Here we are on the precipice! I’m writing this later than intended and I’m tired but I want to do it live.

Mina writes and she seems to be talking about events from yesterday after she and Van Helsing packed up to go after Jonathan from where he approached from the east. They went slow and waddled downhill with all their blankets on them. I guess Mina is managing the sun okay today.

Then we looked back and saw where the clear line of Dracula’s castle cut the sky; for we were so deep under the hill whereon it was set that the angle of perspective of the Carpathian mountains was far below it. We saw it in all its grandeur, perched a thousand feet on the summit of a sheer precipice, and with seemingly a great gap between it and the steep of the adjacent mountain on any side. There was something wild and uncanny about the place.

To the sound of howling wolves, Van Helsing looks and finds a shelter for Mina and coddles her in with her blankets. He tries to get her to eat, to no avail, but then they spot something coming through the snow. A bunch of dudes are hauling up the road on horseback with a cart in tow. Mina starts to panic but Van Helsing is already drawing a holy circle around their hiding spot.

“They are racing for the sunset. We may be too late. God’s will be done!”

I don’t really get it. Didn’t he sanctify the castle? He’s fucked even if they put him in there. Oh right but then Dracula will still probably try to kill everyone.

Van Helsing cheers at once as he sees two more dudes through his telescope coming on horseback who must be Dr. Lobotomy and Quincey. Mina already seems to know where Jonathan is so she looks and finds him with Arthur. Unfortunately, the wolves are also closing in. The snowstorm is a tempest. The wind blows but the snow breaks when Dracula’s party rides up.

Jonathan calls to the party and one of them stops and sends the other on, but then our kids point their guns to freeze them in place, and Van Helsing and Mina emerge to surround them. All the Romani pull out their weapons in reply. Our heroes leap from their horses for the cart. The Romani leap to protect it.

I should have felt terrible fear at seeing Jonathan in such danger, but that the ardour of battle must have been upon me as well as the rest of them; I felt no fear, but only a wild, surging desire to do something.

Adrenaline is a powerful drug.

Mina is amazed at the desperate aggression of her harem. Jonathan barrels into the scene and hauls the box off of the wagon and onto the ground. Quincey goes through the crowd to him, parrying flashing knives, but someone stabs him in the gut. He doesn’t hesitate and helps Jonathan pry the lid off the box, which Jonathan is going at with his kukri.

The Romani seem to relent now under the guns of Dr. Lobotomy and Arthur. Dracula stares up with anger through his red eyes as the sun descends. His eyes light up with triumph as the dark comes.

But, on the instant, came the sweep and flash of Jonathan’s great knife. I shrieked as I saw it shear through the throat; whilst at the same moment Mr. Morris’s bowie knife plunged into the heart.

It was like a miracle; but before our very eyes, and almost in the drawing of a breath, the whole body crumble into dust and passed from our sight.

I shall be glad as long as I live that even in that moment of final dissolution, there was in the face a look of peace, such as I never could have imagined might have rested there.

Okay, I just love this. This tiny moment where we see that Dracula, too, was a victim of vampirism. One he had some desire to be free from.

The Romani flee, and the wolves disperse as well. Quincey goes down and Mina, free from the curse at once that kept her sealed in the magic circle, runs to him.

Jonathan knelt behind him and the wounded man laid back his head on his shoulder.

Wow! This hole was made for me.

Quincey takes Mina’s hand with his not-bloody one. Quincey calls to God, happy to have died to save Mina, pointing at her. Perhaps at her cookie scar?

“Now God be thanked that all has not been in vain! See! the snow is not more stainless than her forehead! The curse has passed away!”

And, to our bitter grief, with a smile and in silence, he died, a gallant gentleman.

And that’s it?! Except for the epilogue to come. That was a pretty exciting finale but also brushed quickly through it. I think we could have made this book about half the size with a good editor and maybe it would have been a less boring lead-up to get here, but I’m glad we got here.

RIP Quincey, you were a real one.