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CHAPTER 2 Jonathan Harker's Journal Continued

23 April 2022

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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 daylight.
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 intonation.
"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, "Count Dracula?"
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 insisted.
"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 not sup."
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 matters."
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 experienced.
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 marked physiognomy.
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 said.
"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 bedroom.
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 found locked.
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 speak."
"But, Count," I said, "You know and speak English thoroughly!" He
bowed gravely.
"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 added.
"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 answered.
"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
grounds."
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 saturnine.
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 South.
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 prisoner!  

More Books by Bram Stoker

2
Articles
Dracula
0.0
Dracula is a novel by Bram Stoker, published in 1897. As an epistolary novel, the narrative is related through letters, diary entries, and newspaper articles. It has no single protagonist, but opens with solicitor Jonathan Harker taking a business trip to stay at the castle of a Transylvanian noble, Count Dracula. Harker escapes the castle after discovering that Dracula is a vampire, and the Count moves to England and plagues the seaside town of Whitby. A small group, led by Abraham Van Helsing, hunt Dracula and, in the end, kill him.