Jonathan Harker's Journal (continued)

5 May. - I must have been asleep, for certainly if I had been fully awake I must have noticed the approach to such a remarkable place. In the gloom the courtyard looked of considerable size, and as several dark ways led from it under great round arches, it perhaps seemed bigger than it really is. I have not yet been able to see it by daylight.

When the caleche stopped, the driver jumped down and held out his hand to assist me to alight. Again I could not but notice his prodigious strength. His hand actually seemed like a steel vice that could have crushed mine if he had chosen. Then he took my traps, and placed them on the ground beside me as I stood close to a great door, old and studded with large iron nails, and set in a projecting doorway of massive stone. I could see even in the dim light that the stone was massively carved, but that the carving had been much worn by time and weather. As I stood, the driver jumped again into his seat and shook the reins; the horses started forward, and trap and all disappeared down one of the dark openings.

I stood in silence where I was, for I did not know what to do. Of bell or knocker there was no sign; through these frowning walls and dark window openings it was not likely that my voice could penetrate. The time I waited seemed endless, and I felt doubts and fears crowding upon me. What sort of place had I come to, and among what kind of people? What sort of grim adventure was it on which I had embarked? Was this a customary incident in the life of a solicitor's clerk sent out to explain the purchase of a London estate to a foreigner? Solicitor's clerk! Mina would not like that. Solicitor, - for just before leaving London I got word that my examination was successful, and I am now a full-blown solicitor! I began to rub my eyes and pinch myself to see if I were awake. It all seemed like a horrible nightmare to me, and I expected that I should suddenly awake, and find myself at home, with the dawn struggling in through the windows, as I had now and again felt in the morning after a day of overwork. But my flesh answered the pinching test, and my eyes were not to be deceived. I was indeed awake and among the Carpathians. All I could do now was to be patient, and to wait the coming of morning.

Just as I had come to this conclusion I heard a heavy step approaching behind the great door, and saw through the chinks the gleam of a coming light. Then there was the sound of rattling chains and the clanking of massive bolts drawn back. A key was turned with the loud grating noise of long disuse, and the great door swung back.

Within, stood a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere... )



I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt; I fear; I think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul. God keep me, if only for the sake of those dear to me!

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This is an experiment in posting Bram Stoker's novel DRACULA in "real time" on LiveJournal, with kind permission from [personal profile] eye_of_a_cat and [personal profile] elettaria, who did this in [profile] dracula1897 in 2006.

Feel free to comment, or to read along at your own pace.

Other experiments this year include the fresh-from-hiatus Dracula Blogged at TypePad [the first experiment of its kind that I was made aware of, back in 2005] and RealTimeDracula at Twitter. Please let Bryan and Michael know how much you enjoy their efforts!

Thanks for joining us!

Jonathan Harker's Journal

5 May. The Castle. - The grey of the morning has passed, and the sun is high over the distant horizon, which seems jagged, whether with trees or hills I know not, for it is so far off that big things and little are mixed. I am not sleepy, and, as I am not to be called till I awake, naturally I write till sleep comes. There are many odd things to put down... )



I soon lost sight and recollection of ghostly fears in the beauty of the scene... )

When it grew dark there seemed to be some excitement amongst the passengers... )

I think I must have fallen asleep and kept dreaming of the incident, for it seemed to be repeated endlessly, and now looking back, it is like a sort of awful nightmare... ) This was all so strange and uncanny that a dreadful fear came upon me, and I was afraid to speak or move. The time seemed interminable as we swept on our way, now in almost complete darkness, for the rolling clouds obscured the moon. We kept on ascending, with occasional periods of quick descent, but in the main always ascending. Suddenly I became conscious of the fact that the driver was in the act of pulling up the horses in the courtyard of a vast ruined castle, from whose tall black windows came no ray of light, and whose broken battlements showed a jagged line against the moonlit sky.

====================================
This is an experiment in posting Bram Stoker's novel DRACULA in "real time" on Dreamwidth, with kind permission from [personal profile] eye_of_a_cat and [personal profile] elettaria, who did this in [profile] dracula1897 in 2006.

Feel free to comment, or to read along at your own pace.

Other experiments this year include the fresh-from-hiatus Dracula Blogged at TypePad [the first experiment of its kind that I was made aware of, back in 2005] and RealTimeDracula at Twitter. Please let Bryan and Michael know how much you enjoy their efforts!

Thanks for joining us!

.

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