quincey! I believe in my heart of hearts that he suffered
as much about Lucy's
death as any of us, but he bore himself through it like a moral Viking.
If America can go on breeding men like that, she will be a power in the
world indeed. Van Helsing is lying down, having a rest preparatory to his
journey. He goes to Amsterdam tonight, but says he returns tomorrow night,
that he only wants to make some arrangements which can only be made personally.
He is to stop with me then, if he can. He says he has work to do in London
which may take him some time. Poor old fellow! I fear that the strain of
the past week has broken down even his iron strength. All the time of the
burial he was, I could see, putting some terrible restraint on himself.
When it was all over, we were standing beside Arthur, who, poor fellow,
was speaking of his part in the operation where his blood had been transfused
to his Lucy's veins. I could see Van Helsing's face grow white and purple
by turns. Arthur was saying that he felt since then as if they two had been
really married, and that she was his wife in the sight of God. None of us
said a word of the other operations, and none of us evershall. Arthur and
Quincey went away together to the station, and Van Helsing and I came on
here. The moment we were alone in the carriage he gave way to a regular
fit of hysterics. He has denied to me since that it was hysterics, and insisted
that it was only his sense of humor asserting itself under very terrible
conditions. He laughed till he cried, and I had to draw down the blinds
lest any one should see us and misjudge. And then he cried, till he laughed
again, and laughed and cried together, just as a woman does. I tried to
be stern with him, as one is to a woman under the circumstances, but it
had no effect. Men and women are so different in manifestations of nervous
strength or weakness ! Then when his face grew grave and stern again I asked
him why his mirth, and why at such a time. His reply was in a way characteristic
of him, for it was logical and forceful and mysterious. He said, "Ah,
you don't comprehend, friend John. Do not think that I am not sad, though
I laugh. See, I have cried even when the laugh did choke me. But no more
think that I am all sorry when I cry, for the laugh he come just the same.
Keep it always with you that laughter who knock at your door and say, May
I come in ? is not true laughter. No! He is a king, and he come when and
how he like. He ask no person, he choose no time of suitability. He say,
`I am here.' Behold, in example I grieve my heart out for that so sweet
young girl. I give my blood for her, though I am old and worn. I give my
time, my skill, my sleep. I let my other sufferers want that she may have
all. And yet I can laugh at her very grave, laugh when the clay from the
spade of the sexton drop upon her coffin and say Thud, thud ! to my heart,
till it send back the blood from my cheek. My heart bleed for that poor
boy, that dear boy, so of the age of mine own boy had I been so blessed
that he live, and with his hair and eyes the same.
"There, you know now why I love him so. And yet when he say things
that touch my husband heart
to the quick, and make my father-heart yearn to him as to no other man,
not even you, friend John,
for we are more level in experiences than father and son, yet even at such
a moment King Laugh he
come to me and shout and bellow in my ear,`Here I am! Here I am!' till the
blood come dance back
and bring some of the sunshine that he carry with him to my cheek. Oh, friend
John, it is a strange
world, a sad world, a world full of miseries, and woes, and troubles. And
yet when King Laugh
come, he make them all dance to the tune he play. Bleeding hearts, and dry
bones of the churchyard,
and tears that burn as they fall, all dance together to the music that he
make with that smileless mouth of him. And believe me, friend John, that
he is good to come, and kind. Ah, we men and women are like ropes drawn
tight with strain that pull us different ways. Then tears come, and like
the rain on the ropes, they brace us up, until perhaps the strain become
too great, and we break. But King Laugh he come like the sunshine, and he
ease off the strain again, and we bear to go on with our labor, what it
I did not like to wound him by pretending not to see his idea, but as I
did not yet understand the cause of his laughter, I asked him. As he answered
me his face grew stern, and he said in quite a different tone, "Oh,
it was the grim irony of it all,this so lovely lady garlanded with flowers,
that looked so fair as life, till one by one we wondered if she were truly
dead, she laid in that so fine marble house in that lonely churchyard, where
rest so many of her kin, laid there with the mother who loved her, and whom
she loved, and that sacred bell going "Toll! Toll! Toll!' so sad and
slow, and those holy men, with the white garments of the angel, pretending
to read books, and yet all the time their eyes never on the page, and all
of us with the bowed head. And all for what? She is dead, so! Is it not?"
"Well, for the life of me, Professor," I said, "I can't see
anything to laugh at in all that. Why, your
expression makes it a harder puzzle than before. But even if the burial
service was comic, what about poor Art and his trouble? Why his heart was
"Just so. Said he not that the transfusion of his blood to her veins
had made her truly his bride?"
"Yes, and it was a sweet and comforting idea for him."
"Quite so. But there was a difficulty, friend John. If so that, then
what about the others? Ho, ho!
Then this so sweet maid is a polyandrist, and me,with my poor wife dead
to me, but alive by
Church's law, though no wits, all gone, even I, who am faithful husband
to this now-no-wife, am
"I don't see where the joke comes in there either!" I said, and
I did not feel particularly pleased with
him for saying such things. He laid his hand on my arm, and said, "Friend
John, forgive me if I pain. I showed not my feeling to others when it would
wound, but only to you, my old friend, whom I can trust. If you could have
looked into my heart then when I want to laugh, if you could have done so
when the laugh arrived, if you could do so now, when King Laugh have pack
up his crown, and all that is to him, for he go far, far away from me, and
for a long, long time, maybe you would perhaps pity me the most of all."
I was touched by the tenderness of his tone, and asked why.
"Because I know!"
And now we are all scattered, and for many a long day loneliness will sit
over our roofs with brooding wings. Lucy lies in the tomb of her kin, a
lordly death house in a lonely churchyard, away
from teeming London, where the air is fresh, and the sun rises over Hampstead
Hill, and where wild flowers grow of their own accord.
So I can finish this diary, and God only knows if I shall ever begin another.
If I do, or if I even open
this again, it will be to deal with different people and different themes,
for here at the end, where the
romance of my life is told, ere I go back to take up the thread of my life-work,
I say sadly and without hope, "FINIS".
THE WESTMINSTER GAZETTE
25 SEPTEMBER A HAMPSTEAD MYSTERY
The neighborhood of Hampstead is just at present exercised with a series
of events which seem to run on lines parallel to those of what was known
to the writers of headlines and "The Kensington
Horror," or "The Stabbing Woman," or "The Woman in Black."
During the past two or three days
several cases have occurred of young children straying from home or neglecting
to return from their
playing on the Heath. In all these cases the children were too young to
give any properly intelligible
account of themselves, but the consensus of their excuses is that they had
been with a "bloofer lady." It has always been late in the evening
when they have been missed, and on two occasions the children have not been
found until early in the following morning. It is generally supposed in
neighborhood that, as the first child missed gave as his reason for being
away that a "bloofer lady"
had asked him to come for a walk, the others had picked up the phrase and
used it as occasion served. This is the more natural as the favorite game
of the little ones at present is luring each other away by wiles. A correspondent
writes us that to see some of the tiny tots pretending to be the "bloofer
lady" is supremely funny. Some of our caricaturists might, he says,
take a lesson in the irony of grotesque by comparing the reality and the
picture. It is only in accordance with general principles of human nature
that the "bloofer lady" should be the popular role at these al
fresco performances. Our correspondent naively says that even Ellen Terry
could not be so winningly attractive as some of these grubby faced little
children pretend, and even imagine themselves, to be.
There is, however, possibly a serious side to the question, for some of
the children, indeed all who
have been missed at night, have been slightly torn or wounded in the throat.
The wounds seem such
as might be made by a rat or a small dog, and although of not much importance
tend to show that whatever animal inflicts them has a system or method of
its own. The police of the division have been instructed to keep a sharp
lookout for straying children, especially when very
young, in and around Hampstead Heath, and for any stray dog which may be
THE WESTMINSTER GAZETTE, The Hampstead horror another
child injured the "bloofer Lady"
25 SEPTEMBER EXTRA SPECIAL
We have just received intelligence that another child, missed last night,
was only discovered late in the morning under a furze bush at the Shooter's
Hill side of Hampstead Heath, which is perhaps, less frequented than the
other parts. It has the same tiny wound in the throat as has been noticed
in other cases. It was terribly weak, and looked quite emaciated. It too,
when partially restored, had the
common story to tell of being lured away by the "bloofer lady".