23 September.—Jonathan is better after a bad night. I am so glad that he ha_lenty of work to do, for that keeps his mind off the terrible things, and oh, I am rejoiced that he is not now weighed down with the responsibility of hi_ew position. I knew he would be true to himself, and now how proud I am t_ee my Jonathan rising to the height of his advancement and keeping pace i_ll ways with the duties that come upon him. He will be away all day til_ate, for he said he could not lunch at home. My household work is done, so _hall take his foreign journal, and lock myself up in my room and read it.
24 September.—I hadn't the heart to write last night, that terrible record o_onathan's upset me so. Poor dear! How he must have suffered, whether it b_rue or only imagination. I wonder if there is any truth in it at all. Did h_et his brain fever, and then write all those terrible things, or had he som_ause for it all? I suppose I shall never know, for I dare not open th_ubject to him. And yet that man we saw yesterday! He seemed quite certain o_im, poor fellow! I suppose it was the funeral upset him and sent his min_ack on some train of thought.
He believes it all himself. I remember how on our wedding day he said "Unles_ome solemn duty come upon me to go back to the bitter hours, asleep or awake, mad or sane … " There seems to be through it all some thread of continuity.
That fearful Count was coming to London. If it should be, and he came t_ondon, with its teeming millions … There may be a solemn duty, and if it com_e must not shrink from it. I shall be prepared. I shall get my typewrite_his very hour and begin transcribing. Then we shall be ready for other eye_f required. And if it be wanted, then, perhaps, if I am ready, poor Jonatha_ay not be upset, for I can speak for him and never let him be troubled o_orried with it at all. If ever Jonathan quite gets over the nervousness h_ay want to tell me of it all, and I can ask him questions and find ou_hings, and see how I may comfort him.
LETTER, VAN HELSING TO MRS. HARKER
"I pray you to pardon my writing, in that I am so far friend as that I sent t_ou sad news of Miss Lucy Westenra's death. By the kindness of Lord Godalming, I am empowered to read her letters and papers, for I am deeply concerned abou_ertain matters vitally important. In them I find some letters from you, whic_how how great friends you were and how you love her. Oh, Madam Mina, by tha_ove, I implore you, help me. It is for others' good that I ask, to redres_reat wrong, and to lift much and terrible troubles, that may be more grea_han you can know. May it be that I see you? You can trust me. I am friend o_r. John Seward and of Lord Godalming (that was Arthur of Miss Lucy). I mus_eep it private for the present from all. I should come to Exeter to see yo_t once if you tell me I am privilege to come, and where and when. I implor_our pardon, Madam. I have read your letters to poor Lucy, and know how goo_ou are and how your husband suffer. So I pray you, if it may be, enlighte_im not, least it may harm. Again your pardon, and forgive me.
TELEGRAM, MRS. HARKER TO VAN HELSING
25 September.—Come today by quarter past ten train if you can catch it. Ca_ee you any time you call. "WILHELMINA HARKER"
MINA HARKER'S JOURNAL
25 September.—I cannot help feeling terribly excited as the time draws nea_or the visit of Dr. Van Helsing, for somehow I expect that it will throw som_ight upon Jonathan's sad experience, and as he attended poor dear Lucy in he_ast illness, he can tell me all about her. That is the reason of his coming.
It is concerning Lucy and her sleepwalking, and not about Jonathan. Then _hall never know the real truth now! How silly I am. That awful journal get_old of my imagination and tinges everything with something of its own color.
Of course it is about Lucy. That habit came back to the poor dear, and tha_wful night on the cliff must have made her ill. I had almost forgotten in m_wn affairs how ill she was afterwards. She must have told him of her sleep- walking adventure on the cliff, and that I knew all about it, and now he want_e to tell him what I know, so that he may understand. I hope I did right i_ot saying anything of it to Mrs. Westenra. I should never forgive myself i_ny act of mine, were it even a negative one, brought harm on poor dear Lucy.
I hope too, Dr. Van Helsing will not blame me. I have had so much trouble an_nxiety of late that I feel I cannot bear more just at present.
I suppose a cry does us all good at times, clears the air as other rain does.
Perhaps it was reading the journal yesterday that upset me, and then Jonatha_ent away this morning to stay away from me a whole day and night, the firs_ime we have been parted since our marriage. I do hope the dear fellow wil_ake care of himself, and that nothing will occur to upset him. It is tw_'clock, and the doctor will be here soon now. I shall say nothing o_onathan's journal unless he asks me. I am so glad I have typewritten out m_wn journal, so that, in case he asks about Lucy, I can hand it to him. I_ill save much questioning.
Later.—He has come and gone. Oh, what a strange meeting, and how it all make_y head whirl round. I feel like one in a dream. Can it be all possible, o_ven a part of it? If I had not read Jonathan's journal first, I should neve_ave accepted even a possibility. Poor, poor, dear Jonathan! How he must hav_uffered. Please the good God, all this may not upset him again. I shall tr_o save him from it. But it may be even a consolation and a help to him, terrible though it be and awful in its consequences, to know for certain tha_is eyes and ears and brain did not deceive him, and that it is all true. I_ay be that it is the doubt which haunts him, that when the doubt is removed, no matter which, waking or dreaming, may prove the truth, he will be mor_atisfied and better able to bear the shock. Dr. Van Helsing must be a goo_an as well as a clever one if he is Arthur's friend and Dr. Seward's, and i_hey brought him all the way from Holland to look after Lucy. I feel fro_aving seen him that he is good and kind and of a noble nature. When he come_omorrow I shall ask him about Jonathan. And then, please God, all this sorro_nd anxiety may lead to a good end. I used to think I would like to practic_nterviewing. Jonathan's friend on "The Exeter News" told him that memory i_verything in such work, that you must be able to put down exactly almos_very word spoken, even if you had to refine some of it afterwards. Here was _are interview. I shall try to record it verbatim.
It was half-past two o'clock when the knock came. I took my courage a deu_ains and waited. In a few minutes Mary opened the door, and announced "Dr.
I rose and bowed, and he came towards me, a man of medium weight, strongl_uilt, with his shoulders set back over a broad, deep chest and a neck wel_alanced on the trunk as the head is on the neck. The poise of the hea_trikes me at once as indicative of thought and power. The head is noble, well-sized, broad, and large behind the ears. The face, cleanshaven, shows _ard, square chin, a large resolute, mobile mouth, a good-sized nose, rathe_traight, but with quick, sensitive nostrils, that seem to broaden as the bi_ushy brows come down and the mouth tightens. The forehead is broad and fine, rising at first almost straight and then sloping back above two bumps o_idges wide apart, such a forehead that the reddish hair cannot possibl_umble over it, but falls naturally back and to the sides. Big, dark blue eye_re set widely apart, and are quick and tender or stern with the man's moods.
He said to me,
"Mrs. Harker, is it not?" I bowed assent.
"That was Miss Mina Murray?" Again I assented.
"It is Mina Murray that I came to see that was friend of that poor dear chil_ucy Westenra. Madam Mina, it is on account of the dead that I come."
"Sir," I said, "you could have no better claim on me than that you were _riend and helper of Lucy Westenra."And I held out my hand. He took it an_aid tenderly,
"Oh, Madam Mina, I know that the friend of that poor little girl must be good, but I had yet to learn … " He finished his speech with a courtly bow. I aske_im what it was that he wanted to see me about, so he at once began.
"I have read your letters to Miss Lucy. Forgive me, but I had to begin t_nquire somewhere, and there was none to ask. I know that you were with her a_hitby. She sometimes kept a diary, you need not look surprised, Madam Mina.
It was begun after you had left, and was an imitation of you, and in tha_iary she traces by inference certain things to a sleep-walking in which sh_uts down that you saved her. In great perplexity then I come to you, and as_ou out of your so much kindness to tell me all of it that you can remember."
"I can tell you, I think, Dr. Van Helsing, all about it."
"Ah, then you have good memory for facts, for details? It is not always s_ith young ladies."
"No, doctor, but I wrote it all down at the time. I can show it to you if yo_ike."
"Oh, Madam Mina, I well be grateful. You will do me much favor."
I could not resist the temptation of mystifying him a bit, I suppose it i_ome taste of the original apple that remains still in our mouths, so I hande_im the shorthand diary. He took it with a grateful bow, and said, "May I rea_t?"
"If you wish," I answered as demurely as I could. He opened it, and for a_nstant his face fell. Then he stood up and bowed.
"Oh, you so clever woman!" he said. "I knew long that Mr. Jonathan was a ma_f much thankfulness, but see, his wife have all the good things. And will yo_ot so much honor me and so help me as to read it for me? Alas! I know not th_horthand."
By this time my little joke was over, and I was almost ashamed. So I took th_ypewritten copy from my work basket and handed it to him.
"Forgive me," I said. "I could not help it, but I had been thinking that i_as of dear Lucy that you wished to ask, and so that you might not have tim_o wait, not on my account, but because I know your time must be precious, _ave written it out on the typewriter for you."
He took it and his eyes glistened. "You are so good," he said. "And may I rea_t now? I may want to ask you some things when I have read."
"By all means," I said. "read it over whilst I order lunch, and then you ca_sk me questions whilst we eat."
He bowed and settled himself in a chair with his back to the light, and becam_o absorbed in the papers, whilst I went to see after lunch chiefly in orde_hat he might not be disturbed. When I came back, I found him walkin_urriedly up and down the room, his face all ablaze with excitement. He rushe_p to me and took me by both hands.
"Oh, Madam Mina," he said, "how can I say what I owe to you? This paper is a_unshine. It opens the gate to me. I am dazed, I am dazzled, with so muc_ight, and yet clouds roll in behind the light every time. But that you d_ot, cannot comprehend. Oh, but I am grateful to you, you so clever woman.
Madame," he said this very solemnly, "if ever Abraham Van Helsing can d_nything for you or yours, I trust you will let me know. It will be pleasur_nd delight if I may serve you as a friend, as a friend, but all I have eve_earned, all I can ever do, shall be for you and those you love. There ar_arknesses in life, and there are lights. You are one of the lights. You wil_ave a happy life and a good life, and your husband will be blessed in you."
"But, doctor, you praise me too much, and you do not know me."
"Not know you, I, who am old, and who have studied all my life men and women, I who have made my specialty the brain and all that belongs to him and al_hat follow from him! And I have read your diary that you have so goodl_ritten for me, and which breathes out truth in every line. I, who have rea_our so sweet letter to poor Lucy of your marriage and your trust, not kno_ou! Oh, Madam Mina, good women tell all their lives, and by day and by hou_nd by minute, such things that angels can read. And we men who wish to kno_ave in us something of angels' eyes. Your husband is noble nature, and yo_re noble too, for you trust, and trust cannot be where there is mean nature.
And your husband, tell me of him. Is he quite well? Is all that fever gone, and is he strong and hearty?"
I saw here an opening to ask him about Jonathan, so I said,"He was almos_ecovered, but he has been greatly upset by Mr. Hawkins death."
He interrupted, "Oh, yes. I know. I know. I have read your last two letters."
I went on, "I suppose this upset him, for when we were in town on Thursda_ast he had a sort of shock."
"A shock, and after brain fever so soon! That is not good. What kind of shoc_as it?"
"He thought he saw some one who recalled something terrible, something whic_ed to his brain fever." And here the whole thing seemed to overwhelm me in _ush. The pity for Jonathan, the horror which he experienced, the whol_earful mystery of his diary, and the fear that has been brooding over me eve_ince, all came in a tumult. I suppose I was hysterical, for I threw myself o_y knees and held up my hands to him, and implored him to make my husband wel_gain. He took my hands and raised me up, and made me sit on the sofa, and sa_y me. He held my hand in his, and said to me with, oh, such infinit_weetness,
"My life is a barren and lonely one, and so full of work that I have not ha_uch time for friendships, but since I have been summoned to here by my frien_ohn Seward I have known so many good people and seen such nobility that _eel more than ever, and it has grown with my advancing years, the lonelines_f my life. Believe me, then, that I come here full of respect for you, an_ou have given me hope, hope, not in what I am seeking of, but that there ar_ood women still left to make life happy, good women, whose lives and whos_ruths may make good lesson for the children that are to be. I am glad, glad, that I may here be of some use to you. For if your husband suffer, he suffe_ithin the range of my study and experience. I promise you that I will gladl_o all for him that I can, all to make his life strong and manly, and you_ife a happy one. Now you must eat. You are over-wrought and perhaps over- anxious. Husband Jonathan would not like to see you so pale, and what he lik_ot where he love, is not to his good. Therefore for his sake you must eat an_mile. You have told me about Lucy, and so now we shall not speak of it, les_t distress. I shall stay in Exeter tonight, for I want to think much ove_hat you have told me, and when I have thought I will ask you questions, if _ay. And then too, you will tell me of husband Jonathan's trouble so far a_ou can, but not yet. You must eat now, afterwards you shall tell me all."
After lunch, when we went back to the drawing room, he said to me, "And no_ell me all about him."
When it came to speaking to this great learned man, I began to fear that h_ould think me a weak fool, and Jonathan a madman, that journal is all s_trange, and I hesitated to go on. But he was so sweet and kind, and he ha_romised to help, and I trusted him, so I said,
"Dr. Van Helsing, what I have to tell you is so queer that you must not laug_t me or at my husband. I have been since yesterday in a sort of fever o_oubt. You must be kind to me, and not think me foolish that I have even hal_elieved some very strange things."
He reassured me by his manner as well as his words when he said, "Oh, my dear, if you only know how strange is the matter regarding which I am here, it i_ou who would laugh. I have learned not to think little of any one's belief, no matter how strange it may be. I have tried to keep an open mind, and it i_ot the ordinary things of life that could close it, but the strange things, the extraordinary things, the things that make one doubt if they be mad o_ane."
"Thank you, thank you a thousand times! You have taken a weight off my mind.
If you will let me, I shall give you a paper to read. It is long, but I hav_ypewritten it out. It will tell you my trouble and Jonathan's. It is the cop_f his journal when abroad, and all that happened. I dare not say anything o_t. You will read for yourself and judge. And then when I see you, perhaps, you will be very kind and tell me what you think."
"I promise," he said as I gave him the papers. "I shall in the morning, a_oon as I can, come to see you and your husband, if I may."
"Jonathan will be here at half-past eleven, and you must come to lunch with u_nd see him then. You could catch the quick 3:34 train, which will leave yo_t Paddington before eight." He was surprised at my knowledge of the train_ffhand, but he does not know that I have made up all the trains to and fro_xeter, so that I may help Jonathan in case he is in a hurry.
So he took the papers with him and went away, and I sit here thinking, thinking I don't know what.
LETTER (by hand), VAN HELSING TO MRS. HARKER
25 September, 6 o'clock
"Dear Madam Mina,
"I have read your husband's so wonderful diary. You may sleep without doubt.
Strange and terrible as it is, it is true! I will pledge my life on it. It ma_e worse for others, but for him and you there is no dread. He is a nobl_ellow, and let me tell you from experience of men, that one who would do a_e did in going down that wall and to that room, aye, and going a second time, is not one to be injured in permanence by a shock. His brain and his heart ar_ll right, this I swear, before I have even seen him, so be at rest. I shal_ave much to ask him of other things. I am blessed that today I come to se_ou, for I have learn all at once so much that again I am dazzled, dazzle_ore than ever, and I must think.
"Yours the most faithful,
"Abraham Van Helsing."
LETTER, MRS. HARKER TO VAN HELSING
25 September, 6:30 p. m.
"My dear Dr. Van Helsing,
"A thousand thanks for your kind letter, which has taken a great weight off m_ind. And yet, if it be true, what terrible things there are in the world, an_hat an awful thing if that man, that monster, be really in London! I fear t_hink. I have this moment, whilst writing, had a wire from Jonathan, sayin_hat he leaves by the 6:25 tonight from Launceston and will be here a_0:18,so that I shall have no fear tonight. Will you, therefore, instead o_unching with us, please come to breakfast at eight o'clock, if this be no_oo early for you? You can get away, if you are in a hurry, by the 10:3_rain, which will bring you to Paddington by 2:35. Do not answer this, as _hall take it that, if I do not hear, you will come to breakfast.
"Your faithful and grateful friend,
JONATHAN HARKER'S JOURNAL
26 September.—I thought never to write in this diary again, but the time ha_ome. When I got home last night Mina had supper ready, and when we had suppe_he told me of Van Helsing's visit, and of her having given him the tw_iaries copied out, and of how anxious she has been about me. She showed me i_he doctor's letter that all I wrote down was true. It seems to have made _ew man of me. It was the doubt as to the reality of the whole thing tha_nocked me over. I felt impotent, and in the dark, and distrustful. But, no_hat I know, I am not afraid, even of the Count. He has succeeded after all, then, in his design in getting to London, and it was he I saw. He has go_ounger, and how? Van Helsing is the man to unmask him and hunt him out, if h_s anything like what Mina says. We sat late, and talked it over. Mina i_ressing, and I shall call at the hotel in a few minutes and bring him over.
He was, I think, surprised to see me. When I came into the room whee he was, and introduced myself, he took me by the shoulder, and turned my face round t_he light, and said, after a sharp scrutiny,
"But Madam Mina told me you were ill, that you had had a shock."
It was so funny to hear my wife called `Madam Mina' by this kindly, strong- faced old man. I smiled, and said, "I was ill, I have had a shock, but yo_ave cured me already."
"By your letter to Mina last night. I was in doubt, and then everything took _ue of unreality, and I did not know what to trust, even the evidence of m_wn senses. Not knowing what to trust, I did not know what to do, and so ha_nly to keep on working in what had hitherto been the groove of my life. Th_roove ceased to avail me, and I mistrusted myself. Doctor, you don't kno_hat it is to doubt everything, even yourself. No, you don't, you couldn'_ith eyebrows like yours."
He seemed pleased, and laughed as he said, "So! You are a physiognomist. _earn more here with each hour. I am with so much pleasure coming to you t_reakfast, and, oh, sir, you will pardon praise from an old man, but you ar_lessed in your wife."
I would listen to him go on praising Mina for a day, so I simply nodded an_tood silent.
"She is one of God's women, fashioned by His own hand to show us men and othe_omen that there is a heaven where we can enter, and that its light can b_ere on earth. So true, so sweet, so noble, so little an egoist, and that, le_e tell you, is much in this age, so sceptical and selfish. And you, sir… _ave read all the letters to poor Miss Lucy, and some of them speak of you, s_ know you since some days from the knowing of others, but I have seen you_rue self since last night. You will give me your hand, will you not? And le_s be friends for all our lives."
We shook hands, and he was so earnest and so kind that it made me quite choky.
"and now," he said, "may I ask you for some more help? I have a great task t_o, and at the beginning it is to know. You can help me here. Can you tell m_hat went before your going to Transylvania? Later on I may ask more help, an_f a different kind, but at first this will do."
"Look here, Sir," I said, "does what you have to do concern the Count?"
"It does," he said solemnly."
"Then I am with you heart and soul. As you go by the 10:30 train, you will no_ave time to read them, but I shall get the bundle of papers. You can tak_hem with you and read them in the train."
After breakfast I saw him to the station. When we were parting he said,
"Perhaps you will come to town if I send for you, and take Madam Mina too."
"We shall both come when you will," I said.
I had got him the morning papers and the London papers of the previous night, and while we were talking at the carriage window, waiting for the train t_tart, he was turning them over. His eyes suddenly seemed to catch somethin_n one of them, "The Westminster Gazette", I knew it by the color, and he gre_uite white. He read something intently, groaning to himself, "Mein Gott! Mei_ott! So soon! So soon!" I do not think he remembered me at the moment. Jus_hen the whistle blew, and the train moved off. This recalled him to himself, and he leaned out of the window and waved his hand, calling out, "Love t_adam Mina. I shall write so soon as ever I can."
DR. SEWARD'S DIARY
26 September.—Truly there is no such thing as finality. Not a week since _aid "Finis," and yet here I am starting fresh again, or rather going on wit_he record. Until this afternoon I had no cause to think of what is done.
Renfield had become, to all intents, as sane as he ever was. He was alread_ell ahead with his fly business, and he had just started in the spider lin_lso, so he had not been of any trouble to me. I had a letter from Arthur, written on Sunday, and from it I gather that he is bearing up wonderfull_ell. Quincey Morris is with him, and that is much of a help, for he himsel_s a bubbling well of good spirits. Quincey wrote me a line too, and from hi_ hear that Arthur is beginning to recover something of his old buoyancy, s_s to them all my mind is at rest. As for myself, I was settling down to m_ork with the enthusiasm which I used to have for it, so that I might fairl_ave said that the wound which poor Lucy left on me was becoming cicatrised.
Everything is, however, now reopened, and what is to be the end God onl_nows. I have an idea that Van Helsing thinks he knows, too, but he will onl_et out enough at a time to whet curiosity. He went to Exeter yesterday, an_tayed there all night. Today he came back, and almost bounded into the roo_t about half-past five o'clock, and thrust last night's "Westminster Gazette"
into my hand.
"What do you think of that?" he asked as he stood back and folded his arms.
I looked over the paper, for I really did not know what he meant, but he too_t from me and pointed out a paragraph about children being decoyed away a_ampstead. It did not convey much to me, until I reached a passage where i_escribed small puncture wounds on their throats. An idea struck me, and _ooked up.
"Well?" he said.
"It is like poor Lucy's."
"And what do you make of it?"
"Simply that there is some cause in common. Whatever it was that injured he_as injured them." I did not quite understand his answer.
"That is true indirectly, but not directly."
"How do you mean, Professor?" I asked. I was a little inclined to take hi_eriousness lightly, for, after all, four days of rest and freedom fro_urning, harrowing, anxiety does help to restore one's spirits, but when I sa_is face, it sobered me. Never, even in the midst of our despair about poo_ucy, had he looked more stern.
"Tell me!" I said. "I can hazard no opinion. I do not know what to think, an_ have no data on which to found a conjecture."
"Do you mean to tell me, friend John, that you have no suspicion as to wha_oor Lucy died of, not after all the hints given, not only by events, but b_e?"
"Of nervous prostration following a great loss or waste of blood."
"And how was the blood lost or wasted?" I shook my head.
He stepped over and sat down beside me, and went on,"You are a clever man, friend John. You reason well, and your wit is bold, but you are to_rejudiced. You do not let your eyes see nor your ears hear, and that which i_utside your daily life is not of account to you. Do you not think that ther_re things which you cannot understand, and yet which are,that some people se_hings that others cannot? But there are things old and new which must not b_ontemplated by men's eyes, because they know, or think they know, some thing_hich other men have told them. Ah, it is the fault of our science that i_ants to explain all, and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing t_xplain. But yet we see around us every day the growth of new beliefs, whic_hink themselves new, and which are yet but the old, which pretend to b_oung, like the fine ladies at the opera. I suppose now you do not believe i_orporeal transference. No? Nor in materialization. No? Nor in astral bodies.
No? Nor in the reading of thought. No? Nor in hypnotism … "
"Yes," I said. "Charcot has proved that pretty well."
He smiled as he went on, "Then you are satisfied as to it. Yes? And of cours_hen you understand how it act, and can follow the mind of the great Charcot, alas that he is no more, into the very soul of the patient that he influence.
No? Then, friend John, am I to take it that you simply accept fact, and ar_atisfied to let from premise to conclusion be a blank? No? Then tell me, fo_ am a student of the brain, how you accept hypnotism and reject the though_eading. Let me tell you, my friend, that there are things done today i_lectrical science which would have been deemed unholy by the very man wh_iscovered electricity, who would themselves not so long before been burned a_izards. There are always mysteries in life. Why was it that Methuselah live_ine hundred years, and `Old Parr'one hundred and sixty-nine, and yet tha_oor Lucy, with four men's blood in her poor veins, could not live even on_ay? For, had she live one more day, we could save her. Do you know all th_ystery of life and death? Do you know the altogether of comparative anatom_nd can say wherefore the qualities of brutes are in some men, and not i_thers? Can you tell me why, when other spiders die small and soon, that on_reat spider lived for centuries in the tower of the old Spanish church an_rew and grew, till, on descending, he could drink the oil of all the churc_amps? Can you tell me why in the Pampas, ay and elsewhere, there are bat_hat come out at night and open the veins of cattle and horses and suck dr_heir veins, how in some islands of the Western seas there are bats which han_n the trees all day, and those who have seen describe as like giant nuts o_ods, and that when the sailors sleep on the deck, because that it is hot, flit down on them and then, and then in the morning are found dead men, whit_s even Miss Lucy was?"
"Good God, Professor!" I said, starting up. "Do you mean to tell me that Luc_as bitten by such a bat, and that such a thing is here in London in th_ineteenth century?"
He waved his hand for silence, and went on,"Can you tell me why the tortois_ives more long than generations of men, why the elephant goes on and on til_e have sees dynasties, and why the parrot never die only of bite of cat o_og or other complaint? Can you tell me why men believe in all ages and place_hat there are men and women who cannot die? We all know, because science ha_ouched for the fact, that there have been toads shut up in rocks fo_housands of years, shut in one so small hole that only hold him since th_outh of the world. Can you tell me how the Indian fakir can make himself t_ie and have been buried, and his grave sealed and corn sowed on it, and th_orn reaped and be cut and sown and reaped and cut again, and then men com_nd take away the unbroken seal and that there lie the Indian fakir, not dead, but that rise up and walk amongst them as before?"
Here I interrupted him. I was getting bewildered. He so crowded on my mind hi_ist of nature's eccentricities and possible impossibilities that m_magination was getting fired. I had a dim idea that he was teaching me som_esson, as long ago he used to do in his study at Amsterdam. But he used the_o tell me the thing, so that I could have the object of thought in mind al_he time. But now I was without his help, yet I wanted to follow him, so _aid,
"Professor, let me be your pet student again. Tell me the thesis, so that _ay apply your knowledge as you go on. At present I am going in my mind fro_oint to point as a madman, and not a sane one, follows an idea. I feel like _ovice lumbering through a bog in a midst, jumping from one tussock to anothe_n the mere blind effort to move on without knowing where I am going."
"That is a good image," he said. "Well, I shall tell you. My thesis is this, _ant you to believe."
"To believe what?"
"To believe in things that you cannot. Let me illustrate. I heard once of a_merican who so defined faith, `that fac ulty which enables us to believ_hings which we know to be untrue.' For one, I follow that man. He meant tha_e shall have an open mind, and not let a little bit of truth check the rus_f the big truth, like a small rock does a railway truck. We get the smal_ruth first. Good! We keep him, and we value him, but all the same we must no_et him think himself all the truth in the universe."
"Then you want me not to let some previous conviction inure the receptivity o_y mind with regard to some strange matter. Do I read your lesson aright?"
"Ah, you are my favorite pupil still. It is worth to teach you. Now that yo_re willing to understand, you have taken the first step to understand. Yo_hink then that those so small holes in the children's throats were made b_he same that made the holes in Miss Lucy?"
"I suppose so."
He stood up and said solemnly, "Then you are wrong. Oh, would it were so! Bu_las! No. It is worse, far, far worse."
"In God's name, Professor Van Helsing, what do you mean?" I cried.
He threw himself with a despairing gesture into a chair, and placed his elbow_n the table, covering his face with his hands as he spoke.