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Author:Bram Stoker


3 May. Bistritz.—Left Munich at 8:35 P. M., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got of it from the train and the little I could walk through the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we had arrived late and would start as near the correct time as possible. The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the East; the most western of splendid bridges over the Danube, which is here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of Turkish rule.
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  _3 May. Bistritz._--Left Munich at 8:35 P. M., on 1st May, arriving at

  Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an

  hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I

  got of it from the train and the little I could walk through the

  streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we had arrived

  late and would start as near the correct time as possible. The

  impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the

  East; the most western of splendid bridges over the Danube, which is

  here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of Turkish


  We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh.

  Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or

  rather supper, a chicken done up some way with red pepper, which was

  very good but thirsty.

_Mem._, get recipe for Mina.

I asked the

  waiter, and he said it was called "paprika hendl," and that, as it was a

  national dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the

  Carpathians. I found my smattering of German very useful here; indeed, I

  don't know how I should be able to get on without it.

  Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the

  British Museum, and made search among the books and maps in the library

  regarding Transylvania; it had struck me that some foreknowledge of the

  country could hardly fail to have some importance in dealing with a

  nobleman of that country. I find that the district he named is in the

  extreme east of the country, just on the borders of three states,

  Transylvania, Moldavia and Bukovina, in the midst of the Carpathian

  mountains; one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe. I was

  not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality of the

  Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this country as yet to compare

  with our own Ordnance Survey maps; but I found that Bistritz, the post

  town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place. I shall enter

  here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when I talk over my

  travels with Mina.

  In the population of Transylvania there are four distinct nationalities:

  Saxons in the South, and mixed with them the Wallachs, who are the

  descendants of the Dacians; Magyars in the West, and Szekelys in the

  East and North. I am going among the latter, who claim to be descended

  from Attila and the Huns. This may be so, for when the Magyars conquered

  the country in the eleventh century they found the Huns settled in it. I

  read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the

  horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of

  imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting.

_Mem._, I

  must ask the Count all about them.

  I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had

  all sorts of queer dreams. There was a dog howling all night under my

  window, which may have had something to do with it; or it may have been

  the paprika, for I had to drink up all the water in my carafe, and was

  still thirsty. Towards morning I slept and was wakened by the continuous

  knocking at my door, so I guess I must have been sleeping soundly then.

  I had for breakfast more paprika, and a sort of porridge of maize flour

  which they said was "mamaliga," and egg-plant stuffed with forcemeat, a

  very excellent dish, which they call "impletata."

_Mem._, get recipe

  for this also.

I had to hurry breakfast, for the train started a little

  before eight, or rather it ought to have done so, for after rushing to

  the station at 7:30 I had to sit in the carriage for more than an hour

  before we began to move. It seems to me that the further east you go the

  more unpunctual are the trains. What ought they to be in China?

  All day long we seemed to dawdle through a country which was full of

  beauty of every kind. Sometimes we saw little towns or castles on the

  top of steep hills such as we see in old missals; sometimes we ran by

  rivers and streams which seemed from the wide stony margin on each side

  of them to be subject to great floods. It takes a lot of water, and

  running strong, to sweep the outside edge of a river clear. At every

  station there were groups of people, sometimes crowds, and in all sorts

  of attire. Some of them were just like the peasants at home or those I

  saw coming through France and Germany, with short jackets and round hats

  and home-made trousers; but others were very picturesque. The women

  looked pretty, except when you got near them, but they were very clumsy

  about the waist. They had all full white sleeves of some kind or other,

  and most of them had big belts with a lot of strips of something

  fluttering from them like the dresses in a ballet, but of course there

  were petticoats under them. The strangest figures we saw were the

  Slovaks, who were more barbarian than the rest, with their big cow-boy

  hats, great baggy dirty-white trousers, white linen shirts, and enormous

  heavy leather belts, nearly a foot wide, all studded over with brass

  nails. They wore high boots, with their trousers tucked into them, and

  had long black hair and heavy black moustaches. They are very

  picturesque, but do not look prepossessing. On the stage they would be

  set down at once as some old Oriental band of brigands. They are,

  however, I am told, very harmless and rather wanting in natural


  It was on the dark side of twilight when we got to Bistritz, which is a

  very interesting old place. Being practically on the frontier--for the

  Borgo Pass leads from it into Bukovina--it has had a very stormy

  existence, and it certainly shows marks of it. Fifty years ago a series

  of great fires took place, which made terrible havoc on five separate

  occasions. At the very beginning of the seventeenth century it underwent

  a siege of three weeks and lost 13,000 people, the casualties of war

  proper being assisted by famine and disease.

  Count Dracula had directed me to go to the Golden Krone Hotel, which I

  found, to my great delight, to be thoroughly old-fashioned, for of

  course I wanted to see all I could of the ways of the country. I was

  evidently expected, for when I got near the door I faced a

  cheery-looking elderly woman in the usual peasant dress--white

  undergarment with long double apron, front, and back, of coloured stuff

  fitting almost too tight for modesty. When I came close she bowed and

  said, "The Herr Englishman?" "Yes," I said, "Jonathan Harker." She

  smiled, and gave some message to an elderly man in white shirt-sleeves,

  who had followed her to the door. He went, but immediately returned with

  a letter:--

  "My Friend.--Welcome to the Carpathians. I am anxiously expecting

  you. Sleep well to-night. At three to-morrow the diligence will

  start for Bukovina; a place on it is kept for you. At the Borgo

  Pass my carriage will await you and will bring you to me. I trust

  that your journey from London has been a happy one, and that you

  will enjoy your stay in my beautiful land.

  "Your friend,


  _4 May._--I found that my landlord had got a letter from the Count,

  directing him to secure the best place on the coach for me; but on

  making inquiries as to details he seemed somewhat reticent, and

  pretended that he could not understand my German. This could not be

  true, because up to then he had understood it perfectly; at least, he

  answered my questions exactly as if he did. He and his wife, the old

  lady who had received me, looked at each other in a frightened sort of

  way. He mumbled out that the money had been sent in a letter, and that

  was all he knew. When I asked him if he knew Count Dracula, and could

  tell me anything of his castle, both he and his wife crossed themselves,

  and, saying that they knew nothing at all, simply refused to speak

  further. It was so near the time of starting that I had no time to ask

  any one else, for it was all very mysterious and not by any means


  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 in such an excited

  state that she seemed to have lost her grip of what German she knew, and

  mixed it all up with some other language which I did not know at all. I

  was just able to follow her by asking many questions. When I told her

  that I must go at once, and that I was engaged on important business,

  she asked again:

  "Do you know what day it is?" I answered that it was the fourth of May.

  She shook her head as she said again:

  "Oh, yes! I know that! I know that, but do you know what day it is?" On

  my saying that I did not understand, she went on:

  "It is the eve of St. George's Day. Do you not know that to-night, when

  the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will have

  full sway? 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 before starting. It was all very

  ridiculous but I did not feel comfortable. However, there was business

  to be done, and I could allow nothing to interfere with it. I therefore

  tried to raise her up, and said, as gravely as I could, that I thanked

  her, but my duty was imperative, and that I must go. She then rose and

  dried her eyes, and taking a crucifix from her neck offered it to me. I

  did not know what to do, for, as an English Churchman, I have been

  taught to regard such things as in some measure idolatrous, and yet it

  seemed so ungracious to refuse an old lady meaning so well and in such a

  state of mind. She saw, I suppose, the doubt in my face, for 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 whilst I am waiting

  for the coach, which is, of course, late; and the crucifix is still

  round my neck. Whether it is the old lady's fear, or the many ghostly

  traditions of this place, or the crucifix itself, I do not know, but I

  am not feeling nearly as easy in my mind as usual. If this book should

  ever reach Mina before I do, let it bring my good-bye. Here comes the


  _5 May. The Castle._--The grey of the morning has passed, and the sun is

  high over the distant horizon, which seems jagged, whether with trees or

  hills I know not, for it is so far off that big things and little are

  mixed. I am not sleepy, and, as I am not to be called till I awake,

  naturally I write till sleep comes. There are many odd things to put

  down, and, lest who reads them may fancy that I dined too well before I

  left Bistritz, let me put down my dinner exactly. I dined on what they

  called "robber steak"--bits of bacon, onion, and beef, seasoned with red

  pepper, and strung on sticks and roasted over the fire, in the simple

  style of the London cat's meat! The wine was Golden Mediasch, which

  produces a queer sting on the tongue, which is, however, not

  disagreeable. I had only a couple of glasses of this, and nothing else.

  When I got on the coach the driver had not taken his seat, and I saw him

  talking with the landlady. They were evidently talking of me, for every

  now and then they looked at me, and some of the people who were sitting

  on the bench outside the door--which they call by a name meaning

  "word-bearer"--came and listened, and then looked at me, most of them

  pityingly. I could hear a lot of words often repeated, queer words, for

  there were many nationalities in the crowd; so I quietly got my polyglot

  dictionary from my bag and looked them out. I must say they were not

  cheering to me, for amongst them were "Ordog"--Satan, "pokol"--hell,

  "stregoica"--witch, "vrolok" and "vlkoslak"--both of which mean the same

  thing, one being Slovak and the other Servian for something that is

  either were-wolf or vampire.

_Mem._, I must ask the Count about these


  When we started, the crowd round the inn door, which had by this time

  swelled to a considerable size, all made the sign of the cross and

  pointed two fingers towards me. With some difficulty I got a

  fellow-passenger to tell me what they meant; he would not answer at

  first, but on learning that I was English, he explained that it was a

  charm or guard against the evil eye. This was not very pleasant for me,

  just starting for an unknown place to meet an unknown man; but every one

  seemed so kind-hearted, and so sorrowful, and so sympathetic that I

  could not but be touched. I shall never forget the last glimpse which I

  had of the inn-yard and its crowd of picturesque figures, all crossing

  themselves, as they stood round the wide archway, with its background of

  rich foliage of oleander and orange trees in green tubs clustered in the

  centre of the yard. Then our driver, whose wide linen drawers covered

  the whole front of the box-seat--"gotza" they call them--cracked his big

  whip over his four small horses, which ran abreast, and we set off on

  our journey.

  I soon lost sight and recollection of ghostly fears in the beauty of the

  scene as we drove along, although had I known the language, or rather

  languages, which my fellow-passengers were speaking, I might not have

  been able to throw them off so easily. Before us lay a green sloping

  land full of forests and woods, with here and there steep hills, crowned

  with clumps of trees or with farmhouses, the blank gable end to the

  road. There was everywhere a bewildering mass of fruit blossom--apple,

  plum, pear, cherry; and as we drove by I could see the green grass under

  the trees spangled with the fallen petals. In and out amongst these

  green hills of what they call here the "Mittel Land" ran the road,

  losing itself as it swept round the grassy curve, or was shut out by the

  straggling ends of pine woods, which here and there ran down the

  hillsides like tongues of flame. The road was rugged, but still we

  seemed to fly over it with a feverish haste. I could not understand then

  what the haste meant, but the driver was evidently bent on losing no

  time in reaching Borgo Prund. I was told that this road is in summertime

  excellent, but that it had not yet been put in order after the winter

  snows. In this respect it is different from the general run of roads in

  the Carpathians, for it is an old tradition that they are not to be kept

  in too good order. Of old the Hospadars would not repair them, lest the

  Turk should think that they were preparing to bring in foreign troops,

  and so hasten the war which was always really at loading point.

  Beyond the green swelling hills of the Mittel Land rose mighty slopes

  of forest up to the lofty steeps of the Carpathians themselves. Right

  and left of us they towered, with the afternoon sun falling full upon

  them and bringing out all the glorious colours of this beautiful range,

  deep blue and purple in the shadows of the peaks, green and brown where

  grass and rock mingled, and an endless perspective of jagged rock and

  pointed crags, till these were themselves lost in the distance, where

  the snowy peaks rose grandly. Here and there seemed mighty rifts in the

  mountains, through which, as the sun began to sink, we saw now and again

  the white gleam of falling water. One of my companions touched my arm as

  we swept round the base of a hill and opened up the lofty, snow-covered

  peak of a mountain, which seemed, as we wound on our serpentine way, to

  be right before us:--

  "Look! Isten szek!"--"God's seat!"--and he crossed himself reverently.

  As we wound on our endless way, and the sun sank lower and lower behind

  us, the shadows of the evening began to creep round us. This was

  emphasised by the fact that the snowy mountain-top still held the

  sunset, and seemed to glow out with a delicate cool pink. Here and there

  we passed Cszeks and Slovaks, all in picturesque attire, but I noticed

  that goitre was painfully prevalent. By the roadside were many crosses,

  and as we swept by, my companions all crossed themselves. Here and there

  was a peasant man or woman kneeling before a shrine, who did not even

  turn round as we approached, but seemed in the self-surrender of

  devotion to have neither eyes nor ears for the outer world. There were

  many things new to me: for instance, hay-ricks in the trees, and here

  and there very beautiful masses of weeping birch, their white stems

  shining like silver through the delicate green of the leaves. Now and

  again we passed a leiter-wagon--the ordinary peasant's cart--with its

  long, snake-like vertebra, calculated to suit the inequalities of the

  road. On this were sure to be seated quite a group of home-coming

  peasants, the Cszeks with their white, and the Slovaks with their

  coloured, sheepskins, the latter carrying lance-fashion their long

  staves, with axe at end. As the evening fell it began to get very cold,

  and the growing twilight seemed to merge into one dark mistiness the

  gloom of the trees, oak, beech, and pine, though in the valleys which

  ran deep between the spurs of the hills, as we ascended through the

  Pass, the dark firs stood out here and there against the background of

  late-lying snow. Sometimes, as the road was cut through the pine woods

  that seemed in the darkness to be closing down upon us, great masses of

  greyness, which here and there bestrewed the trees, produced a

  peculiarly weird and solemn effect, which carried on the thoughts and

  grim fancies engendered earlier in the evening, when the falling sunset

  threw into strange relief the ghost-like clouds which amongst the

  Carpathians seem to wind ceaselessly through the valleys. Sometimes the

  hills were so steep that, despite our driver's haste, the horses could

  only go slowly. I wished to get down and walk up them, as we do at home,

  but the driver would not hear of it. "No, no," he said; "you must not

  walk here; the dogs are too fierce"; and then he added, with what he

  evidently meant for grim pleasantry--for he looked round to catch the

  approving smile of the rest--"and you may have enough of such matters

  before you go to sleep." The only stop he would make was a moment's

  pause to light his lamps.

  When it grew dark there seemed to be some excitement amongst the

  passengers, and they kept speaking to him, one after the other, as

  though urging him to further speed. He lashed the horses unmercifully

  with his long whip, and with wild cries of encouragement urged them on

  to further exertions. Then through the darkness I could see a sort of

  patch of grey light ahead of us, as though there were a cleft in the

  hills. The excitement of the passengers grew greater; the crazy coach

  rocked on its great leather springs, and swayed like a boat tossed on a

  stormy sea. I had to hold on. The road grew more level, and we appeared

  to fly along. Then the mountains seemed to come nearer to us on each

  side and to frown down upon us; we were entering on the Borgo Pass. One

  by one several of the passengers offered me gifts, which they pressed

  upon me with an earnestness which would take no denial; these were

  certainly of an odd and varied kind, but each was given in simple good

  faith, with a kindly word, and a blessing, and that strange mixture of

  fear-meaning movements which I had seen outside the hotel at

  Bistritz--the sign of the cross and the guard against the evil eye.

  Then, as we flew along, the driver leaned forward, and on each side the

  passengers, craning over the edge of the coach, peered eagerly into the

  darkness. It was evident that something very exciting was either

  happening or expected, but though I asked each passenger, no one would

  give me the slightest explanation. This state of excitement kept on for

  some little time; and at last we saw before us the Pass opening out on

  the eastern side. There were dark, rolling clouds overhead, and in the

  air the heavy, oppressive sense of thunder. It seemed as though the

  mountain range had separated two atmospheres, and that now we had got

  into the thunderous one. I was now myself looking out for the conveyance

  which was to take me to the Count. Each moment I expected to see the

  glare of lamps through the blackness; but all was dark. The only light

  was the flickering rays of our own lamps, in which the steam from our

  hard-driven horses rose in a white cloud. We could see now the sandy

  road lying white before us, but there was on it no sign of a vehicle.

  The passengers drew back with a sigh of gladness, which seemed to mock

  my own disappointment. I was already thinking what I had best do, when

  the driver, looking at his watch, said to the others something which I

  could hardly hear, it was spoken so quietly and in so low a tone; I

  thought it was "An hour less than the time." Then turning to me, he said

  in German worse than my own:--

  "There is no carriage here. The Herr is not expected after all. He will

  now come on to Bukovina, and return to-morrow or the next day; better

  the next day." Whilst he was speaking the horses began to neigh and

  snort and plunge wildly, so that the driver had to hold them up. Then,

  amongst a chorus of screams from the peasants and a universal crossing

  of themselves, a calèche, with four horses, drove up behind us, overtook

  us, and drew up beside the coach. I could see from the flash of our

  lamps, as the rays fell on them, that the horses were coal-black and

  splendid animals. They were driven by a tall man, with a long brown

  beard and a great black hat, which seemed to hide his face from us. I

  could only see the gleam of a pair of very bright eyes, which seemed red

  in the lamplight, as he turned to us. He said to the driver:--

  "You are early to-night, my friend." The man stammered in reply:--

  "The English Herr was in a hurry," to which the stranger replied:--

  "That is why, I suppose, you wished him to go on to Bukovina. You cannot

  deceive me, my friend; I know too much, and my horses are swift." As he

  spoke he smiled, and the lamplight fell on a hard-looking mouth, with

  very red lips and sharp-looking teeth, as white as ivory. One of my

  companions whispered to another the line from Burger's "Lenore":--

  "Denn die Todten reiten schnell"--


"For the dead travel fast."

  The strange driver evidently heard the words, for he looked up with a

  gleaming smile. The passenger turned his face away, at the same time

  putting out his two fingers and crossing himself. "Give me the Herr's

  luggage," said the driver; and with exceeding alacrity my bags were

  handed out and put in the calèche. Then I descended from the side of the

  coach, as the calèche was close alongside, the driver helping me with a

  hand which caught my arm in a grip of steel; his strength must have been

  prodigious. Without a word he shook his reins, the horses turned, and we

  swept into the darkness of the Pass. As I looked back I saw the steam

  from the horses of the coach by the light of the lamps, and projected

  against it the figures of my late companions crossing themselves. Then

  the driver cracked his whip and called to his horses, and off they swept

  on their way to Bukovina. As they sank into the darkness I felt a

  strange chill, and a lonely feeling came over me; but a cloak was thrown

  over my shoulders, and a rug across my knees, and the driver said in

  excellent German:--

  "The night is chill, mein Herr, and my master the Count bade me take all

  care of you. There is a flask of slivovitz

the plum brandy of the


underneath the seat, if you should require it." I did not take

  any, but it was a comfort to know it was there all the same. I felt a

  little strangely, and not a little frightened. I think had there been

  any alternative I should have taken it, instead of prosecuting that

  unknown night journey. The carriage went at a hard pace straight along,

  then we made a complete turn and went along another straight road. It

  seemed to me that we were simply going over and over the same ground

  again; and so I took note of some salient point, and found that this was

  so. I would have liked to have asked the driver what this all meant, but

  I really feared to do so, for I thought that, placed as I was, any

  protest would have had no effect in case there had been an intention to

  delay. By-and-by, however, as I was curious to know how time was

  passing, I struck a match, and by its flame looked at my watch; it was

  within a few minutes of midnight. This gave me a sort of shock, for I

  suppose the general superstition about midnight was increased by my

  recent experiences. I waited with a sick feeling of suspense.

  Then a dog began to howl somewhere in a farmhouse far down the road--a

  long, agonised wailing, as if from fear. The sound was taken up by

  another dog, and then another and another, till, borne on the wind which

  now sighed softly through the Pass, a wild howling began, which seemed

  to come from all over the country, as far as the imagination could grasp

  it through the gloom of the night. At the first howl the horses began to

  strain and rear, but the driver spoke to them soothingly, and they

  quieted down, but shivered and sweated as though after a runaway from

  sudden fright. Then, far off in the distance, from the mountains on each

  side of us began a louder and a sharper howling--that of wolves--which

  affected both the horses and myself in the same way--for I was minded to

  jump from the calèche and run, whilst they reared again and plunged

  madly, so that the driver had to use all his great strength to keep them

  from bolting. In a few minutes, however, my own ears got accustomed to

  the sound, and the horses so far became quiet that the driver was able

  to descend and to stand before them. He petted and soothed them, and

  whispered something in their ears, as I have heard of horse-tamers

  doing, and with extraordinary effect, for under his caresses they became

  quite manageable again, though they still trembled. The driver again

  took his seat, and shaking his reins, started off at a great pace. This

  time, after going to the far side of the Pass, he suddenly turned down a

  narrow roadway which ran sharply to the right.

  Soon we were hemmed in with trees, which in places arched right over the

  roadway till we passed as through a tunnel; and again great frowning

  rocks guarded us boldly on either side. Though we were in shelter, we

  could hear the rising wind, for it moaned and whistled through the

  rocks, and the branches of the trees crashed together as we swept along.

  It grew colder and colder still, and fine, powdery snow began to fall,

  so that soon we and all around us were covered with a white blanket. The

  keen wind still carried the howling of the dogs, though this grew

  fainter as we went on our way. The baying of the wolves sounded nearer

  and nearer, as though they were closing round on us from every side. I

  grew dreadfully afraid, and the horses shared my fear. The driver,

  however, was not in the least disturbed; he kept turning his head to

  left and right, but I could not see anything through the darkness.

  Suddenly, away on our left, I saw a faint flickering blue flame. The

  driver saw it at the same moment; he at once checked the horses, and,

  jumping to the ground, disappeared into the darkness. I did not know

  what to do, the less as the howling of the wolves grew closer; but while

  I wondered the driver suddenly appeared again, and without a word took

  his seat, and we resumed our journey. I think I must have fallen asleep

  and kept dreaming of the incident, for it seemed to be repeated

  endlessly, and now looking back, it is like a sort of awful nightmare.

  Once the flame appeared so near the road, that even in the darkness

  around us I could watch the driver's motions. He went rapidly to where

  the blue flame arose--it must have been very faint, for it did not seem

  to illumine the place around it at all--and gathering a few stones,

  formed them into some device. Once there appeared a strange optical

  effect: when he stood between me and the flame he did not obstruct it,

  for I could see its ghostly flicker all the same. This startled me, but

  as the effect was only momentary, I took it that my eyes deceived me

  straining through the darkness. Then for a time there were no blue

  flames, and we sped onwards through the gloom, with the howling of the

  wolves around us, as though they were following in a moving circle.

  At last there came a time when the driver went further afield than he

  had yet gone, and during his absence, the horses began to tremble worse

  than ever and to snort and scream with fright. I could not see any cause

  for it, for the howling of the wolves had ceased altogether; but just

  then the moon, sailing through the black clouds, appeared behind the

  jagged crest of a beetling, pine-clad rock, and by its light I saw

  around us a ring of wolves, with white teeth and lolling red tongues,

  with long, sinewy limbs and shaggy hair. They were a hundred times more

  terrible in the grim silence which held them than even when they howled.

  For myself, I felt a sort of paralysis of fear. It is only when a man

  feels himself face to face with such horrors that he can understand

  their true import.

  All at once the wolves began to howl as though the moonlight had had

  some peculiar effect on them. The horses jumped about and reared, and

  looked helplessly round with eyes that rolled in a way painful to see;

  but the living ring of terror encompassed them on every side; and they

  had perforce to remain within it. I called to the coachman to come, for

  it seemed to me that our only chance was to try to break out through the

  ring and to aid his approach. I shouted and beat the side of the

  calèche, hoping by the noise to scare the wolves from that side, so as

  to give him a chance of reaching the trap. How he came there, I know

  not, but I heard his voice raised in a tone of imperious command, and

  looking towards the sound, saw him stand in the roadway. As he swept his

  long arms, as though brushing aside some impalpable obstacle, the wolves

  fell back and back further still. Just then a heavy cloud passed across

  the face of the moon, so that we were again in darkness.

  When I could see again the driver was climbing into the calèche, and the

  wolves had disappeared. This was all so strange and uncanny that a

  dreadful fear came upon me, and I was afraid to speak or move. The time

  seemed interminable as we swept on our way, now in almost complete

  darkness, for the rolling clouds obscured the moon. We kept on

  ascending, with occasional periods of quick descent, but in the main

  always ascending. Suddenly, I became conscious of the fact that the

  driver was in the act of pulling up the horses in the courtyard of a

  vast ruined castle, from whose tall black windows came no ray of light,

  and whose broken battlements showed a jagged line against the moonlit