How Lucy Died
When Arthur West arrived at the Harkers’ home, he was dressed all in black. His face was pale and sad. The three friends had many things to talk about. After dinner, Mina spoke to him quietly.
‘Arthur, dear, Lucy’s death has been a great shock to us both. Can you tell us how she died?’
‘I returned from Amsterdam about a week after you left Hythe,’ Arthur replied. ‘By that time, Lucy was very ill. Her face was pale and she was very thin. I examined her, but I could not find anything wrong.’
‘Was Lucy still leaving her bed at night? Was she still walking in her sleep?’ Mina asked.
‘Yes,’ Arthur said. ‘And she began to have strange dreams. She saw red eyes and golden dust moving in the air.’
‘Golden dust?’ Jonathan repeated slowly. ‘Is the Count at work already? Go on, Arthur, I will tell you my story later.’
‘The dreams worried me,’ Arthur went on. ‘I sent a telegram to Professor Van Helsing in Amsterdam. He came to Hythe immediately.
‘When Van Helsing arrived, Lucy was too ill to get out of bed,’ Arthur told his friends. ‘Van Helsing examined her with great care. He told me that Lucy had lost a lot of blood. She needed a blood transfusion to save her life. I told the Professor to take the blood from me.’
‘Oh God,’ Jonathan said quietly. ‘Were there any marks on Lucy’s throat — small, red marks?’
Arthur looked very surprised.
‘Yes, there were. How did you know?’ he said. ‘The marks worried the Professor very much.’
‘Did the blood help Lucy?’ Mina asked.
‘Yes, she looked better at once,’ Arthur replied. ‘And she had a quiet night. In the morning she was well and happy. Van Helsing visited her and brought lots of garlic plants!’
‘Then the Professor knew,’ Jonathan said quietly.
‘Knew what?’ Arthur asked. ‘The garlic had a very strong smell. But Van Helsing put it all round our bedroom. Then he twisted some of the white flowers together and put them around Lucy’s neck.’
‘Why didn’t the garlic keep Lucy safe?’ Jonathan said. ‘I cannot understand it.’
Arthur told his friends the rest of the story. Van Helsing stayed in Hythe for a few days. Slowly, Lucy grew stronger.
One night, Arthur went out to visit a sick child. Van Helsing was in the library reading. Lucy was sleeping in her room. The garlic flowers were round her neck and she looked very beautiful. The bedroom window was shut.
‘I was away for several hours,’ Arthur went on. ‘It was morning when I returned, but the house was silent. I went into the library. Van Helsing was sleeping in the chair. I called his name but he did not wake. Suddenly I was afraid. I ran upstairs and into our bedroom. The window was broken. There was glass all over the floor! Lucy lay on the bed with her eyes closed. She had pulled the garlic flowers away from her neck.’
Arthur stopped talking. There were tears in his eyes. After a few moments, he went on.
‘I ran to get Van Helsing,’ Arthur said. ‘I called his name many times before he woke. Then he hurried with me to Lucy’s bedroom. When Van Helsing saw Lucy, he told me she was dying. The marks on her throat had gone. Van Helsing said we must wake Lucy immediately. She must not die in her sleep.
‘At that moment, Lucy opened her eyes. She looked at me and smiled. Then she spoke to me. Her voice was slow and strange. She told me a man had come to the window. He had called her again and again. She had opened the window and asked the man to come in.
‘Lucy took hold of my hand. Her fingers were as cold as ice. Lucy asked me to kiss her. But as I leant over, Van Helsing pulled me away. Then Lucy’s face became angry. Her eyes were cruel, she was ugly, I…’
Arthur covered his face with his hands. ‘It was terrible,’ he said. ‘She did not look like Lucy at all.’
‘Poor Lucy,’ Mina said and she held Arthur’s hand. ‘Did the poor girl die peacefully?’
‘Yes, thank God,’ Arthur replied. ‘When she opened her eyes, she was beautiful again. But Van Helsing would not let me kiss her lips. So I kissed her hand and her long black hair. Then she died. Dear Lucy is at peace now.’
‘Is she at peace?’ Jonathan said slowly. ‘Has the Professor gone back to Amsterdam?’
‘Yes, he has,’ Arthur replied. ‘But he said he would return if anything happened to Lucy. I did not understand him. Lucy is dead.’
Mina looked at her husband. Their eyes were full of fear. Had Dracula been drinking Lucy’s blood? Was she a vampire too?