Bram stoker: dracula’s guest

Bram Stoker: DRACULA’S GUEST

When we started for our drive the sun was shining brightly
On Munich, and the air was full of the joyousness of early
Summer. Just as we were about to depart, Herr Delbruck (the
Maitre d’hotel of the Quatre Saisons, where I was staying)
Came down bareheaded to the carriage and, after wishing me a
Pleasant drive, said to the coachman, still holding his hand
On the handle of the carriage door, “Remember you are back by
Nightfall. The sky looks bright but there is a shiver in the
North wind that says there may be a sudden storm. But I am
Sure you will not be late.” Here he smiled and added,”for you
Know what night it is.”

Johann answered with an emphatic, “Ja, mein Herr,” and,
Touching his hat, drove off quickly. When we had cleared the
Town, I said, after signalling to him to stop:

“Tell me, Johann, what is tonight?”

He

crossed himself, as he answered laconically: “Walpurgis
Nacht.” Then he took out his watch, a great, old-fashioned
German silver thing as big as a turnip and looked at it, with
His eyebrows gathered together and a little impatient shrug
Of his shoulders. I realized that this was his way of respect-
Fully protesting against the unnecessary delay and sank back
In the carriage, merely motioning him to proceed. He started
Off rapidly, as if to make up for lost time. Every now and
Then the horses seemed to throw up their heads and sniff the
Air suspiciously. On such occasions I often looked round in
Alarm. The road was pretty bleak, for we were traversing a
Sort of high windswept plateau. As we drove, I saw a road that
Looked but little used and which seemed to dip through a lit-
Tle winding valley. It looked so inviting that, even at the
Risk of offending him, I called Johann to stop – and when he
Had pulled up, I told him I would like to drive down that
Road. He made all sorts of excuses and frequently crossed him-
Self as he spoke. This somewhat piqued my curiosity, so I ask-
Ed him various questions. He answered fencingly and repeatedly
Looked at his watch in protest.

Finally I said, “Well, Johann, I want to go down this road.
I shall not ask you to come unless you like; but tell me why
You do not like to go, that is all I ask.” For answer he seem-
Ed to throw himself off the box, so quickly did he reach the
Ground. Then he stretched out his hands appealingly to me and
Implored me not to go. There was just enough of English mixed
With the German for me to understand the drift of his talk. He
Seemed always just about to tell me something – the very idea
Of which evidently frightened him; but each time he pulled him-
Self up saying, “Walpurgis nacht!”

I tried to argue with him, but it was difficult to argue
With a man when I did not know his language. The advantage
Certainly rested with him, for although he began to speak in
English, of a very crude and broken kind, he always got ex-
Cited and broke into his native tongue – and every time he did
So, he looked at his watch. Then the horses became restless
And sniffed the air. At this he grew very pale, and, looking
Around in a frightened way, he suddenly jumped forward, took
Them by the bridles, and led them on some twenty feet. I foll-
Owed and asked why he had done this. For an answer he crossed
Himself, pointed to the spot we had left, and drew his carr-
Iage in the direction of the other road, indicating a cross,
And said, first in German, then in English, “Buried him – him
What killed themselves.”



Bram stoker: dracula’s guest