Harker and the Count: Chapter VII

David Bowles
23 min readMay 28, 2023

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9 May, 1893.

When I found that I was a prisoner, I sat down quietly — as quietly as I have ever done anything in my life — and began to think over what was best to be done. I am thinking still, and as yet have come to no definite conclusion. Of one thing only am I certain; that it is no use making my ideas known to the Count. He knows well that I am imprisoned; and as he has done it himself, and has doubtless his own motives for it. Perhaps he would only deceive me if I trusted him fully with the facts. So far as I can see, my only plan will be to keep my knowledge and my fears to myself, and my eyes open.

I had hardly come to this conclusion when I heard the great door below shut, and knew that the Count had returned. He did not come at once into the library, so I was left to my own terrible thoughts. What does it signify that Macrina and he can control the wolves by only holding up his hand in silence? How was it that all the people at Curtea de Argeș and on the coach had some terrible fear for me? What meant the giving of the crucifix, of the garlic, of the wild rose, of the mountain ash? Is it that there is something magical in the essence of the objects themselves, or that they are a medium for such power, a tangible supernatural aid, in conveying memories of sympathy and comfort?

All of this speculation reduces to a single doubt whose answer I truly fear:

Is Dracula an Undead creature? If so, is he evil?

Some time, if it may be, I must examine this matter and try to make up my mind about it. In the meantime I must find out all I can about Count Dracula, as it may help me to understand.

Midnight.

I have had a long talk with the Count. I asked him a few questions on the history of Romania and Transylvania, and he warmed up to the subject wonderfully. In his speaking of things and people, and especially of battles, he spoke as if he had been present at them all. Whenever he spoke of his house, he always said “we,” and spoke almost in the plural, like a king. I wish I could put down all he said exactly as he said it, for to me it was most fascinating. It seemed to have in it a whole history of the country. He grew excited as he spoke and walked about the room, pulling on that great moustache of his, which seems to grow darker in shade with each passing evening. One thing he said I shall put down as nearly as I can; for it tells in its…

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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.