Good morning! It’s a beautiful day in Halifax, whetting our appetites for summer. I have work to do but hopefully I’ll be able to spend some time picking dandelions to make honey and booze while the temperature is above freezing. Maybe I’ll even get some ice cream.
I’m just realizing that Jonathan never remarks on the weather in Transylvania. Is it hot there this time of year? Rainy?
According to my notes, Dracula Daily slows down for a little bit from here, so I’m going to try to avoid stacking up more than one entry where I can. I wonder when we’ll get to hear about what happened at the sexy ménage à trois campfire?
Today we’re back with Jonathan, who is writing in his shorthand code. Some Romani have encamped in the courtyard.
They attach themselves as a rule to some great noble or boyar, and call themselves by his name. They are fearless and without religion, save superstition, and they talk only their own varieties of the Romany tongue.
Jonathan has plans to try to get them to send letters for him, and if they’re loyal to a boyar (like Dracula) enough to call themselves by his name (DRACULA), I’m not sure this will work out, but desperate measures etc. Better this than nothing I guess. Jonathan clearly does not consent to being a part of Dracula’s sex castle.
The Romani seem friendly enough with Jonathan, even though they can’t understand each other.
Dracula Daily implements a page break here presumably to indicate that time has passed, but my physical copy of the book has no such thing. (Skim past these if you don’t want spoilers.)
Like an idiot I wrote out this post in the WordPress processor and then lost half of it apparently when I tried to upload these images. This is disappointing because I really like the organic read-along style and so from here it might be somewhat faker. -sigh- Oh well.
Jonathan writes his letters, one to Mina in shorthand and a second to his boss, Hawkins, to talk to Mina. Jonathan consoles himself that at least in this way, Dracula won’t be able to figure out what he’s communicating if the letters are intercepted. Jonathan throws the letters and some cash out of his window to the Romani below. The man who picks it up bows and puts the letters in his cap. Jonathan retreats to read in the study.
Sure enough, a moment later, Dracula comes up to the study, smooth and cool as he opens the letters. Goodness, where could these letters have come from, and where are they going? Well, this one has your name on it! When Dracula sees Mina’s letter he scowls and says that, since it has no name, it couldn’t be relevant. He appears unable to read Jonathan’s shorthand and sets the letter on fire in the lamp.
“The letter to Hawkins—that I shall, of course, send on, since it is yours. Your letters are sacred to me. Your pardon, my friend, that unknowingly I did break the seal. Will you not cover it again?”
This sneaky abuser shit is off the charts with Dracula and I can’t get enough of it. Both of these people know that Jonathan is stuck and can’t go anywhere or do anything, but Dracula is committed to the bit of being a perfect gentleman. The way that people run laps around others so they can’t act out of interest of social norms and politeness is as scummy as it gets. Jonathan has absolutely no idea what kind of danger he is actually in, or what crossing Dracula explicitly could cost him, but he doesn’t need to know to be scared out of his mind.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m impressed with Stoker’s finesse here. I wonder what kind of people he’s had to deal with? (The answer is probably: the British. Stoker was Irish so I’m going to be making a lot of jokes like this.*)
Dracula gets Jonathan to re-address and re-seal his letter to Hawkins and whisks it away, locking the door behind him and trapping Jonathan inside the study. Dracula doesn’t return for “an hour or two”, where he finds Jonathan asleep on the sofa. I, too, enjoy a stress nap. Jonathan notes that Dracula is particularly cheerful and invites him to go to bed as Dracula himself has stuff to do tonight and no time to talk.
I passed to my room and went to bed, and, strange to say, slept without dreaming. Despair has its own calms.
If I seem like a sicko for enjoying this so much I want you all to know that there’s a whole genre of fanfiction called whump, where authors torture characters for fun and sympathy. Usually this is to make readers cry and for the lover of said character to come take care of them and save the day (hurt/comfort). So if I seem like I’m enjoying Jonathan’s suffering too much, it’s because I am. And so do millions of other fujoshi around the world. I imagine his beloved Mina will come to the rescue and save him and maybe haul him into a hurt/comfort fic in the end while cooking him some paprika dishes, but for now it’s just gay torture whump and I’m having a great time.
*After checking his Wikipedia to make sure I wasn’t lying wrt the above gag, I discovered that he was better known during his life as the personal assistant to actor Sir Henry Irving. One of my current gigs is as a personal assistant myself, so it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Irish writers, across generations~