Dracula (Chapter 8, page 1 of 13)


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Chapter 8

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. Lucy, 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 Woman' with our appetites. Men 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.

Lucy was really tired, and we intended to creep off to bed as soon as
we could. The young curate came in, however, and Mrs. Westenra asked
him to stay for supper. Lucy 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 girls
are tired.

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

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 Lucy's bed. I stole across and felt for
her. The bed was empty. I lit a match and found that she was not in
the room. The door was shut, but not locked, as I had left it. I feared
to wake her mother, who has been more than usually ill lately, so threw
on some clothes and got ready to look for her. As I was leaving the
room it struck me that the clothes she wore might give me some clue to
her dreaming intention. Dressing-gown would mean house, dress outside.
Dressing-gown and dress were both in their places. "Thank God," I said
to myself, "she cannot be far, as she is only in her nightdress."

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