DR. SEWARD'S DIARY
For a while sheer anger mastered me. It was as if he had during her life
struck Lucy on the face. I
smote the table hard and rose up as I said to him, "Dr. Van Helsing,
are you mad ?"
He raised his head and looked at me, and somehow the tenderness of his face
calmed me at once.
"Would I were!" he said. "Madness were easy to bear compared
with truth like this. Oh, my friend,
whey, think you, did I go so far round, why take so long to tell so simple
a thing? Was it because I
hate you and have hated you all my life? Was it because I wished to give
you pain? Was it that I
wanted, no so late, revenge for that time when you saved my life, and from
a fearful death ? Ah no !"
"Forgive me," said I. He went on, "My friend, it was because
I wished to be gentle in the breaking to you, for I know you have loved
that so sweet lady. But even yet I do not expect you to believe. It is so
hard to accept at once any abstract truth, that we may doubt such to be
possible when we have always believed the no of it. It is more hard still
to accept so sad a concrete truth, and of such a one as Miss Lucy. Tonight
I go to prove it. Dare you come with me?"
This staggered me. A man does not like to prove such a truth, Byron excepted
from the catagory,
jealousy. "And prove the very truth he most abhorred."
He saw my hesitation, and spoke, "The logic is simple, no madman's
logic this time, jumping from
tussock to tussock in a misty bog. If it not be true, then proof will be
relief. At worst it will not harm. If it be true! Ah, there is the dread.
Yet every dread should help my cause, for in it is some need of belief.
Come, I tell you what I propose. First, that we go off now and see that
child in the hospital. Dr. Vincent, of the North Hospital, where the papers
say the child is, is a friend of mine, and I think of yours since you were
in class at Amsterdam. He will let two scientists see his case, if he will
not let two friends. We shall tell him nothing, but only that we wish to
learn. And then . . ."
He took a key from his pocket and held it up. "And then we spend the
night, you and I, in the
churchyard where Lucy lies. This is the key that lock the tomb. I had it
from the coffin man to give to Arthur."
My heart sank within me, for I felt that there was some fearful ordeal before
us. I could do nothing,
however, so I plucked up what heart I could and said that we had better
hasten, as the afternoon was
We found the child awake. It had had a sleep and taken some food, and altogether
was going on well. Dr. Vincent took the bandage from its throat, and showed
us the punctures. There was no mistaking the similarity to those which had
been on Lucy's throat. They were smaller, and the edges looked fresher,
that was all. We asked Vincent to what he attributed them, and he replied
that it must have been a bite of some animal, perhaps a rat, but for his
own part, he was inclined to think it was one of the bats which are so numerous
on the northern heights of London. "Out of so many harmless ones,"
he said, "there may be some wild specimen from the South of a more
malignant species. Some sailor may have brought one home, and it managed
to escape, or even from the Zoological Gardens a young one may have got
loose, or one be bred there from a vampire. These things do occur, you,
know. Only ten days ago a wolf got out, and was, I believe, traced up in
this direction. For a week after, the children were playing nothing but
Red Riding Hood on the Heath and in every alley in the place until this
`bloofer lady' scare came along, since then it has been quite a gala time
with them. Even this poor little mite, when he woke up today, asked the
nurse if he might go away. When she asked him why he wanted to go, he said
he wanted to play with the `bloofer lady'."
"I hope," said Van Helsing, "that when you are sending the
child home you will caution its parents to keep strict watch over it. These
fancies to stray are most dangerous, and if the child were to remain out
another night, it would probably be fatal. But in any case I suppose you
will not let it away for some days ?"
"Certainly not, not for a week at least, longer if the wound is not
Our visit to the hospital took more time than we had reckoned on, and the
sun had dipped before we
came out. When Van Helsing saw how dark it was, he said, "There is
not hurry. It is more late than I thought. Come, let us seek somewhere that
we may eat, and then we shall go on our way."
We dined at `Jack Straw's Castle' along with a little crowd of bicyclists
and others who were genially noisy. About ten o'clock we started from the
inn. It was then very dark, and the scattered lamps made the darkness greater
when we were once outside their individual radius. The Professor had evidently
noted the road we were to go, for he went on unhesitatingly, but, as for
me, I was in quite a mixup as to locality. As we went further, we met fewer
and fewer people, till at last we were somewhat surprised when we met even
the patrol of horse police going their usual suburban round. At last we
reached the wall of the churchyard, which we climbed over. With some little
difficulty, for it was very dark, and the whole place seemed so strange
to us, we found the Westenra tomb. The Professor took the key, opened the
creaky door, and standing back, politely, but quite unconsciously, motioned
me to precede him. There was a delicious irony in the offer, in the courtliness
of giving preference on such a ghastly occasion. My companion followed me
quickly, and cautiously drew the door to, after carefully ascertaining that
the lock was a falling, and not a spring one. In the latter case we should
have been in a bad plight. Then he fumbled in his bag, and taking out a
matchbox and a piece of candle, proceeded to make a light. The tomb in the
daytime, and when wreathed with fresh flowers, had looked grim and gruesome
enough, but now, some days afterwards, when the flowers hung lank and dead,
their whites turning to rust and their greens to browns, when the spider
and the beetle had resumed their accustomed dominance, when the time-discolored
stone, and dust-encrusted mortar, and rusty, dank iron, and tarnished brass,
and clouded silver-plating gave back the feeble glimmer of a candle, the
effect was more miserable and sordid than could have been imagined. It conveyed
irresistibly the idea that life, animal life, was not the only thing which
could pass away.
Van Helsing went about his work systematically. Holding his candle so that
he could read the coffin
plates, and so holding it that the sperm dropped in white patches which
congealed as they touched the metal, he made assurance of Lucy's coffin.
Another search in his bag, and he took out a turnscrew.
"What are you going to do?" I asked. "To open the coffin.
You shall yet be convinced."
Straightway he began taking out the screws, and finally lifted off the lid,
showing the casing of lead
beneath. The sight was almost too much for me. It seemed to be as much an
affront to the dead as it
would have been to have stripped off her clothing in her sleep whilst living.
I actually took hold of his hand to stop him.
He only said, "You shall see,"and again fumbling in his bag took
out a tiny fret saw. Striking the
turnscrew through the lead with a swift downward stab, which made me wince,
he made a small hole, which was, however, big enough to admit the point
of the saw. I had expected a rush of gas from the week-old corpse. We doctors,
who have had to study our dangers, have to become accustomed to such things,
and I drew back towards the door. But the Professor never stopped for a
moment. He sawed down a couple of feet along one side of the lead coffin,
and then across, and down the other side. Taking the edge of the loose flange,
he bent it back towards the foot of the coffin, and holding up the candle
into the aperture, motioned to me to look.
I drew near and looked. The coffin was empty. It was certainly a surprise
to me, and gave me a
considerable shock, but Van Helsing was unmoved. He was now more sure than
ever of his ground, and so emboldened to proceed in his task."Are you
satisfied now, friend John?" he asked.
I felt all the dogged argumentativeness of my nature awake within me as
I answered him, "I am
satisfied that Lucy's body is not in that coffin, but that only proves one
"And what is that, friend John ?"
"That it is not there."
"That is good logic," he said, "so far as it goes. But how
do you, how can you, account for it not
being there ?"
"Perhaps a body-snatcher," I suggested. "Some of the undertaker's
people may have stolen it." I felt
that I was speaking folly, and yet it was the only real cause which I could
The Professor sighed. "Ah well!" he said," we must have more
proof. Come with me."
He put on the coffin lid again, gathered up all his things and placed them
in the bag, blew out the
light, and placed the candle also in the bag. We opened the door, and went
out. Behind us he closed
the door and locked it. He handed me the key, saying, "Will you keep
it? You had better be assured."
I laughed, it was not a very cheerful laugh, I am bound to say, as I motioned
him to keep it. "A key is nothing," I said, "thee are many
duplicates, and anyhow it is not difficult to pick a lock of this kind."
He said nothing, but put the key in his pocket. Then he told me to watch
at one side of the churchyard whilst he would watch at the other. I took
up my place behind a yew tree, and I saw his dark figure move until the
intervening headstones and trees hid it from my sight. It was a lonely vigil.
Just after I had taken my place I heard a distant clock strike twelve, and
in time came one and two. I was chilled and unnerved, and angry with the
Professor for taking me on such an errand and with myself for coming. I
was too cold and too sleepy to be keenly observant, and not sleepy enough
to betray my trust, so altogether I had a dreary, miserable time. Suddenly,
as I turned round, I thought I saw something like a white streak, moving
between two dark yew trees at the side of the churchyard farthest from the
tomb. At the same time a dark mass moved from the Professor's side of the
ground, and hurriedly went towards it. Then I too moved, but I had to go
round headstones and railed-off tombs, and I stumbled over graves. The sky
was overcast, and somewhere far off an early cock crew. A little ways off,
beyond a line of scattered juniper trees, which marked the pathway to the
church, a white dim figure flitted in the direction of the tomb. The tomb
itself was hidden by trees, and I could not see where the figure had disappeared.
I heard the rustle of actual movement where I had first seen the white figure,
and coming over, found the Professor holding in his arms a tiny child. When
he saw me he held it out to me, and said, "Are you satisfied now ?"
"No," I said, in a way that I felt was aggressive.
"Do you not see the child ?"
"Yes, it is a child, but who brought it here? And is it wounded ?"
"We shall see,"said the Professor, and with one impulse we took
our way out of the churchyard, he
carrying the sleeping child. When we had got some little distance away,
we went into a clump of trees, and struck a match, and looked at the child's
throat. It was without a scratch or scar of any kind.
"Was I right?" I asked triumphantly.
"We were just in time," said the Professor thankfully. We had
now to decide what we were to do with the child, and so consulted about
it. If we were to take it to a police station we should have to give some
account of our movements during the night. At least, we should have had
to make some statement as to how we had come to find the child. So finally
we decided that we would take it to the Heath, and when we heard a policeman
coming, would leave it where he could not fail to find it. We would then
seek our way home as quickly as we could. All fell out well. At the edge
of Hampstead Heath we heard a policeman's heavy tramp, and laying the child
on the pathway, we waited and watched until he saw it as he flashed his
lantern to and fro. We heard his exclamation of astonishment, and then we
went away silently. By good chance we got a cab near the Spainiards, and
drove to town. I cannot sleep, so I make this entry. But I must try to get
a few hours' sleep, as Van Helsing is to call for me at noon. He insists
that I go with him on another expedition.
It was two o'clock before we found a suitable opportunity for our attempt.
The funeral held at noon was all completed, and the last stragglers of the
mourners had taken themselves lazily away, when, looking carefully from
behind a clump of alder trees, we saw the sexton lock the gate after him.
We knew that we were safe till morning did we desire it, but the Professor
told me that we should not want more than an hour at most. Again I felt
that horrid sense of the reality of things, in which any effort of imagination
seemed out of place, and I realized distinctly the perils of the law which
we were incurring in our unhallowed work. Besides, I felt it was all so
useless. Outrageous as it was to open a leaden coffin, to see if a woman
dead nearly a week were really dead, it now seemed the height of folly to
open the tomb again, when we knew, from the evidence of our own eyesight,
that the coffin was empty. I shrugged my shoulders, however, and rested
silent, for Van Helsing had a way of going on his own road, no matter who
remonstrated. He took the key, opened the vault, and again courteously motioned
me to precede. The place was not so gruesome as last night, but oh, how
unutterably mean looking when the sunshine streamed in. Van Helsing walked
over to Lucy's coffin, and I followed. He bent over and again forced back
the leaden flange, and a shock of surprise and dismay shot through me. There
lay Lucy, seemingly just as we had seen her the night before her funeral.
She was, if possible, more radiantly beautiful than ever, and I could not
believe that she was dead. The lips were red, nay redder than before, and
on the cheeks was a delicate bloom.
"Is this a juggle?" I said to him. "Are you convinced now?"
said the Professor, in response, and as he spoke he put over his hand, and
in a way that made me shudder, pulled back the dead lips and showed the
white teeth. "See," he went on,"they are even sharper than
before. With this and this," and he touched one of the canine teeth
and that below it, "the little children can be bitten. Are you of belief
now, friend John ?"
Once more argumentative hostility woke within me. I could not accept such
an overwhelming idea as he suggested. So, with an attempt to argue of which
I was even at the moment ashamed, I said, "She may have been placed
here since last night."
"Indeed? That is so, and by whom?"
"I do not know. Someone has done it."
"And yet she has been dead one week. Most peoples in that time would
not look so."
I had no answer for this, so was silent. Van Helsing did not seem to notice
my silence. At any rate, he showed neither chagrin nor triumph. He was looking
intently at the face of the dead woman, raising the eyelids and looking
at the eyes, and once more opening the lips and examining the teeth. Then
he turned to me and said, "Here, there is one thing which is different
from all recorded. Here is some dual life that is not as the common. She
was bitten by the vampire when she was in a trance, sleep-walking, oh, you
start. You do not know that, friend John, but you shall know it later, and
in trance could he best come to take more blood. In trance she dies, and
in trance she is Un-Dead, too. So it is that she differ from all other.
Usually when the Un-Dead sleep at home," as he spoke he made a comprehensive
sweep of his arm to designate what to a vampire was home, "their face
show what they are, but this so sweet that was when she not Un Dead she
go back to the nothings of the common dead. There is no malignthere, see,
and so it make hard that I must kill her in her sleep."
This turned my blood cold, and it began to dawn upon me that I was accepting
theories. But if she were really dead, what was there of terror in the idea
of killing her ?
He looked up at me, and evidently saw the change in my face, for he said
almost joyously, "Ah, you
believe now ?" I answered, "Do not press me too hard all at once.
I am willing to accept. How will you do this bloody work ?"
"I shall cut off her head and fill her mouth with garlic, and I shall
drive a stake through her body."
It made me shudder to think of so mutilating the body of the woman whom
I had loved. And yet the feeling was not so strong as I had expected. I
was, in fact, beginning to shudder at the presence of this being, this Un-Dead,
as Van Helsing called it, and to loathe it. Is it possible that love is
subjective, or all objective ?
I waited a considerable time for Van Helsing to begin, but he stood as if
wrapped in thought.
Presently he closed the catch of his bag with a snap, and said, "I
have been thinking, and have made up my mind as to what is best. If I did
simply follow my inclining I would do now, at this moment, what is to be
done. But there are other things to follow, and things that are thousand
times more difficult in that them we do not know. This is simple. She have
yet no life taken, though that is of time, and to act now would be to take
danger from her forever. But then we may have to want Arthur, and how shall
we tell him of this? If you, who saw the wounds on Lucy's throat, and saw
the wounds so similar on the child's at the hospital, if you, who saw the
coffin empty last night and full today with a woman who have not change
only to be more rose and more beautiful in a whole week, after she die,
if you know of this and know of thewhite figure last night that brought
the child to the churchyard, and yet of your own senses you did not believe,
how then, can I expect Arthur, who know none of those things, to believe?
"He doubted me when I took him from her kiss when she was dying. I
know he has forgiven me because in some mistaken idea I have done things
that prevent him say goodbye as he ought, and he may think that in some
more mistaken idea this woman was buried alive, and that in most mistake
of all we have killed her. He will then argue back that it is we, mistaken
ones, that have killed her by our ideas, and so he will be much unhappy
always. Yet he never can be sure, and that is the worst of all. And he will
sometimes think that she he loved was buried alive, and that will paint
his dreams with horrors of what she must have suffered, and again, he will
think that we may be right, and that his so beloved was, after all, an Un-Dead.
No! I told him once, and since then I learn much. Now, since I know it is
all true, a hundred thousand times more do I know that he must pass through
the bitter waters to reach the sweet. He, poor fellow, must have one hour
that will make the very face of heaven grow black to him, then we can act
for good all round and send him peace. My mind is made up. Let us go. You
return home for tonight to your asylum, and see that all be well. As for
me, I shall spend the night here in this churchyard in my own way. Tomorrow
night you will come to me to the Berkeley Hotel at ten of the clock. I shall
send for Arthur to come too, and also that so fine young man of America
that gave his blood. Later we shall all have work to do. I come with you
so far as Piccadilly and there dine, for I must be back here before the
So we locked the tomb and came away, and got over the wall of the churchyard,
which was not much of a task, and drove back to Piccadilly.
Note left by Van Helsing in his Portmanteau, Berkeley Hotel
Directed to John Seward, M. D.
I write this in case anything should happen. I go alone to watch in that
churchyard. It pleases me that
the Un-Dead, Miss Lucy, shall not leave tonight, that so on the morrow night
she may be more eager. Therefore I shall fix some things she like not, garlic
and a crucifix, and so seal up the door of the tomb. She is young as Un-Dead,
and will heed. Moreover, these are only to prevent her coming out. They
may not prevail on her wanting to get in, for then the Un-Dead is desperate,
and must find the line of least resistance, whatsoever it may be. I shall
be at hand all the night from sunset till after
sunrise, and if there be aught that may be learned I shall learn it. For
Miss Lucy or from her, I have
no fear, but that other to whom is there that she is Un-Dead, he have not
the power to seek her tomb
and find shelter. He is cunning, as I know from Mr. Jonathan and from the
way that all along he have fooled us when he played with us for Miss Lucy's
life, and we lost, and in many ways the Un-Dead are strong. He have always
the strength in his hand of twenty men, even we four who gave our strength
to Miss Lucy it also is all to him. Besides, he can summon his wolf and
I know not what. So if it be that he came thither on this night he shall
find me. But none other shall, until it be too late. But it may be that
he will not attempt the place. There is no reason why he should. His hunting
ground is more full of game than the churchyard where the Un-Dead woman
sleeps, and the one old man watch.
Therefore I write this in case . . . Take the papers that are with this,
the diaries of Harker and the
rest, and read them, and then find this great Un-Dead, and cut off his head
and burn his heart or drive a stake through it, so that the world may rest
If it be so, farewell.
DR. SEWARD'S DIARY
It is wonderful what a good night's sleep will do for one. Yesterday I was
almost willing to accept Van Helsing's monstrous ideas, but now they seem
to start out lurid before me as outrages on common sense. I have no doubt
that he believes it all. I wonder if his mind can have become in any way
unhinged. Surely there must be some rational explanation of all these mysterious
things. Is it possible that the Professor can have done it himself? He is
so abnormally clever that if he went off his head he would carry out his
intent with regard to some fixed idea in a wonderful way. I am loathe to
think it, and indeed it would be almost as great a marvel as the other to
find that Van Helsing was mad, but anyhow I shall watch him carefully. I
may get some light on the mystery.
Last night, at a little before ten o'clock, Arthur and Quincey came into
Van Helsing's room. He told us all what he wanted us to do, but especially
addressing himself to Arthur, as if all our wills were centered in his.
He began by saying that he hoped we would all come with him too, "for,"
he said, "there is a grave duty to be done there. You were doubtless
surprised at my letter?" This query was directly addressed to Lord
Godalming. "I was. It rather upset me for a bit. There has been so
much trouble around my house of late that I could do without any more. I
have been curious, too, as to what you mean. "Quincey and I talked
it over, but the more we talked, the more puzzled we got, till now I can
say for myself that I'm about up a tree as to any meaning about anything."
"Me too," said Quincey Morris laconically.
"Oh," said the Professor, "then you are nearer the beginning,
both of you, than friend John here, who has to go a long way back before
he can even get so far as to begin."
It was evident that he recognized my return to my old doubting frame of
mind without my saying a
word. Then, turning to the other two, he said with intense gravity, "I
want your permission to do what I think good this night. It is, I know,
much to ask, and when you know what it is I propose to do you will know,
and only then how much. Therefore may I ask that you promise me in the dark,
so that afterwards, though you may be angry with me for a time, I must not
disguise from myself the possibility that such may be, you shall not blame
yourselves for anything."
"That's frank anyhow," broke in Quincey. "I'll answer for
the Professor. I don't quite see his drift,
but I swear he's honest, and that's good enough for me."
"I thank you, Sir," said Van Helsing proudly. "I have done
myself the honor of counting you one
trusting friend, and such endorsement is dear to me." He held out a
hand, which Quincey took. Then Arthur spoke out, "Dr. Van Helsing,
I don't quite like to `buy a pig in a poke', as they say in Scotland, and
if it be anything in which my honour as a gentleman or my faith as a Christian
concerned, I cannot make such a promise. If you can assure me that what
you intend does not violate either of these two, then I give my consent
at once, though for the life of me, I cannot understand what you are driving
at." "I accept your limitation," said Van Helsing, "and
all I ask of you is that if you feel it necessary to condemn any act of
mine, you will first consider it well and be satisfied that it does not
violate your reservations."
"Agreed!" said Arthur. "That is only fair. And now that the
pourparlers are over, may I ask what it is we are to do?"
"I want you to come with me, and to come in secret, to the churchyard
at Kingstead." Arthur's face fell as he said in an amazed sort of way,
"Where poor Lucy is buried ?"
The Professor bowed. Arthur went on, "And when there ?"
"To enter the tomb!"
Arthur stood up. "Professor, are you in earnest, or is it some monstrous
joke? Pardon me, I see that
you are in earnest." He sat down again, but I could see that he sat
firmly and proudly, as one who is
on his dignity. There was silence until he asked again, "And when in
the tomb ?"
"To open the coffin."
"This is too much!" he said, angrily rising again. "I am
willing to be patient in all things that are
reasonable, but in this, this desecration of the grave, of one who . . ."
He fairly choked with
The Professor looked pityingly at him."If I could spare you one pang,
my poor friend," he said,
"God knows I would. But this night our feet must tread in thorny paths,
or later, and for ever, the feet you love must walk in paths of flame !"
Arthur looked up with set white face and said, "Take care, sir, take
"Would it not be well to hear what I have to say?" said Van Helsing.
"And then you will at least know the limit of my purpose. Shall I go
"That's fair enough," broke in Morris. After a pause Van Helsing
went on, evidently with an effort, "Miss Lucy is dead, is it not so
? Yes ! Then there can be no wrong to her. But if she be not dead."
Arthur jumped to his feet, "Good God!" he cried. "What do
you mean? Has there been any mistake,
has she been buried alive?"He groaned in anguish that not even hope
could soften. "I did not say she was alive, my child. I did not think
it. I go no further than to say that she might be
"Un-Dead! Not alive! What do you mean? Is this all a nightmare, or
what is it ?"
"There are mysteries which men can only guess at, which age by age
they may solve only in part.
Believe me, we are now on the verge of one. But I have not done. May I cut
off the head of dead
Miss Lucy ?"
"Heavens and earth, no!" cried Arthur in a storm of passion. "Not
for the wide world will I consent to any mutilation of her dead body. Dr.
Van Helsing, you try me too far. What have I done to you that you should
torture me so? What did that poor, sweet girl do that you should want to
dishonor on her grave? Are you mad, that you speak of such things, or am
I mad to listen to them?
Don't dare think more of such a desecration. I shall not give my consent
to anything you do. I have a
duty to do in protecting her grave from outrage, and by God, I shall do
Van Helsing rose up from where he had all the time been seated, and said,
gravely and sternly, "My
Lord Godalming, I too, have a duty to do, a duty to others, a duty to you,
a duty to the dead, and by
God, I shall do it! All I ask you now is that you come with me, that you
look and listen, and if when
later I make the same request you do not be more eager for its fulfillment
even than I am, then, I shall do my duty, whatever it may seem to me. And
then, to follow your Lordship's wishes I shall hold myself at your disposal
to render an account to you, when and where you will." His voice broke
a little, and he went on with a voice full of pity. "But I beseech
you, do not go forth in anger with me. In a long life of acts which were
often not pleasant to do, and which sometimes did wring my heart, I have
never had so heavy a task as now. Believe me that if the time comes for
you to change your mind towards me, one look from you will wipe away all
this so sad hour, for I would do what a man can to save you from sorrow.
Just think. For why should I give myself so much labor and so much of sorrow?
I have come here from my own land to do what I can of good, at the first
to please my friend John, and then to help a sweet young lady, whom too,
I come to love. For her, I am ashamed to say so much, but I say it in kindness,
I gave what you gave, the blood of my veins. I gave it, I who was not, like
you, her lover, but only her physician and her friend. I gave her my nights
and days, before death, after death, and if my death can do her good even
now, when she is the dead Un-Dead, she shall have it freely." He said
this with a very grave, sweet pride, and Arthur was much affected by it.
He took the old man's hand and said in a broken voice, "Oh, it is hard
to think of it, and I cannot understand, but at least I shall go with you