• Victoria Reeve

Dracula, Flipped: Chapter 8

Updated: Jul 18, 2019

Chapter 8

Max Murray’s Journal

Same day, 11 o’clock P.M. — Oh, but I am tired! If it were not that I had made my diary a duty I should not open it tonight. We had a lovely walk. Leonard, after a while, was in gay spirits, owing, I think, to some dear cows who came nosing towards us in a field close to the lighthouse, and frightened the wits out of us. I believe we forgot everything, except of course, personal fear, and it seemed to wipe the slate clean and give us a fresh start. We had a capital ‘severe tea’ at Robin Hood’s Bay in a sweet little old-fashioned inn, with a bow window right over the seaweed-covered rocks of the strand. I believe we should have shocked the ‘New Man’ with our appetites. Women are more tolerant, bless them! Then we walked home with some, or rather many, stoppages to rest, and with our hearts full of a constant dread of wild bulls.

Leonard was really tired, and we intended to creep off to bed as soon as we could. The young curate came in, however, and Mr. Westenra asked her to stay for supper. Leonard and I had both a fight for it with the dusty miller. I know it was a hard fight on my part, and I am quite heroic. I think that some day the bishops must get together and see about breeding up a new class of curates, who don’t take supper, no matter how hard they may be pressed to, and who will know when boys are tired.

Leonard is asleep and breathing softly. He has more colour in his cheeks than usual, and looks, oh so sweet. If Ms Holmwood fell in love with him seeing him only in the drawing room, I wonder what she would say if she saw him now. Some of the ‘New Men’ writers will some day start an idea that women and men should be allowed to see each other asleep before proposing or accepting. But I suppose the ‘New Man’ won’t condescend in future to accept. He will do the proposing himself. And a nice job he will make of it too! There’s some consolation in that. I am so happy tonight, because dear Leonard seems better. I really believe he has turned the corner, and that we are over his troubles with dreaming. I should be quite happy if I only knew if Genevieve . . . God bless and keep her.

11 August. — Diary again. No sleep now, so I may as well write. I am too agitated to sleep. We have had such an adventure, such an agonizing experience. I fell asleep as soon as I had closed my diary. . . . Suddenly I became broad awake, and sat up, with a horrible sense of fear upon me, and of some feeling of emptiness around me. The room was dark, so I could not see Leonard’s bed. I stole across and felt for him. The bed was empty. I lit a match and found that he was not in the room. The door was shut, but not locked, as I had left it. I feared to wake his father, who has been more than usually ill lately, so threw on some clothes and got ready to look for him. As I was leaving the room it struck me that the clothes he wore might give me some clue to his dreaming intention. Dressing-gown would mean house, suit outside. Dressing-gown and suit were both in their places. “Thank God,” I said to myself, “he cannot be far, as he is only in his nightshirt.”

I ran downstairs and looked in the sitting room. Not there! Then I looked in all the other rooms of the house, with an ever-growing fear chilling my heart. Finally, I came to the hall door and found it open. It was not wide open, but the catch of the lock had not caught. The people of the house are careful to lock the door every night, so I feared that Leonard must have gone out as he was. There was no time to think of what might happen. A vague over-mastering fear obscured all details.

I took a big, heavy shawl and ran out. The clock was striking one as I was in the Crescent, and there was not a soul in sight. I ran along the North Terrace, but could see no sign of the white figure which I expected. At the edge of the West Cliff above the pier I looked across the harbour to the East Cliff, in the hope or fear, I don’t know which, of seeing Leonard in our favourite seat.

There was a bright full moon, with heavy black, driving clouds, which threw the whole scene into a fleeting diorama of light and shade as they sailed across. For a moment or two I could see nothing, as the shadow of a cloud obscured St. Mary’s Church and all around it. Then as the cloud passed I could see the ruins of the abbey coming into view, and as the edge of a narrow band of light as sharp as a sword-cut moved along, the church and churchyard became gradually visible. Whatever my expectation was, it was not disappointed, for there, on our favourite seat, the silver light of the moon struck a half-reclining figure, snowy white. The coming of the cloud was too quick for me to see much, for shadow shut down on light almost immediately, but it seemed to me as though something dark stood behind the seat where the white figure shone, and bent over it. What it was, whether woman or beast, I could not tell.

I did not wait to catch another glance, but flew down the steep steps to the pier and along by the fish-market to the bridge, which was the only way to reach the East Cliff. The town seemed as dead, for not a soul did I see. I rejoiced that it was so, for I wanted no witness of poor Leonard’s condition. The time and distance seemed endless, and my knees trembled and my breath came laboured as I toiled up the endless steps to the abbey. I must have gone fast, and yet it seemed to me as if my feet were weighted with lead, and as though every joint in my body were rusty.

When I got almost to the top I could see the seat and the white figure, for I was now close enough to distinguish it even through the spells of shadow. There was undoubtedly something, long and black, bending over the half-reclining white figure. I called in fright, “Leonard! Leonard!” and something raised a head, and from where I was I could see a white face and red, gleaming eyes.

Leonard did not answer, and I ran on to the entrance of the churchyard. As I entered, the church was between me and the seat, and for a minute or so I lost sight of him. When I came in view again the cloud had passed, and the moonlight struck so brilliantly that I could see Leonard half reclining with his head lying over the back of the seat. He was quite alone, and there was not a sign of any living thing about.

When I bent over him I could see that he was still asleep. His lips were parted, and he was breathing, not softly as usual with him, but in long, heavy gasps, as though striving to get his lungs full at every breath. As I came close, he put up his hand in his sleep and pulled the collar of his nightshirt close around him, as though he felt the cold. I flung the warm shawl over him, and drew the edges tight around him neck, for I dreaded lest he should get some deadly chill from the night air, unclad as he was. I feared to wake him all at once, so, in order to have my hands free to help him, I fastened the shawl at his throat with a big safety pin. But I must have been clumsy in my anxiety and pinched or pricked him with it, for by-and-by, when his breathing became quieter, he put her hand to his throat again and moaned. When I had him carefully wrapped up I put my shoes on his feet, and then began very gently to wake him.

At first he did not respond, but gradually he became more and more uneasy in his sleep, moaning and sighing occasionally. At last, as time was passing fast, and for many other reasons, I wished to get him home at once, I shook him forcibly, till finally he opened his eyes and awoke. He did not seem surprised to see me, as, of course, he did not realize all at once where he was.

Leonard always wakes prettily, and even at such a time, when his body must have been chilled with cold, and his mind somewhat appalled at waking unclad in a churchyard at night, he did not lose his grace. He trembled a little, and clung to me. When I told him to come at once with me home, he rose without a word, with the obedience of a child. As we passed along, the gravel hurt my feet, and Leonard noticed me wince. He stopped and wanted to insist upon my taking my shoes, but I would not. However, when we got to the pathway outside the churchyard, where there was a puddle of water, remaining from the storm, I daubed my feet with mud, using each foot in turn on the other, so that as we went home, no one, in case we should meet any one, should notice my bare feet.

Fortune favoured us, and we got home without meeting a soul. Once we saw a woman, who seemed not quite sober, passing along a street in front of us. But we hid in a door till she had disappeared up an opening such as there are here, steep little closes, or ‘wynds’, as they call them in Scotland. My heart beat so loud all the time sometimes I thought I should faint. I was filled with anxiety about Leonard, not only for his health, lest he should suffer from the exposure, but for his reputation in case the story should get wind. When we got in, and had washed our feet, and had said a prayer of thankfulness together, I tucked him into bed. Before falling asleep he asked, even implored, me not to say a word to any one, even his father, about his sleep-walking adventure.

I hesitated at first, to promise, but on thinking of the state of his father’s health, and how the knowledge of such a thing would fret him, and think too, of how such a story might become distorted, nay, infallibly would, in case it should leak out, I thought it wiser to do so. I hope I did right. I have locked the door, and the key is tied to my wrist, so perhaps I shall not be again disturbed. Leonard is sleeping soundly. The reflex of the dawn is high and far over the sea.. .

Same day, noon. — All goes well. Leonard slept till I woke him and seemed not to have even changed his side. The adventure of the night does not seem to have harmed him, on the contrary, it has benefited him, for he looks better this morning than he has done for weeks. I was sorry to notice that my clumsiness with the safety-pin hurt him. Indeed, it might have been serious, for the skin of his throat was pierced. I must have pinched up a piece of loose skin and have transfixed it, for there are two little red points like pin-pricks, and on the band of his nightshirt was a drop of blood. When I apologised and was concerned about it, he laughed and petted me, and said he did not even feel it. Fortunately it cannot leave a scar, as it is so tiny.

Same day, night. — We passed a happy day. The air was clear, and the sun bright, and there was a cool breeze. We took our lunch to Mulgrave Woods, Mr. Westenra driving by the road and Leonard and I walking by the cliff-path and joining him at the gate. I felt a little sad myself, for I could not but feel how absolutely happy it would have been had Genevieve been with me. But there! I must only be patient. In the evening we strolled in the Casino Terrace, and heard some good music by Spohr and Mackenzie, and went to bed early. Leonard seems more restful than he has been for some time, and fell asleep at once. I shall lock the door and secure the key the same as before, though I do not expect any trouble tonight.

12 August. — My expectations were wrong, for twice during the night I was wakened by Leonard trying to get out. He seemed, even in his sleep, to be a little impatient at finding the door shut, and went back to bed under a sort of protest. I woke with the dawn, and heard the birds chirping outside of the window. Leonard woke, too, and I was glad to see, was even better than on the previous morning. All his old gaiety of manner seemed to have come back, and he came and snuggled in beside me and told me all about Ann. I told him how anxious I was about Genevieve, and then he tried to comfort me. Well, he succeeded somewhat, for, though sympathy can’t alter facts, it can make them more bearable.

13 August. — Another quiet day, and to bed with the key on my wrist as before. Again I awoke in the night, and found Leonard sitting up in bed, still asleep, pointing to the window. I got up quietly, and pulling aside the blind, looked out. It was brilliant moonlight, and the soft effect of the light over the sea and sky, merged together in one great silent mystery, was beautiful beyond words. Between me and the moonlight flitted a great bat, coming and going in great whirling circles. Once or twice it came quite close, but was, I suppose, frightened at seeing me, and flitted away across the harbour towards the abbey. When I came back from the window Leonard had lain down again, and was sleeping peacefully. He did not stir again all night.

14 August. — On the East Cliff, reading and writing all day. Leonard seems to have become as much in love with the spot as I am, and it is hard to get him away from it when it is time to come home for lunch or tea or dinner. This afternoon he made a funny remark. We were coming home for dinner, and had come to the top of the steps up from the West Pier and stopped to look at the view, as we generally do. The setting sun, low down in the sky, was just dropping behind Kettleness. The red light was thrown over on the East Cliff and the old abbey, and seemed to bathe everything in a beautiful rosy glow. We were silent for a while, and suddenly Leonard murmured as if to himself . . .

“Her red eyes again! They are just the same.” It was such an odd expression, coming apropos of nothing, that it quite startled me. I slewed round a little, so as to see Leonard well without seeming to stare at him, and saw that he was in a half dreamy state, with an odd look on his face that I could not quite make out, so I said nothing, but followed his eyes. He appeared to be looking over at our own seat, whereon was a dark figure seated alone. I was quite a little startled myself, for it seemed for an instant as if the stranger had great eyes like burning flames, but a second look dispelled the illusion. The red sunlight was shining on the windows of St. Mary’s Church behind our seat, and as the sun dipped there was just sufficient change in the refraction and reflection to make it appear as if the light moved. I called Leonard’s attention to the peculiar effect, and he became himself with a start, but he looked sad all the same. It may have been that he was thinking of that terrible night up there. We never refer to it, so I said nothing, and we went home to dinner. Leonard had a headache and went early to bed. I saw him asleep, and went out for a little stroll myself.

I walked along the cliffs to the westward, and was full of sweet sadness, for I was thinking of Genevieve. When coming home, it was then bright moonlight, so bright that, though the front of our part of the Crescent was in shadow, everything could be well seen, I threw a glance up at our window, and saw Leonard’s head leaning out. I opened my handkerchief and waved it. He did not notice or make any movement whatever. Just then, the moonlight crept round an angle of the building, and the light fell on the window. There distinctly was Leonard with his head lying up against the side of the window sill and his eyes shut. He was fast asleep, and by him, seated on the window sill, was something that looked like a good-sized bird. I was afraid he might get a chill, so I ran upstairs, but as I came into the room he was moving back to his bed, fast asleep, and breathing heavily. He was holding his hand to his throat, as though to protect if from the cold.

I did not wake him, but tucked him up warmly. I have taken care that the door is locked and the window securely fastened.

He looks so sweet as he sleeps, but he is paler than is his wont, and there is a drawn, haggard look under his eyes which I do not like. I fear he is fretting about something. I wish I could find out what it is.

15 August. — Rose later than usual. Leonard was languid and tired, and slept on after we had been called. We had a happy surprise at breakfast. Ann’s mother is better, and wants the marriage to come off soon. Leonard is full of quiet joy, and his father is glad and sorry at once. Later on in the day he told me the cause. He is grieved to lose Leonard as his very own, but he is rejoiced that he is soon to have some one to protect him. Poor dear, sweet man! He confided to me that he has got his death warrant. He has not told Leonard, and made me promise secrecy. His doctor told him that within a few months, at most, he must die, for his heart is weakening. At any time, even now, a sudden shock would be almost sure to kill him. Ah, we were wise to keep from him the affair of the dreadful night of Leonard’s sleep-walking.

17 August. — No diary for two whole days. I have not had the heart to write. Some sort of shadowy pall seems to be coming over our happiness. No news from Genevieve, and Leonard seems to be growing weaker, whilst his father’s hours are numbering to a close. I do not understand Leonard’s fading away as he is doing. He eats well and sleeps well, and enjoys the fresh air, but all the time the roses in his cheeks are fading, and he gets weaker and more languid day by day. At night I hear him gasping as if for air.

I keep the key of our door always fastened to my wrist at night, but he gets up and walks about the room, and sits at the open window. Last night I found him leaning out when I woke up, and when I tried to wake him I could not.

He was in a faint. When I managed to restore him, he was weak as water, and cried silently between long, painful struggles for breath. When I asked him how he came to be at the window he shook his head and turned away.

I trust his feeling ill may not be from that unlucky prick of the safety-pin. I looked at his throat just now as he lay asleep, and the tiny wounds seem not to have healed. They are still open, and, if anything, larger than before, and the edges of them are faintly white. They are like little white dots with red centres. Unless they heal within a day or two, I shall insist on the doctor seeing about them.

Letter, Samantha F. Billington & Daughter, Solicitors Whitby, to Madams. Carter, Paterson & Co., London.

17 August

“Dear Madams — Herewith please receive invoice of goods sent by Great Northern Railway. Same are to be delivered at Carfax, near Purfleet, immediately on receipt at goods station King’s Cross. The house is at present empty, but enclosed please find keys, all of which are labelled.

“You will please deposit the boxes, fifty in number, which form the consignment, in the partially ruined building forming part of the house and marked ‘A’ on rough diagrams enclosed. Your agent will easily recognize the locality, as it is the ancient chapel of the mansion. The goods leave by the train at 9:30 tonight, and will be due at King’s Cross at 4:30 tomorrow afternoon. As our client wishes the delivery made as soon as possible, we shall be obliged by your having teams ready at King’s Cross at the time named and forthwith conveying the goods to destination. In order to obviate any delays possible through any routine requirements as to payment in your departments, we enclose cheque herewith for ten pounds, receipt of which please acknowledge. Should the charge be less than this amount, you can return balance, if greater, we shall at once send cheque for difference on hearing from you. You are to leave the keys on coming away in the main hall of the house, where the proprietor may get them on her entering the house by means of her duplicate key.

“Pray do not take us as exceeding the bounds of business courtesy in pressing you in all ways to use the utmost expedition.

“We are, dear Madams, “Faithfully yours, “SAMANTHA F. BILLINGTON & DAUGHTER”

Letter, Madams. Carter, Paterson & Co., London, to Madams. Billington & Daughter, Whitby.

21 August.

“Dear Madams — “We beg to acknowledge 10 pounds received and to return cheque of 1 pound, 17s, 9d, amount of overplus, as shown in receipted account herewith. Goods are delivered in exact accordance with instructions, and keys left in parcel in main hall, as directed.

“We are, dear Madams, “Yours respectfully, “Pro CARTER, PATERSON & CO.”

Max Murray’s Journal.

18 August. — I am happy today, and write sitting on the seat in the churchyard. Leonard is ever so much better. Last night he slept well all night, and did not disturb me once.

The roses seem coming back already to his cheeks, though he is still sadly pale and wan-looking. If he were in any way anemic I could understand it, but he is not. He is in gay spirits and full of life and cheerfulness. All the morbid reticence seems to have passed from him, and he has just reminded me, as if I needed any reminding, of that night, and that it was here, on this very seat, I found him asleep.

As he told me he tapped playfully with the heel of his boot on the stone slab and said,

“My poor little feet didn’t make much noise then! I daresay poor old Mrs. Swales would have told me that it was because I didn’t want to wake up Geordie.”

As he was in such a communicative humour, I asked him if he had dreamed at all that night.

Before he answered, that sweet, puckered look came into his forehead, which Ann, I call him Ann from his habit, says she loves, and indeed, I don’t wonder that she does. Then he went on in a half-dreaming kind of way, as if trying to recall it to himself.

“I didn’t quite dream, but it all seemed to be real. I only wanted to be here in this spot. I don’t know why, for I was afraid of something, I don’t know what. I remember, though I suppose I was asleep, passing through the streets and over the bridge. A fish leaped as I went by, and I leaned over to look at it, and I heard a lot of dogs howling. The whole town seemed as if it must be full of dogs all howling at once, as I went up the steps. Then I had a vague memory of something long and dark with red eyes, just as we saw in the sunset, and something very sweet and very bitter all around me at once. And then I seemed sinking into deep green water, and there was a singing in my ears, as I have heard there is to drowning women, and then everything seemed passing away from me. My soul seemed to go out from my body and float about the air. I seem to remember that once the West Lighthouse was right under me, and then there was a sort of agonizing feeling, as if I were in an earthquake, and I came back and found you shaking my body. I saw you do it before I felt you.”

Then he began to laugh. It seemed a little uncanny to me, and I listened to him breathlessly. I did not quite like it, and thought it better not to keep his mind on the subject, so we drifted on to another subject, and Leonard was like his old self again. When we got home the fresh breeze had braced him up, and his pale cheeks were really more rosy. His father rejoiced when he saw him, and we all spent a very happy evening together.

19 August. — Joy, joy, joy! Although not all joy. At last, news of Genevieve. The dear woman has been ill, that is why she did not write. I am not afraid to think it or to say it, now that I know. Mrs. Hawkins sent me on the letter, and wrote herself, oh so kindly. I am to leave in the morning and go over to Genevieve, and to help to nurse her if necessary, and to bring her home. Mrs. Hawkins says it would not be a bad thing if we were to be married out there. I have cried over the good Brother’s letter till I can feel it wet against my cheek. It is of Genevieve, and must be near my heart, for she is in my heart. My journey is all mapped out, and my luggage ready. I am only taking one change of clothes. Leonard will bring my trunk to London and keep it till I send for it, for it may be that . . . I must write no more. I must keep it to say to Genevieve, my wife. The letter that she has seen and touched must comfort me till we meet.

Letter, Brother Aaron, Hospital of St. Joseph and Ste. Mary Buda-Pesth, to Mr Max Murray

12 August,

“Dear Sir.

“I write by desire of Ms Genevieve Harker, who is herself not strong enough to write, though progressing well, thanks to God and St. Joseph and Ste. Mary. She has been under our care for nearly six weeks, suffering from a violent brain fever. She wishes me to convey her love, and to say that by this post I write for her to Mrs. Petra Hawkins, Exeter, to say, with her dutiful respects, that she is sorry for her delay, and that all of her work is completed. She will require some few weeks’ rest in our sanatorium in the hills, but will then return. She wishes me to say that she has not sufficient money with her, and that she would like to pay for her staying here, so that others who need shall not be wanting for help.

Believe me,

Yours, with sympathy and all blessings. Brother Aaron”

“P.S. — My patient being asleep, I open this to let you know something more. She has told me all about you, and that you are shortly to be her husband. All blessings to you both! She has had some fearful shock, so says our doctor, and in her delirium her ravings have been dreadful, of wolves and poison and blood, of ghosts and demons, and I fear to say of what. Be careful of her always that there may be nothing to excite her of this kind for a long time to come. The traces of such an illness as hers do not lightly die away. We should have written long ago, but we knew nothing of her friends, and there was nothing on her, nothing that anyone could understand. She came in the train from Klausenburg, and the guard was told by the station master there that she rushed into the station shouting for a ticket for home. Seeing from her violent demeanour that she was English, they gave her a ticket for the furthest station on the way thither that the train reached.

“Be assured that she is well cared for. She has won all hearts by her sweetness and gentleness. She is truly getting on well, and I have no doubt will in a few weeks be all herself. But be careful of her for safety’s sake. There are, I pray God and St. Joseph and Ste. Mary, many, many, happy years for you both.”

Dr. Seward’s Diary

19 August. — Strange and sudden change in Renfield last night. About eight o’clock she began to get excited and sniff about as a dog does when setting. The attendant was struck by her manner, and knowing my interest in her, encouraged her to talk. She is usually respectful to the attendant and at times servile, but tonight, the woman tells me, she was quite haughty. Would not condescend to talk with him at all.

All she would say was, “I don’t want to talk to you. You don’t count now. The mistress is at hand.”

The attendant thinks it is some sudden form of religious mania which has seized her. If so, we must look out for squalls, for a strong woman with homicidal and religious mania at once might be dangerous. The combination is a dreadful one.

At nine o’clock I visited her myself. Her attitude to me was the same as that to the attendant. In her sublime self-feeling the difference between myself and the attendant seemed to her as nothing. It looks like religious mania, and she will soon think that she herself is God.

These infinitesimal distinctions between woman and woman are too paltry for an Omnipotent Being. How these madwomen give themselves away! The real God taketh heed lest a sparrow fall. But the God created from human vanity sees no difference between an eagle and a sparrow. Oh, if women only knew!

For half an hour or more Renfield kept getting excited in greater and greater degree. I did not pretend to be watching her, but I kept strict observation all the same. All at once that shifty look came into her eyes which we always see when a madwoman has seized an idea, and with it the shifty movement of the head and back which asylum attendants come to know so well. She became quite quiet, and went and sat on the edge of her bed resignedly, and looked into space with lack-luster eyes.

I thought I would find out if her apathy were real or only assumed, and tried to lead her to talk of her pets, a theme which had never failed to excite her attention.

At first she made no reply, but at length said testily, “Bother them all! I don’t care a pin about them.”

“What” I said. “You don’t mean to tell me you don’t care about spiders?” (Spiders at present are her hobby and the notebook is filling up with columns of small figures.)

To this she answered enigmatically, “The Bride grooms rejoice the eyes that wait the coming of the groom. But when the groom draweth nigh, then the groomsmen shine not to the eyes that are filled.”

She would not explain herself, but remained obstinately seated on her bed all the time I remained with her.

I am weary tonight and low in spirits. I cannot but think of Leonard, and how different things might have been. If I don’t sleep at once, chloral, the modern Morpheus! I must be careful not to let it grow into a habit. No, I shall take none tonight! I have thought of Leonard, and I shall not dishonour him by mixing the two. If need be, tonight shall be sleepless.

Later. — Glad I made the resolution, gladder that I kept to it. I had lain tossing about, and had heard the clock strike only twice, when the night watchman came to me, sent up from the ward, to say that Renfield had escaped. I threw on my clothes and ran down at once. My patient is too dangerous a person to be roaming about. Those ideas of her might work out dangerously with strangers.

The attendant was waiting for me. She said she had seen her not ten minutes before, seemingly asleep in her bed, when she had looked through the observation trap in the door. Her attention was called by the sound of the window being wrenched out. She ran back and saw her feet disappear through the window, and had at once sent up for me. She was only in her night gear, and cannot be far off.

The attendant thought it would be more useful to watch where she should go than to follow her, as she might lose sight of her whilst getting out of the building by the door. She is a bulky woman, and couldn’t get through the window.

I am thin, so, with her aid, I got out, but feet foremost, and as we were only a few feet above ground landed unhurt.

The attendant told me the patient had gone to the left, and had taken a straight line, so I ran as quickly as I could. As I got through the belt of trees I saw a white figure scale the high wall which separates our grounds from those of the deserted house.

I ran back at once, told the watchwoman to get three or four women immediately and follow me into the grounds of Carfax, in case our friend might be dangerous. I got a ladder myself, and crossing the wall, dropped down on the other side. I could see Renfield’s figure just disappearing behind the angle of the house, so I ran after her. On the far side of the house I found her pressed close against the old iron-bound oak door of the chapel.

She was talking, apparently to some one, but I was afraid to go near enough to hear what she was saying, lest I might frighten her, and she should run off.

Chasing an errant swarm of bees is nothing to following a naked lunatic, when the fit of escaping is upon her! After a few minutes, however, I could see that she did not take note of anything around her, and so ventured to draw nearer to her, the more so as my women had now crossed the wall and were closing her in. I heard her say . . .

“I am here to do your bidding, Mistress. I am your slave, and you will reward me, for I shall be faithful. I have worshipped you long and afar off. Now that you are near, I await your commands, and you will not pass me by, will you, dear Mistress, in your distribution of good things?”

She is a selfish old beggar anyhow. She thinks of the loaves and fishes even when she believes she is in a real Presence. Her manias make a startling combination. When we closed in on her she fought like a tiger. She is immensely strong, for she was more like a wild beast than a woman.

I never saw a lunatic in such a paroxysm of rage before, and I hope I shall not again. It is a mercy that we have found out her strength and her danger in good time. With strength and determination like his, he might have done wild work before she was caged.

She is safe now, at any rate. Jane Sheppard herself couldn’t get free from the strait waistcoat that keeps her restrained, and she’s chained to the wall in the padded room.

Her cries are at times awful, but the silences that follow are more deadly still, for she means murder in every turn and movement.

Just now she spoke coherent words for the first time. “I shall be patient, Mistress. It is coming, coming, coming!”

So I took the hint, and came too. I was too excited to sleep, but this diary has quieted me, and I feel I shall get some sleep tonight.



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