Time passed slowly. I always saw the Count at night. During the day, I sat in the library, reading a book. Sometimes I walked slowly through the long passages of the castle.
The papers were signed and I was ready to leave. But Count Dracula would not let me go. Every evening, he asked me more questions about England. Every evening, I asked to leave. But he always smiled and would not answer.
I was full of fear. The Count had a strange power over me which grew stronger every day. I could not think clearly. Would I ever escape from Castle Dracula?
Then one day, I found a room with an unlocked door. As soon as I went into the room, I felt very tired. I lay down on a couch opposite the window.
When I opened my eyes, it was getting dark. But the air was full of golden dust. It slowly changed into the shapes of three young women. They were very beautiful. I felt afraid of them and yet I wanted them to touch me. I wanted them to kiss me with their soft, red lips. My body felt heavy. I could not move.
‘Go on,’ one woman said to another, ‘you are the first. But he is young and strong. There will be kisses for us all!’
One of the women moved towards me. She smiled. Her teeth were sharp and white. I closed my eyes as she leant over me. I felt her long hair on my face. She made a strange sound and licked her red lips. Her sharp teeth touched my throat. Now, I thought, now, now! Kiss me, kiss me!
There was a sudden shout. Count Dracula had come into the room and pulled the woman away from me.
‘Get back, he is mine. How dare you touch him!’ he cried.
‘Oh, you are cruel,’ said the woman, with a terrible laugh. ‘Have you never been in love?’
‘You know I have,’ the Count replied. ‘That is why you are here. Wait a little longer, you will have your chance!’
I must have fainted. When I woke again, I was in my own room. It was daylight. The sun was shining brightly. I could see the gold cross on the table, where I had left it.
It was now 19th of May. I stayed near my room all day. When I saw the Count in the evening, it was difficult to hide my fear. But he smiled as usual and said, ‘My dear Mr Harker, I am happy to have you as my guest. But I know you want to see your Mina again.’
The Count put some paper and three envelopes on the table.
‘The post in Transylvania is not good,’ he said. ‘But write what I tell you and Mina will get your letters.’
He told me what to write. He made me put dates on the letters. The last letter was dated 29th June. What could I do? I was terribly afraid. I wrote down the Count’s words. In the last letter, I told Mina that I had left the castle and was on my way home.
I knew then that Count Dracula meant to kill me. But not yet. It was six weeks until 29th June. I had six more weeks to live!
The days went by. I was Dracula’s prisoner and he… what was he? Would I ever know the truth about him?
Then it was 29th June. That night, Count Dracula spoke to me.
‘My dear friend, you and I must part. Tomorrow I must go to England. Perhaps one day we shall meet again.’
What did he mean? I had to find out the truth. I decided to follow Dracula to his room. He went in and locked the door behind him. I heard a window open.
I looked out of a window in the passage. I could see the window of the Count’s room. As I watched, Dracula came out of the window and moved down the wall — head first! His black cloak looked like the wings of a huge bird. In the bright moonlight, I watched him move down the wall and out of sight!
I had to think. I had to make a plan. I went back to my room and looked again at my book about Transylvania. Vampires always hunted and killed at night. Sometimes they became animals. But during the day, vampires lost their strange powers.
I had never seen Count Dracula during the day. If I went to his room in daylight, perhaps he could not harm me. Perhaps I could take his keys and escape at last.
All night, I waited by the window in the passage. At dawn, Count Dracula returned. When the sun was high in the sky, I climbed out of the window. I moved carefully down the wall and across to the Count’s open window.
There was nothing in the room except a great heap of golden coins. One door was locked. But the second one opened and I went through it. A stone stairway went down and down to a long passage. I was in an old chapel. The stones in the floor had been taken away. There were great holes where the earth had been.
The chapel was full of wooden boxes — fifty of them. Their lids had not been fixed on. Each box was full of earth.
One box was covered and I lifted the lid. There, on a heap of earth, lay Count Dracula!
His white hair was now dark grey. His thin, white face was fat and red. Fresh blood ran from his lips and there was a terrible smell, the smell of blood! The Vampire was resting after his meal. His eyes were open, but he did not move. I could see his long, white teeth.
At that moment, I heard shouts and the sound of many feet. I ran back through the door and into the passage. The door closed behind me. I stood there, listening.
The chapel was full of men. They were hammering down the lids of the boxes. Then I heard them pulling the boxes along the ground. A door was shut and locked. Count Dracula was on his way to England and I was locked inside his castle! I ran down the passage, up the stone stairs and back to the Count’s room. I put some of the gold coins in my pockets and ran to the open window. The ground was many metres below. With a prayer to God, I climbed out of the window and moved slowly down the wall…