Instead of reading Dracula yesterday as I probably should have, I binge-read Blue Flag and started making chow chow with my friend. After chopping a bunch of onions I went to sleep with a terrible headache and this morning I still have it. It feels like one of those “I had a big cry” headaches. I did cry a bit at the onions.

Anyway, that’s why this post is late. I always forget how busy I am in the fall because of my canning and preserving hobby. This is my first year making chow chow but as everything comes into season suddenly I want to stash it all for the winter and make twelve kinds of jam, and it all has a time limit. I think cooking with seasonal fruit and vegetables is amazing so I like to take full advantage until I have to hunker down with my preserves for the winter.

All that is to say that I want to fully embody the time I exist in, and it’s hard when the present has very time-consuming projects Dracula, jam, pumpkin bread, wine, etc. And Thanksgiving is next weekend! And Seasonal Affective Disorder is out for blood!

October 1st

Dr. Lobotomy is about to leave on the parade to Carfax and he’s interrupted by an attendant telling him that Renfield is asking for him and won’t take no for an answer.

I asked the others to wait a few minutes for me, as I had to go and see my “patient.”

Those quotes are very interesting, Seward.

Everyone else asks to come along too, so they take a field trip to Renfield. When they get there, Renfield is really lucid, which creeps Dr. Lobotomy out. Renfield asks to go home, pleading his case to Dr. Lobotomy’s friends as well before asking to be introduced. Turns out, Renfield knows everyone in the room. He says he seconded the late Lord Godalming at Windham Social Club—in other words (I guess) nominated him to join. This implies that Renfield is actually rich, which is fun. Apparently I lied about Renfield knowing everyone because he just tells Quincey that America is cool. He flatters Van Helsing as well for his work in medicine. Renfield invites them all to see him as sane as a cucumber and asks them to let him leave. Apparently he’s so compelling that Dr. Lobotomy is almost swayed, but Renfield begs him some more before he realizes he’s not getting what he wants. Van Helsing asks Renfield for his real reasons, and Renfield refuses saying “I am not my own master in the matter.”

When they turn to leave, Renfield gets a bit more frantic, eventually crying on his knees.

You don’t know what you do by keeping me here. I am speaking from the depths of my heart—of my very soul. You don’t know whom you wrong, or how; and I may not tell. Woe is me! I may not tell. By all you hold sacred—by all you hold dear—by your love that is lost—by your hope that lives—for the sake of the Almighty, take me out of this and save my soul from guilt!

Dr. Lobotomy tells him to chill out and Renfield gives up, mumbling that he did his best and not to blame him for what might happen tonight.


We move to Jonathan who writes about how strong and healthy Mina is, but he hopes he can keep her uninvolved in the rest so they can take care of it as man’s business. Although he wasn’t mentioned, apparently Jonathan also saw the whole thing with Renfield. Quincey tells Dr. Lobotomy that Renfield was pretty sane for a crazy man. Van Helsing says he might have let Renfield go. Dr. Lobotomy says that it’s because he is involved with Dracula that he can’t let Renfield go, but also says he’s not sure what the right thing to do is all the time. Van Helsing reassures him. Arthur shows up with a whistle which he says is for the rats in Dracula’s shitty old house. I guess to scare them off?

They head over to the Carfax house. On the front porch, Van Helsing lays out things for each of them to use—a silver crucifix, garlic flowers, a revolver, a knife, a lamp, and some holy water. Dr. Lobotomy uses a skeleton key to open the gate. Jonathan recalls Dr. Lobotomy’s spooky descriptions of Lucy’s tomb, and they go spelunking.

The light from the tiny lamps fell in all sorts of odd forms, as the rays crossed each other, or the opacity of our bodies threw great shadows.

Are they just flashlights? What an evocative sentence.

Jonathan says that the dust on the floor is inches thick and that “the walls were fluffy and heavy with dust,” and I love this line so much but I hope I never see a place where the walls are “fluffy.”

They find a bunch of keys on a table. Van Helsing asks Jonathan for directions since he was the one who pored over maps of the estate when bringing them to Transylvania. Van Helsing wants to go to the chapel and Jonathan gets them there, eventually. They paw through the keys until they find the correct one and go inside.

Jonathan monologues briefly about the smell, which is kind of interesting. The castle in Transylvania was so vast that it hadn’t been an issue, but the new place is cramped and small with little air circulation, so the smell is strong.

It was not alone that it was composed of all the ills of mortality and with the pungent, acrid smell of blood, but it seemed as though corruption had become itself corrupt. Faugh! it sickens me to think of it.

I guess it makes sense that Dracula’s breath would smell bad.

They rally their nerves in the face of stinky air and proceed. The boxes of earth are lined up in the chapel and Jonathan is horrified to discover only twenty-nine remain of the fifty. He also thinks he sees Dracula in the door, but when Arthur brushes it off Jonathan follows suit.

You’re not alone anymore with this guy, sweetie! You have friends who are in it with you now!

There was no sign of any one; and as there were no corners, no doors, no aperture of any kind, but only the solid walls of the passage, there could be no hiding-place even for him.

As they’re scouring the place, they’re caught in a deluge of rats. Arthur opens the door to the outside and blows the whistle, and a bunch of terriers come running in. I’m delighted—this is way better than just scaring rats with a whistle. Even the dogs balk at all the rats, but when Arthur picks one up and puts it down on the other side of the threshold, the dogs rally and have a much more manageable job and handle it.

A bull terrier wearing booties, text reads

With their going it seemed as if some evil presence had departed, for the dogs frisked about and barked merrily as they made sudden darts at their prostrate foes, and turned them over and over and tossed them in the air with vicious shakes. We all seemed to find our spirits rise.

I guess the beauty of having a support animal might not be something I can get across to Jonathan. I keep thinking of that drive I took the other day to get Scruffy’s medicine, and picking up cats at the house of my contact with the Halifax Cat Rescue Society, and how relaxed I became so quickly after a stressful drive. A lot can be healed quickly by picking up a friendly animal, but Jonathan thinks it’s because they opened the chapel door, “the shadow of dread seemed to slip from us like a robe.”

They leave the chapel and explore the house with the dogs, apparently finding nothing of interest and leaving as the sun begins to rise. As they lock up on their way out, Van Helsing declares the mission a success: they know how many dirt boxes remain, and nobody died. He also concludes that while Dracula might command the rats, he can’t hold back how scared the rats were of the dogs.

Everyone goes home to the asylum. Jonathan hears Renfield moaning in his own room. He goes to his quarters and finds Mina pale but asleep, and doubles down on his commitment to not tell her shit. He even sleeps on the couch.

Later, Jonathan has slept in and Mina slept in as well. She sleeps so deeply that Jonathan has to call her name several times to wake her. Jonathan plans to check in on Thomas Snelling (who that is, I forget) and hopes that the twenty-one missing boxes didn’t end up in twenty-one missing places.


Back to Dr. Lobotomy, who speaks to Van Helsing around noon. Van Helsing is interested in Renfield and wants to talk to him some more. Dr. Lobotomy is busy so she suggests that Van Helsing just go talk to Renfield alone. By the time Dr. Lobotomy finishes what he’s doing, Van Helsing is back. Renfield was not so interested in talking philosophy today, instead spitting insults at Van Helsing. Van Helsing goes instead to see Mina and Jonathan, and Dr. Lobotomy mentions that Quincey and Arthur are out following leads.


Mina writes in her journal, feeling disturbed about being kept in the dark as she is. She tries to reassure herself that it’s for the best that she’s being protected. The worst part about old novels is all this outdated sexist and racist crap.

Mina confesses that she was restless and too anxious to sleep, imagining the worst (relatable), and what-ifs. She gets to listen to Renfield screaming and praying and being restrained by the guards, and witnesses a mist creeping toward the building. She crawls into bed with her fingers in her ears and doesn’t remember falling asleep, but Jonathan woke her the following morning. Instead she believes she remembers a dream where the lights are turned down and the window is open—contrary to how she left them, but she doesn’t have the strength to get up. Instead, she watches the mist flow into her window through her closed eyes. It congeals into a pillar with the red ember of the gaslight at it’s center, and she thinks of “a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night” from Exodus 13. The pillar is a fire for night and cloud for day at once in her case. The one ember divides into two like red eyes, like Lucy claimed to have seen, and Mina realizes in horror what she might be seeing.

Suddenly the horror burst upon me that it was thus that Jonathan had seen those awful women growing into reality through the whirling mist in the moonlight, and in my dream I must have fainted, for all became black darkness. The last conscious effort which imagination made was to show me a livid white face bending over me out of the mist.

I’m really so curious to see what Dracula makes of Jonathan really, but cucking him while he’s out is going pretty far. Mina is tired and thinks about getting drugs to help her pass out.


Jonathan is seeing the guy who moved the boxes and finds that the dude knows well where all of them are.

He remembered all about the incident of the boxes, and from a wonderful dog’s-eared notebook, which he produced from some mysterious receptacle about the seat of his trousers, and which had hieroglyphical entries in thick, half-obliterated pencil, he gave me the destinations of the boxes.

I love when I can find myself with a notebook so well-used as this. Truly they are treasures.

The boxes are moved to very different neighborhoods.

He was now fixed on the far east of the northern shore, on the east of the southern shore, and on the south. The north and west were surely never meant to be left out of his diabolical scheme—let alone the City itself and the very heart of fashionable London in the south-west and west

Twelve of the boxes are brought to two places, and Smollett mentions another job he heard of that sounded similar. He says he’ll look for the guy and send word later. Jonathan agrees and goes home to find Mina asleep again, appearing paler than before.


I’m literally falling asleep working on this now so I’m gonna try to push through today’s entry.


Dr Lobotomy goes to Renfield to find him in an annoying and imperious mood. They talk about bugs; Renfield compares butterflies to souls and Dr. Lobotomy asks if he’ll be moving his research to souls. Renfield says life is all he’s interested in, but Dr Lobotomy will have to look for a new zoöphagus patient soon. Dr. Lobotomy asks if Renfield is god and Renfield says no—he walks with god, like Enoch.

Here’s where I ultimately fell asleep. Good morning. Onward!

I passed out doing some homework on Enoch, because Seward says he doesn’t remember Enoch’s story. Enoch is in Genesis, and he was a patriarch in the time after Eden, but before the Flood. He apparently wrote some stuff too, but don’t worry about that. All of Enoch’s life is summed up in Genesis 5:21-24:

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

All of these other patriarchs end with “…then he died.” The understanding here is that Enoch never died, because “God took him away.” Instead of dying, he ascended.

So what Renfield is saying here and Dr. Lobotomy isn’t understanding is that Renfield lived faithfully and God will save him from death.

Lobotomy changes the subject back to souls, and asks Renfield why he doesn’t want those. Renfield says he can’t do anything with souls, eat them, etc. He asks Dr. Lobotomy about what life means and I’m honestly not sure if any of this stuff is relevant, except maybe to foreshadow what he’s up to.

Renfield summons Dr. Lobotomy again later in the day and Dr. Lobotomy goes to see him alone. Renfield asks about souls. He’s confident that he has life, but Dr. Lobotomy inquires about how you can have life but not a soul. Don’t souls come along with lives, and the lives of all his birds and cats and flies? Renfield seems disturbed by this.

There was something pathetic in it that touched me; it also gave me a lesson, for it seemed that before me was a child—only a child, though the features were worn, and the stubble on the jaws was white.

Dr. Lobotomy asks if he would like sugar to collect flies again, or spiders. He notices that for the second time (the first being about souls), Renfield interrupts himself saying he can’t “eat or drink” a soul or a spider. He won’t say “drink.”

Renfield goes on. He’s not interested in bugs anymore, but bigger game. Dr. Lobotomy suggests and elephant, wondering what an elephant soul would be like. Renfield is pissed at the suggestion that he worry about souls when he already has so many concerns. Dr. Lobotomy leaves amicably.

Several points seem to make what the American interviewer calls “a story,” if one could only get them in proper order.

An American interviewer? What do other people do?

Dr. Lobotomy gathers his thoughts on Renfield and decides that Renfield is confident he has access to a higher form of life, but fears the burden of the soul. Finally Dr. Lobotomy clues in that Dracula has something to do with it.

Dr. Lobotomy tells Van Helsing about this and they go to see Renfield to find him setting out sugar for flies again. He ignores the doctors entirely.


We wrap up with a letter from some lawyer-sounding business to Arthur about the history of the Carfax property.

The original vendors are the executors of the late Mr. Archibald Winter-Suffield. The purchaser is a foreign nobleman, Count de Ville, who effected the purchase himself paying the purchase money in notes ‘over the counter,’ if your Lordship will pardon us using so vulgar an expression.

It probably doesn’t matter but I think by “over-the-counter,” he means directly paid between the two parties without a middleman. This reminds me of the phrase getting paid “under the table,” meaning paid directly without anyone getting taxed, so I wonder if it means the same thing?



it’s time for me to take a break. Maybe the era of double posts is over so long as we get twelve different entries in a day.

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