Адаптация текста, комментарии, упражнения и словарь С. А. Матвеева
© Матвеев С. А., адаптация текста, упражнения, словарь, 2017
© ООО «Издательство АСТ», 2017
3 May. Bistritz. – I left Munich at 8:35 P. M. on May 1st, and arrived at Vienna early next morning. The train was an hour late. I could walk through the streets a little; Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place. We were leaving the West and entering the East. Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or rather supper, chicken with red pepper, which was very good but thirsty. I asked the waiter, and he said it was a national dish. I used German here.
Before my journey, I visited the British Museum, and studied some of the books and maps in the library regarding Transylvania. It was impossible to mark the exact locality of the Castle Dracula, as there were no maps of this country; but I found that Bistritz, the town named by Count Dracula, was a well-known place.
I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had queer dreams. Anyway, in the morning the continuous knocking at my door woke me up. My train started at eight.
All day long we were watching beautiful views. Sometimes we saw little towns or castles on top of the hills; sometimes we ran by rivers and streams. At every station there were groups of people, sometimes crowds. The strangest figures we saw were the Slovaks with their big cowboy hats, great trousers, white linen shirts, and enormous heavy leather belts. They looked like real brigands.
We got to Bistritz in the evening. It was a very interesting old place. Earlier, Count Dracula directed me to go to the Golden Krone Hotel. An elderly woman in the usual peasant dress smiled, and gave me a letter:
My Friend, welcome to the Carpathians. I am anxiously expecting you. Sleep well tonight. At the Borgo Pass my carriage will await you and will bring you to me. I hope that your journey from London has been a happy one, and that you will enjoy your stay on my beautiful land.
4 May. – My landlord got a letter from the Count to give the best place on the coach for me. He and his wife, the old lady who had received me, looked frightened. When I asked him if he knew Count Dracula, and could tell me anything of his castle, both he and his wife said that they knew nothing at all, and simply refused to speak further. It was all very mysterious and suspicious.
Just before I was leaving, the old lady came up to my room and said in a very hysterical way, “Must you go? Oh! Young Herr, must you go?”
She was very excited, and mixed German with some other language which I did not know at all. When I told her that I must go at once, and that I had important business, she asked again, “Do you know what day it is? It is the eve of St. George’s Day. Do you not know that tonight, when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will have full power on the earth? Do you know where you are going, and what you are going to?”
She was in such evident distress that I tried to comfort her, but without effect. Finally she went down on her knees and implored me not to go; at least to wait a day or two. It was all very ridiculous but I did not feel comfortable. However, there was business to be done, and I couldn’t allow anything to interfere. I thanked her, and said that my duty was imperative, and that I must go. She then rose, dried her eyes, and gave me a little cross from her neck. She put the rosary round my neck, and said, “For your mother’s sake,” and went out of the room. I am writing up this part of the diary while I am waiting for the coach, which is, of course, late; the cross is still round my neck. I think about Mina. Here comes the coach!
5 May. The castle. – When I got on the coach the driver had not taken his seat. He was talking with the landlady. They were evidently talking of me, for they looked at me the entire time, and some of the people who were sitting on the bench outside the door came and listened, and then looked at me. I could hear a lot of words often repeated, queer words, for there were many nationalities in the crowd. I quietly got my dictionary from my bag. These words were not funny to me, for amongst them were “Ordog” – Satan, “pokol” – hell, “stregoica” – witch, “vrolok” and “vlkoslak” – both of which mean the same, werewolf or vampire (I must ask the Count about these superstitions).
When we started, the crowd round the inn door made the sign of the cross and pointed two fingers towards me. I asked a fellow passenger to tell me what they meant; he explained that it was a charm against the evil eye.
I soon forgot my fears in the beauty of the scene’s nature. Before us lay a green land full of forests and woods, with steep hills here and there. Sometimes the hills were so steep that the horses could only go slowly. I wished to get down, as we do at home, but the driver said, “No, no, you must not walk here; the dogs are too fierce”.
When it grew dark the passengers began to urge the driver to go faster. The mountains came nearer to us on each side; we were entering on the Borgo Pass.
I was looking out for the conveyance which would take me to the Count. Each moment I expected to see the glare of lamps through the blackness; but all was dark. Finally, I noticed a carriage with four horses. The horses were coal-black and splendid animals. A tall man, with a long brown beard and a great black hat, which hid his face from us, was the driver. I could only see the gleam of a pair of very bright eyes, which seemed red, as he turned to us. He said to the driver, “You are early tonight, my friend.”
The man replied, “The English Herr was in a hurry.”
“Give me the Herr’s luggage,” said the driver and took my bags. Then I descended from the side of the coach, as the carriage was close. The driver helped me with a hand which caught my arm in a grip of steel; his strength was prodigious. Without a word he shook his reins, the horses turned, and we ran into the darkness of the Pass.
The carriage went straight along, then we made a complete turn and went along another straight road. I felt suspense. Then a dog began to howl somewhere in a farmhouse far down the road – a long wailing, as if from fear. Another dog took the sound, and then another and another, till a wild howling began.
The driver suddenly turned down a narrow roadway. Soon we entered the wood, and again great rocks guarded us boldly on either side. The wind carried the howling of the dogs, though the baying of the wolves sounded nearer and nearer. I grew dreadfully afraid, and the horses shared my fear. The driver, however, was not disturbed at all; he was turning his head to left and right, but I could not see anything through the darkness.
Suddenly, I saw a faint blue flame. The driver saw it at the same moment; he jumped to the ground and disappeared into the darkness. I did not know what to do, as the howling of the wolves grew closer; but while I wondered the driver suddenly appeared again, and without a word took his seat. There appeared a strange optical effect: when he stood between me and the flame he did not obstruct it, for I could see the flame through him. It was like a sort of awful nightmare. I decided that my eyes deceived me.
The wolves began to howl. The driver stopped the carriage and stood in the roadway. As he swept his long arms, the wolves fell back and back further. Then a heavy cloud passed across the face of the moon, so that we were again in darkness.
The wolves had disappeared and the driver climbed back on. This was all so strange that a dreadful fear came upon me, and I was afraid to speak or move. Suddenly, we found ourselves in the courtyard of a vast ruined castle, from whose tall black windows came no light.
Same day, later. – In the gloom the courtyard looked considerable. Several dark ways led from it under great round arches. It perhaps seemed bigger than it really is. I have not seen it by daylight.
When the carriage stopped, the driver jumped down and assisted me. Again I noticed his prodigious strength. His hand actually seemed like a steel vice that could crush mine. I stood close to a great old door. As I stood, the driver jumped again into his seat and went away.
I stood in silence where I was, for I did not know what to do. There was no sign of a bell or a knocker. The time I waited seemed endless. What sort of place had I come to, and among what kind of people? I was a solicitor’s clerk, here to explain the purchase of a London estate to a foreigner. Solicitor’s clerk! No, no, no. Just before leaving London I passed my examination successfully; and I am now a solicitor!
I heard a heavy step behind the great door. Then it opened. Within, stood a tall old man, with a long white moustache. He was dressed in black from head to foot. He held in his hand an antique silver lamp. The old man made a courtly and said in excellent English, but with a strange intonation.
“Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own free will!” He stood like a statue, but when I had stepped over the threshold, he moved impulsively forward, and shook my hand. His hand was as cold as ice – more like the hand of a dead than a living man.
Again he said, “Welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring!”
The strength of the handshake was so much akin to that which I had noticed in the driver, whose face I had not seen. Maybe it is the same person to whom I was speaking. I asked, “Count Dracula?”
“Yes, I am Dracula; and welcome, Mr. Harker, to my house. Come in; the night air is chill, and you need to eat and rest.”
As he was speaking, he took my luggage. I protested, but he insisted.
“No, sir, you are my guest. It is late, and my servants are not available.”
We entered a long passage, and then went up a great winding stair, and along another great passage, on whose stone floor our steps rang heavily. At the end of the passage he opened a heavy door, and I saw a table.
The Count stopped, put down my bags, closed the door, and crossed the room. He opened another door, which led into a small octagonal room. He then opened another door, and invited me to enter. Here was a great bedroom with a big bed and a log fire. The Count left my luggage inside and said before he closed the door.
“You will need, after your journey, to refresh yourself. Here you will find all you wish. When you are ready, please come into the other room, where you will find your supper.”
The light and warmth and the Count’s courteous welcome dissipated all my doubts and fears. So in some minutes I went into the other room.
I found a wonderful supper. My host was standing on one side of the great fireplace. He said, “I pray you, seat down and eat, please. You will, I trust, excuse me that I do not join you; but I have dined already, and I do not have supper usually.”
I handed to him the letter which Mr. Hawkins had given to me. He opened it and read it attentively; then he handed it to me to read. I liked one passage most of all.
“I must regret that my malady forbids absolutely any travelling; but I am happy to say I can send a talented clerk. He is a young man, full of energy and talent. He is discreet and silent. He will be ready to attend, and take your instructions in all matters.”
The Count came forward and took off the cover of a dish, and I saw an excellent roast chicken. This, with some cheese and a salad and a bottle of old wine, of which I had two glasses, was my supper. During the time I was eating it the Count asked me many questions about my journey.
His face was a strong, a very strong aquiline, with high bridge of the thin nose and arched nostrils; with domed forehead. His eyebrows were very massive, almost meeting over the nose. The mouth was rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth. His ears were pale, and at the tops extremely pointed; the chin was broad and strong, and the cheeks were firm and thin. His hands seemed white and fine; but they were rather coarse, broad, with squat fingers. Strange to say, there were hairs in the centre of the palm. The nails were long and fine.
We were both silent for a while. There seemed a strange stillness over everything; but as I listened I heard the howling of many wolves. The Count’s eyes gleamed, and he said, “Listen to them – the children of the night. What music they make!” Then he rose and said, “But you must be tired. Your bedroom is all ready, and tomorrow you will sleep as late as you will. I have to be away till the afternoon; so sleep well and dream well!”
With a courteous bow, he opened the door to the octagonal room for me, and I entered my bedroom.
7 May. – It is again early morning. I slept till late in the day. When I had dressed myself I went into the room where we had supper, and found a cold breakfast. There was a card on the table, on which was written:
I have to be absent for a while. Do not wait for me.– D.
I enjoyed a great meal. When I had done, I looked for a bell, but I could not find it. The table service is of gold and very beautiful. The curtains are of the most expensive and most beautiful fabrics. But there are no mirrors at all. There is not even a toilet glass on my table, and I had to use the little shaving glass from my bag before I could either shave or brush my hair. I have not yet seen a servant anywhere, or heard a sound near the castle except the howling of wolves.
Some time after I had finished my meal – I do not know whether to call it breakfast or dinner, for it was between five and six o’clock when I had it – I looked about for something to read. There was absolutely nothing in the room, book, newspaper; so I opened another door in the room and found a library.
In the library I found, to my great delight, a vast number of English books and volumes of magazines and newspapers. The books were on history, geography, politics, political economy, botany, geology, law – all relating to England and English life, customs and manners.
While I was looking at the books, the door opened, and the Count entered. He saluted me in a hearty way. Then he went on.
“I am glad you found your way in here. These books have been good friends to me, and for some years past, since I had the idea of going to London, they have given me many, many hours of pleasure. Through them I knew your great England; and to know it is to love it. I studied English through books, and you, my friend, will you help me to speak it better?”
“But, Count,” I said, “You know and speak English thoroughly!”
He bowed gravely.
“I thank you, my friend, for your estimate. True, I know the grammar and the words, but I do not know how to speak them.”
“Indeed,” I said, “you speak excellently.”
“Not so,” he answered. “Well, I am sure, when I move and speak in your London, the people will know me for a stranger. That is not enough for me. Here I am noble; I am a Count; the common people know me, and I am the master. But a stranger in a strange land, he is no one. ‘Ha, ha! A stranger!’ You came to me not alone as agent of my friend Peter Hawkins, to tell me all about my new estate in London. You will, I hope, rest here with me a little; and, please, tell me when I make errors, even the smallest, in my speaking.”
Of course I said that I would, and asked if I could use his library. He answered, “Yes, certainly,” and added.
“Tell me of London and of the house which you have prepared for me.”
With an apology, I went into my room to get the papers from my bag. When I returned the Count put away the books and papers from the table and we went into plans and figures of all sorts. He was interested in everything, and asked me a thousand questions about the place and its surroundings.
We discussed the purchase of the estate at Purfleet. When I had told him the facts and got his signature to the necessary papers, he had written a letter to Mr. Hawkins. Then he said, “I am glad that it is old and big house. I am of an old family, and to live in a new house means to kill me. I love the shade and the shadow, and I want to be alone with my thoughts.”
He asked me to put all my papers together and left. I began to look at some of the books around me. One was an atlas of England. I found certain places marked with little rings, one was near London on the east side, where his new estate was situated; the other two were Exeter and Whitby on the Yorkshire coast.
In an hour the Count returned. “Aha!” he said. “Still at your books? Good! But you must not work always. Come; your supper is ready.”
He took my arm, and we went into the next room, where I found an excellent supper ready on the table. The Count again excused himself, as he had dined already. But he sat as on the previous night, and chatted while I ate.
After supper I smoked, as on the last evening, and the Count stayed with me, chatting and asking different questions, hour after hour. All at once we heard the crow of a cock; Count Dracula jumped to his feet and said, “Why, there is the morning again! You must make your conversation regarding my dear new country of England less interesting, so that I may not forget how time flies,” and, with a courtly bow, he quickly left me.
I went into my own room and drew the curtains; my window opened into the courtyard, all I could see was the warm grey sky. So I pulled the curtains again.
8 May. – I have only the Count to speak with, and he – I fear I am myself the only living soul here.
I only slept a few hours when I went to bed, and got up. I had hung my shaving glass by the window, and was just beginning to shave. And I made a cut. Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder, and heard the Count’s voice saying to me, “Good morning.” But I had not seen him, even though the reflection of the glass covered the whole room behind me. I answered the Count’s salutation and turned to the glass again to see how I had been mistaken. This time there was no error, for the man was close to me, and I could see him over my shoulder. But there was no reflection of him in the mirror! The whole room behind me was displayed; but there was no sign of a man in it, except myself. At the instant I saw that the cut had bled a little, and the blood was trickling over my chin. I laid down the razor, and turned to look for some plaster. When the Count saw my face, his eyes blazed with a demoniac fury, and he suddenly made a grab at my throat. I drew away, and his hand touched the little cross. It made an instant change in him, for the fury passed very quickly.
“Take care!,” he said, “It is more dangerous than you think in this country.”
Then he seized my shaving glass and went on, “It is guilty, this wretched thing! Away with it!”
He opened the heavy window and flung out the glass, which has shattered into a thousand pieces on the stones of the courtyard far below. Then he left without a word.
When I went into the dining room, the breakfast was prepared; but I could not find the Count anywhere. So I had my breakfast alone. It is strange but it seems to me that the Count does not eat or drink. He must be a very peculiar man!
After breakfast I did a little exploring in the castle. First, about the castle. It is situated on the edge of a terrible precipice. As far as the eye can reach is a sea of green tree tops.
I explored further; doors, doors, doors everywhere, and all locked. There is no place to exit from the castle. The castle is a veritable prison, and I am a prisoner!
When I found that I was a prisoner, I rushed up and down the stairs. I was trying to open every door and every window I could find. I understood that I was helpless, and I sat down quietly and began to think over what to do best of all.
I heard some noise and knew that the Count had returned. He did not come at once into the library, so I went to my room. He was making the bed. This was odd, but only confirmed the idea that there were no servants in the house. But if there is no one else in the castle, it was the Count himself who was the driver of the carriage that brought me here. This is a terrible thought; for if so, does it mean that he could control the wolves, as he did, when he just held up his hand in silence? Bless that good, good woman who hung the little cross round my neck! I feel comfort and strength whenever I touch it. I must find out all I can about Count Dracula. Tonight he may talk of himself, if I turn the conversation that way. I must be very careful, however, not to awake his suspicion.
8 May, midnight. – I have had a long talk with the Count. I asked him a few questions on Transylvania history, and he spoke of things and people, and especially of battles, as if he had been present at them all.
We went to bed in the morning.
12 May. – Let me begin with facts – bare, meagre facts, of which there can be no doubt. I must not confuse them with experiences, or my memory of them. Last evening when the Count came from his room he began to ask me questions on legal matters and on the doing of certain kinds of business. First, he asked if a man in England might have two solicitors or more. I told him he could have a dozen solicitors if he wished. But it is not be wise to have more than one solicitor. We solicitors have a system of agency, so the client usually has no further trouble.
“Have you written since your first letter to our friend Mr. Peter Hawkins, or to any other?” asked he.
I answered no, because I could not send letters to anybody.