Chapter 5 Letter from Miss Mina Murray to Miss Lucy Westenra
My dearest Lucy,
Forgive my long delay in writing, but I have been simply overwhelmed wit_ork. The life of an assistant schoolmistress is sometimes trying. I a_onging to be with you, and by the sea, where we can talk together freely an_uild our castles in the air. I have been working very hard lately, because _ant to keep up with Jonathan's studies, and I have been practicing shorthan_ery assiduously. When we are married I shall be able to be useful t_onathan, and if I can stenograph well enough I can take down what he wants t_ay in this way and write it out for him on the typewriter, at which also I a_racticing very hard.
He and I sometimes write letters in shorthand, and he is keeping _tenographic journal of his travels abroad. When I am with you I shall keep _iary in the same way. I don't mean one of those two-pages-to-the-week-with- Sunday-squeezed-in-a-corner diaries, but a sort of journal which I can writ_n whenever I feel inclined.
I do not suppose there will be much of interest to other people, but it is no_ntended for them. I may show it to Jonathan some day if there is in i_nything worth sharing, but it is really an exercise book. I shall try to d_hat I see lady journalists do, interviewing and writing descriptions an_rying to remember conversations. I am told that, with a little practice, on_an remember all that goes on or that one hears said during a day.
However, we shall see. I will tell you of my little plans when we meet. I hav_ust had a few hurried lines from Jonathan from Transylvania. He is well, an_ill be returning in about a week. I am longing to hear all his news. It mus_e nice to see strange countries. I wonder if we, I mean Jonathan and I, shal_ver see them together. There is the ten o'clock bell ringing. Goodbye. You_oving Mina
Tell me all the news when you write. You have not told me anything for a lon_ime. I hear rumours, and especially of a tall, handsome, curly-haired man.???
LETTER, LUCY WESTENRA TO MINA MURRAY
17, Chatham Street
My dearest Mina,
I must say you tax me very unfairly with being a bad correspondent. I wrot_ou twice since we parted, and your last letter was only your second. Besides, I have nothing to tell you. There is really nothing to interest you.
Town is very pleasant just now, and we go a great deal to picture-gallerie_nd for walks and rides in the park. As to the tall, curly-haired man, _uppose it was the one who was with me at the last Pop. Someone has evidentl_een telling tales.
That was Mr. Holmwood. He often comes to see us, and he and Mamma get on ver_ell together, they have so many things to talk about in common.
We met some time ago a man that would just do for you, if you were not alread_ngaged to Jonathan. He is an excellant parti, being handsome, well off, an_f good birth. He is a doctor and really clever. Just fancy! He is only nine- and twenty, and he has an immense lunatic asylum all under his own care. Mr.
Holmwood introduced him to me, and he called here to see us, and often come_ow. I think he is one of the most resolute men I ever saw, and yet the mos_alm. He seems absolutely imperturbable. I can fancy what a wonderful power h_ust have over his patients. He has a curious habit of looking one straight i_he face, as if trying to read one's thoughts. He tries this on very much wit_e, but I flatter myself he has got a tough nut to crack. I know that from m_lass.
Do you ever try to read your own face? I do, and I can tell you it is not _ad study, and gives you more trouble than you can well fancy if you hav_ever tried it.
He says that I afford him a curious psychological study, and I humbly think _o. I do not, as you know, take sufficient interest in dress to be able t_escribe the new fashions. Dress is a bore. That is slang again, but neve_ind. Arthur says that every day.
There, it is all out, Mina, we have told all our secrets to each other sinc_e were children. We have slept together and eaten together, and laughed an_ried together, and now, though I have spoken, I would like to speak more. Oh, Mina, couldn't you guess? I love him. I am blushing as I write, for although _hink he loves me, he has not told me so in words. But, oh, Mina, I love him.
I love him! There, that does me good.
I wish I were with you, dear, sitting by the fire undressing, as we used t_it, and I would try to tell you what I feel. I do not know how I am writin_his even to you. I am afraid to stop, or I should tear up the letter, and _on't want to stop, for I do so want to tell you all. Let me hear from you a_nce, and tell me all that you think about it. Mina, pray for my happiness.
P. S.—I need not tell you this is a secret. Goodnight again. L.
LETTER, LUCY WESTENRA TO MINA MURRAY
My dearest Mina,
Thanks, and thanks, and thanks again for your sweet letter. It was so nice t_e able to tell you and to have your sympathy. My dear, it never rains but i_ours. How true the old proverbs are. Here am I, who shall be twenty i_eptember, and yet I never had a proposal till today, not a real proposal, an_oday I had three. Just fancy! Three proposals in one day! Isn't it awful! _eel sorry, really and truly sorry, for two of the poor fellows. Oh, Mina, _m so happy that I don't know what to do with myself. And three proposals!
But, for goodness' sake, don't tell any of the girls, or they would be gettin_ll sorts of extravagant ideas, and imagining themselves injured and slighte_f in their very first day at home they did not get six at least. Some girl_re so vain! You and I, Mina dear, who are engaged and are going to settl_own soon soberly into old married women, can despise vanity. Well, I mus_ell you about the three, but you must keep it a secret, dear, from every on_xcept, of course, Jonathan. You will tell him, because I would, if I were i_our place, certainly tell Arthur. A woman ought to tell her husban_verything. Don't you think so, dear? And I must be fair. Men like women, certainly their wives, to be quite as fair as they are. And women, I a_fraid, are not always quite as fair as they should be.
Well, my dear, number One came just before lunch. I told you of him, Dr. Joh_eward, the lunatic asylum man, with the strong jaw and the good forehead. H_as very cool outwardly, but was nervous all the same. He had evidently bee_chooling himself as to all sorts of little things, and remembered them, bu_e almost managed to sit down on his silk hat, which men don't generally d_hen they are cool, and then when he wanted to appear at ease he kept playin_ith a lancet in a way that made me nearly scream. He spoke to me, Mina, ver_traightfordwardly. He told me how dear I was to him, though he had known m_o little, and what his life would be with me to help and cheer him. He wa_oing to tell me how unhappy he would be if I did not care for him, but whe_e saw me cry he said he was a brute and would not add to my present trouble.
Then he broke off and asked if I could love him in time, and when I shook m_ead his hands trembled, and then with some hesitation he asked me if I care_lready for any one else. He put it very nicely, saying that he did not wan_o wring my confidence from me, but only to know, because if a woman's hear_as free a man might have hope. And then, Mina, I felt a sort of duty to tel_im that there was some one. I only told him that much, and then he stood up, and he looked very strong and very grave as he took both my hands in his an_aid he hoped I would be happy, and that If I ever wanted a friend I mus_ount him one of my best.
Oh, Mina dear, I can't help crying, and you must excuse this letter being al_lotted. Being proposed to is all very nice and all that sort of thing, but i_sn't at all a happy thing when you have to see a poor fellow, whom you kno_oves you honestly, going away and looking all broken hearted, and to kno_hat, no matter what he may say at the moment, you are passing out of hi_ife. My dear, I must stop here at present, I feel so miserable, though I a_o happy.
Arthur has just gone, and I feel in better spirits than when I left off, so _an go on telling you about the day.
Well, my dear, number Two came after lunch. He is such a nice fellow, an_merican from Texas, and he looks so young and so fresh that it seems almos_mpossible that he has been to so many places and has such adventures. _ympathize with poor Desdemona when she had such a stream poured in her ear, even by a black man. I suppose that we women are such cowards that we think _an will save us from fears, and we marry him. I know now what I would do if _ere a man and wanted to make a girl love me. No, I don't, for there was Mr.
Morris telling us his stories, and Arthur never told any, and yet …
My dear, I am somewhat previous. Mr. Quincy P. Morris found me alone. It seem_hat a man always does find a girl alone. No, he doesn't, for Arthur trie_wice to make a chance, and I helping him all I could, I am not ashamed to sa_t now. I must tell you beforehand that Mr. Morris doesn't always speak slang, that is to say, he never does so to strangers or before them, for he is reall_ell educated and has exquisite manners, but he found out that it amused me t_ear him talk American slang, and whenever I was present, and there was no on_o be shocked, he said such funny things. I am afraid, my dear, he has t_nvent it all, for it fits exactly into whatever else he has to say. But thi_s a way slang has. I do not know myself if I shall ever speak slang. I do no_now if Arthur likes it, as I have never heard him use any as yet.
Well, Mr. Morris sat down beside me and looked as happy and jolly as he could, but I could see all the same that he was very nervous. He took my hand in his, and said ever so sweetly …
"Miss Lucy, I know I ain't good enough to regulate the fixin's of your littl_hoes, but I guess if you wait till you find a man that is you will go joi_hem seven young women with the lamps when you quit. Won't you just hitch u_long-side of me and let us go down the long road together, driving in doubl_arness?"
Well, he did look so hood humoured and so jolly that it didn't seem half s_ard to refuse him as it did poor Dr. Seward. So I said, as lightly as _ould, that I did not know anything of hitching, and that I wasn't broken t_arness at all yet. Then he said that he had spoken in a light manner, and h_oped that if he had made a mistake in doing so on so grave, so momentous, an_ccasion for him, I would forgive him. He really did look serious when he wa_aying it, and I couldn't help feeling a sort of exultation that he was numbe_wo in one day. And then, my dear, before I could say a word he began pourin_ut a perfect torrent of lovemaking, laying his very heart and soul at m_eet. He looked so earnest over it that I shall never again think that a ma_ust be playful always, and never earnest, because he is merry at times. _uppose he saw something in my face which checked him, for he suddenl_topped, and said with a sort of manly fervour that I could have loved him fo_f I had been free …
"Lucy, you are an honest hearted girl, I know. I should not be here speakin_o you as I am now if I did not believe you clean grit, right through to th_ery depths of your soul. Tell me, like one good fellow to another, is ther_ny one else that you care for? And if there is I'll never trouble you _air's breadth again, but will be, if you will let me, a very faithfu_riend."
My dear Mina, why are men so noble when we women are so little worthy of them?
Here was I almost making fun of this great hearted, true gentleman. I burs_nto tears, I am afraid, my dear, you will think this a very sloppy letter i_ore ways than one, and I really felt very badly.
Why can't they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and sav_ll this trouble? But this is heresy, and I must not say it. I am glad to sa_hat, though I was crying, I was able to look into Mr. Morris' brave eyes, an_ told him out straight …
"Yes, there is some one I love, though he has not told me yet that he eve_oves me." I was right to speak to him so frankly, for quite a light came int_is face, and he put out both his hands and took mine, I think I put them int_is, and said in a hearty way …
"That's my brave girl. It's better worth being late for a chance of winnin_ou than being in time for any other girl in the world. Don't cry, my dear. I_t's for me, I'm a hard nut to crack, and I take it standing up. If that othe_ellow doesn't know his happiness, well, he'd better look for it soon, o_e'll have to deal with me. Little girl, your honesty and pluck have made me _riend, and that's rarer than a lover, it's more selfish anyhow. My dear, I'_oing to have a pretty lonely walk between this and Kingdom Come. Won't yo_ive me one kiss? It'll be something to keep off the darkness now and then.
You can, you know, if you like, for that other good fellow, or you could no_ove him, hasn't spoken yet."
That quite won me, Mina, for it was brave and sweet of him, and noble too, t_ rival, wasn't it? And he so sad, so I leant over and kissed him.
He stood up with my two hands in his, and as he looked down into my face, I a_fraid I was blushing very much, he said, "Little girl, I hold your hand, an_ou've kissed me, and if these things don't make us friends nothing ever will.
Thank you for your sweet honesty to me, and goodbye." He wrung my hand, an_aking up his hat, went straight out of the room without looking back, withou_ tear or a quiver or a pause, and I am crying like a baby.
Oh, why must a man like that be made unhappy when there are lots of girl_bout who would worship the very ground he trod on? I know I would if I wer_ree, only I don't want to be free My dear, this quite upset me, and I feel _annot write of happiness just at once, after telling you of it, and I don'_ish to tell of the number Three until it can be all happy. Ever your loving … Lucy
P. S.—Oh, about number Three, I needn't tell you of number Three, need I?
Besides, it was all so confused. It seemed only a moment from his coming int_he room till both his arms were round me, and he was kissing me. I am very, very happy, and I don't know what I have done to deserve it. I must only tr_n the future to show that I am not ungrateful to God for all His goodness t_e in sending to me such a lover, such a husband, and such a friend.
DR. SEWARD'S DIARY (Kept in phonograph)
25 May.—Ebb tide in appetite today. Cannot eat, cannot rest, so diary instead.
since my rebuff of yesterday I have a sort of empty feeling. Nothing in th_orld seems of sufficient importance to be worth the doing. As I knew that th_nly cure for this sort of thing was work, I went amongst the patients. _icked out one who has afforded me a study of much interest. He is so quain_hat I am determined to understand him as well as I can. Today I seemed to ge_earer than ever before to the heart of his mystery.
I questioned him more fully than I had ever done, with a view to making mysel_aster of the facts of his hallucination. In my manner of doing it there was, I now see, something of cruelty. I seemed to wish to keep him to the point o_is madness, a thing which I avoid with the patients as I would the mouth o_ell.
(Mem., Under what circumstances would I not avoid the pit of hell?) Omni_omae venalia sunt. Hell has its price! If there be anything behind thi_nstinct it will be valuable to trace it afterwards accurately, so I ha_etter commence to do so, therefore …
R. M, Renfield, age 59. Sanguine temperament, great physical strength, morbidly excitable, periods of gloom, ending in some fixed idea which I canno_ake out. I presume that the sanguine temperament itself and the disturbin_nfluence end in a mentally-accomplished finish, a possibly dangerous man, probably dangerous if unselfish. In selfish men caution is as secure an armou_or their foes as for themselves. What I think of on this point is, when sel_s the fixed point the centripetal force is balanced with the centrifugal.
When duty, a cause, etc., is the fixed point, the latter force is paramount, and only accident of a series of accidents can balance it.
LETTER, QUINCEY P. MORRIS TO HON. ARTHUR HOLMWOOD
My dear Art,
We've told yarns by the campfire in the prairies, and dressed one another'_ounds after trying a landing at the Marquesas, and drunk healths on the shor_f Titicaca. There are more yarns to be told, and other wounds to be healed, and another health to be drunk. Won't you let this be at my campfire tomorro_ight? I have no hesitation in asking you, as I know a certain lady is engage_o a certain dinner party, and that you are free. There will only be on_ther, our old pal at the Korea, Jack Seward. He's coming, too, and we bot_ant to mingle our weeps over the wine cup, and to drink a health with all ou_earts to the happiest man in all the wide world, who has won the nobles_eart that God has made and best worth winning. We promise you a heart_elcome, and a loving greeting, and a health as true as your own right hand.
We shall both swear to leave you at home if you drink too deep to a certai_air of eyes. Come!
Yours, as ever and always,
Quincey P. Morris
TELEGRAM FROM ARTHUR HOLMWOOD TO QUINCEY P. MORRIS
Count me in every time. I bear messages which will make both your ears tingle.