Part 1 out of 9
E-test revised by Voltage Spike
Jonathan Harker's Journal
3 May. Bistritz.--Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1st May, arriving at
Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was
an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse
which I got of it from the train and the little I could walk through
the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we had
arrived late and would start as near the correct time as possible.
The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the
East; the most western of splendid bridges over the Danube, which is
here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of Turkish
We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh.
Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner,
or rather supper, a chicken done up some way with red pepper, which
was very good but thirsty. (Mem. get recipe for Mina.) I asked the
waiter, and he said it was called "paprika hendl," and that, as it was
a national dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the
I found my smattering of German very useful here, indeed, I don't know
how I should be able to get on without it.
Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the
British Museum, and made search among the books and maps in the
library regarding Transylvania; it had struck me that some
foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail to have some importance
in dealing with a nobleman of that country.
I find that the district he named is in the extreme east of the
country, just on the borders of three states, Transylvania, Moldavia,
and Bukovina, in the midst of the Carpathian mountains; one of the
wildest and least known portions of Europe.
I was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality
of the Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this country as yet to
compare with our own Ordance Survey Maps; but I found that Bistritz,
the post town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place. I
shall enter here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when
I talk over my travels with Mina.
In the population of Transylvania there are four distinct
nationalities: Saxons in the South, and mixed with them the Wallachs,
who are the descendants of the Dacians; Magyars in the West, and
Szekelys in the East and North. I am going among the latter, who
claim to be descended from Attila and the Huns. This may be so, for
when the Magyars conquered the country in the eleventh century they
found the Huns settled in it.
I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the
horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of
imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting. (Mem.,
I must ask the Count all about them.)
I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had
all sorts of queer dreams. There was a dog howling all night under my
window, which may have had something to do with it; or it may have
been the paprika, for I had to drink up all the water in my carafe,
and was still thirsty. Towards morning I slept and was wakened by the
continuous knocking at my door, so I guess I must have been sleeping
I had for breakfast more paprika, and a sort of porridge of maize
flour which they said was "mamaliga", and egg-plant stuffed with
forcemeat, a very excellent dish, which they call "impletata". (Mem.,
get recipe for this also.)
I had to hurry breakfast, for the train started a little before eight,
or rather it ought to have done so, for after rushing to the station
at 7:30 I had to sit in the carriage for more than an hour before we
began to move.
It seems to me that the further east you go the more unpunctual are
the trains. What ought they to be in China?
All day long we seemed to dawdle through a country which was full of
beauty of every kind. Sometimes we saw little towns or castles on the
top of steep hills such as we see in old missals; sometimes we ran by
rivers and streams which seemed from the wide stony margin on each
side of them to be subject to great floods. It takes a lot of water,
and running strong, to sweep the outside edge of a river clear.
At every station there were groups of people, sometimes crowds, and in
all sorts of attire. Some of them were just like the peasants at home
or those I saw coming through France and Germany, with short jackets,
and round hats, and home-made trousers; but others were very
The women looked pretty, except when you got near them, but they were
very clumsy about the waist. They had all full white sleeves of some
kind or other, and most of them had big belts with a lot of strips of
something fluttering from them like the dresses in a ballet, but of
course there were petticoats under them.
The strangest figures we saw were the Slovaks, who were more barbarian
than the rest, with their big cow-boy hats, great baggy dirty-white
trousers, white linen shirts, and enormous heavy leather belts, nearly
a foot wide, all studded over with brass nails. They wore high boots,
with their trousers tucked into them, and had long black hair and
heavy black moustaches. They are very picturesque, but do not look
prepossessing. On the stage they would be set down at once as some
old Oriental band of brigands. They are, however, I am told, very
harmless and rather wanting in natural self-assertion.
It was on the dark side of twilight when we got to Bistritz, which is
a very interesting old place. Being practically on the frontier--for
the Borgo Pass leads from it into Bukovina--it has had a very stormy
existence, and it certainly shows marks of it. Fifty years ago a
series of great fires took place, which made terrible havoc on five
separate occasions. At the very beginning of the seventeenth century
it underwent a siege of three weeks and lost 13,000 people, the
casualties of war proper being assisted by famine and disease.
Count Dracula had directed me to go to the Golden Krone Hotel, which I
found, to my great delight, to be thoroughly old-fashioned, for of
course I wanted to see all I could of the ways of the country.
I was evidently expected, for when I got near the door I faced a
cheery-looking elderly woman in the usual peasant dress--white
undergarment with a long double apron, front, and back, of coloured
stuff fitting almost too tight for modesty. When I came close she
bowed and said, "The Herr Englishman?"
"Yes," I said, "Jonathan Harker."
She smiled, and gave some message to an elderly man in white
shirtsleeves, who had followed her to the door.
He went, but immediately returned with a letter:
"My friend.--Welcome to the Carpathians. I am anxiously expecting
you. Sleep well tonight. At three tomorrow the diligence will
start for Bukovina; a place on it is kept for you. At the Borgo
Pass my carriage will await you and will bring you to me. I trust
that your journey from London has been a happy one, and that you
will enjoy your stay in my beautiful land.--Your friend, Dracula."
4 May--I found that my landlord had got a letter from the Count,
directing him to secure the best place on the coach for me; but on
making inquiries as to details he seemed somewhat reticent, and
pretended that he could not understand my German.
This could not be true, because up to then he had understood it
perfectly; at least, he answered my questions exactly as if he did.
He and his wife, the old lady who had received me, looked at each
other in a frightened sort of way. He mumbled out that the money had
been sent in a letter, and that was all he knew. When I asked him if
he knew Count Dracula, and could tell me anything of his castle, both
he and his wife crossed themselves, and, saying that they knew nothing
at all, simply refused to speak further. It was so near the time of
starting that I had no time to ask anyone else, for it was all very
mysterious and not by any means comforting.
Just before I was leaving, the old lady came up to my room and said in
a hysterical way: "Must you go? Oh! Young Herr, must you go?" She
was in such an excited state that she seemed to have lost her grip of
what German she knew, and mixed it all up with some other language
which I did not know at all. I was just able to follow her by asking
many questions. When I told her that I must go at once, and that I
was engaged on important business, she asked again:
"Do you know what day it is?" I answered that it was the fourth of
May. She shook her head as she said again:
"Oh, yes! I know that! I know that, but do you know what day it is?"
On my saying that I did not understand, she went on:
"It is the eve of St. George's Day. Do you not know that tonight,
when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will
have full sway? Do you know where you are going, and what you are
going to?" She was in such evident distress that I tried to comfort
her, but without effect. Finally, she went down on her knees and
implored me not to go; at least to wait a day or two before starting.
It was all very ridiculous but I did not feel comfortable. However,
there was business to be done, and I could allow nothing to interfere
I tried to raise her up, and said, as gravely as I could, that I
thanked her, but my duty was imperative, and that I must go.
She then rose and dried her eyes, and taking a crucifix from her neck
offered it to me.
I did not know what to do, for, as an English Churchman, I have been
taught to regard such things as in some measure idolatrous, and yet it
seemed so ungracious to refuse an old lady meaning so well and in such
a state of mind.
She saw, I suppose, the doubt in my face, for she put the rosary round
my neck and said, "For your mother's sake," and went out of the room.
I am writing up this part of the diary whilst I am waiting for the
coach, which is, of course, late; and the crucifix is still round my
Whether it is the old lady's fear, or the many ghostly traditions of
this place, or the crucifix itself, I do not know, but I am not
feeling nearly as easy in my mind as usual.
If this book should ever reach Mina before I do, let it bring my
goodbye. Here comes the coach!
5 May. The Castle.--The gray of the morning has passed, and the sun
is high over the distant horizon, which seems jagged, whether with
trees or hills I know not, for it is so far off that big things and
little are mixed.
I am not sleepy, and, as I am not to be called till I awake, naturally
I write till sleep comes.
There are many odd things to put down, and, lest who reads them may
fancy that I dined too well before I left Bistritz, let me put down my
I dined on what they called "robber steak"--bits of bacon, onion, and
beef, seasoned with red pepper, and strung on sticks, and roasted over
the fire, in simple style of the London cat's meat!
The wine was Golden Mediasch, which produces a queer sting on the
tongue, which is, however, not disagreeable.
I had only a couple of glasses of this, and nothing else.
When I got on the coach, the driver had not taken his seat, and I saw
him talking to the landlady.
They were evidently talking of me, for every now and then they looked
at me, and some of the people who were sitting on the bench outside
the door--came and listened, and then looked at me, most of them
pityingly. I could hear a lot of words often repeated, queer words,
for there were many nationalities in the crowd, so I quietly got my
polyglot dictionary from my bag and looked them out.
I must say they were not cheering to me, for amongst them were
"Ordog"--Satan, "Pokol"--hell, "stregoica"--witch, "vrolok" and
"vlkoslak"--both mean the same thing, one being Slovak and the other
Servian for something that is either werewolf or vampire. (Mem., I
must ask the Count about these superstitions.)
When we started, the crowd round the inn door, which had by this time
swelled to a considerable size, all made the sign of the cross and
pointed two fingers towards me.
With some difficulty, I got a fellow passenger to tell me what they
meant. He would not answer at first, but on learning that I was
English, he explained that it was a charm or guard against the evil
This was not very pleasant for me, just starting for an unknown place
to meet an unknown man. But everyone seemed so kind-hearted, and so
sorrowful, and so sympathetic that I could not but be touched.
I shall never forget the last glimpse which I had of the inn yard and
its crowd of picturesque figures, all crossing themselves, as they
stood round the wide archway, with its background of rich foliage of
oleander and orange trees in green tubs clustered in the centre of the
Then our driver, whose wide linen drawers covered the whole front of
the boxseat,--"gotza" they call them--cracked his big whip over his
four small horses, which ran abreast, and we set off on our journey.
I soon lost sight and recollection of ghostly fears in the beauty of
the scene as we drove along, although had I known the language, or
rather languages, which my fellow-passengers were speaking, I might
not have been able to throw them off so easily. Before us lay a green
sloping land full of forests and woods, with here and there steep
hills, crowned with clumps of trees or with farmhouses, the blank
gable end to the road. There was everywhere a bewildering mass of
fruit blossom--apple, plum, pear, cherry. And as we drove by I could
see the green grass under the trees spangled with the fallen petals.
In and out amongst these green hills of what they call here the
"Mittel Land" ran the road, losing itself as it swept round the grassy
curve, or was shut out by the straggling ends of pine woods, which
here and there ran down the hillsides like tongues of flame. The road
was rugged, but still we seemed to fly over it with a feverish haste.
I could not understand then what the haste meant, but the driver was
evidently bent on losing no time in reaching Borgo Prund. I was told
that this road is in summertime excellent, but that it had not yet
been put in order after the winter snows. In this respect it is
different from the general run of roads in the Carpathians, for it is
an old tradition that they are not to be kept in too good order. Of
old the Hospadars would not repair them, lest the Turk should think
that they were preparing to bring in foreign troops, and so hasten the
war which was always really at loading point.
Beyond the green swelling hills of the Mittel Land rose mighty slopes
of forest up to the lofty steeps of the Carpathians themselves. Right
and left of us they towered, with the afternoon sun falling full upon
them and bringing out all the glorious colours of this beautiful
range, deep blue and purple in the shadows of the peaks, green and
brown where grass and rock mingled, and an endless perspective of
jagged rock and pointed crags, till these were themselves lost in the
distance, where the snowy peaks rose grandly. Here and there seemed
mighty rifts in the mountains, through which, as the sun began to
sink, we saw now and again the white gleam of falling water. One of
my companions touched my arm as we swept round the base of a hill and
opened up the lofty, snow-covered peak of a mountain, which seemed, as
we wound on our serpentine way, to be right before us.
"Look! Isten szek!"--"God's seat!"--and he crossed himself reverently.
As we wound on our endless way, and the sun sank lower and lower
behind us, the shadows of the evening began to creep round us. This
was emphasized by the fact that the snowy mountain-top still held the
sunset, and seemed to glow out with a delicate cool pink. Here and
there we passed Cszeks and slovaks, all in picturesque attire, but I
noticed that goitre was painfully prevalent. By the roadside were
many crosses, and as we swept by, my companions all crossed
themselves. Here and there was a peasant man or woman kneeling before
a shrine, who did not even turn round as we approached, but seemed in
the self-surrender of devotion to have neither eyes nor ears for the
outer world. There were many things new to me. For instance,
hay-ricks in the trees, and here and there very beautiful masses of
weeping birch, their white stems shining like silver through the
delicate green of the leaves.
Now and again we passed a leiter-wagon--the ordinary peasants's
cart--with its long, snakelike vertebra, calculated to suit the
inequalities of the road. On this were sure to be seated quite a
group of homecoming peasants, the Cszeks with their white, and the
Slovaks with their coloured sheepskins, the latter carrying
lance-fashion their long staves, with axe at end. As the evening fell
it began to get very cold, and the growing twilight seemed to merge
into one dark mistiness the gloom of the trees, oak, beech, and pine,
though in the valleys which ran deep between the spurs of the hills,
as we ascended through the Pass, the dark firs stood out here and
there against the background of late-lying snow. Sometimes, as the
road was cut through the pine woods that seemed in the darkness to be
closing down upon us, great masses of greyness which here and there
bestrewed the trees, produced a peculiarly weird and solemn effect,
which carried on the thoughts and grim fancies engendered earlier in
the evening, when the falling sunset threw into strange relief the
ghost-like clouds which amongst the Carpathians seem to wind
ceaselessly through the valleys. Sometimes the hills were so steep
that, despite our driver's haste, the horses could only go slowly. I
wished to get down and walk up them, as we do at home, but the driver
would not hear of it. "No, no," he said. "You must not walk here.
The dogs are too fierce." And then he added, with what he evidently
meant for grim pleasantry--for he looked round to catch the approving
smile of the rest--"And you may have enough of such matters before you
go to sleep." The only stop he would make was a moment's pause to
light his lamps.
When it grew dark there seemed to be some excitement amongst the
passengers, and they kept speaking to him, one after the other, as
though urging him to further speed. He lashed the horses unmercifully
with his long whip, and with wild cries of encouragement urged them on
to further exertions. Then through the darkness I could see a sort of
patch of grey light ahead of us, as though there were a cleft in the
hills. The excitement of the passengers grew greater. The crazy
coach rocked on its great leather springs, and swayed like a boat
tossed on a stormy sea. I had to hold on. The road grew more level,
and we appeared to fly along. Then the mountains seemed to come
nearer to us on each side and to frown down upon us. We were entering
on the Borgo Pass. One by one several of the passengers offered me
gifts, which they pressed upon me with an earnestness which would take
no denial. These were certainly of an odd and varied kind, but each
was given in simple good faith, with a kindly word, and a blessing,
and that same strange mixture of fear-meaning movements which I had
seen outside the hotel at Bistritz--the sign of the cross and the
guard against the evil eye. Then, as we flew along, the driver leaned
forward, and on each side the passengers, craning over the edge of the
coach, peered eagerly into the darkness. It was evident that
something very exciting was either happening or expected, but though I
asked each passenger, no one would give me the slightest explanation.
This state of excitement kept on for some little time. And at last we
saw before us the Pass opening out on the eastern side. There were
dark, rolling clouds overhead, and in the air the heavy, oppressive
sense of thunder. It seemed as though the mountain range had
separated two atmospheres, and that now we had got into the thunderous
one. I was now myself looking out for the conveyance which was to
take me to the Count. Each moment I expected to see the glare of
lamps through the blackness, but all was dark. The only light was the
flickering rays of our own lamps, in which the steam from our
hard-driven horses rose in a white cloud. We could see now the sandy
road lying white before us, but there was on it no sign of a vehicle.
The passengers drew back with a sigh of gladness, which seemed to mock
my own disappointment. I was already thinking what I had best do,
when the driver, looking at his watch, said to the others something
which I could hardly hear, it was spoken so quietly and in so low a
tone, I thought it was "An hour less than the time." Then turning to
me, he spoke in German worse than my own.
"There is no carriage here. The Herr is not expected after all. He
will now come on to Bukovina, and return tomorrow or the next day,
better the next day." Whilst he was speaking the horses began to
neigh and snort and plunge wildly, so that the driver had to hold them
up. Then, amongst a chorus of screams from the peasants and a
universal crossing of themselves, a caleche, with four horses, drove
up behind us, overtook us, and drew up beside the coach. I could see
from the flash of our lamps as the rays fell on them, that the horses
were coal-black and splendid animals. They were driven by a tall man,
with a long brown beard and a great black hat, which seemed to hide
his face from us. I could only see the gleam of a pair of very bright
eyes, which seemed red in the lamplight, as he turned to us.
He said to the driver, "You are early tonight, my friend."
The man stammered in reply, "The English Herr was in a hurry."
To which the stranger replied, "That is why, I suppose, you wished him
to go on to Bukovina. You cannot deceive me, my friend. I know too
much, and my horses are swift."
As he spoke he smiled, and the lamplight fell on a hard-looking mouth,
with very red lips and sharp-looking teeth, as white as ivory. One of
my companions whispered to another the line from Burger's "Lenore".
"Denn die Todten reiten Schnell." ("For the dead travel fast.")
The strange driver evidently heard the words, for he looked up with a
gleaming smile. The passenger turned his face away, at the same time
putting out his two fingers and crossing himself. "Give me the Herr's
luggage," said the driver, and with exceeding alacrity my bags were
handed out and put in the caleche. Then I descended from the side of
the coach, as the caleche was close alongside, the driver helping me
with a hand which caught my arm in a grip of steel. His strength must
have been prodigious.
Without a word he shook his reins, the horses turned, and we swept
into the darkness of the pass. As I looked back I saw the steam from
the horses of the coach by the light of the lamps, and projected
against it the figures of my late companions crossing themselves.
Then the driver cracked his whip and called to his horses, and off
they swept on their way to Bukovina. As they sank into the darkness I
felt a strange chill, and a lonely feeling come over me. But a cloak
was thrown over my shoulders, and a rug across my knees, and the
driver said in excellent German--"The night is chill, mein Herr, and
my master the Count bade me take all care of you. There is a flask of
slivovitz (the plum brandy of the country) underneath the seat, if you
should require it."
I did not take any, but it was a comfort to know it was there all the
same. I felt a little strangely, and not a little frightened. I
think had there been any alternative I should have taken it, instead
of prosecuting that unknown night journey. The carriage went at a
hard pace straight along, then we made a complete turn and went along
another straight road. It seemed to me that we were simply going over
and over the same ground again, and so I took note of some salient
point, and found that this was so. I would have liked to have asked
the driver what this all meant, but I really feared to do so, for I
thought that, placed as I was, any protest would have had no effect in
case there had been an intention to delay.
By-and-by, however, as I was curious to know how time was passing, I
struck a match, and by its flame looked at my watch. It was within a
few minutes of midnight. This gave me a sort of shock, for I suppose
the general superstition about midnight was increased by my recent
experiences. I waited with a sick feeling of suspense.
Then a dog began to howl somewhere in a farmhouse far down the road, a
long, agonized wailing, as if from fear. The sound was taken up by
another dog, and then another and another, till, borne on the wind
which now sighed softly through the Pass, a wild howling began, which
seemed to come from all over the country, as far as the imagination
could grasp it through the gloom of the night.
At the first howl the horses began to strain and rear, but the driver
spoke to them soothingly, and they quieted down, but shivered and
sweated as though after a runaway from sudden fright. Then, far off
in the distance, from the mountains on each side of us began a louder
and a sharper howling, that of wolves, which affected both the horses
and myself in the same way. For I was minded to jump from the caleche
and run, whilst they reared again and plunged madly, so that the
driver had to use all his great strength to keep them from bolting.
In a few minutes, however, my own ears got accustomed to the sound,
and the horses so far became quiet that the driver was able to descend
and to stand before them.
He petted and soothed them, and whispered something in their ears, as
I have heard of horse-tamers doing, and with extraordinary effect, for
under his caresses they became quite manageable again, though they
still trembled. The driver again took his seat, and shaking his
reins, started off at a great pace. This time, after going to the far
side of the Pass, he suddenly turned down a narrow roadway which ran
sharply to the right.
Soon we were hemmed in with trees, which in places arched right over
the roadway till we passed as through a tunnel. And again great
frowning rocks guarded us boldly on either side. Though we were in
shelter, we could hear the rising wind, for it moaned and whistled
through the rocks, and the branches of the trees crashed together as
we swept along. It grew colder and colder still, and fine, powdery
snow began to fall, so that soon we and all around us were covered
with a white blanket. The keen wind still carried the howling of the
dogs, though this grew fainter as we went on our way. The baying of
the wolves sounded nearer and nearer, as though they were closing
round on us from every side. I grew dreadfully afraid, and the horses
shared my fear. The driver, however, was not in the least disturbed.
He kept turning his head to left and right, but I could not see
anything through the darkness.
Suddenly, away on our left I saw a faint flickering blue flame. The
driver saw it at the same moment. He at once checked the horses, and,
jumping to the ground, disappeared into the darkness. I did not know
what to do, the less as the howling of the wolves grew closer. But
while I wondered, the driver suddenly appeared again, and without a
word took his seat, and we resumed our journey. I think I must have
fallen asleep and kept dreaming of the incident, for it seemed to be
repeated endlessly, and now looking back, it is like a sort of awful
nightmare. Once the flame appeared so near the road, that even in the
darkness around us I could watch the driver's motions. He went
rapidly to where the blue flame arose, it must have been very faint,
for it did not seem to illumine the place around it at all, and
gathering a few stones, formed them into some device.
Once there appeared a strange optical effect. When he stood between
me and the flame he did not obstruct it, for I could see its ghostly
flicker all the same. This startled me, but as the effect was only
momentary, I took it that my eyes deceived me straining through the
darkness. Then for a time there were no blue flames, and we sped
onwards through the gloom, with the howling of the wolves around us,
as though they were following in a moving circle.
At last there came a time when the driver went further afield than he
had yet gone, and during his absence, the horses began to tremble
worse than ever and to snort and scream with fright. I could not see
any cause for it, for the howling of the wolves had ceased altogether.
But just then the moon, sailing through the black clouds, appeared
behind the jagged crest of a beetling, pine-clad rock, and by its
light I saw around us a ring of wolves, with white teeth and lolling
red tongues, with long, sinewy limbs and shaggy hair. They were a
hundred times more terrible in the grim silence which held them than
even when they howled. For myself, I felt a sort of paralysis of
fear. It is only when a man feels himself face to face with such
horrors that he can understand their true import.
All at once the wolves began to howl as though the moonlight had had
some peculiar effect on them. The horses jumped about and reared, and
looked helplessly round with eyes that rolled in a way painful to
see. But the living ring of terror encompassed them on every side,
and they had perforce to remain within it. I called to the coachman
to come, for it seemed to me that our only chance was to try to break
out through the ring and to aid his approach, I shouted and beat the
side of the caleche, hoping by the noise to scare the wolves from the
side, so as to give him a chance of reaching the trap. How he came
there, I know not, but I heard his voice raised in a tone of imperious
command, and looking towards the sound, saw him stand in the roadway.
As he swept his long arms, as though brushing aside some impalpable
obstacle, the wolves fell back and back further still. Just then a
heavy cloud passed across the face of the moon, so that we were again
When I could see again the driver was climbing into the caleche, and
the wolves disappeared. This was all so strange and uncanny that a
dreadful fear came upon me, and I was afraid to speak or move. The
time seemed interminable as we swept on our way, now in almost
complete darkness, for the rolling clouds obscured the moon.
We kept on ascending, with occasional periods of quick descent, but in
the main always ascending. Suddenly, I became conscious of the fact
that the driver was in the act of pulling up the horses in the
courtyard of a vast ruined castle, from whose tall black windows came
no ray of light, and whose broken battlements showed a jagged line
against the sky.
Jonathan Harker's Journal Continued
5 May.--I must have been asleep, for certainly if I had been fully
awake I must have noticed the approach of such a remarkable place. In
the gloom the courtyard looked of considerable size, and as several
dark ways led from it under great round arches, it perhaps seemed
bigger than it really is. I have not yet been able to see it by
When the caleche stopped, the driver jumped down and held out his hand
to assist me to alight. Again I could not but notice his prodigious
strength. His hand actually seemed like a steel vice that could have
crushed mine if he had chosen. Then he took my traps, and placed them
on the ground beside me as I stood close to a great door, old and
studded with large iron nails, and set in a projecting doorway of
massive stone. I could see even in the dim light that the stone was
massively carved, but that the carving had been much worn by time and
weather. As I stood, the driver jumped again into his seat and shook
the reins. The horses started forward, and trap and all disappeared
down one of the dark openings.
I stood in silence where I was, for I did not know what to do. Of
bell or knocker there was no sign. Through these frowning walls and
dark window openings it was not likely that my voice could penetrate.
The time I waited seemed endless, and I felt doubts and fears crowding
upon me. What sort of place had I come to, and among what kind of
people? What sort of grim adventure was it on which I had embarked?
Was this a customary incident in the life of a solicitor's clerk sent
out to explain the purchase of a London estate to a foreigner?
Solicitor's clerk! Mina would not like that. Solicitor, for just
before leaving London I got word that my examination was successful,
and I am now a full-blown solicitor! I began to rub my eyes and pinch
myself to see if I were awake. It all seemed like a horrible
nightmare to me, and I expected that I should suddenly awake, and find
myself at home, with the dawn struggling in through the windows, as I
had now and again felt in the morning after a day of overwork. But my
flesh answered the pinching test, and my eyes were not to be
deceived. I was indeed awake and among the Carpathians. All I could
do now was to be patient, and to wait the coming of morning.
Just as I had come to this conclusion I heard a heavy step approaching
behind the great door, and saw through the chinks the gleam of a
coming light. Then there was the sound of rattling chains and the
clanking of massive bolts drawn back. A key was turned with the loud
grating noise of long disuse, and the great door swung back.
Within, stood a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white
moustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck
of colour about him anywhere. He held in his hand an antique silver
lamp, in which the flame burned without a chimney or globe of any
kind, throwing long quivering shadows as it flickered in the draught
of the open door. The old man motioned me in with his right hand with
a courtly gesture, saying in excellent English, but with a strange
"Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own free will!" He
made no motion of stepping to meet me, but stood like a statue, as
though his gesture of welcome had fixed him into stone. The instant,
however, that I had stepped over the threshold, he moved impulsively
forward, and holding out his hand grasped mine with a strength which
made me wince, an effect which was not lessened by the fact that it
seemed cold as ice, more like the hand of a dead than a living man.
Again he said,
"Welcome to my house! Enter freely. Go safely, and leave something
of the happiness you bring!" The strength of the handshake was so
much akin to that which I had noticed in the driver, whose face I had
not seen, that for a moment I doubted if it were not the same person
to whom I was speaking. So to make sure, I said interrogatively,
He bowed in a courtly way as he replied, "I am Dracula, and I bid you
welcome, Mr. Harker, to my house. Come in, the night air is chill,
and you must need to eat and rest." As he was speaking, he put the lamp
on a bracket on the wall, and stepping out, took my luggage. He had
carried it in before I could forestall him. I protested, but he
"Nay, sir, you are my guest. It is late, and my people are not
available. Let me see to your comfort myself." He insisted on carrying
my traps along the passage, and then up a great winding stair, and
along another great passage, on whose stone floor our steps rang
heavily. At the end of this he threw open a heavy door, and I
rejoiced to see within a well-lit room in which a table was spread for
supper, and on whose mighty hearth a great fire of logs, freshly
replenished, flamed and flared.
The Count halted, putting down my bags, closed the door, and crossing
the room, opened another door, which led into a small octagonal room
lit by a single lamp, and seemingly without a window of any sort.
Passing through this, he opened another door, and motioned me to
enter. It was a welcome sight. For here was a great bedroom well
lighted and warmed with another log fire, also added to but lately,
for the top logs were fresh, which sent a hollow roar up the wide
chimney. The Count himself left my luggage inside and withdrew,
saying, before he closed the door.
"You will need, after your journey, to refresh yourself by making your
toilet. I trust you will find all you wish. When you are ready, come
into the other room, where you will find your supper prepared."
The light and warmth and the Count's courteous welcome seemed to have
dissipated all my doubts and fears. Having then reached my normal
state, I discovered that I was half famished with hunger. So making a
hasty toilet, I went into the other room.
I found supper already laid out. My host, who stood on one side of
the great fireplace, leaning against the stonework, made a graceful
wave of his hand to the table, and said,
"I pray you, be seated and sup how you please. You will I trust,
excuse me that I do not join you, but I have dined already, and I do
I handed to him the sealed letter which Mr. Hawkins had entrusted to
me. He opened it and read it gravely. Then, with a charming smile,
he handed it to me to read. One passage of it, at least, gave me a
thrill of pleasure.
"I must regret that an attack of gout, from which malady I am a
constant sufferer, forbids absolutely any travelling on my part for
some time to come. But I am happy to say I can send a sufficient
substitute, one in whom I have every possible confidence. He is a
young man, full of energy and talent in his own way, and of a very
faithful disposition. He is discreet and silent, and has grown into
manhood in my service. He shall be ready to attend on you when you
will during his stay, and shall take your instructions in all
The count himself came forward and took off the cover of a dish, and I
fell to at once on an excellent roast chicken. This, with some cheese
and a salad and a bottle of old tokay, of which I had two glasses, was
my supper. During the time I was eating it the Count asked me many
questions as to my journey, and I told him by degrees all I had
By this time I had finished my supper, and by my host's desire had
drawn up a chair by the fire and begun to smoke a cigar which he
offered me, at the same time excusing himself that he did not smoke.
I had now an opportunity of observing him, and found him of a very
His face was a strong, a very strong, aquiline, with high bridge of
the thin nose and peculiarly arched nostrils, with lofty domed
forehead, and hair growing scantily round the temples but profusely
elsewhere. His eyebrows were very massive, almost meeting over the
nose, and with bushy hair that seemed to curl in its own profusion.
The mouth, so far as I could see it under the heavy moustache, was
fixed and rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth.
These protruded over the lips, whose remarkable ruddiness showed
astonishing vitality in a man of his years. For the rest, his ears
were pale, and at the tops extremely pointed. The chin was broad and
strong, and the cheeks firm though thin. The general effect was one
of extraordinary pallor.
Hitherto I had noticed the backs of his hands as they lay on his knees
in the firelight, and they had seemed rather white and fine. But
seeing them now close to me, I could not but notice that they were
rather coarse, broad, with squat fingers. Strange to say, there were
hairs in the centre of the palm. The nails were long and fine, and
cut to a sharp point. As the Count leaned over me and his hands
touched me, I could not repress a shudder. It may have been that his
breath was rank, but a horrible feeling of nausea came over me, which,
do what I would, I could not conceal.
The Count, evidently noticing it, drew back. And with a grim sort of
smile, which showed more than he had yet done his protruberant teeth,
sat himself down again on his own side of the fireplace. We were both
silent for a while, and as I looked towards the window I saw the first
dim streak of the coming dawn. There seemed a strange stillness over
everything. But as I listened, I heard as if from down below in the
valley the howling of many wolves. The Count's eyes gleamed, and he
"Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!"
Seeing, I suppose, some expression in my face strange to him, he
added, "Ah, sir, you dwellers in the city cannot enter into the
feelings of the hunter." Then he rose and said.
"But you must be tired. Your bedroom is all ready, and tomorrow you
shall sleep as late as you will. I have to be away till the
afternoon, so sleep well and dream well!" With a courteous bow, he
opened for me himself the door to the octagonal room, and I entered my
I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt. I fear. I think strange
things, which I dare not confess to my own soul. God keep me, if only
for the sake of those dear to me!
7 May.--It is again early morning, but I have rested and enjoyed the
last twenty-four hours. I slept till late in the day, and awoke of my
own accord. When I had dressed myself I went into the room where we
had supped, and found a cold breakfast laid out, with coffee kept hot
by the pot being placed on the hearth. There was a card on the table,
on which was written--"I have to be absent for a while. Do not wait
for me. D." I set to and enjoyed a hearty meal. When I had done, I
looked for a bell, so that I might let the servants know I had
finished, but I could not find one. There are certainly odd
deficiencies in the house, considering the extraordinary evidences of
wealth which are round me. The table service is of gold, and so
beautifully wrought that it must be of immense value. The curtains
and upholstery of the chairs and sofas and the hangings of my bed are
of the costliest and most beautiful fabrics, and must have been of
fabulous value when they were made, for they are centuries old, though
in excellent order. I saw something like them in Hampton Court, but
they were worn and frayed and moth-eaten. But still in none of the
rooms is there a mirror. There is not even a toilet glass on my
table, and I had to get the little shaving glass from my bag before I
could either shave or brush my hair. I have not yet seen a servant
anywhere, or heard a sound near the castle except the howling of
wolves. Some time after I had finished my meal, I do not know whether
to call it breakfast or dinner, for it was between five and six
o'clock when I had it, I looked about for something to read, for I did
not like to go about the castle until I had asked the Count's
permission. There was absolutely nothing in the room, book,
newspaper, or even writing materials, so I opened another door in the
room and found a sort of library. The door opposite mine I tried, but
In the library I found, to my great delight, a vast number of English
books, whole shelves full of them, and bound volumes of magazines and
newspapers. A table in the centre was littered with English magazines
and newspapers, though none of them were of very recent date. The
books were of the most varied kind, history, geography, politics,
political economy, botany, geology, law, all relating to England and
English life and customs and manners. There were even such books of
reference as the London Directory, the "Red" and "Blue" books,
Whitaker's Almanac, the Army and Navy Lists, and it somehow gladdened
my heart to see it, the Law List.
Whilst I was looking at the books, the door opened, and the Count
entered. He saluted me in a hearty way, and hoped that I had had a
good night's rest. Then he went on.
"I am glad you found your way in here, for I am sure there is much
that will interest you. These companions," and he laid his hand on
some of the books, "have been good friends to me, and for some years
past, ever since I had the idea of going to London, have given me
many, many hours of pleasure. Through them I have come to know your
great England, and to know her is to love her. I long to go through
the crowded streets of your mighty London, to be in the midst of the
whirl and rush of humanity, to share its life, its change, its death,
and all that makes it what it is. But alas! As yet I only know your
tongue through books. To you, my friend, I look that I know it to
"But, Count," I said, "You know and speak English thoroughly!" He
"I thank you, my friend, for your all too-flattering estimate, but yet
I fear that I am but a little way on the road I would travel. True, I
know the grammar and the words, but yet I know not how to speak them."
"Indeed," I said, "You speak excellently."
"Not so," he answered. "Well, I know that, did I move and speak in
your London, none there are who would not know me for a stranger. That
is not enough for me. Here I am noble. I am a Boyar. The common
people know me, and I am master. But a stranger in a strange land, he
is no one. Men know him not, and to know not is to care not for. I
am content if I am like the rest, so that no man stops if he sees me,
or pauses in his speaking if he hears my words, 'Ha, ha! A stranger!'
I have been so long master that I would be master still, or at least
that none other should be master of me. You come to me not alone as
agent of my friend Peter Hawkins, of Exeter, to tell me all about my
new estate in London. You shall, I trust, rest here with me a while,
so that by our talking I may learn the English intonation. And I
would that you tell me when I make error, even of the smallest, in my
speaking. I am sorry that I had to be away so long today, but you
will, I know forgive one who has so many important affairs in hand."
Of course I said all I could about being willing, and asked if I might
come into that room when I chose. He answered, "Yes, certainly," and
"You may go anywhere you wish in the castle, except where the doors
are locked, where of course you will not wish to go. There is reason
that all things are as they are, and did you see with my eyes and know
with my knowledge, you would perhaps better understand." I said I was
sure of this, and then he went on.
"We are in Transylvania, and Transylvania is not England. Our ways
are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things. Nay,
from what you have told me of your experiences already, you know
something of what strange things there may be."
This led to much conversation, and as it was evident that he wanted to
talk, if only for talking's sake, I asked him many questions regarding
things that had already happened to me or come within my notice.
Sometimes he sheered off the subject, or turned the conversation by
pretending not to understand, but generally he answered all I asked
most frankly. Then as time went on, and I had got somewhat bolder, I
asked him of some of the strange things of the preceding night, as for
instance, why the coachman went to the places where he had seen the
blue flames. He then explained to me that it was commonly believed
that on a certain night of the year, last night, in fact, when all
evil spirits are supposed to have unchecked sway, a blue flame is seen
over any place where treasure has been concealed.
"That treasure has been hidden," he went on, "in the region through
which you came last night, there can be but little doubt. For it was
the ground fought over for centuries by the Wallachian, the Saxon, and
the Turk. Why, there is hardly a foot of soil in all this region that
has not been enriched by the blood of men, patriots or invaders. In
the old days there were stirring times, when the Austrian and the
Hungarian came up in hordes, and the patriots went out to meet them,
men and women, the aged and the children too, and waited their coming
on the rocks above the passes, that they might sweep destruction on
them with their artificial avalanches. When the invader was
triumphant he found but little, for whatever there was had been
sheltered in the friendly soil."
"But how," said I, "can it have remained so long undiscovered, when
there is a sure index to it if men will but take the trouble to look?"
The Count smiled, and as his lips ran back over his gums, the long,
sharp, canine teeth showed out strangely. He answered:
"Because your peasant is at heart a coward and a fool! Those flames
only appear on one night, and on that night no man of this land will,
if he can help it, stir without his doors. And, dear sir, even if he
did he would not know what to do. Why, even the peasant that you tell
me of who marked the place of the flame would not know where to look
in daylight even for his own work. Even you would not, I dare be
sworn, be able to find these places again?"
"There you are right," I said. "I know no more than the dead where
even to look for them." Then we drifted into other matters.
"Come," he said at last, "tell me of London and of the house which you
have procured for me." With an apology for my remissness, I went into
my own room to get the papers from my bag. Whilst I was placing them
in order I heard a rattling of china and silver in the next room, and
as I passed through, noticed that the table had been cleared and the
lamp lit, for it was by this time deep into the dark. The lamps were
also lit in the study or library, and I found the Count lying on the
sofa, reading, of all things in the world, an English Bradshaw's
Guide. When I came in he cleared the books and papers from the table,
and with him I went into plans and deeds and figures of all sorts. He
was interested in everything, and asked me a myriad questions about
the place and its surroundings. He clearly had studied beforehand all
he could get on the subject of the neighbourhood, for he evidently at
the end knew very much more than I did. When I remarked this, he
"Well, but, my friend, is it not needful that I should? When I go
there I shall be all alone, and my friend Harker Jonathan, nay, pardon
me. I fall into my country's habit of putting your patronymic first,
my friend Jonathan Harker will not be by my side to correct and aid
me. He will be in Exeter, miles away, probably working at papers of
the law with my other friend, Peter Hawkins. So!"
We went thoroughly into the business of the purchase of the estate at
Purfleet. When I had told him the facts and got his signature to the
necessary papers, and had written a letter with them ready to post to
Mr. Hawkins, he began to ask me how I had come across so suitable a
place. I read to him the notes which I had made at the time, and
which I inscribe here.
"At Purfleet, on a byroad, I came across just such a place as seemed
to be required, and where was displayed a dilapidated notice that the
place was for sale. It was surrounded by a high wall, of ancient
structure, built of heavy stones, and has not been repaired for a
large number of years. The closed gates are of heavy old oak and
iron, all eaten with rust.
"The estate is called Carfax, no doubt a corruption of the old Quatre
Face, as the house is four sided, agreeing with the cardinal points of
the compass. It contains in all some twenty acres, quite surrounded
by the solid stone wall above mentioned. There are many trees on it,
which make it in places gloomy, and there is a deep, dark-looking pond
or small lake, evidently fed by some springs, as the water is clear
and flows away in a fair-sized stream. The house is very large and of
all periods back, I should say, to mediaeval times, for one part is of
stone immensely thick, with only a few windows high up and heavily
barred with iron. It looks like part of a keep, and is close to an
old chapel or church. I could not enter it, as I had not the key of
the door leading to it from the house, but I have taken with my Kodak
views of it from various points. The house had been added to, but in
a very straggling way, and I can only guess at the amount of ground it
covers, which must be very great. There are but few houses close at
hand, one being a very large house only recently added to and formed
into a private lunatic asylum. It is not, however, visible from the
When I had finished, he said, "I am glad that it is old and big. I
myself am of an old family, and to live in a new house would kill me.
A house cannot be made habitable in a day, and after all, how few days
go to make up a century. I rejoice also that there is a chapel of old
times. We Transylvanian nobles love not to think that our bones may
lie amongst the common dead. I seek not gaiety nor mirth, not the
bright voluptuousness of much sunshine and sparkling waters which
please the young and gay. I am no longer young, and my heart, through
weary years of mourning over the dead, is not attuned to mirth. Moreover,
the walls of my castle are broken. The shadows are many, and the wind
breathes cold through the broken battlements and casements. I love
the shade and the shadow, and would be alone with my thoughts when I
may." Somehow his words and his look did not seem to accord, or else
it was that his cast of face made his smile look malignant and
Presently, with an excuse, he left me, asking me to pull my papers
together. He was some little time away, and I began to look at some
of the books around me. One was an atlas, which I found opened
naturally to England, as if that map had been much used. On looking
at it I found in certain places little rings marked, and on examining
these I noticed that one was near London on the east side, manifestly
where his new estate was situated. The other two were Exeter, and
Whitby on the Yorkshire coast.
It was the better part of an hour when the Count returned. "Aha!" he
said. "Still at your books? Good! But you must not work always.
Come! I am informed that your supper is ready." He took my arm, and
we went into the next room, where I found an excellent supper ready on
the table. The Count again excused himself, as he had dined out on
his being away from home. But he sat as on the previous night, and
chatted whilst I ate. After supper I smoked, as on the last evening,
and the Count stayed with me, chatting and asking questions on every
conceivable subject, hour after hour. I felt that it was getting very
late indeed, but I did not say anything, for I felt under obligation
to meet my host's wishes in every way. I was not sleepy, as the long
sleep yesterday had fortified me, but I could not help experiencing
that chill which comes over one at the coming of the dawn, which is
like, in its way, the turn of the tide. They say that people who are
near death die generally at the change to dawn or at the turn of the
tide. Anyone who has when tired, and tied as it were to his post,
experienced this change in the atmosphere can well believe it. All at
once we heard the crow of the cock coming up with preternatural
shrillness through the clear morning air.
Count Dracula, jumping to his feet, said, "Why there is the morning
again! How remiss I am to let you stay up so long. You must make
your conversation regarding my dear new country of England less
interesting, so that I may not forget how time flies by us," and with
a courtly bow, he quickly left me.
I went into my room and drew the curtains, but there was little to
notice. My window opened into the courtyard, all I could see was the
warm grey of quickening sky. So I pulled the curtains again, and have
written of this day.
8 May.--I began to fear as I wrote in this book that I was getting too
diffuse. But now I am glad that I went into detail from the first,
for there is something so strange about this place and all in it that
I cannot but feel uneasy. I wish I were safe out of it, or that I had
never come. It may be that this strange night existence is telling on
me, but would that that were all! If there were any one to talk to I
could bear it, but there is no one. I have only the Count to speak
with, and he--I fear I am myself the only living soul within the
place. Let me be prosaic so far as facts can be. It will help me to
bear up, and imagination must not run riot with me. If it does I am
lost. Let me say at once how I stand, or seem to.
I only slept a few hours when I went to bed, and feeling that I could
not sleep any more, got up. I had hung my shaving glass by the
window, and was just beginning to shave. Suddenly I felt a hand on my
shoulder, and heard the Count's voice saying to me, "Good morning." I
started, for it amazed me that I had not seen him, since the
reflection of the glass covered the whole room behind me. In starting
I had cut myself slightly, but did not notice it at the moment. Having
answered the Count's salutation, I turned to the glass again to see
how I had been mistaken. This time there could be no error, for the
man was close to me, and I could see him over my shoulder. But there
was no reflection of him in the mirror! The whole room behind me was
displayed, but there was no sign of a man in it, except myself.
This was startling, and coming on the top of so many strange things,
was beginning to increase that vague feeling of uneasiness which I
always have when the Count is near. But at the instant I saw that the
cut had bled a little, and the blood was trickling over my chin. I
laid down the razor, turning as I did so half round to look for some
sticking plaster. When the Count saw my face, his eyes blazed with a
sort of demoniac fury, and he suddenly made a grab at my throat. I
drew away and his hand touched the string of beads which held the
crucifix. It made an instant change in him, for the fury passed so
quickly that I could hardly believe that it was ever there.
"Take care," he said, "take care how you cut yourself. It is more
dangerous that you think in this country." Then seizing the shaving
glass, he went on, "And this is the wretched thing that has done the
mischief. It is a foul bauble of man's vanity. Away with it!" And
opening the window with one wrench of his terrible hand, he flung out
the glass, which was shattered into a thousand pieces on the stones of
the courtyard far below. Then he withdrew without a word. It is very
annoying, for I do not see how I am to shave, unless in my watch-case
or the bottom of the shaving pot, which is fortunately of metal.
When I went into the dining room, breakfast was prepared, but I could
not find the Count anywhere. So I breakfasted alone. It is strange
that as yet I have not seen the Count eat or drink. He must be a very
peculiar man! After breakfast I did a little exploring in the
castle. I went out on the stairs, and found a room looking towards
The view was magnificent, and from where I stood there was every
opportunity of seeing it. The castle is on the very edge of a
terrific precipice. A stone falling from the window would fall a
thousand feet without touching anything! As far as the eye can reach
is a sea of green tree tops, with occasionally a deep rift where there
is a chasm. Here and there are silver threads where the rivers wind
in deep gorges through the forests.
But I am not in heart to describe beauty, for when I had seen the view
I explored further. Doors, doors, doors everywhere, and all locked
and bolted. In no place save from the windows in the castle walls is
there an available exit. The castle is a veritable prison, and I am a
Jonathan Harker's Journal Continued
When I found that I was a prisoner a sort of wild feeling came over
me. I rushed up and down the stairs, trying every door and peering
out of every window I could find, but after a little the conviction of
my helplessness overpowered all other feelings. When I look back
after a few hours I think I must have been mad for the time, for I
behaved much as a rat does in a trap. When, however, the conviction
had come to me that I was helpless I sat down quietly, as quietly as I
have ever done anything in my life, and began to think over what was
best to be done. I am thinking still, and as yet have come to no
definite conclusion. Of one thing only am I certain. That it is no
use making my ideas known to the Count. He knows well that I am
imprisoned, and as he has done it himself, and has doubtless his own
motives for it, he would only deceive me if I trusted him fully with
the facts. So far as I can see, my only plan will be to keep my
knowledge and my fears to myself, and my eyes open. I am, I know,
either being deceived, like a baby, by my own fears, or else I am in
desperate straits, and if the latter be so, I need, and shall need,
all my brains to get through.
I had hardly come to this conclusion when I heard the great door below
shut, and knew that the Count had returned. He did not come at once
into the library, so I went cautiously to my own room and found him
making the bed. This was odd, but only confirmed what I had all along
thought, that there are no servants in the house. When later I saw
him through the chink of the hinges of the door laying the table in
the dining room, I was assured of it. For if he does himself all
these menial offices, surely it is proof that there is no one else in
the castle, it must have been the Count himself who was the driver of
the coach that brought me here. This is a terrible thought, for if
so, what does it mean that he could control the wolves, as he did, by
only holding up his hand for silence? How was it that all the people
at Bistritz and on the coach had some terrible fear for me? What
meant the giving of the crucifix, of the garlic, of the wild rose, of
the mountain ash?
Bless that good, good woman who hung the crucifix round my neck! For
it is a comfort and a strength to me whenever I touch it. It is odd
that a thing which I have been taught to regard with disfavour and as
idolatrous should in a time of loneliness and trouble be of help. Is
it that there is something in the essence of the thing itself, or that
it is a medium, a tangible help, in conveying memories of sympathy and
comfort? Some time, if it may be, I must examine this matter and try
to make up my mind about it. In the meantime I must find out all I
can about Count Dracula, as it may help me to understand. Tonight he
may talk of himself, if I turn the conversation that way. I must be
very careful, however, not to awake his suspicion.
Midnight.--I have had a long talk with the Count. I asked him a few
questions on Transylvania history, and he warmed up to the subject
wonderfully. In his speaking of things and people, and especially of
battles, he spoke as if he had been present at them all. This he
afterwards explained by saying that to a Boyar the pride of his house
and name is his own pride, that their glory is his glory, that their
fate is his fate. Whenever he spoke of his house he always said "we",
and spoke almost in the plural, like a king speaking. I wish I could
put down all he said exactly as he said it, for to me it was most
fascinating. It seemed to have in it a whole history of the country.
He grew excited as he spoke, and walked about the room pulling his
great white moustache and grasping anything on which he laid his hands
as though he would crush it by main strength. One thing he said which
I shall put down as nearly as I can, for it tells in its way the story
of his race.
"We Szekelys have a right to be proud, for in our veins flows the
blood of many brave races who fought as the lion fights, for lordship.
Here, in the whirlpool of European races, the Ugric tribe bore down
from Iceland the fighting spirit which Thor and Wodin gave them, which
their Berserkers displayed to such fell intent on the seaboards of
Europe, aye, and of Asia and Africa too, till the peoples thought that
the werewolves themselves had come. Here, too, when they came, they
found the Huns, whose warlike fury had swept the earth like a living
flame, till the dying peoples held that in their veins ran the blood
of those old witches, who, expelled from Scythia had mated with the
devils in the desert. Fools, fools! What devil or what witch was
ever so great as Attila, whose blood is in these veins?" He held up
his arms. "Is it a wonder that we were a conquering race, that we
were proud, that when the Magyar, the Lombard, the Avar, the Bulgar,
or the Turk poured his thousands on our frontiers, we drove them back?
Is it strange that when Arpad and his legions swept through the
Hungarian fatherland he found us here when he reached the frontier,
that the Honfoglalas was completed there? And when the Hungarian
flood swept eastward, the Szekelys were claimed as kindred by the
victorious Magyars, and to us for centuries was trusted the guarding
of the frontier of Turkeyland. Aye, and more than that, endless duty
of the frontier guard, for as the Turks say, 'water sleeps, and the
enemy is sleepless.' Who more gladly than we throughout the Four
Nations received the 'bloody sword,' or at its warlike call flocked
quicker to the standard of the King? When was redeemed that great
shame of my nation, the shame of Cassova, when the flags of the
Wallach and the Magyar went down beneath the Crescent? Who was it but
one of my own race who as Voivode crossed the Danube and beat the Turk
on his own ground? This was a Dracula indeed! Woe was it that his
own unworthy brother, when he had fallen, sold his people to the Turk
and brought the shame of slavery on them! Was it not this Dracula,
indeed, who inspired that other of his race who in a later age again
and again brought his forces over the great river into Turkeyland,
who, when he was beaten back, came again, and again, though he had to
come alone from the bloody field where his troops were being
slaughtered, since he knew that he alone could ultimately triumph!
They said that he thought only of himself. Bah! What good are
peasants without a leader? Where ends the war without a brain and
heart to conduct it? Again, when, after the battle of Mohacs, we
threw off the Hungarian yoke, we of the Dracula blood were amongst
their leaders, for our spirit would not brook that we were not free.
Ah, young sir, the Szekelys, and the Dracula as their heart's blood,
their brains, and their swords, can boast a record that mushroom
growths like the Hapsburgs and the Romanoffs can never reach. The
warlike days are over. Blood is too precious a thing in these days of
dishonourable peace, and the glories of the great races are as a tale
that is told."
It was by this time close on morning, and we went to bed. (Mem., this
diary seems horribly like the beginning of the "Arabian Nights," for
everything has to break off at cockcrow, or like the ghost of Hamlet's
12 May.--Let me begin with facts, bare, meager facts, verified by
books and figures, and of which there can be no doubt. I must not
confuse them with experiences which will have to rest on my own
observation, or my memory of them. Last evening when the Count came
from his room he began by asking me questions on legal matters and on
the doing of certain kinds of business. I had spent the day wearily
over books, and, simply to keep my mind occupied, went over some of
the matters I had been examined in at Lincoln's Inn. There was a
certain method in the Count's inquiries, so I shall try to put them
down in sequence. The knowledge may somehow or some time be useful to
First, he asked if a man in England might have two solicitors or more.
I told him he might have a dozen if he wished, but that it would not
be wise to have more than one solicitor engaged in one transaction, as
only one could act at a time, and that to change would be certain to
militate against his interest. He seemed thoroughly to understand,
and went on to ask if there would be any practical difficulty in having
one man to attend, say, to banking, and another to look after
shipping, in case local help were needed in a place far from the home
of the banking solicitor. I asked to explain more fully, so that I
might not by any chance mislead him, so he said,
"I shall illustrate. Your friend and mine, Mr. Peter Hawkins, from
under the shadow of your beautiful cathedral at Exeter, which is far
from London, buys for me through your good self my place at London.
Good! Now here let me say frankly, lest you should think it strange
that I have sought the services of one so far off from London instead
of some one resident there, that my motive was that no local interest
might be served save my wish only, and as one of London residence
might, perhaps, have some purpose of himself or friend to serve, I
went thus afield to seek my agent, whose labours should be only to my
interest. Now, suppose I, who have much of affairs, wish to ship
goods, say, to Newcastle, or Durham, or Harwich, or Dover, might it
not be that it could with more ease be done by consigning to one in
I answered that certainly it would be most easy, but that we
solicitors had a system of agency one for the other, so that local
work could be done locally on instruction from any solicitor, so that
the client, simply placing himself in the hands of one man, could have
his wishes carried out by him without further trouble.
"But," said he, "I could be at liberty to direct myself. Is it not
"Of course," I replied, and "Such is often done by men of business,
who do not like the whole of their affairs to be known by any one
"Good!" he said, and then went on to ask about the means of making
consignments and the forms to be gone through, and of all sorts of
difficulties which might arise, but by forethought could be guarded
against. I explained all these things to him to the best of my
ability, and he certainly left me under the impression that he would
have made a wonderful solicitor, for there was nothing that he did not
think of or foresee. For a man who was never in the country, and who
did not evidently do much in the way of business, his knowledge and
acumen were wonderful. When he had satisfied himself on these points
of which he had spoken, and I had verified all as well as I could by
the books available, he suddenly stood up and said, "Have you written
since your first letter to our friend Mr. Peter Hawkins, or to any
It was with some bitterness in my heart that I answered that I had
not, that as yet I had not seen any opportunity of sending letters to
"Then write now, my young friend," he said, laying a heavy hand on my
shoulder, "write to our friend and to any other, and say, if it will
please you, that you shall stay with me until a month from now."
"Do you wish me to stay so long?" I asked, for my heart grew cold at
"I desire it much, nay I will take no refusal. When your master,
employer, what you will, engaged that someone should come on his
behalf, it was understood that my needs only were to be consulted. I
have not stinted. Is it not so?"
What could I do but bow acceptance? It was Mr. Hawkins' interest, not
mine, and I had to think of him, not myself, and besides, while Count
Dracula was speaking, there was that in his eyes and in his bearing
which made me remember that I was a prisoner, and that if I wished it
I could have no choice. The Count saw his victory in my bow, and his
mastery in the trouble of my face, for he began at once to use them,
but in his own smooth, resistless way.
"I pray you, my good young friend, that you will not discourse of
things other than business in your letters. It will doubtless please
your friends to know that you are well, and that you look forward to
getting home to them. Is it not so?" As he spoke he handed me three
sheets of note paper and three envelopes. They were all of the
thinnest foreign post, and looking at them, then at him, and noticing
his quiet smile, with the sharp, canine teeth lying over the red
underlip, I understood as well as if he had spoken that I should be
more careful what I wrote, for he would be able to read it. So I
determined to write only formal notes now, but to write fully to Mr.
Hawkins in secret, and also to Mina, for to her I could write
shorthand, which would puzzle the Count, if he did see it. When I had
written my two letters I sat quiet, reading a book whilst the Count
wrote several notes, referring as he wrote them to some books on his
table. Then he took up my two and placed them with his own, and put
by his writing materials, after which, the instant the door had closed
behind him, I leaned over and looked at the letters, which were face
down on the table. I felt no compunction in doing so for under the
circumstances I felt that I should protect myself in every way I
One of the letters was directed to Samuel F. Billington, No. 7, The
Crescent, Whitby, another to Herr Leutner, Varna. The third was to
Coutts & Co., London, and the fourth to Herren Klopstock & Billreuth,
bankers, Buda Pesth. The second and fourth were unsealed. I was just
about to look at them when I saw the door handle move. I sank back in
my seat, having just had time to resume my book before the Count,
holding still another letter in his hand, entered the room. He took
up the letters on the table and stamped them carefully, and then
turning to me, said,
"I trust you will forgive me, but I have much work to do in private
this evening. You will, I hope, find all things as you wish." At the
door he turned, and after a moment's pause said, "Let me advise you,
my dear young friend. Nay, let me warn you with all seriousness, that
should you leave these rooms you will not by any chance go to sleep in
any other part of the castle. It is old, and has many memories, and
there are bad dreams for those who sleep unwisely. Be warned! Should
sleep now or ever overcome you, or be like to do, then haste to your
own chamber or to these rooms, for your rest will then be safe. But
if you be not careful in this respect, then," He finished his speech
in a gruesome way, for he motioned with his hands as if he were washing
them. I quite understood. My only doubt was as to whether any dream
could be more terrible than the unnatural, horrible net of gloom and
mystery which seemed closing around me.
Later.--I endorse the last words written, but this time there is no
doubt in question. I shall not fear to sleep in any place where he is
not. I have placed the crucifix over the head of my bed, I imagine
that my rest is thus freer from dreams, and there it shall remain.
When he left me I went to my room. After a little while, not hearing
any sound, I came out and went up the stone stair to where I could
look out towards the South. There was some sense of freedom in the
vast expanse, inaccessible though it was to me, as compared with the
narrow darkness of the courtyard. Looking out on this, I felt that I
was indeed in prison, and I seemed to want a breath of fresh air,
though it were of the night. I am beginning to feel this nocturnal
existence tell on me. It is destroying my nerve. I start at my own
shadow, and am full of all sorts of horrible imaginings. God knows
that there is ground for my terrible fear in this accursed place! I
looked out over the beautiful expanse, bathed in soft yellow moonlight
till it was almost as light as day. In the soft light the distant
hills became melted, and the shadows in the valleys and gorges of
velvety blackness. The mere beauty seemed to cheer me. There was
peace and comfort in every breath I drew. As I leaned from the window
my eye was caught by something moving a storey below me, and somewhat
to my left, where I imagined, from the order of the rooms, that the
windows of the Count's own room would look out. The window at which I
stood was tall and deep, stone-mullioned, and though weatherworn, was
still complete. But it was evidently many a day since the case had
been there. I drew back behind the stonework, and looked carefully
What I saw was the Count's head coming out from the window. I did not
see the face, but I knew the man by the neck and the movement of his
back and arms. In any case I could not mistake the hands which I had
had some many opportunities of studying. I was at first interested
and somewhat amused, for it is wonderful how small a matter will
interest and amuse a man when he is a prisoner. But my very feelings
changed to repulsion and terror when I saw the whole man slowly emerge
from the window and begin to crawl down the castle wall over the
dreadful abyss, face down with his cloak spreading out around him like
great wings. At first I could not believe my eyes. I thought it was
some trick of the moonlight, some weird effect of shadow, but I kept
looking, and it could be no delusion. I saw the fingers and toes
grasp the corners of the stones, worn clear of the mortar by the
stress of years, and by thus using every projection and inequality
move downwards with considerable speed, just as a lizard moves along a
What manner of man is this, or what manner of creature, is it in the
semblance of man? I feel the dread of this horrible place
overpowering me. I am in fear, in awful fear, and there is no escape
for me. I am encompassed about with terrors that I dare not think of.
15 May.--Once more I have seen the count go out in his lizard fashion.
He moved downwards in a sidelong way, some hundred feet down, and a
good deal to the left. He vanished into some hole or window. When
his head had disappeared, I leaned out to try and see more, but
without avail. The distance was too great to allow a proper angle of
sight. I knew he had left the castle now, and thought to use the
opportunity to explore more than I had dared to do as yet. I went
back to the room, and taking a lamp, tried all the doors. They were
all locked, as I had expected, and the locks were comparatively new.
But I went down the stone stairs to the hall where I had entered
originally. I found I could pull back the bolts easily enough and
unhook the great chains. But the door was locked, and the key was
gone! That key must be in the Count's room. I must watch should his
door be unlocked, so that I may get it and escape. I went on to make
a thorough examination of the various stairs and passages, and to try
the doors that opened from them. One or two small rooms near the hall
were open, but there was nothing to see in them except old furniture,
dusty with age and moth-eaten. At last, however, I found one door at
the top of the stairway which, though it seemed locked, gave a little
under pressure. I tried it harder, and found that it was not really
locked, but that the resistance came from the fact that the hinges had
fallen somewhat, and the heavy door rested on the floor. Here was an
opportunity which I might not have again, so I exerted myself, and
with many efforts forced it back so that I could enter. I was now in
a wing of the castle further to the right than the rooms I knew and a
storey lower down. From the windows I could see that the suite of
rooms lay along to the south of the castle, the windows of the end
room looking out both west and south. On the latter side, as well as
to the former, there was a great precipice. The castle was built on
the corner of a great rock, so that on three sides it was quite
impregnable, and great windows were placed here where sling, or bow,
or culverin could not reach, and consequently light and comfort,
impossible to a position which had to be guarded, were secured. To
the west was a great valley, and then, rising far away, great jagged
mountain fastnesses, rising peak on peak, the sheer rock studded with
mountain ash and thorn, whose roots clung in cracks and crevices and
crannies of the stone. This was evidently the portion of the castle
occupied by the ladies in bygone days, for the furniture had more an
air of comfort than any I had seen.
The windows were curtainless, and the yellow moonlight, flooding in
through the diamond panes, enabled one to see even colours, whilst it
softened the wealth of dust which lay over all and disguised in some
measure the ravages of time and moth. My lamp seemed to be of little
effect in the brilliant moonlight, but I was glad to have it with me,
for there was a dread loneliness in the place which chilled my heart
and made my nerves tremble. Still, it was better than living alone in
the rooms which I had come to hate from the presence of the Count, and
after trying a little to school my nerves, I found a soft quietude
come over me. Here I am, sitting at a little oak table where in old
times possibly some fair lady sat to pen, with much thought and many
blushes, her ill-spelt love letter, and writing in my diary in
shorthand all that has happened since I closed it last. It is the
nineteenth century up-to-date with a vengeance. And yet, unless my
senses deceive me, the old centuries had, and have, powers of their
own which mere "modernity" cannot kill.
Later: The morning of 16 May.--God preserve my sanity, for to this I
am reduced. Safety and the assurance of safety are things of the
past. Whilst I live on here there is but one thing to hope for, that
I may not go mad, if, indeed, I be not mad already. If I be sane,
then surely it is maddening to think that of all the foul things that
lurk in this hateful place the Count is the least dreadful to me, that
to him alone I can look for safety, even though this be only whilst I
can serve his purpose. Great God! Merciful God, let me be calm, for
out of that way lies madness indeed. I begin to get new lights on
certain things which have puzzled me. Up to now I never quite knew
what Shakespeare meant when he made Hamlet say, "My tablets! Quick,
my tablets! 'tis meet that I put it down," etc., For now, feeling as
though my own brain were unhinged or as if the shock had come which
must end in its undoing, I turn to my diary for repose. The habit of
entering accurately must help to soothe me.
The Count's mysterious warning frightened me at the time. It frightens
me more not when I think of it, for in the future he has a fearful
hold upon me. I shall fear to doubt what he may say!
When I had written in my diary and had fortunately replaced the book
and pen in my pocket I felt sleepy. The Count's warning came into my
mind, but I took pleasure in disobeying it. The sense of sleep was
upon me, and with it the obstinacy which sleep brings as outrider. The
soft moonlight soothed, and the wide expanse without gave a sense of
freedom which refreshed me. I determined not to return tonight to the
gloom-haunted rooms, but to sleep here, where, of old, ladies had sat
and sung and lived sweet lives whilst their gentle breasts were sad
for their menfolk away in the midst of remorseless wars. I drew a
great couch out of its place near the corner, so that as I lay, I
could look at the lovely view to east and south, and unthinking of and
uncaring for the dust, composed myself for sleep. I suppose I must
have fallen asleep. I hope so, but I fear, for all that followed was
startlingly real, so real that now sitting here in the broad, full
sunlight of the morning, I cannot in the least believe that it was all
I was not alone. The room was the same, unchanged in any way since I
came into it. I could see along the floor, in the brilliant
moonlight, my own footsteps marked where I had disturbed the long
accumulation of dust. In the moonlight opposite me were three young
women, ladies by their dress and manner. I thought at the time that I
must be dreaming when I saw them, they threw no shadow on the floor.
They came close to me, and looked at me for some time, and then
whispered together. Two were dark, and had high aquiline noses, like
the Count, and great dark, piercing eyes, that seemed to be almost red
when contrasted with the pale yellow moon. The other was fair, as
fair as can be, with great masses of golden hair and eyes like pale
sapphires. I seemed somehow to know her face, and to know it in
connection with some dreamy fear, but I could not recollect at the
moment how or where. All three had brilliant white teeth that shone
like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips. There was
something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same
time some deadly fear. I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire
that they would kiss me with those red lips. It is not good to note
this down, lest some day it should meet Mina's eyes and cause her
pain, but it is the truth. They whispered together, and then they all
three laughed, such a silvery, musical laugh, but as hard as though
the sound never could have come through the softness of human lips.
It was like the intolerable, tingling sweetness of waterglasses when
played on by a cunning hand. The fair girl shook her head
coquettishly, and the other two urged her on.
One said, "Go on! You are first, and we shall follow. Yours is the
right to begin."
The other added, "He is young and strong. There are kisses for us
I lay quiet, looking out from under my eyelashes in an agony of
delightful anticipation. The fair girl advanced and bent over me till
I could feel the movement of her breath upon me. Sweet it was in one
sense, honey-sweet, and sent the same tingling through the nerves as
her voice, but with a bitter underlying the sweet, a bitter
offensiveness, as one smells in blood.
I was afraid to raise my eyelids, but looked out and saw perfectly
under the lashes. The girl went on her knees, and bent over me,
simply gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both
thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck she actually
licked her lips like an animal, till I could see in the moonlight the
moisture shining on the scarlet lips and on the red tongue as it
lapped the white sharp teeth. Lower and lower went her head as the
lips went below the range of my mouth and chin and seemed to fasten on
my throat. Then she paused, and I could hear the churning sound of
her tongue as it licked her teeth and lips, and I could feel the hot
breath on my neck. Then the skin of my throat began to tingle as
one's flesh does when the hand that is to tickle it approaches nearer,
nearer. I could feel the soft, shivering touch of the lips on the
super sensitive skin of my throat, and the hard dents of two sharp
teeth, just touching and pausing there. I closed my eyes in
languorous ecstasy and waited, waited with beating heart.
But at that instant, another sensation swept through me as quick as
lightning. I was conscious of the presence of the Count, and of his
being as if lapped in a storm of fury. As my eyes opened
involuntarily I saw his strong hand grasp the slender neck of the fair
woman and with giant's power draw it back, the blue eyes transformed
with fury, the white teeth champing with rage, and the fair cheeks
blazing red with passion. But the Count! Never did I imagine such
wrath and fury, even to the demons of the pit. His eyes were
positively blazing. The red light in them was lurid, as if the flames
of hell fire blazed behind them. His face was deathly pale, and the
lines of it were hard like drawn wires. The thick eyebrows that met
over the nose now seemed like a heaving bar of white-hot metal. With
a fierce sweep of his arm, he hurled the woman from him, and then
motioned to the others, as though he were beating them back. It was
the same imperious gesture that I had seen used to the wolves. In a
voice which, though low and almost in a whisper seemed to cut through
the air and then ring in the room he said,
"How dare you touch him, any of you? How dare you cast eyes on him
when I had forbidden it? Back, I tell you all! This man belongs to
me! Beware how you meddle with him, or you'll have to deal with me."
The fair girl, with a laugh of ribald coquetry, turned to answer him.
"You yourself never loved. You never love!" On this the other women
joined, and such a mirthless, hard, soulless laughter rang through the
room that it almost made me faint to hear. It seemed like the
pleasure of fiends.
Then the Count turned, after looking at my face attentively, and said
in a soft whisper, "Yes, I too can love. You yourselves can tell it
from the past. Is it not so? Well, now I promise you that when I am
done with him you shall kiss him at your will. Now go! Go! I must
awaken him, for there is work to be done."
"Are we to have nothing tonight?" said one of them, with a low laugh,
as she pointed to the bag which he had thrown upon the floor, and
which moved as though there were some living thing within it. For
answer he nodded his head. One of the women jumped forward and opened
it. If my ears did not deceive me there was a gasp and a low wail, as
of a half smothered child. The women closed round, whilst I was
aghast with horror. But as I looked, they disappeared, and with them
the dreadful bag. There was no door near them, and they could not
have passed me without my noticing. They simply seemed to fade into
the rays of the moonlight and pass out through the window, for I could
see outside the dim, shadowy forms for a moment before they entirely
Then the horror overcame me, and I sank down unconscious.
Jonathan Harker's Journal Continued
I awoke in my own bed. If it be that I had not dreamt, the Count must
have carried me here. I tried to satisfy myself on the subject, but
could not arrive at any unquestionable result. To be sure, there were
certain small evidences, such as that my clothes were folded and laid
by in a manner which was not my habit. My watch was still unwound,
and I am rigorously accustomed to wind it the last thing before going
to bed, and many such details. But these things are no proof, for
they may have been evidences that my mind was not as usual, and, for
some cause or another, I had certainly been much upset. I must watch
for proof. Of one thing I am glad. If it was that the Count carried
me here and undressed me, he must have been hurried in his task, for
my pockets are intact. I am sure this diary would have been a mystery
to him which he would not have brooked. He would have taken or
destroyed it. As I look round this room, although it has been to me
so full of fear, it is now a sort of sanctuary, for nothing can be
more dreadful than those awful women, who were, who are, waiting to
suck my blood.
18 May.--I have been down to look at that room again in daylight, for
I must know the truth. When I got to the doorway at the top of the
stairs I found it closed. It had been so forcibly driven against the
jamb that part of the woodwork was splintered. I could see that the
bolt of the lock had not been shot, but the door is fastened from the
inside. I fear it was no dream, and must act on this surmise.
19 May.--I am surely in the toils. Last night the Count asked me in
the suavest tones to write three letters, one saying that my work here
was nearly done, and that I should start for home within a few days,
another that I was starting on the next morning from the time of the
letter, and the third that I had left the castle and arrived at
Bistritz. I would fain have rebelled, but felt that in the present
state of things it would be madness to quarrel openly with the Count
whilst I am so absolutely in his power. And to refuse would be to
excite his suspicion and to arouse his anger. He knows that I know
too much, and that I must not live, lest I be dangerous to him. My
only chance is to prolong my opportunities. Something may occur which
will give me a chance to escape. I saw in his eyes something of that
gathering wrath which was manifest when he hurled that fair woman from
him. He explained to me that posts were few and uncertain, and that
my writing now would ensure ease of mind to my friends. And he
assured me with so much impressiveness that he would countermand the
later letters, which would be held over at Bistritz until due time in
case chance would admit of my prolonging my stay, that to oppose him
would have been to create new suspicion. I therefore pretended to
fall in with his views, and asked him what dates I should put on the
He calculated a minute, and then said, "The first should be June 12,
the second June 19, and the third June 29."
I know now the span of my life. God help me!
28 May.--There is a chance of escape, or at any rate of being able to
send word home. A band of Szgany have come to the castle, and are
encamped in the courtyard. These are gipsies. I have notes of them
in my book. They are peculiar to this part of the world, though
allied to the ordinary gipsies all the world over. There are
thousands of them in Hungary and Transylvania, who are almost outside
all law. They attach themselves as a rule to some great noble or
boyar, and call themselves by his name. They are fearless and without
religion, save superstition, and they talk only their own varieties of
the Romany tongue.
I shall write some letters home, and shall try to get them to have
them posted. I have already spoken to them through my window to begin
acquaintanceship. They took their hats off and made obeisance and
many signs, which however, I could not understand any more than I
could their spoken language . . .
I have written the letters. Mina's is in shorthand, and I simply ask
Mr. Hawkins to communicate with her. To her I have explained my
situation, but without the horrors which I may only surmise. It would
shock and frighten her to death were I to expose my heart to her.
Should the letters not carry, then the Count shall not yet know my
secret or the extent of my knowledge. . . .
I have given the letters. I threw them through the bars of my window
with a gold piece, and made what signs I could to have them posted.
The man who took them pressed them to his heart and bowed, and then
put them in his cap. I could do no more. I stole back to the study,
and began to read. As the Count did not come in, I have written
here . . .
The Count has come. He sat down beside me, and said in his smoothest
voice as he opened two letters, "The Szgany has given me these, of
which, though I know not whence they come, I shall, of course, take
care. See!"--He must have looked at it.--"One is from you, and to my
friend Peter Hawkins. The other,"--here he caught sight of the
strange symbols as he opened the envelope, and the dark look came into
his face, and his eyes blazed wickedly,--"The other is a vile thing,
an outrage upon friendship and hospitality! It is not signed. Well!
So it cannot matter to us." And he calmly held letter and envelope in
the flame of the lamp till they were consumed.
Then he went on, "The letter to Hawkins, that I shall, of course send
on, since it is yours. Your letters are sacred to me. Your pardon,
my friend, that unknowingly I did break the seal. Will you not cover
it again?" He held out the letter to me, and with a courteous bow
handed me a clean envelope.
I could only redirect it and hand it to him in silence. When he went
out of the room I could hear the key turn softly. A minute later I
went over and tried it, and the door was locked.
When, an hour or two after, the Count came quietly into the room, his
coming awakened me, for I had gone to sleep on the sofa. He was very
courteous and very cheery in his manner, and seeing that I had been
sleeping, he said, "So, my friend, you are tired? Get to bed. There
is the surest rest. I may not have the pleasure of talk tonight,
since there are many labours to me, but you will sleep, I pray."
I passed to my room and went to bed, and, strange to say, slept
without dreaming. Despair has its own calms.
31 May.--This morning when I woke I thought I would provide myself
with some papers and envelopes from my bag and keep them in my pocket,
so that I might write in case I should get an opportunity, but again a
surprise, again a shock!
Every scrap of paper was gone, and with it all my notes, my memoranda,
relating to railways and travel, my letter of credit, in fact all that
might be useful to me were I once outside the castle. I sat and
pondered awhile, and then some thought occurred to me, and I made
search of my portmanteau and in the wardrobe where I had placed my
The suit in which I had travelled was gone, and also my overcoat and
rug. I could find no trace of them anywhere. This looked like some
new scheme of villainy . . .
17 June.--This morning, as I was sitting on the edge of my bed
cudgelling my brains, I heard without a crackling of whips and
pounding and scraping of horses' feet up the rocky path beyond the
courtyard. With joy I hurried to the window, and saw drive into the
yard two great leiter-wagons, each drawn by eight sturdy horses, and
at the head of each pair a Slovak, with his wide hat, great
nail-studded belt, dirty sheepskin, and high boots. They had also
their long staves in hand. I ran to the door, intending to descend
and try and join them through the main hall, as I thought that way
might be opened for them. Again a shock, my door was fastened on the
Then I ran to the window and cried to them. They looked up at me
stupidly and pointed, but just then the "hetman" of the Szgany came
out, and seeing them pointing to my window, said something, at which
Henceforth no effort of mine, no piteous cry or agonized entreaty,
would make them even look at me. They resolutely turned away. The
leiter-wagons contained great, square boxes, with handles of thick
rope. These were evidently empty by the ease with which the Slovaks
handled them, and by their resonance as they were roughly moved.
When they were all unloaded and packed in a great heap in one corner
of the yard, the Slovaks were given some money by the Szgany, and
spitting on it for luck, lazily went each to his horse's head.
Shortly afterwards, I heard the crackling of their whips die away in
24 June.--Last night the Count left me early, and locked himself into
his own room. As soon as I dared I ran up the winding stair, and
looked out of the window, which opened South. I thought I would watch
for the Count, for there is something going on. The Szgany are
quartered somewhere in the castle and are doing work of some kind. I
know it, for now and then, I hear a far-away muffled sound as of
mattock and spade, and, whatever it is, it must be the end of some
I had been at the window somewhat less than half an hour, when I saw
something coming out of the Count's window. I drew back and watched
carefully, and saw the whole man emerge. It was a new shock to me to
find that he had on the suit of clothes which I had worn whilst
travelling here, and slung over his shoulder the terrible bag which I
had seen the women take away. There could be no doubt as to his
quest, and in my garb, too! This, then, is his new scheme of evil,
that he will allow others to see me, as they think, so that he may
both leave evidence that I have been seen in the towns or villages
posting my own letters, and that any wickedness which he may do shall
by the local people be attributed to me.
It makes me rage to think that this can go on, and whilst I am shut up
here, a veritable prisoner, but without that protection of the law
which is even a criminal's right and consolation.
I thought I would watch for the Count's return, and for a long time
sat doggedly at the window. Then I began to notice that there were
some quaint little specks floating in the rays of the moonlight. They
were like the tiniest grains of dust, and they whirled round and
gathered in clusters in a nebulous sort of way. I watched them with a
sense of soothing, and a sort of calm stole over me. I leaned back in
the embrasure in a more comfortable position, so that I could enjoy
more fully the aerial gambolling.
Something made me start up, a low, piteous howling of dogs somewhere
far below in the valley, which was hidden from my sight. Louder it
seemed to ring in my ears, and the floating moats of dust to take new
shapes to the sound as they danced in the moonlight. I felt myself
struggling to awake to some call of my instincts. Nay, my very soul
was struggling, and my half-remembered sensibilities were striving to
answer the call. I was becoming hypnotised!
Quicker and quicker danced the dust. The moonbeams seemed to quiver
as they went by me into the mass of gloom beyond. More and more they
gathered till they seemed to take dim phantom shapes. And then I
started, broad awake and in full possession of my senses, and ran
screaming from the place.
The phantom shapes, which were becoming gradually materialised from
the moonbeams, were those three ghostly women to whom I was doomed.
I fled, and felt somewhat safer in my own room, where there was no
moonlight, and where the lamp was burning brightly.
When a couple of hours had passed I heard something stirring in the
Count's room, something like a sharp wail quickly suppressed. And
then there was silence, deep, awful silence, which chilled me. With a
beating heart, I tried the door, but I was locked in my prison, and
could do nothing. I sat down and simply cried.
As I sat I heard a sound in the courtyard without, the agonised cry of
a woman. I rushed to the window, and throwing it up, peered between
There, indeed, was a woman with dishevelled hair, holding her hands
over her heart as one distressed with running. She was leaning
against the corner of the gateway. When she saw my face at the window
she threw herself forward, and shouted in a voice laden with menace,
"Monster, give me my child!"
She threw herself on her knees, and raising up her hands, cried the
same words in tones which wrung my heart. Then she tore her hair and
beat her breast, and abandoned herself to all the violences of
extravagant emotion. Finally, she threw herself forward, and though I
could not see her, I could hear the beating of her naked hands against
Somewhere high overhead, probably on the tower, I heard the voice of
the Count calling in his harsh, metallic whisper. His call seemed to
be answered from far and wide by the howling of wolves. Before many
minutes had passed a pack of them poured, like a pent-up dam when
liberated, through the wide entrance into the courtyard.
There was no cry from the woman, and the howling of the wolves was but
short. Before long they streamed away singly, licking their lips.
I could not pity her, for I knew now what had become of her child, and
she was better dead.
What shall I do? What can I do? How can I escape from this dreadful
thing of night, gloom, and fear?
25 June.--No man knows till he has suffered from the night how sweet
and dear to his heart and eye the morning can be. When the sun grew
so high this morning that it struck the top of the great gateway
opposite my window, the high spot which it touched seemed to me as if
the dove from the ark had lighted there. My fear fell from me as if
it had been a vaporous garment which dissolved in the warmth.
I must take action of some sort whilst the courage of the day is upon
me. Last night one of my post-dated letters went to post, the first
of that fatal series which is to blot out the very traces of my
existence from the earth.
Let me not think of it. Action!
It has always been at night-time that I have been molested or
threatened, or in some way in danger or in fear. I have not yet seen
the Count in the daylight. Can it be that he sleeps when others wake,
that he may be awake whilst they sleep? If I could only get into his
room! But there is no possible way. The door is always locked, no
way for me.
Yes, there is a way, if one dares to take it. Where his body has gone
why may not another body go? I have seen him myself crawl from his
window. Why should not I imitate him, and go in by his window? The
chances are desperate, but my need is more desperate still. I shall
risk it. At the worst it can only be death, and a man's death is not
a calf's, and the dreaded Hereafter may still be open to me. God help
me in my task! Goodbye, Mina, if I fail. Goodbye, my faithful friend
and second father. Goodbye, all, and last of all Mina!
Same day, later.--I have made the effort, and God helping me, have
come safely back to this room. I must put down every detail in order.
I went whilst my courage was fresh straight to the window on the south
side, and at once got outside on this side. The stones are big and
roughly cut, and the mortar has by process of time been washed away
between them. I took off my boots, and ventured out on the desperate
way. I looked down once, so as to make sure that a sudden glimpse of
the awful depth would not overcome me, but after that kept my eyes
away from it. I know pretty well the direction and distance of the
Count's window, and made for it as well as I could, having regard to
the opportunities available. I did not feel dizzy, I suppose I was
too excited, and the time seemed ridiculously short till I found
myself standing on the window sill and trying to raise up the sash. I
was filled with agitation, however, when I bent down and slid feet
foremost in through the window. Then I looked around for the Count,
but with surprise and gladness, made a discovery. The room was
empty! It was barely furnished with odd things, which seemed to have
never been used.
The furniture was something the same style as that in the south rooms,
and was covered with dust. I looked for the key, but it was not in
the lock, and I could not find it anywhere. The only thing I found
was a great heap of gold in one corner, gold of all kinds, Roman, and
British, and Austrian, and Hungarian, and Greek and Turkish money,
covered with a film of dust, as though it had lain long in the ground.
None of it that I noticed was less than three hundred years old.
There were also chains and ornaments, some jewelled, but all of them
old and stained.
At one corner of the room was a heavy door. I tried it, for, since I
could not find the key of the room or the key of the outer door, which
was the main object of my search, I must make further examination, or
all my efforts would be in vain. It was open, and led through a stone
passage to a circular stairway, which went steeply down.
I descended, minding carefully where I went for the stairs were dark,
being only lit by loopholes in the heavy masonry. At the bottom there
was a dark, tunnel-like passage, through which came a deathly, sickly
odour, the odour of old earth newly turned. As I went through the
passage the smell grew closer and heavier. At last I pulled open a
heavy door which stood ajar, and found myself in an old ruined chapel,
which had evidently been used as a graveyard. The roof was broken,
and in two places were steps leading to vaults, but the ground had
recently been dug over, and the earth placed in great wooden boxes,
manifestly those which had been brought by the Slovaks.
There was nobody about, and I made a search over every inch of the
ground, so as not to lose a chance. I went down even into the vaults,
where the dim light struggled, although to do so was a dread to my
very soul. Into two of these I went, but saw nothing except fragments
of old coffins and piles of dust. In the third, however, I made a
There, in one of the great boxes, of which there were fifty in all, on
a pile of newly dug earth, lay the Count! He was either dead or
asleep. I could not say which, for eyes were open and stony, but
without the glassiness of death, and the cheeks had the warmth of life
through all their pallor. The lips were as red as ever. But there
was no sign of movement, no pulse, no breath, no beating of the heart.
I bent over him, and tried to find any sign of life, but in vain. He
could not have lain there long, for the earthy smell would have passed
away in a few hours. By the side of the box was its cover, pierced
with holes here and there. I thought he might have the keys on him,
but when I went to search I saw the dead eyes, and in them dead though
they were, such a look of hate, though unconscious of me or my
presence, that I fled from the place, and leaving the Count's room by
the window, crawled again up the castle wall. Regaining my room, I
threw myself panting upon the bed and tried to think.
29 June.--Today is the date of my last letter, and the Count has taken
steps to prove that it was genuine, for again I saw him leave the
castle by the same window, and in my clothes. As he went down the
wall, lizard fashion, I wished I had a gun or some lethal weapon, that
I might destroy him. But I fear that no weapon wrought along by man's
hand would have any effect on him. I dared not wait to see him
return, for I feared to see those weird sisters. I came back to the
library, and read there till I fell asleep.
I was awakened by the Count, who looked at me as grimly as a man could
look as he said, "Tomorrow, my friend, we must part. You return to