Dracula - Chapter 3 - The Storm

Letter from Miss Mina Murray to Miss Lucy Westenra

9 May

My dearest Lucy, Forgive my long delay in writing, but I have been so busy with work. Jonathan is in Transylvania on business and will be returning in about a week. I can’t wait to hear all his news. It must be nice to see strange countries. I wonder if we, I mean Jonathan and I, shall ever see them together. Your loving Mina

Letter, Lucy Westenra to Mina Murray

24 May

My dearest Mina, Here am I, who shall be twenty in September, and yet I never had a marriage proposal. Today I had three! Just fancy! Three proposals in one day! Well, I must tell you about the three. Number One came just before lunch. His name is Dr. John Seward, a doctor from a lunatic asylum. He told me how dear I was to him, but I felt a sort of duty to tell him that there was some one else. Number Two, Mr. Quincy Morris, came after lunch. He is an American from Texas, and he is such a nice fellow who has had many adventures. Mr. Morris sat down beside me and took my hand in his, but I had to refuse him as I did poor Dr. Seward. Lucy P.S. -- Oh, about number Three. I have told you of Arthur Holmwood before, haven’t I? He is the son of Lord Godalming and from a good family. Oh, Mina, I love him and have accepted his proposal!

Mina Murray’s Journal

24 July

I met Lucy at the train station and have come with her and her mother to spend some time in Whitby, where we have rooms. This is a lovely place beside the sea. Right over the town is the beautiful ruin of Whitby Abbey, and between it and the town there is another church with a big graveyard full of tombstones. For me this is the nicest spot in Whitby and has a full view of the harbour and the bay. There are walks with seats beside them all through the churchyard, and people go and sit there all day long looking at the beautiful view and enjoying the breeze.

1 August

Lucy and I sat awhile, and she told me all over again about Arthur and their coming marriage. That made me just a little sad, for I haven’t heard from Jonathan for a whole month. I am so worried about him. I wonder where Jonathan is, and if he is thinking of me! Dr. Seward’s Diary

19 July

The case of Renfield grows more interesting every day. He had been catching and keeping a large number of flies, but after I protested, he then began to collect spiders, which he kept feeding with his flies. A few days later I told him that he must get rid of the spiders as well. While I was speaking to him, a horrid fly buzzed into the room, he caught it, and before I knew what he was going to do, put it in his mouth and ate it. I shouted at him for it, but he said that it was very good and gave life to him.

After a few more days, Renfield managed to get a sparrow by feeding the spiders to it. He now has a quite a few sparrows, and his flies and spiders are almost completely gone. When I came to see him today, he ran to me and said he wanted to ask me a very great favour. I asked him what it was, and he said excitedly, „A kitten, a nice, playful, little kitten, that I can play with, and teach, and feed, and feed, and feed!”

I shook my head and said that it would not be possible. I did not want to see his sparrows be eaten the same way as his flies and spiders. As I said this, he threw himself on his knees and begged me to let him have a cat, saying that his salvation depended upon it. I was firm, however, and told him that he could not have it.

20 July

When I visited Renfield in the morning, I looked around for his birds, and not seeing them, asked him where they were. He replied that they had all flown away. There were a few feathers around the room, and on his pillow there was a drop of blood. I said nothing and left, but at 11 am the attendant came to see me and said that Renfield had been very sick and has vomited a whole lot of feathers. My belief is that he took his birds and ate them raw! Mina Murray’s Journal

8 August

Last night we experienced one of the greatest storms in the history of this area. Shortly before ten o’clock a massive storm broke out so suddenly that it seems impossible to believe even now. The wind roared like thunder, and lots of sea-fog came inland. I have read in the newspaper that soon after the storm began, the harbour searchlight saw a ship coming toward the port.

Incredibly, the strange ship reached the harbour safely, and as the searchlight followed her, there was a shock, for tied to the wheel of the ship was the corpse of the ship’s captain. No other person could be seen on the deck at all.

The very moment the ship touched the shore, a huge dog jumped out onto the sand and ran off into the darkness. A small group of people investigated the ship and saw that the dead seaman was actually tied to the wheel with a crucifix in his hand. In his pocket was a bottle with a little roll of paper, which proved to be part of the ship’s log.

According to the log, the ship is Russian from Varna and is called the Demeter. She has only a small cargo of fifty great wooden boxes filled with dirt. The captain wrote that shortly after they set sail, the crew started going missing one by one until only the captain and the first mate were left. One of the last entries says that the first mate saw something terrifying on board before he jumped over the side of the ship into the sea. Later the captain even mentions seeing “Him”, whoever that may be. That was when he decided to tie himself, along with a crucifix, to the wheel of the ship.

1 August

I awoke suddenly around one in the morning and found Lucy’s bed was empty and the door wide open. I threw on some clothes and ran out to look for her. There was a bright, full moon and heavy, black clouds. Then as the clouds passed and the churchyard became visible, I saw Lucy sitting on one of the benches. It seemed to me as though something dark was standing behind her with a white face and red, shining eyes.

I ran down the steps and called in fright, „Lucy! Lucy!” but by the time I reached her, she was quite alone, and there was not a sign of any living thing about. When I bent over her, I could see that she was still asleep, but she was breathing heavily.

I took her back to the house, and as I was putting her into bed, I noticed that there were two little red points on her neck, and on her nightdress there was a drop of blood.

17 August

Still no news from Jonathan, and Lucy seems to be paler and growing weaker. The tiny points on her neck seem not to have healed. They are, if anything, larger than before.