The House of the Vampire
After they had left the vault, the friends slept for several hours. Then later in the day, they met to make their plans.
‘We are all in danger,’ Van Helsing said. ‘Dracula must know that he has enemies in England. He will soon find out what we are doing. Then he will attack us.’
‘Why don’t we attack him first?’ Arthur cried. ‘We must go to his house together. Where is his house, Jonathan?’
‘I can’t remember,’ Jonathan replied slowly. ‘It’s very strange. I think Dracula has made me forget. All the papers about his house are in my office in London.’
‘Then let us all go back to London quickly,’ said Van Helsing. ‘We must find out where Dracula is hiding. It will be safer if we are all together. The Vampire is very powerful.’
They went to London and Jonathan hurried to his office. But he could not find the papers. They had all been taken. He returned home at once. He told the others what had happened.
‘Dracula has taken the papers,’ Van Helsing said. ‘He knows he is in danger. He knows we are his enemies. But vampires have no power during daylight. In daylight, Dracula rests in one of the boxes from Transylvania. They must be in his house.’
‘But where is his house?’ Mina cried.
The old Professor thought for a moment. Then he looked at Jonathan carefully.
‘If you agree, I shall hypnotize you,’ he said. ‘Then you may remember where Dracula’s house is.’
‘Yes, I agree,’ Jonathan said. ‘Do what you can, Professor. I am ready.’
Van Helsing sat opposite Jonathan and spoke to him quietly. The young man’s eyes closed. He began to breathe more slowly.
‘Count Dracula has a house near London. Where is it, Jonathan?’ the Professor asked. Jonathan answered in a slow, clear voice.
‘The Count is living to the east of London,’ he said. ‘His house is very big and very old. There is a high wall round it.’
‘How did you get there, Jonathan?’ asked Van Helsing.
‘The nearest railway station is about a mile away from the house…’
‘What is the name of the station, Jonathan?’ Van Helsing asked.
‘It is difficult to remember. There is a mist in front of my eyes. Now the mist is going. The name is… Purfleet. The… the mist is coming back, a golden mist. I can see red eyes… they are looking for me…’
‘Wake up, Jonathan!’ the Professor said quickly. Jonathan opened his eyes.
‘You were in danger,’ Van Helsing said. ‘Dracula knew what I was doing. We do not have much time.’
‘What shall we do?’ Arthur asked.
‘We must get into Dracula’s house and look for the boxes of earth,’ Van Helsing replied. ‘You must stay here, Mina. Don’t leave the house. Dracula is not far away. Remember what happened to Lucy.’
‘We cannot leave Mina here on her own!’ Jonathan cried.
‘She will be safe,’ the Professor said. ‘No vampire can enter a house unless he is invited in. Lucy walked in her sleep and Dracula met her in the churchyard. Stay in the house, Mina, and you will be safe.’
The three men left the Harkers’ house in the afternoon. The things they needed were in their bags. They went by train. When they reached Purfleet station, the Professor asked a few questions. A man at the station was able to answer them.
A tall, dark stranger had bought a big house not far from the station. Later, fifty huge boxes had been sent to the house. The stranger was living there alone.
The three friends were sure that the stranger was Dracula. Very soon they were on the road to the house. As they walked, they became more and more tired.
At last, they reached the old house. But the daylight had almost gone. Van Helsing looked at his friends.
‘It is dark. We are late,’ he said. ‘Dracula will have left the house. While he is away, we will destroy his resting places.’
The high wall of the garden was broken in one place. They were able to climb it easily. The garden was silent and empty. The house was dark. At the back of the house, they found a broken window. They were soon inside.
The old house was full of dust. The air smelt unpleasant and it was very cold. Every room was empty. Then at the end of a long passage, they found a large wooden door. The key was in the lock and Van Helsing turned it slowly. There was a terrible smell that reminded Jonathan of Castle Dracula.
‘This place smells of blood,’ Arthur West whispered. As he held up his lamp, rats ran away from the light. Some steps went down to the old chapel. There on the cold, wet stones were the wooden boxes.
‘Those are the boxes I saw in Castle Dracula,’ Jonathan said quietly.
‘We must work quickly,’ the Professor said, opening his bag. ‘Dracula must not find us here. Inside every box we will place some holy bread. Then the Vampire will be in our power.’
The men worked for many hours. One by one, the boxes were opened. Then holy bread was placed on the earth inside. The lids were hammered down. The two young men worked together. Old Van Helsing stood by the open door at the top of the steps. He held a cross in his hand. Jonathan and Arthur had one more box to open. Suddenly Van Helsing gave a cry.