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» » Stoker, Bram: DRACULA'S GUEST
Stoker, Bram: DRACULA'S GUEST Library (библиотека) 

Dracula's Guest, by Bram Stoker


NOTE: DRACULA'S GUEST was excised from the original DRACULA
MSS by his publisher because of the length of the original
book MSS. It was published as a short story in
1914, two years after Stoker's death.


When we started for our drive the sun was shining brightly
on Munich, and the air was full of the joyousness of early
summer. Just as we were about to depart, Herr Delbruck (the
maitre d'hotel of the Quatre Saisons, where I was staying)
came down bareheaded to the carriage and, after wishing me a
pleasant drive, said to the coachman, still holding his hand
on the handle of the carriage door, "Remember you are back by
nightfall. The sky looks bright but there is a shiver in the
north wind that says there may be a sudden storm. But I am
sure you will not be late." Here he smiled and added,"for you
know what night it is."

Johann answered with an emphatic, "Ja, mein Herr," and,
touching his hat, drove off quickly. When we had cleared the
town, I said, after signalling to him to stop:

"Tell me, Johann, what is tonight?"

He crossed himself, as he answered laconically: "Walpurgis
nacht." Then he took out his watch, a great, old-fashioned
German silver thing as big as a turnip and looked at it, with
his eyebrows gathered together and a little impatient shrug
of his shoulders. I realized that this was his way of respect-
fully protesting against the unnecessary delay and sank back
in the carriage, merely motioning him to proceed. He started
off rapidly, as if to make up for lost time. Every now and
then the horses seemed to throw up their heads and sniff the
air suspiciously. On such occasions I often looked round in
alarm. The road was pretty bleak, for we were traversing a
sort of high windswept plateau. As we drove,I saw a road that
looked but little used and which seemed to dip through a lit-
tle winding valley. It looked so inviting that, even at the
risk of offending him, I called Johann to stop--and when he
had pulled up, I told him I would like to drive down that
road. He made all sorts of excuses and frequently crossed him-
self as he spoke. This somewhat piqued my curiosity, so I ask-
ed him various questions. He answered fencingly and repeatedly
looked at his watch in protest.

Finally I said, "Well, Johann, I want to go down this road.
I shall not ask you to come unless you like; but tell me why
you do not like to go, that is all I ask." For answer he seem-
ed to throw himself off the box, so quickly did he reach the
ground. Then he stretched out his hands appealingly to me and
implored me not to go. There was just enough of English mixed
with the German for me to understand the drift of his talk. He
seemed always just about to tell me something--the very idea
of which evidently frightened him; but each time he pulled him-
self up saying, "Walpurgis nacht!"

I tried to argue with him, but it was difficult to argue
with a man when I did not know his language. The advantage
certainly rested with him, for although he began to speak in
English, of a very crude and broken kind, he always got ex-
cited and broke into his native tongue--and every time he did
so, he looked at his watch. Then the horses became restless
and sniffed the air. At this he grew very pale, and, looking
around in a frightened way, he suddenly jumped forward, took
them by the bridles,and led them on some twenty feet. I foll-
owed and asked why he had done this. For an answer he crossed
himself, pointed to the spot we had left, and drew his carr-
iage in the direction of the other road, indicating a cross,
and said, first in German, then in English, "Buried him--him
what killed themselves."

I remembered the old custom of burying suicides at cross
roads: "Ah! I see, a suicide. How interesting!" But for the
life of me I could not make out why the horses were frighten-
ed.

Whilst we were talking, we heard a sort of sound between a
yelp and a bark.It was far away; but the horses got very rest-
less, and it took Johann all his time to quiet them. He was
pale and said, "It sounds like a wolf--but yet there are no
wolves here now."

"No?" I said, questioning him. "Isn't it long since the
wolves were so near the city?"

"Long, long," he answered, "in the spring and summer; but
with the snow the wolves have been here not so long."

Whilst he was petting the horses and trying to quiet them,
dark clouds drifted rapidly across the sky. The sunshine pass-
ed away, and a breath of cold wind seemed to drift over us.It
was only a breath, however, and more of a warning than a fact,
for the sun came out brightly again.

Johann looked under his lifted hand at the horizon and
said, "The storm of snow, he comes before long time." Then he
looked at his watch again, and, straightway holding his reins
firmly--for the horses were still pawing the ground restless-
ly and shaking their heads--he climbed to his box as though
the time had come for proceeding on our journey.

I felt a little obstinate and did not at once get into the
carriage.

"Tell me," I said, "about this place where the road leads,"
and I pointed down.

Again he crossed himself and mumbled a prayer before he an-
swered, "It is unholy."

"What is unholy?" I enquired.

"The village."

"Then there is a village?"

"No, no. No one lives there hundreds of years."

My curiosity was piqued, "But you said there was a village."

"There was."

"Where is it now?"

Whereupon he burst out into a long story in German and Eng-
lish, so mixed up that I could not quite understand exactly
what he said. Roughly I gathered that long ago, hundreds of
years, men had died there and been buried in their graves;
but sounds were heard under the clay, and when the graves
were opened,men and women were found rosy with life and their
mouths red with blood. And so, in haste to save their lives
(aye, and their souls!--and here he crossed himself)those who
were left fled away to other places, where the living lived
and the dead were dead and not--not something. He was evident-
ly afraid to speak the last words. As he proceeded with his
narration, he grew more and more excited. It seemed as if his
imagination had got hold of him, and he ended in a perfect
paroxysm of fear--white-faced, perspiring, trembling, and
looking round him as if expecting that some dreadful presence
would manifest itself there in the bright sunshine on the
open plain.

Finally, in an agony of desperation, he cried, "Walpurgis
nacht!" and pointed to the carriage for me to get in.

All my English blood rose at this,and standing back I said,
"You are afraid, Johann--you are afraid. Go home, I shall re-
turn alone, the walk will do me good." The carriage door was
open. I took from the seat my oak walking stick--which I al-
ways carry on my holiday excursions--and closed the door,
pointing back to Munich, and said, "Go home,Johann--Walpurgis
nacht doesn't concern Englishmen."

The horses were now more restive than ever, and Johann was
trying to hold them in, while excitedly imploring me not to
do anything so foolish. I pitied the poor fellow, he was so
deeply in earnest; but all the same I could not help laughing.
His English was quite gone now. In his anxiety he had forgot-
ten that his only means of making me understand was to talk
my language, so he jabbered away in his native German. It be-
gan to be a little tedious. After giving the direction, "Home!"
I turned to go down the cross road into the valley.

With a despairing gesture,Johann turned his horses towards
Munich. I leaned on my stick and looked after him. He went
slowly along the road for a while, then there came over the
crest of the hill a man tall and thin. I could see so much in
the distance. When he drew near the horses,they began to jump
and kick about, then to scream with terror. Johann could not
hold them in; they bolted down the road, running away madly.
I watched them out of sight, then looked for the stranger;
but I found that he, too, was gone.

With a light heart I turned down the side road through the
deepening valley to which Johann had objected. There was not
the slightest reason,that I could see, for his objection; and
I daresay I tramped for a couple of hours without thinking of
time or distance and certainly without seeing a person or a
house. So far as the place was concerned, it was desolation
itself. But I did not notice this particularly till, on turn-
ing a bend in the road,I came upon a scattered fringe of wood;
then I recognized that I had been impressed unconsciously by
the desolation of the region through which I had passed.

I sat down to rest myself and began to look around. It
struck me that it was considerably colder than it had been at
the commencement of my walk--a sort of sighing sound seemed
to be around me with, now and then, high overhead, a sort of
muffled roar. Looking upwards I noticed that great thick
clouds were drafting rapidly across the sky from north to
south at a great height.There were signs of a coming storm in
some lofty stratum of the air. I was a little chilly, and,
thinking that it was the sitting still after the exercise of
walking, I resumed my journey.

The ground I passed over was now much more picturesque.
There were no striking objects that the eye might single out,
but in all there was a charm of beauty.I took little heed of
time, and it was only when the deepening twilight forced it-
self upon me that I began to think of how I should find my
way home. The air was cold, and the drifting of clouds high
overhead was more marked. They were accompanied by a sort of
far away rushing sound, through which seemed to come at inter-
vals that mysterious cry which the driver had said came from
a wolf. For a while I hesitated. I had said I would see the
deserted village, so on I went and presently came on a wide
stretch of open country, shut in by hills all around. Their
sides were covered with trees which spread down to the plain,
dotting in clumps the gentler slopes and hollows which showed
here and there.I followed with my eye the winding of the road
and saw that it curved close to one of the densest of these
clumps and was lost behind it.

As I looked there came a cold shiver in the air, and the
snow began to fall. I thought of the miles and miles of bleak
country I had passed, and then hurried on to seek shelter of
the wood in front. Darker and darker grew the sky, and faster
and heavier fell the snow, till the earth before and around
me was a glistening white carpet the further edge of which
was lost in misty vagueness. The road was here but crude, and
when on the level its boundaries were not so marked as when
it passed through the cuttings; and in a little while I found
that I must have strayed from it, for I missed underfoot the
hard surface, and my feet sank deeper in the grass and moss.
Then the wind grew stronger and blew with ever increasing
force, till I was fain to run before it. The air became icy-
cold, and in spite of my exercise I began to suffer. The snow
was now falling so thickly and whirling around me in such rap-
id eddies that I could hardly keep my eyes open. Every now
and then the heavens were torn asunder by vivid lightning,
and in the flashes I could see ahead of me a great mass of
trees, chiefly yew and cypress all heavily coated with snow.

I was soon amongst the shelter of the trees, and there in
comparative silence I could hear the rush of the wind high
overhead. Presently the blackness of the storm had become mer-
ged in the darkness of the night. By-and-by the storm seemed
to be passing away,it now only came in fierce puffs or blasts.
At such moments the weird sound of the wolf appeared to be
echoed by many similar sounds around me.

Now and again, through the black mass of drifting cloud,
came a straggling ray of moonlight which lit up the expanse
and showed me that I was at the edge of a dense mass of cyp-
ress and yew trees. As the snow had ceased to fall, I walked
out from the shelter and began to investigate more closely.
It appeared to me that, amongst so many old foundations as I
had passed, there might be still standing a house in which,
though in ruins,I could find some sort of shelter for a while.
As I skirted the edge of the copse, I found that a low wall
encircled it, and following this I presently found an opening.
Here the cypresses formed an alley leading up to a square
mass of some kind of building. Just as I caught sight of this,
however, the drifting clouds obscured the moon, and I passed
up the path in darkness. The wind must have grown colder, for
I felt myself shiver as I walked; but there was hope of shel-
ter, and I groped my way blindly on.

I stopped, for there was a sudden stillness. The storm had
passed; and, perhaps in sympathy with nature's silence, my
heart seemed to cease to beat. But this was only momentarily;
for suddenly the moonlight broke through the clouds showing
me that I was in a graveyard and that the square object before
me was a great massive tomb of marble, as white as the snow
that lay on and all around it. With the moonlight there came
a fierce sigh of the storm which appeared to resume its
course with a long, low howl, as of many dogs or wolves.I was
awed and shocked, and I felt the cold perceptibly grow upon
me till it seemed to grip me by the heart. Then while the
flood of moonlight still fell on the marble tomb, the storm
gave further evidence of renewing, as though it were return-
ing on its track. Impelled by some sort of fascination, I app-
roached the sepulchre to see what it was and why such a thing
stood alone in such a place.I walked around it and read, over
the Doric door, in German--

COUNTESS DOLINGEN OF GRATZ

IN STYRIA

SOUGHT AND FOUND DEATH

1801

On the top of the tomb, seemingly driven through the solid
marble--for the structure was composed of a few vast blocks
of stone--was a great iron spike or stake. On going to the
back I saw, graven in great Russian letters: "The dead travel
fast."

There was something so weird and uncanny about the whole
thing that it gave me a turn and made me feel quite faint. I
began to wish, for the first time, that I had taken Johann's
advice. Here a thought struck me, which came under almost mys-
sterious circumstances and with a terrible shock. This was Wal-
purgis Night!

Walpurgis Night was when, according to the belief of mill-
ions of people, the devil was abroad--when the graves were op-
ened and the dead came forth and walked. When all evil things
of earth and air and water held revel. This very place the
driver had specially shunned. This was the depopulated vill-
age of centuries ago.This was where the suicide lay; and this
was the place where I was alone--unmanned, shivering with
cold in a shroud of snow with a wild storm gathering again up-
on me! It took all my philosophy, all the religion I had been
taught,all my courage,not to collapse in a paroxysm of fright.

And now a perfect tornado burst upon me. The ground shook
as though thousands of horses thundered across it; and this
time the storm bore on its icy wings, not snow, but great
hailstones which drove with such violence that they might
have come from the thongs of Balearic slingers--hailstones
that beat down leaf and branch and made the shelter of the
cypresses of no more avail than though their stems were stand-
ing corn. At the first I had rushed to the nearest tree;but I
was soon fain to leave it and seek the only spot that seemed
to afford refuge, the deep Doric doorway of the marble tomb.
There, crouching against the massive bronze door, I gained a
certain amount of protection from the beating of the hail-
stones, for now they only drove against me as they ricochett-
ed from the ground and the side of the marble.

As I leaned against the door, it moved slightly and opened
inwards. The shelter of even a tomb was welcome in that piti-
less tempest and I was about to enter it when there came a
flash of forked lightning that lit up the whole expanse of
the heavens. In the instant, as I am a living man, I saw, as
my my eyes turned into the darkness of the tomb, a beautiful
woman with rounded cheeks and red lips, seemingly sleeping on
a bier. As the thunder broke overhead, I was grasped as by
the hand of a giant and hurled out into the storm. The whole
thing was so sudden that, before I could realize the shock,
moral as well as physical, I found the hailstones beating me
down. At the same time I had a strange, dominating feeling
that I was not alone. I looked towards the tomb. Just then
there came another blinding flash which seemed to strike the
iron stake that surmounted the tomb and to pour through to
the earth, blasting and crumbling the marble, as in a burst
of flame. The dead woman rose for a moment of agony while she
was lapped in the flame, and her bitter scream of pain was
drowned in the thundercrash. The last thing I heard was this
mingling of dreadful sound,as again I was seized in the giant
grasp and dragged away, while the hailstones beat on me and
the air around seemed reverberant with the howling of wolves.
The last sight that I remembered was a vague, white, moving
mass,as if all the graves around me had sent out the phantoms
of their sheeted dead, and that they were closing in on me
through the white cloudiness of the driving hail.

Gradually there came a sort of vague beginning of cons-
ciousness, then a sense of weariness that was dreadful. For
a time I remembered nothing, but slowly my senses returned.
My feet seemed positively racked with pain, yet I could not
move them. They seemed to be numbed. There was an icy feeling
at the back of my neck and all down my spine, and my ears,
like my feet, were dead yet in torment; but there was in my
breast a sense of warmth which was by comparison delicious.It
was as a nightmare--a physical nightmare, if one may use such
an expression; for some heavy weight on my chest made it diff-
icult for me to breathe.

This period of semilethargy seemed to remain a long time,
and as it faded away I must have slept or swooned. Then came
a sort of loathing, like the first stage of seasickness, and
a wild desire to be free of something--I knew not what.A vast
stillness enveloped me, as though all the world were asleep
or dead--only broken by the low panting as of some animal
close to me. I felt a warm rasping at my throat, then came a
consciousness of the awful truth which chilled me to the heart
and sent the blood surging up through my brain. Some great an-
imal was lying on me and now licking my throat. I feared to
stir, for some instinct of prudence bade me lie still; but
the brute seemed to realize that there was now some change in
me, for it raised its head. Through my eyelashes I saw above
me the two great flaming eyes of a gigantic wolf. Its sharp
white teeth gleamed in the gaping red mouth, and I could feel
its hot breath fierce and acrid upon me.

For another spell of time I remembered no more. Then I be-
came conscious of a low growl, followed by a yelp, renewed
again and again. Then seemingly very far away, I heard a "Hol-
loa! holloa!" as of many voices calling in unison. Cautiously
I raised my head and looked in the direction whence the sound
came, but the cemetery blocked my view. The wolf still contin-
ued to yelp in a strange way, and a red glare began to move
round the grove of cypresses, as though following the sound.
As the voices drew closer, the wolf yelped faster and louder.
I feared to make either sound or motion. Nearer came the red
glow over the white pall which stretched into the darkness a-
round me. Then all at once from beyond the trees there came
at a trot a troop of horsemen bearing torches. The wolf rose
from my breast and made for the cemetery. I saw one of the
horsemen (soldiers by their caps and their long military
cloaks) raise his carbine and take aim. A companion knocked
up his arm,and I heard the ball whiz over my head. He had ev-
idently taken my body for that of the wolf. Another sighted
the animal as it slunk away, and a shot followed. Then, at a
gallop, the troop rode forward--some towards me, others foll-
owing the wolf as it disappeared amongst the snow-clad cypress-
es.

As they drew nearer I tried to move but was powerless, al-
though I could see and hear all that went on around me. Two
or three of the soldiers jumped from their horses and knelt
beside me. One of them raised my head and placed his hand ov-
er my heart.

"Good news, comrades!" he cried. "His heart still beats!"

Then some brandy was poured down my throat; it put vigor
into me, and I was able to open my eyes fully and look around.
Lights and shadows were moving among the trees, and I heard
men call to one another. They drew together, uttering fright-
ened exclamations; and the lights flashed as the others came
pouring out of the cemetery pell-mell, like men possessed.
When the further ones came close to us, those who were around
me asked them eagerly, "Well, have you found him?"

The reply rang out hurriedly, "No! no! Come away quick--
quick! This is no place to stay, and on this of all nights!"

"What was it?" was the question, asked in all manner of
keys.The answer came variously and all indefinitely as though
the men were moved by some common impulse to speak yet were
restrained by some common fear from giving their thoughts.

"It--it--indeed!" gibbered one, whose wits had plainly giv-
en out for the moment.

"A wolf--and yet not a wolf!" another put in shudderingly.

"No use trying for him without the sacred bullet," a third
remarked in a more ordinary manner.

"Serve us right for coming out on this night!Truly we have
earned our thousand marks!" were the ejaculations of a fourth.

"There was blood on the broken marble," another said after
a pause, "the lightning never brought that there. And for him-
-is he safe? Look at his throat! See comrades, the wolf has
been lying on him and keeping his blood warm."

The officer looked at my throat and replied, "He is all
right, the skin is not pierced. What does it all mean? We
should never have found him but for the yelping of the wolf."

"What became of it?" asked the man who was holding up my
head and who seemed the least panic-stricken of the party,
for his hands were steady and without tremor. On his sleeve
was the chevron of a petty officer.

"It went home," answered the man, whose long face was pall-
id and who actually shook with terror as he glanced around
him fearfully. "There are graves enough there in which it may
lie. Come, comrades--come quickly! Let us leave this cursed
spot."

The officer raised me to a sitting posture, as he uttered
a word of command; then several men placed me upon a horse.He
sprang to the saddle behind me, took me in his arms, gave the
word to advance; and, turning our faces away from the cypress-
es, we rode away in swift military order.

As yet my tongue refused its office, and I was perforce
silent. I must have fallen asleep; for the next thing I remem-
bered was finding myself standing up, supported by a soldier
on each side of me. It was almost broad daylight, and to the
north a red streak of sunlight was reflected like a path of
blood over the waste of snow. The officer was telling the men
to say nothing of what they had seen, except that they found
an English stranger, guarded by a large dog.

"Dog! that was no dog," cut in the man who had exhibited
such fear. "I think I know a wolf when I see one."

The young officer answered calmly, "I said a dog."

"Dog!" reiterated the other ironically.It was evident that
his courage was rising with the sun; and, pointing to me, he
said, "Look at his throat. Is that the work of a dog, master?"

Instinctively I raised my hand to my throat, and as I touch-
ed it I cried out in pain. The men crowded round to look, some
stooping down from their saddles;and again there came the calm
voice of the young officer, "A dog, as I said. If aught else
were said we should only be laughed at."

I was then mounted behind a trooper, and we rode on into
the suburbs of Munich. Here we came across a stray carriage
into which I was lifted , and it was driven off to the Quatre
Saisons--the young officer accompanying me, whilst a trooper
followed with his horse, and the others rode off to their
barracks.

When we arrived, Herr Delbruck rushed so quickly down the
steps to meet me, that it was apparent he had been watching
within. Taking me by both hands he solicitously led me in.The
officer saluted me and was turning to withdraw, when I recog-
nized his purpose and insisted that he should come to my
rooms. Over a glass of wine I warmly thanked him and his brave
comrades for saving me. He replied simply that he was more
than glad, and that Herr Delbruck had at the first taken steps
to make all the searching party pleased; at which ambiguous
utterance the maitre d'hotel smiled, while the officer plead-
duty and withdrew.

"But Herr Delbruck," I enquired, "how and why was it that
the soldiers searched for me?"

He shrugged his shoulders, as if in depreciation of his own
deed, as he replied, "I was so fortunate as to obtain leave
from the commander of the regiment in which I serve, to ask
for volunteers."

"But how did you know I was lost?" I asked.

"The driver came hither with the remains of his carriage,
which had been upset when the horses ran away."

"But surely you would not send a search party of soldiers
merely on this account?"

"Oh, no!" he answered, "but even before the coachman arriv-
ed, I had this telegram from the Boyar whose guest you are,"
and he took from his pocket a telegram which he handed to me,
and I read:

Bistritz.
Be careful of my guest--his safety is most precious to
me. Should aught happen to him, or if he be missed, spare
nothing to find him and ensure his safety. He is English
and therefore adventurous. There are often dangers from
snow and wolves and night. Lose not a moment if you sus-
pect harm to him. I answer your zeal with my fortune.
--Dracula.

As I held the telegram in my hand,the room seemed to whirl
around me,and if the attentive maitre d'hotel had not caught
me,I think I should have fallen. There was something so str-
ange in all this, something so weird and impossible to imag-
ine, that there grew on me a sense of my being in some way
the sport of opposite forces--the mere vague idea of which
seemed in a way to paralyze me. I was certainly under some
form of mysterious protection. From a distant country had come,
in the very nick of time, a message that took me out of the
danger of the snow sleep and the jaws of the wolf.

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