Harker and the Count: Chapter VI

David Bowles
19 min readMay 20, 2023

[previous chapter]

Letter from Miss Mina Murray to Miss Lucy Westenra.

6 May 1893.

My dearest Lucy, —

Forgive my long delay in writing, but I have been simply overwhelmed with work. The life of an assistant matron and tutor is sometimes trying. I am longing to be with you, by the sea, where we can talk together freely and build our castles in the air. I have been working very hard lately, because I want to keep up with Jonathan’s career. He has been promised a position as junior partner, you see. When the firm becomes Hawkins and Harker, I suspect he will find himself overwhelmed with work. So I have been practising shorthand very assiduously. When we are married, I shall be able to be useful to Jonathan, and if I can stenograph well enough, I can take down what he wants to say in this way and write it out for him on the typewriter, at which also I am practising with all my heart.

He and I sometimes write letters in shorthand, and he is keeping a stenographic journal of his travels abroad. I like to think I inspired him with my own diary. I am certain you still choose to dash off two pages to the week, with Sunday squeezed in a corner. But when I am with you, I shall continue to keep mine regularly, writing whenever and whatever I feel inclined.

I know you prefer your writing to have a reader, and no, I do not suppose my ruminations on my days will ever be much of interest to other people; but the diary is not intended for them. I may show it to Jonathan someday if there is in it anything worth sharing, but it is really for me. As a sort of exercise, I shall endeavour to deepen the experience by attempting what I see lady journalists do: interviewing and writing descriptions and trying to remember conversations. I am told that, with a little practice, one can remember all that goes on or that one hears said during a day. However, we shall see. I will tell you of my little plans when we meet.

I have just had a few hurried lines from Jonathan from Hungary, written just as crossed the border into Romania. From there he was to travel to Transylvania, where apparently this Count Dracula resides. He is well, and will be returning in about a week. I am longing to hear all his news. It must be so nice to see strange countries. I wonder if we — I mean Jonathan and I — shall ever see them together. There is the ten o’clock bell ringing. Good-bye.

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David Bowles

A Mexican American author & translator from South Texas. Teaches literature & Nahuatl at UTRGV. VP of the Texas Institute of Letters.