Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr / Podcast

1897 / England

Driving the Point Home

Tags:
,
,
,
,

dracula.jpg

September 29, night
A little before twelve o’clock we three—Arthur, Quincey Morris, and myself—called for Professor Van Helsing. It was odd to notice that by common consent we had all put on black clothes. Of course, Arthur wore black, for he was in deep mourning for Lucy, but the rest of us wore it by instinct. We got to the churchyard by half-past one and strolled about, keeping out of official observation, so that when the gravediggers had completed their task and the sexton, under the belief that everyone had gone, had locked the gate, we had the place all to ourselves. Van Helsing, instead of his little black bag, had with him a long leather one, something like a cricketing bag; it was manifestly of fair weight.

When we were alone and had heard the last of the footsteps die out up the road, we silently, and as if by ordered intention, followed the professor to Lucy’s tomb. He unlocked the door, and we entered, closing it behind us. Then he took from his bag a lantern, which he lit, and also two wax candles, which, when lighted, he stuck by melting their own ends on other coffins so that they might give light sufficient to work by. When he lifted the lid off Lucy’s coffin we all looked—Arthur trembling like an aspen—and saw that the body lay there in all its death beauty. But there was no love in my own heart, nothing but loathing for the foul Thing which had taken Lucy’s shape without her soul. I could see even Arthur’s face grow hard as he looked. Presently he said to Van Helsing, “Is this really Lucy’s body, or only a demon in her shape?”

“It is her body, and yet not it. But wait a while, and you shall see her as she was, and is.”

She seemed like a nightmare of Lucy as she lay there; the pointed teeth, the bloodstained, voluptuous mouth—which made one shudder to see—the whole carnal and unspiritual appearance, seeming like a devilish mockery of Lucy’s sweet purity. Van Helsing, with his usual methodicalness, began taking the various contents from his bag and placing them ready for use. First he took out a soldering iron and some plumbing solder, and then a small oil lamp, which gave out, when lit in a corner of the tomb, gas which burned at fierce heat with a blue flame; then his operating knives, which he placed to hand; and last a round wooden stake, some two and a half or three inches thick and about three feet long. One end of it was hardened by charring in the fire and was sharpened to a fine point. With this stake came a heavy hammer, such as in households is used in the coal cellar for breaking the lumps. To me, a doctor’s preparations for work of any kind are stimulating and bracing, but the effect of these things on both Arthur and Quincey was to cause them a sort of consternation. They both, however, kept their courage, and remained silent and quiet.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
Bookmark and Share
Love this? Subscribe to Lapham's Quarterly today.

Post a Comment

Note: Several minutes will pass while the system is processing and posting your comment. Do not resubmit during this time or your comment will post multiple times.

Published In
Magic Shows
About the Author

Bram Stoker, from Dracula: A Mystery Story. Born in Clontarf, Ireland, in 1847, Stoker published his most famous novel in 1897, after having earned a degree in mathematics, worked as a civil servant while writing drama reviews, and served as the actor Henry Irving’s manager for twenty-seven years. Among the facial characteristics that Stoker attributed to Count Dracula were thick eyebrows “almost meeting over the nose,” “extremely pointed” ears, red eyes, “peculiarly arched” nostrils, and “sharp white teeth” that “protruded over the lips.”

No one shall be found among you who makes a son or daughter pass through fire, or who practices divination, is a soothsayer, an augur, or a sorcerer, or one who casts spells, consults ghosts or spirits, or seeks oracles from the dead. For whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord; it is because of such abhorrent practices that the Lord your God is driving them out before you.
Book of Deuteronomy, c. 620 BC
Visual Aids
Rites of Passage Coming-of-age rituals from around the world.
Art, Photography, & Illustrations View a selection of art from our latest issue.
Charts & Graphs All of our charts and graphs, pulled from the pages of Lapham’s Quarterly.
Events & News
June 2 / Tickets for the DECADES BALL are available now. Join us at our yearly gala to celebrate the 1870s with readings from the Quarterly with stars of stage and screen. More
Apropos

Vague Premonitions

The Great Beyond

Subscribe
Current Issue Youth Summer 2014
Blogs

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Audio & Video
LQ Podcast:
Robert Weide
Robert B. Weide talks about his decades-long production of a documentary on Kurt Vonnegut due to be released in 2015.
Eponym
Lewis H. Lapham is Editor of Lapham's Quarterly. He also serves as editor emeritus and national correspondent for Harper's magazine.
Recent Issues