DRACULA

by Richard Sharp

Copyright 1980 Richard M. Sharp

 

 

Characters

 

DRACULA: a Transylvanian nobleman.

 

Dr.JOHN SEWARD: a medical doctor and scientist, head of a private asylum.Age: 29.

 

LUCY WESTENRA: Dr. Sewardís fiancť.Age: 19.

 

MINA MURRAY (HARKER): Lucyís closest friend, fiancť (later wife) of Jonathan Harker.††

 

JONATHAN HARKER: Solicitor employed through his firm to secure a home in London for Dracula.Age: early thirties.

 

RENFIELD: a patient in Dr. Sewardís asylum.Age: indeterminate.

 

Dr. ABRAHAM HEINRICH VAN HELSING: M.D., D.Ph., D.Lit., etc., etc., of Amsterdam: a man of great knowledge and Dr. Sewardís former teacher. Age: late fifties.

 

NOSFERATU: a silent chorus of three or more members, at times, part of the set, at other times, part of the action.They also make necessary set changes between scenes.

 

 

The Time: 1887

 

 

Setting

 

The action of the play takes place at several locations in Transylvania, Whitby, and London.The set can be called ďabstract gothic.ĒIts main elements are gothic arches, columns, and drapery, some diaphanous, some opaque. It should have different levels and be such that different areas can be isolated in light to play scenes of different settings.The set pieces can be abstract, multi-purpose pedestals, few in number, and they must be designed to facilitate rapid scene changes.

 

 

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

(The smell of myrrh.Darkness.A church bell tolls, slowly, mournfully.Then, seeming to come from everywhere [via speakers surrounding the audience], Draculaís voice is heard.)

 

DRACULAíS VOICE: Flesh of my flesh.Blood of my blood.Death of my death.This life is no longer than the space between two heartbeats. Come into the night, the darkness.Come to me my love.

 

†††††††††† (A SPOTLIGHT from above comes up on LUCYíS BODY, dressed in flowing white lying on a bier, up center.The OTHER CHARACTERS are posed in tableau on the periphery in dim light.Each one, in turn, is illuminated dimly as they come to life and mime their action as their voices are heard over the speakers. [Note: The following voice-over speeches may be played live by the actors, but the voice-over technique is greatly preferred because it helps to lend an air of mystery to the Prologue, and it helps tie the scenes in Act I to their respective journals. Further it greatly facilitates scene changes and actor positioning.]†† The NOSFERATU are unnoticeably posed as statues around the set.LIGHTS up on RENFIELD.)†††

 

RENFIELDíS VOICE: The blood is the life, doctor. (He laughs maniacally as he moves toward the body.)The blood is the life.I know the secret, doctor.The blood is the life.

 

(RENFIELD hears a noise [Seward approaching].He looks for a place to hide, then runs off.LIGHTS up on SEWARD. He carries a bouquet of lilies.)

 

SEWARDíS VOICE: What does it all mean?I am beginning to wonder if my long habit of life among the insane has begun to tell upon my own brain.Sometimes I think we are all mad and that we shall wake to sanity in strait-jackets.

 

(SEWARD has placed the lilies on Lucyís breast.LIGHTS up on VAN HELSING.)

 

VAN HELSINGíS VOICE: I will be the first to tell you that there is no such thing as a pure heart.No one is immune to all evil.Life, in its infinite metamorphoses, is much too complicated and we are too much the victims of our own beginnings.

 

(VAN HELSING crosses to SEWARD at center.They shake hands warmly.LIGHTS up on JONATHAN.)

†††††††††††

JONATHANíS VOICE: My God!How has it come to this?Has Heaven decreed it?Am I the †††††††† guilty one?You canít imagine what agony it is to doubt everything even yourself.

 

(JONATHAN joins VAN HELSING and SEWARD, shaking hands with each of them.LIGHTS up on MINA.)

 

MINAíS VOICE: Why must I suffer not knowing along with this fear and weakness?Why do you separate yourselves from me when I am so alone?

 

(MINA joins the others and is silently introduced to VAN HELSING.Standing in a circle, and led by VAN HELSING, they all join hands.Then, they extend their hands to the center for a moment, forming a cross when seen from above.They then drop their hands, still joined, to their sides and bow their heads in a moment of silent prayer.There is a simultaneous flash of LIGHTNING and crash of THUNDER.The NOSFERATU come life and form a moving ring around the praying people.)

 

DRACULAíS VOICE: Flesh of my flesh.Blood of my blood.Kin of my kin.Most beloved of all, when I say ďcome,Ē you shall cross land and sea to do my bidding.

 

(Simultaneous LIGHTNING and THUNDER.The NOSFERATU, throwing their hands up, break their circle and float to the periphery where they watch the action that follows.)

 

 

ACT I, Scene 1

 

††††††††††††††††† (The LIGHTS come up to a brighter level.JONATHAN stiffens, breaking the circle and staggering two or three steps away, as if in a daze.)

 

JONATHAN: (Suddenly, as if awakening from a nightmare.) Mina!

 

(MINA rushes to him; he clings to her.He appears to be confused, but then, an awareness of Van Helsing seems to restore him.)

 

Forgive me, Dr. Van Helsing.The strain of travel.I have not been well.

 

VAN HELSING: I am sorry to hear that, Mr. Harker.I shall not keep you long.My friends, it is difficult to bear when one so young is taken from us so unkindly.But sorrow has a way of following sorrow, and it is often griefís negligence that perpetuates it.This is because, at times like these, we feel more than we think.Yet our thinking is the only tool we have for dealing with the emotional ravages of time--death, loss of love.So I hope you will forgive my haste, but the many strange circumstances surrounding our dear miss Lucyís death compel me to act quickly.Her eternal peace may yet depend on what I learn.

 

MINA: These are strange words, Doctor.

 

VAN HELSING: My apologies, Madame Mina.I cannot explain.Even Dr. Seward, who knows me so well, would think me raving mad..I must be certain if I am to tell you that which would shake the very foundations of your belief.†† Now, have you brought everything?

 

MINA: There is very little, only a small bundle of Lucyís letters to me. . .and here is my journal.The letters are mostly about nothing, Iím afraid, and my journal. . . .

 

VAN HELSING: The smallest thing could be important.I know it is a great favor to ask to look into a womanís heart, but let me assure you,I am a very discreet old man.

 

MINA: I think you will find nothing to make you blush, Professor. . .but there is one other thing.

 

VAN HELSING: Yes?

 

MINA: My husband kept a diary of his trip to Transylvania before our marriage.

 

(JONATHAN has been drawn to Lucyís body. He seems to be transfixed by it.)

 

JONATHAN: Somehow I know there is a connection.

 

VAN HELSING: In what way?

 

JONATHAN: I . . . I . . .donít know.I can remember nothing of it.

 

MINA: You see, professor, his experiences brought on a sever brain fever.Since his recovery, he has not reread the diary for fear of a recurrence. Then last evening, as we drove along Picadilly, Jonathan suddenly became very pale and began to tremble.ďCan you not see who it is?Ē he cried.ďIt is he.Ē

 

VAN HELSING: Who was it?

 

JONATHAN: (He rushes to Van Helsing, almost in a panic.) The count.I swear it was †††††††††††††††††† the count.Ē

 

VAN HELSING: Who--

 

MINA: (Interrupting him and calming Jonathan) He became so distressed that I feared to keep †††††† his mind on the subject by asking him questions.I decided that I must look at the diary.And †† now Iím sure that you must see it as well, professor.(She gives it to him.)

 

VAN HELSING: Very well.I shall attack your notebook first, Mr. Harker.

 

(JONATHAN nods and is again drawn to Lucyís corpse.)

 

SEWARD: Here is every detail I have recorded for the last three months, Heinrich. (Pause)

And Lucyís last note.

 

VAN HELSING: Very good.(He begins to dismiss them.)Madame Mina, you are more beautiful even than they told me.

 

MINA: You are very kind, professor.

 

JONATHAN: (Perplexed. [He senses the vampire in Lucy.]) Can you not see how beautiful she is?

 

MINA: Yes dear.(She goes to Jonathan, puts her arm around him, and begins to lead him off.)Come. (JONATHAN AND MINA exit.)

 

VAN HELSING: You may use my study, Heinrich.Ring if you need anything .(SEWARD exits.)

 

(VAN HELSING moves to a desk situated away from the main playing area. THE NOSFERATU follow and group around him, watching him intently.As he sits, he is isolated in light as the rest of the set fades to scene change light. [Note: Scene change light is dim, mottled, mysterious and unnatural so that the Nosferatu seem to float ghost-like around the stage making the scene change a part of the play as they rearrange the set pieces for the next scene.The light should be bright enough for the Nosferatu to do their work but dim and strange enough to prevent the audience from seeing exactly what changes have been made until the light is restored.] VAN HELSING sits for a moment in thought, then picks up Jonathanís journal and begins to read.The audience hears Jonathanís voice)

 

 

ACT I, Scene 2

Jonathanís Journal

 

††

(Jonathanís voice, as he speaks the word of his journal,is accompanied by a soundtrack with sounds of railway station, trains, voices, etc. where appropriate.Van Helsingís light stays on for a time, then slowly fades as we focus on Jonathanís Journal)

 

JONATHANíS VOICE: I left Munich about 8:35 p.m. on May first, 1887 and arrived in Vienna early the next morning.From there, I traveled on to Buda Pesth, across the Danube, and finally, to Bistritz.My client had made arrangements for my lodging at the Golden Krone.Here a letter awaited me.It explained that, on the morrow, the regular coach would carry me to the Borgo Pass where his carriage would meet me. I dined on what they call ďrobber steak,Ē bits of bacon, onion, and beef, seasoned with red pepper and strung on sticks and roasted over the fire.The wine was Golden Mediash which produces a queer sting on the tongue.†† I had only a couple of glasses of this and nothing else, but I did not sleep well as there were dogs howling outside my window all night long.

††††† The following day, I observed many strange customs which are apparently commonplace in this part of the world.For example, people often pressed religious gifts on me when they learned of my destination.One old woman begged me not to go, saying it was the eve of St Georgeís Day, a day when, according to her, all evil things had full sway.

††††† After a hair-raising ride, I found myself, at exactly midnight, deposited in front of an ancient, crumbling castle with no sign of life anywhere except for the wolves that howled incessantly in the dark forest all about me.

 

(LIGHTS up on Castle Dracula under a full moon.The NOSFERATU are posed as statues.Some seem to be indicating direction, others are warriors, hunters, lions, etc. in intimidating poses.†† Wolf-howls permeate the surrounding darkness.JONATHAN enters, lugging a very heavy trunk.LIGHTS fade on Van Helsing.JONATHAN stands frightened and bewildered.After a time, DRACULA appears from inside, silhouetted in very dim light and carrying a weak lantern.He is very old, stooped and grey.His movements are very much those of an old man, but sense a great physical strength underlying his stiffness.He is elegantly dressed in late evening lounging attire.Because of the dim light, he will not be seen clearly until the next scene.)

 

DRACULA: Welcome to my house.Enter freely and of your own will.

JONATHAN: How do you do.I am Jonathan Harker, in the service of Mr. Peter Hawkins.

 

DRACULA: Come freely.Go safely.And leave something of the happiness you bring.

 

JONATHAN: I am to see Count Dracula.

 

DRACULA: I am Dracula.And I bid you welcome, Mr Harker to my house.Come in.The night air is chill and you must need to eat and rest.

 

(DRACULA seems to extend his hand for a hand shake, but as JONATHAN steps forward to take it, DRACULA merely passes him and continues on with his hand outstretched toward Jonathanís trunk.)

 

JONATHAN: Oh here, let me--

 

DRACULA:†† (Picking up the heavy trunk with uncanny ease) Nay sir.You are my guest.It is late and my people are not available.You must let me see to your comfort myself.

 

(The wolf howls crescendo.)

 

DRACULA: Listen to them.The children of the night.What music they make.

 

(DRACULA leads JONATHAN into the castle.The LIGHTS fade to scene change light, and the NOSFERATU change the setting to the interior of Draculaís castle.)

 

 

ACT I, Scene 3

Jonathanís Journal (Continued)

 

(When the scene change is complete, a NOSFERATU passes a hand over a candelabrum, causing it to light by itself, and the lights restore to a warmly lit interior just as DRACULA and JONATHAN enter.The candelabrum is on a table covered with a white tablecloth.There is also a decanter of deep red wine with two glasses, a place setting and covered serving dishes made of gold.DRACULA now carries only the lantern, which he hangs on the hand of a NOSFERATU posed as a statue. JONATHAN carries his briefcase.)

 

JONATHAN: (Pleasantly surprised) Oh, my!

 

DRACULA:Make yourself comfortable, Mr. Harker.Your dinner awaits you.

 

JONATHAN: Thank you.Thank you very much indeed.

 

(DRACULA begins pouring two glasses of wine.JONATHAN takes a letter from his pocket.)

 

JONATHAN: Here is a communique from my employer.Mr. Hawkins would have come himself, but he suffers from gout and advanced age.

 

DRACULA: I know.Thank you, Mr. Harker.

 

(DRACULA takes a glass of wine and raises it in a toast to JONATHAN who does likewise.)

 

Here is to England.

 

JONATHAN: To England.(Tastes the wine) Oh my, that is excellent.

 

DRACULA: Thank you, Mr Harker.It is a very old tokay.I keep it for special guests.(He holds the glass up to the light.) It has the color of life and the flavor of eternity.(He takes another sip of the wine, then begins to uncover the serving dishes.)And now, Mr Harker, please enjoy your meal.

 

††††† (JONATHAN begins to eat.DRACULA open the letter and moves to where he hung the lantern.With a small gesture of his hand he causes the NOSFERATU to raise the lantern slightly so that it will be in a better position for him to read.He passes his free hand quickly over the letter, suggesting that he has read it in one quick glance.He folds the letter and puts it away.)

 

Mr. Hawkins appears to have a much confidence in you, Mr. Harker.Iím sure that you deserve it.

 

JONATHAN: Thank you, sir.I hope so.

 

DRACULA: Tell me, how was your journey, Mr. Harker?

 

JONATHAN: On the whole, quite enjoyable.I must admit, however, that the urgency which seems †††† to possess everyone in this part of the world has disconcerted me a bit .

 

DRACULA: Urgency, Mr. Harker?

 

JONATHAN: Yes.Perhaps it is because of what appears to be rampant superstition, but when I left the inn at Bistritz, a sizeable crowd had gather, and they seemed to be afraid of me.They often pointed two fingers in my direction.

 

DRACULA: The charm against the evil eye.

 

JONATHAN: Yes, so I am told.Nor were my traveling companions any more reassuring.I could have sworn, from the way the driver pushed his horses, far more than seemed prudent or necessary, that everyone was anxious to be rid of me.But when we reachedthe Borgo Pass, they seemed to be urging me to continue on with them, as if they were trying to prevent our meeting.Your calech, however, appeared only seconds after we arrived, even though we were over an hour early.

 

DRACULA: (With amused contempt) The fools.They thought to deceive me, but I know too much and my horses are swift.

 

JONATHAN: But why should they want--

 

DRACULA: As you have noted, Mr Harker, our country abounds with superstition, and its people are simple.

 

JONATHAN: Well, I can certainly understand the growth of such superstitions.The country seems very wild hereabouts.As we came through the dark forest tonight, I could see that great packs of wolves followed the calech along on either side.And as if that were not frightening enough, there occurred something so strange that I should thought myself to be dreaming had I not been far too agitated for sleep.On three separate occasions I saw what appeared to be a small blue flame burning off in the woods.And each time your driver stopped and went in the direction of the flame, leaving me, I donít mind saying, in a near state of panic.

 

DRACULA: I am sorry for your discomfort, Mr. Harker.You see, it is the eve of St. Georgeís day.It is commonly believed that on this night a blue flame is seen over any place where treasure has been hidden. You see, this blood enriched ground was fought over for centuries by the Saxon, the Wallachian, and the Turk, and much of value has been sheltered in the friendly soil.

 

JONATHAN: But if that were true, how could it remain hidden for long when its location is so clearly marked?

 

DRACULA: Because your peasant is, at heart, a fool and a coward.Those flames appear on only one night each year, and on that night, no man of this land will, if he can help it, stir without his doors.You see, it is believed that on this night all evil things are at their highest power and move about unchecked.

 

(DRACULA extends his hand toward the wine decanter; it moves, under its own power into his hand.)

 

††††††††††† More wine, Mr Harker?

 

JONATHAN: Thank you.Well, your coachman certainly is no coward.He showed not the slightest trepidation at venturing into the forest, in spite of the wolves.Apparently he is no fool either, for he seemed to be erecting something of a stone marker under each flame.

 

DRACULA: For future use, no doubt.

 

JONATHAN: I hope I havenít spoken out of turn, but he was a very strange fellow.I noticed when he helped me into the calech that he seemed to have immense strength.(Almost to himself) Once I thought I saw him pass between myself and one of the blue flames and it seemed to show right through him, as if he were transparent.

 

DRACULA: How is your meal, Mr. Harker?

 

JONATHAN: Excellent.†† What is it called?

 

DRACULA: It is called paprika hendl.The secret is an abundance of the red pepper from which it gets it name.But come, you must tell me of London and the house you have procured for me there.

 

JONATHAN: Of course, of course.Let me get the notes I made for Mr. Hawkins at the time I discovered the place. (He rummages through his briefcase.)Why do you wish to go to London, Count Dracula?

 

DRACULA: I fancy it will make me young again.

 

JONATHAN: (he chuckles) Yes, of course.Ah, here we are.

 

(JONATHAN places some drawings on the table.DRACULA hungrily peruses the drawings as JONATHAN reads from his notebook.)

 

At Purfleet, on a by-road, I came upon such a place as seemed to be required.It contains some twenty acres, all surrounded by a high stone wall of ancient structure.It is called Carfax.The house itself is very large and dates back, I should say, to medieval times.It is of stone with only a few window high up, and these are heavily barred.There are but few houses close at hand, one being a very large house only recently formed into a private lunatic asylum.It is, however, not visible from the grounds.

 

DRACULA: I am glad that it is old and big.I, myself, am of an old family and to live in a new house would kill me.A house cannot be made habitable in a day, and after all, how few days go to make up a century.I seek not gaiety and mirth, nor the bright voluptuousness of much sunshine and sparkling waters.I am no longer young and my heart is not attuned to merriment.Moreover, the walls of castle are broken, the shadows are many, and wind breathes cold through the broken battlements and casements.I love the shade and shadow and would be alone with my thoughts when I may.

 

JONATHAN: Then I think you shall not be disappointed.

 

DRACULA: You have done well, Mr. Harker.Now you must stay with me for a few days so that I may learn from you more of my new country.I have, through books, come to know your great England, and to know her is to love her.I long to go through the crowded streets of your mighty London, to be in the midst of the whirl and the rush of humanity, to share its life, its change, its death, and all that makes it what it is. But alas, it is only through books that I know your tongue.To you, my friend, I look that I know it to speak.

 

JONATHAN: But Count, you seem to know and speak English thoroughly.

 

DRACULA: Not so.Well I know that did I move and speak in your London, none there are who would not know me for a stranger.That is not enough for me.Here I am noble. I am boyar.The common people know me, and I am master.But a stranger in a strange land, he is no one; men know him not, and to know not is to care not for.†† In England I wish no man to stop if he see me, or pause in his speaking if he hear my words.I have been master so long that I would be master still.(Pause) Or at least that none should be master of me. (Pause) But the hour grows late and I must let you to your rest.Tomorrow I shall be away until the late afternoon, but I shall join you then.I hope you will be comfortable.

 

JONATHAN: Thank you.With your permission, I shall explore the castle and grounds in your absence.

 

DRACULA: Of course.You may go where you wish, except where the doors are locked, where, of course, you will not wish to go.There is reason that all things are as they are, and did you see with my eyes and know with my knowledge, you would perhaps better understand.We are in Transylvania, and Transylvania is not England.Our ways are not your ways and there shall be to you many strange things.Indeed, from what you have told me, you already know something of what strange things there may be.

 

JONATHAN: Indeed.

 

DRACULA: I leave you then and bid you pleasant rest.(He starts to leave, then pauses at the exit and turns back to Jonathan.) ††Oh, Mr. Harker, you must not leave your room during the night.Sleep well. (Exit)

 

(JONATHAN returns to his meal.After a moment, he hears girlish laughter in another part of the castle. He is intrigued. He hesitates, then takes the lantern from where Dracula left it hanging and begins cautiously to explore in the direction of the sound.The LIGHTS go to black as Jonathan proceeds. After a short time, a NOSFERATU blows out the lantern.Suddenly two pools of colored light appear with moon-dust dancing in them.As Jonathan approaches, the moon-dust turns into two [or three] BEAUTIFUL WOMEN. [See technical appendix] They circle around Jonathan, coming closer and closer, trying to involve him. They pull at his clothing. At first he resists, but soon he is captivated and becomes involved, even eager.They loosen his tie; they unbutton his shirt.They kiss him playfully on the eyes, the cheeks the mouth.With a groan he drops to his knees as they hover over him, about to go for his throat.Suddenly, with a great roar, DRACULA appears.The frightened women scurry away.)

 

DRACULA: (angrily) It is not safe to venture from your room, Mr. Harker.

 

(The LIGHTS on Dracula fade quickly.)

 

JONATHAN: My God!In what kind of place am I?

 

(The LIGHTS fade quicky. Near the end of the speech, Van Helsingís LIGHT come up to a low level.)

 

JONATHANíS VOICE: These may be the last words I shall ever write in this journal.It is now nearly two months since I became a prisoner here.Dracula calls on me nightly, and we converse til dawn, ranging in topic all the disciplines known to man.So inverted have my sleeping habits grown that I fear I am becoming of the same mind as he; and I am increasingly unable to distinguish between my fantasies and reality. Though he assures me that I am free to go, every door I encounter by day is locked.At night great packs of wolves are just outside.†† Lately I have sensed that he is making preparations to leave, and I have begun to fear for my life. In desperation I have devised a plan.During the day, while Dracula sleeps, I have been practicing the scaling of a tower wall, by way of which, I hope to escape.I am now convinced that I can do it, and today, I shall make my try.

 

(VAN HELSING closes Jonathanís journal, pauses a moment in thought, then lays it aside.He picks up Minaís journal.)

 

 

ACT I, Scene 4

Minaís Journal

 

††††† (The set is changed to represent the churchyard and the sounds of the sea, surf, ††††††††† seagulls, etc., underscore the last part of Minaís speech.)

 

MINAíS VOICE: July 26.When Lucy heard of my worried about Jonathan, she wrote and insisted thatI join her in Whitby at their summer house for a few days of rest.Besides, she said, she had something very important to tell me, something that could not be written of.

††††† When I arrived, she met me at the station, looking sweeter and lovelier than ever.This is a beautiful place.Right above the town is the ruin of Whitby Abbey, which is the scene of the part of Marmion where the girl was built up in the wall.There is a legend that sometimes a white lady is seen in one of the windows. Between the Abbey and the town is the parish church.This is, to my mind, the nicest spot in all Whitby for it has a full view of the harbor and all up the bay where a headland called Kettleness stretches out to the sea.The hillside descends so steeply that part of the land has fallen away and some of the graves have been destroyed.There are walks through the churchyard with seats beside them, and people go and sit all day long, looking at the beautiful view and enjoying the breeze.

 

(LIGHTSup on the churchyard.LUCY runs on, playfully eluding MINA who is trying to catch her and eventually does.There is monument-tombstone that can be sat upon like a bench.Two NOSFERATU are posed as statues of a priest and a supplicant.)

 

MINA:Now I wonít wait a moment longer.You must tell me everything.

 

LUCY: Oh Mina, how can I tell you.Iím almost too excited to speak.Here I am to be twenty in September and never before proposed to, not a real proposal at any rate.Then last Sunday I had two in one day.

 

MINA: Two?!

 

LUCY: Yes.Isnít it too much to be believed?

 

MINA: Well?Who? Did you accept?Tell me!

 

LUCY: Not both of them, of course.

 

MINA: Well, I shouldnít put it beyond you.

 

LUCY: Mina!What an evil thing to say.You know that I have a true heart, although I will admit to a slightly flirtatious character.

 

MINA: Am I never to know?

 

LUCY: You will, you will.But I must go back a bit.In the late Spring, I met and fell in love with a wonderful man--and he with me.His name is Dr. John Seward.He is handsome, well off, and of good birth.He is only nine and twenty, and just fancy, he has an immense lunatic asylum under his own care.

††††† Anyway, I fully expected him to propose to me on my twentieth birthday.But a few days before, while Jack was away in London working, I met another man, an American from Texas, and ever so handsome.He looks so young and fresh that it seems almost impossible that he has been so many places and had such adventures as he speaks of. I wonder if we women think that a man who has been everywhere and still has no fear can save us from our own fears, and so . . . we marry them.

 

MINA: I should hope there is more to it than that.

 

LUCY: Well, I can certainly sympathize with poor Desdemona when she had such a dangerous stream poured into her ear, and by a beautiful black man too.††

††††† Anyway, Mr. Morris began to lavish me with attention, and the Sunday before my birthday, I found myself quite alone with him.And though he doesnít usually speak in slang, for he is really well educated with exquisite manners, he has discovered that it amuses me to hear him speak in his Texas vernacular when there is no one about to offend.So, he took my hand in his and said, ever so sweetly,: ďMiss Lucy, I know I ainít good enough to carry out your bath water, but I reckon if you wait til you find a man that is, youíll die an old maid.So why donít you just hitch up alongside of me and let us go down the road together, driviní in the double harness.Ē

††††† Well, of course, I was flattered, and for a moment I almost laughed.He looked so good humored and jolly, and I couldnít quite be sure he wasnít joking, so I said that I did not know anything of hitching and that I was not yet broken to harness.Whereupon, an earnest light came into his eyes, and he said that he hoped he hadnít made a mistake in speaking in so light a manner on so grave and momentous an occasion.Then I saw how serious he was, and I know youíll think Iím a horrible flirt, but I couldnít help feeling a bit serious too, and for just the briefest instant, I forgot the previous commitment of my heart. I suppose my eyes showed it, for he began pouring out a perfect torrent of lovemaking, laying his very heart and soul at my feet. Suddenly, I felt very wicked, and something in my face must have given me away, for he abruptly stopped and said: ďTell me, is there someone else you care for?If there is, Iíll never trouble you again, but will be, if you will let me, your ever faithful friend.Ē

††††† Oh, Dear Mina, why are men so noble.Sometimes it seems we women are so little worthy of them.Here was I, almost making fun of this great-hearted true gentleman, even as he was confessing to me the most noble and complimentary of desires.I immediately burst into tears.But his look gave me strength, and even though I was crying, I looked directly into his brave eyes and said: ďYes, there is someone I love, though he has not yet said that he loves me.Ē

††††† Of course I was right to speak frankly for a quiet light came onto his face, and he took both my hands in his and said: ďItís better worth being late for a chance of winning you than being in time for any other girl in the world.ĒThen he dried my tears, and when I had quite finished crying,he smiled at me and said: ďand now, my dear, Iím going to have a pretty lonely walk between here and kingdom come.Wonít you give me one kiss?ĒI knew not what to say or do.He searched my face awhile, then said: ďFor me, it will be something to keep away the darkness now and then.Ē

††††† With that, my heart melted, and I raised my lips to him.He took me, gently, but with great strength, into his arms and kissed me so long and deeply that I felt I would swoon.

 

MINA: Oh my.(Pause) And?

 

LUCY: And then he turned and walked quickly from the room without a backward glance. (Pause) Had I been able to find my voice, I fear I should have called him back.Oh Mina, why canít we marry two men?

 

MINA: Lucy!

 

LUCY: Mina, you are my dearest and most trusted friend.I wold not dare to speak to anyone else about such matters, but I was so surprised by my . . . my sympathetic attraction, that I wondered if I had misunderstood love.†† Oh Mina, is it not possible to love two men equally.

 

MINA: For a short time, perhaps.But it is in our nature to have preferences, and ultimately, they will arise.

 

LUCY: Have you never been unsure of your love for Jonathan?

 

MINA: Not since I committed it.

 

LUCY: Well, I had not yet committed mine to Jack at that point.

 

MINA: But you did?

 

LUCY: Yes.He came that very afternoon, and so great was my emotion from what had gone on before and the joy of seeing him that I flung myself into his arms and he was kissing me before scarcely a word was exchanged between us.At that point, I was quite sure that it was he that I love and none other.

MINA: And are you still sure?

 

LUCY: Oh yes I am, Mina.

 

MINA: (With a catch in her voice) Iím very happy for you Lucy.

 

LUCY: Oh, you poor dear. Here I am thinking only of myself.You mustnít worry.Communications are very slow from that part of the world.Youíll hear from Jonathan soon.

 

MINA:Oh, I do hope so.It is completely unlike him to fail to write.

 

LUCY: He will be back before you know it, and in the twinkling of an eye, we both shall have husbands.Youíll see.

 

(LUCY has taken a bouquet of flowers from a tombstone which she thrusts into Minaís hands like a bridal bouquet.)

 

MINA: Oh, Lucy.You are a dear

 

(MINA hugs LUCY, then puts the flowers back as the lights fade.)

 

 

ACT I, Scene 5

Minaís Journal Continued

 

MINAíS VOICE: Days have passed, and with each one, I grow more unhappy.I had not heard from Jonathan for well over two months; then today, Mr. Hawkins sent me a letter that only ;just arrived.It was clearly Jonathanís handwriting, but it did not sound at all like him.It was only a line, dated over a month earlier from Castle Dracula and saying that he was starting for home soon.It was very strange and it only served to increase my anxiety.Then too, Lucy has recently taken to sleep walking.Her mother has spoken to me about it, and she has asked me to lock the door of our room every night. Mrs Westenra has got the idea that sleepwalkers go out on the roofs of houses and cliffs and fall over with despairing cries that echo all over the place.But in spite of my efforts, Lucy has twice arisen during the night and tried to leave.Fortunately, on both occasions I awoke in time and managed to get her back to bed.The strain of watching her is beginning to tell on me.

 

††††† (LIGHTS up on Lucyís moonlit bedroom. The NOSFERATU are posed as the headboard of the bed. Lucy is in bed asleep.Mina enters carrying a candle.)

 

††††††††††† Tonight, however, as I watched her sleeping, I was deeply moved by her beauty and ††† innocense as she lay so sweetly peaceful, breathing softly.I was suddenly very happy that I ould be here at such a time.If Dr. Seward fell in love with her seeing her only in the drawing oom, I wonder what he would say if he saw her now.

 

(MINA blows out the candle then gets in bed with Lucy.The LIGHTS fade and then come back up immediately to indicate a passage of time.As the Lights restore to moonlight a WOLF HOWL is heard.A NOSFERATU approaches Lucy.Another WOLF HOWL.Lucy awakes.She sees the Nosferatu beckoning to her.She follows, wearing only a thin nightgown.The NOSFERATU leads her via a circuitous route to the churchyard where Mina and Lucy were in scene 4.The scene is now moonlit and the statues have changed in slight, but ominous ways.The bouquet of flowers of the afternoon has turned black.Lucy notices this and picks it to look at it.Something in the center fascinates her and she pulls at it.As she continues to pull, she draws a black silk scarf from the bouquet in much the same way as a magician produces a scarf from a wand.It fascinates her, and she begins to dance about, playing with it.Suddenly it becomes dangerous.She reacts as if it had bitten her and tries to throw it away.A NOSFERATU catches it a throws it back at her.She tries to escape.Other NOSFERATU block her path.She becomes attracted to the scarf again and starts to play with it once more.Again it offends her and she throws it away.Again the NOSFERATU catches it, and this time, using it like a whip the NOSFERATU lashes her, once, twice, and a third time.The last time it lands on her throat.The utters a cry, but is helpless as the scarf, now completely controlling her, bears her back onto the tomb-bench.The LIGHTS turn red, the MUSIC turns romantic, and LUCY arches her body in a strange, painful ecstacy.The LIGHTS fade.LIGHTS up on the bedroom scene.MINA awakes with a start and discovers that Lucy is missing.She quickly dons her robe and begins to search.She follows the same path that Lucy and the Nosferatu used to the churchyard.As she approaches the MOONLIGHT restores on the churchyard.DRACULA is kneeling over Lucy.He looks up briefly, sees Mina, and quickly flees.It happens so quickly that Mina will think she saw something, but have no idea what it was.MINA runs to LUCY who is breathing very laboriously.LUCY starts.She seems totally disoriented.She utters a little cry.MINA gets her up, puts her arm around her, attempting to share her robe with her.LUCY trembles and clings to MINA.They start back toward home as the LIGHTSfade.

 

MINAíS VOICE: The next morning, Lucy was very pale and lifeless and seemed to remember nothing of the nightís adventures.I was very worried about her so I telegraphed Dr. Seward.He immediately came up from London and took charge of her care.He is indeed a fine man.That afternoon, I received a letter from a hospital in Buda Pesth.It said that Jonathan had been under care there for nearly six weeks, suffering from a violent brain fever.He had, only that day, recovered enough to identify himself.I shall leave for Buda Pesth tomorrow to nurse him back to health and bring him home.We shall be married there the moment that he is strong enough.Heaven be praised.

 

 

ACT I, Scene 6

Sewardís Diary

 

(LIGHTS up on Van Helsing.He lays Minaís journal aside, reflects a moment, then, picks up Sewardís Diary.As the set is changed to Renfieldís cell, we hear Sewardís voice.)

 

SEWARDíS VOICE: August 31.It is now nearly a month since the onset of Lucyís illness.Though I am well versed in all modern diseases, I am unable to diagnose her affliction.She grows continually weaker, and for no apparent reason.I have written to my old friend and master, Professor Abraham Heinrich Van Helsing in Amsterdam.He knows more about obscure diseases than anyone in the world.Meanwhile, I had her transferred here to London where I shall be better able to treat her with all the facilities of modern science at hand while going on with my work, which is at present very demanding.Though my duties are many, it is my research, my quest for knowledge in this infant science of the brain, that occupies my mind.I am particularly interested in the case of a patient named Renfield.

 

(LIGHTS begin to fade up slowly on RENFIELD sitting in his cell, writing figures in a small black notebook.Unseen by Renfield, SEWARD enters and stands studying Renfield.)

 

In his madness, there seems to be some intelligence that rivals even my own.I feel that if I could understand it, I would be better able to discern the true nature of insanity, and thereby, bring help to all the tortured souls that are locked in places like this.

 

SEWARD: May I see your book, Renfield?Please?Iíll give it back.

 

(RENFIELD reluctantly surrenders the book.SEWARD studies it.)

 

††††††††††† Were you an accountant before you came here, Renfield?

 

RENFIELD: If an accountant is one who takes things into account, then yes, I was.I have tried from my earliest memory to account for things, to see cause and effect.I have concluded, however, that such efforts interfere with oneís ability to be truly circumspective.

 

SEWARD: How do you mean?

 

RENFIELD: Well, when we accept one explanation for a set of circumstances, we obscure further truths that may be hidden there.On the other hand, if we reject all explanations, we are free to continue our quest.

 

SEWARD: For example?

 

RENFIELD: For example the Resurrection.Scholars and theologians have posited that Christ was resurrected as proof of the power of God, or to give mankind hope.But if we accept such simple-minded explanations, we have closed the book on the question with no real knowledge that these explanations are correct.

 

SEWARD: But is any other explanation possible in this case?

 

RENFIELD: There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.What if it had nothing to do with God at all?What if Christ, like cats, simply had more than one life?

 

SEWARD: But surely you donít believe that cats live more than once.In my understanding, that expression relates more to the strength of a catís life, its persistence, its ability to survive when other things cannot.

 

RENFIELD: Exactly, Doctor!How much life is there in one life?How is it contained?Can one get more?When does it end?Is death really death or only a change in life?Why does a cat have more life than, say, a fly?Who has more life, Doctor, you or I?

 

SEWARD: Is there a difference between men?

 

(RENFIELD suddenly produces a dagger-like letter opener, and with a quick deft movement, presses the point to Sewardís throat in such a way as to completely immobilize him.)

 

RENFIELD: At this moment there is, Doctor.Your life expectancy at this point could very well be zero.

 

(With a loud laugh, RENFIELD releases Seward, then casually hands him the knife, handle first.)

 

SEWARD: My letter opener!Where did you get it?

 

RENFIELD: I found it in the dust bin.You should be more careful, Doctor.Some of the inmates here are dangerous you know. (He laughs.)

SEWARD: Well, thank you for returning it, Renfield.Now back to the Resurrection, I donít quite understand how your ideas explain it.

 

RENFIELD: I try to avoid explanations, Doctor.As I have said, I try to be circumspective.

 

SEWARD: But if one does not look for cause and effect, for the lessons it teaches, how does one decide how to act, what do in any given situation?

 

RENFIELD: Do you pretend that it is you who decides what you do, Doctor?

 

SEWARD: Yes.

 

RENFIELD: Just now, when I had the knife against your throat, it was I who decided for you.

 

SEWARD: No, Renfield.You were the external circumstances of my life at that moment, but it was my reason that told me to be still.

 

RENFIELD: Then you really think your life to be the product of your own reason?

 

SEWARD: In a very large part, yes.

 

RENFIELD: Then my life must be the product of my lack of reason.(He laughs) And that is why you have me in this unreasoning place.Or perhaps I should say, unreasonable

 

SEWARD: But what of the Resurrection, Renfield?How did it happen if not as we are told?

 

RENFIELD: (Suddenly angered) He simply had more life, thatís all.He had enough life not to die the first time.

 

SEWARD: Then why didnít he stay after he came back?Why didnít he go on living?

 

RENFIELD: Because he had given too much of it away.

 

SEWARD: Given it away?

 

RENFIELD: Yes.This is my body, eat.This is my blood, drink.Those are his words, are they not, Doctor? (Pause) May I have my book back, Doctor.

 

SEWARD: After you explain it to me.

 

RENFIELD: Must I?

 

SEWARD: Here, on these pages, are long columns of numbers. What do they mean?

 

RENFIELD:†† They are fly life values.

 

SEWARD: Fly life values?

 

RENFIELD: Yes.You see, I rate the life of a fly on a scale of from one to ten. I judge them by how large they are, how fast they fly, how smart they are, and how hard they are to catch.

 

SEWARD: And thatís what you use the sugar for, to catch flies?

 

RENFIELD: Yes.(Suddenly fearful) Will you not let me have my sugar anymore, now that you know what I use it for?

 

SEWARD: As long as you are cooperative, you shall continue to have your daily ration of sugar, Renfield.

 

RENFIELD: Oh thank you, Doctor Seward.You are indeed a kind man. And for my part, I shall be a model prisoner.

 

SEWARD: You are not a prisoner, Renfield.You are a patient.

 

RENFIELD: Iím afraid itís all the same to me, Doctor.

 

SEWARD: Yes, I suppose so.Now, I notice that you have totaled all of the figures on each of these pages, and on this page, you have added all those totals together.What does that mean?

 

RENFIELD: Each page is a day.The totals represent the total life values of all the flies I caught that day.The totals of the totals, quite logically, represent the life values of the spider that I fed the flies to.

 

SEWARD: Ah yes.But some of these totals of totals are added together to make even larger totals while some are omitted.What of that?

 

RENFIELD: The larger totals are the life values of the birds that I fed the spiders to.

 

SEWARD: I see.But why are some omitted? Are those spiders still alive?

 

RENFIELD: No, those are the ones I ate myself.I must too, you know.

 

SEWARD: But we feed you, Renfield.

 

RENFIELD: You feed me, but one canít get life from dead things.They must be alive if you are to accumulate more life.

 

SEWARD: How much life do you have now, Renfield?

 

RENFIELD: A lot, Doctor, a lot.But I want more, a lot more.(Pause) May I have my book back now, Doctor.

 

SEWARD: Yes, of course. (He gives Renfield the book.) I must go now, Renfield.Thank you for your cooperation.I shall see you again soon. (He starts to leave.)

 

RENFIELD: Oh, Dr. Seward?

 

SEWARD: Yes.

 

RENFIELD: I was wondering if I might have a kitten.

 

SEWARD: A kitten, Renfield?

 

RENFIELD: Yes, to keep me company and to play with.A nice shiny kitten to train, and to pet, and . . . to feed.

 

SEWARD: Iíll think on it, Renfield.

 

RENFIELD: (Becoming very intense) Oh please, Doctor.It would mean so much to me.Iíd never be any trouble.Iíd cooperate and help.Iíd answer all your questions, and--

 

SEWARD: I said I would think on it, Renfield.

 

RENFIELD: (Nearly hysterical) What harm would a little kitten be?Iíd take care of it myself.It wouldnít be any trouble.Iíd feed it and everything.You wouldnít--

 

SEWARD: Weíll see, Renfield!Now, if you are to have any privileges at all, you must control yourself.

 

RENFIELD: (Gaining control, but still anxious) All right, Dr. Seward.Iíll be good.Honestly, I will.

 

SEWARD: Thatís better, Renfield.Iíll see you again tomorrow.(He exits.)

 

RENFIELD: Iíll be good.Iíll be good.Honestly, Iíll be good.

 

(The BUZZING OF A FLY is heard.RENFIELD follow it with his eyes, then snatches it out of the air as the LIGHTS blackout.)

 

 

ACT I, Scene 7

Sewardís Journal Continued

 

††††† The set is changed to Lucyís room at the Asylum)

 

SEWARDíS VOICE: September 3.Good news!Professor Van Helsing arrived today.I am relieved to have his counsel.He is a seemingly arbitrary man, but this because he knows what he is talking about.He is a philosopher and a metaphysician and one of the most advanced scientists of the day; and he has, I believe, an absolutely open mind, coupled with an iron nerve, the temper of an ice-brook, an indomitable resolution, self-command and toleration, and the kindliest and truest heart that beats.When he arrived, I took him immediately to see Lucy who had taken a decided turn for the worse during the night.

 

(LIGHTS up on VAN HELSING examining Lucy.SEWARD stands anxiously by. NOSFERATU are again part of the bed.)

 

VAN HELSING: I see what you mean, friend John.She is bad, very bad.There is no time to be lost.She will die soon.We must act at once.We must make the transfusion of blood.

 

[NOTE: transfusion was not practiced in the 1890's.It had been tried and abandoned years before because blood type and blood pressure were not understood and the results were disastrous.]

 

SEWARD: But Heinrich, thatís too dangerous.It could kill her.

 

VAN HELSING: She will die anyway if we do nothing.Transfusion works in some cases.It is our only hope.

 

SEWARD: (Reluctantly) Very well.

 

VAN HELSING: You are willing?

 

SEWARD: Willing?My God, Iíd give my last drop of blood to save her.

 

VAN HELSING: Good, but that will not be necessary.I have the required equipment.Make yourself ready.

 

(SEWARD begins to roll up his sleeve.VAN HELSING digs in his bag.There is the sound of wind, a flash of lightning, and the drapes--with the aid of the NOSFERATU--begin to billow.)

 

VAN HELSING: (Holding up apparatus) The ghastly paraphernalia of a beneficial trade.There, beside her, friend John.Good.Take her hand in yours so that your forearms are together.Good.Now, you may have one kiss before we begin.

 

(STORM tempo increases.SEWARD leans over and kisses Lucy lightly on the lips.)

 

Are you ready, friend John?

 

SEWARD: Yes.

 

(VAN HELSING pushes the needle, which is on one end of a piece of tubing, into Sewardís arm.SEWARD winces.)

 

VAN HELSING: Yes.There.

 

(VAN HELSING pushes the needle at the other end of the tubing into Lucyís arm.As he does so, her body arches and the storm tempo rages to a feverish pitch, blowing the doors open.VAN HELSING goes quickly to the doors, closes and locks them, shutting out the storm.He stands for a moment in puzzled contemplation, then returns to the bed, takes Lucyís free arm and feels her pulse.)

 

VAN HELSING: Ah, she improves.

 

SEWARD: Thank God.We were so happy, Heinrich.We were to have been married in less than a month, but now, I think I would gladly give up all my hopes for happiness if we could but save her life.

 

VAN HELSING: What is wanted here, friend John, is not for you to forswear your love, but to give it, freely, as you are.Believe, no marriage ceremony means more.

 

SEWARD: (Beginning to show the giddy effect of blood loss) Yes.Strange, but I feel as though we were already married.A man cannot know, until he experiences it, what it is to feel his own life blood drawn away into the veins of the woman he loves.

 

VAN HELSING: (After a moment of puzzled thought) I know of no disease that can destroy blood so quickly.Has she been out of bed?

 

SEWARD: I think not.She has been terribly weak, and there has been someone quite near here since I brought her here to London from Whitby.

 

VAN HELSING: Near her, but not always with her.

 

SEWARD: What are you implying, Heinrich?

 

VAN HELSING: I am not implying anything.Iím simply trying to learn all the facts.She has lost much blood.Where has it gone?

 

SEWARD: That is the central mystery of her illness.

 

VAN HELSING: Which we must solve.

 

SEWARD: There is one thing which is strange.She has two tiny wounds on her throat, just over her jugular vein.At first, I thought they might something to do with her illness, but I abandoned the idea because such a manifest blood loss through any wound could hardly have gone unnoticed.

 

(VAN HELSING is visibly affected by this information.As soon as he fully realized what Seward has said, he immediately begins to undo the velvet ribbon about Lucyís throat.)

 

She seems to find it exceedingly unattractive and insists on keeping it covered with that ribbon.The strange thing is that the wounds appeared coincidentally with the onset of her illness, and they have since refused to heal.

 

VAN HELSING: My God!

 

SEWARD: What is it?

 

(VAN HELSING abruptly and indelicately pulls out the needles.)

 

VAN HELSING: That is good, friend John.She has enough blood to sustain her now, and we donít want to weaken you too much.I shall get you a glass of wine to replenish your strength.

 

(VAN HELSING quickly exits, taking the apparatus with him.SEWARD is left dumbfounded.He gets up and ministers to needle wound on his arm.His back is to Lucy.LUCY opens her eyes.She sits up.Somehow, she is not herself.)

 

LUCY: Jack.

 

SEWARD: Lucy!

 

LUCY: Jack, give me another kiss.

 

(SEWARD is completely surprised, especially that she has the strength to sit up.He goes to her.SHE grasps him and kisses him on the mouth with a strange, gentle passion.He pulls away, even more surprised)

 

SEWARD: Lucy!

 

LUCY: Jack, I need you.

 

(SHE starts to kiss him again.VAN HELSING enters.With a cry, he runs and pushes Seward and Lucy apart.SEWARD, unbalanced, lands on the floor.LUCY with unexplainable strength, struggles for a moment with VAN HELSING as if locked in mortal combat. Then, with a great release of air from her lungs, she falls back on the pillow into her previous state of sleep.)

 

SEWARD: What is it, Heinrich?

 

VAN HELSING: John, as you have in the past, you must trust me now.I will explain later.

 

(Lucy stirs fitfully.She seems to be awakening from a nightmare.)

 

LUCY: He eyes again; they are just the same.

 

SEWARD: Lucy?

 

LUCY: (Becoming more fully awake) Jack?!

 

SEWARD: Itís all right, darling.Iím right here.Everything is going to be all right now.

 

LUCY: Oh, thank goodness.(She sees Van Helsing and is startled by him.)Oh!

 

SEWARD: This is professor Van Helsing, my old teacher.He has come to help me cure you.

 

LUCY: Oh, how do you do, Professor.Jack has spoken often of you.

 

VAN HELSING: Kindly, I hope.I must say he fell short in the describing of you.He told me that you were beautiful, but he did not manage to say just how beautiful.Now, my dear, may I ask you a few questions.

 

LUCY: (Slightly apprehensive) Yes, of course.

 

VAN HELSING: Can you tell me how you got the wounds on your throat?

 

LUCY: (With a little cry, she discovers that the ribbon is missing.) I donít know.I . . .I think perhaps an accident with a brooch . . . a scarf fastener.

 

VAN HELSING: Are you certain?

 

LUCY: I . . . I donít know.I . . . I . . .(She breaks down crying)

 

VAN HELSING: There, there now.We shall talk of all that later.It is not important now.Now you must sleep.

 

LUCY: No!

 

VAN HELSING: What?

 

LUCY: No, I donít want to sleep. Iím afraid.

 

VAN HELSING: (Preparing a hypodermic) Afraid to sleep?Why so?

 

LUCY: Oh, I donít know.I donít know.That is what is so dreadful.All this weakness comes to me in sleep.I have dreams that I cannot remember, but which leave me terrified.I dread the very thought of sleep.

 

VAN HELSING: Well, you may rest easily now.We will awaken you at the first sign of bad dreams, and this will assist you in your quest for peaceful sleep.(He gives her an injection.)

 

SEWARD: Sleep well, my darling.

 

LUCY: Thank you.(She immediately falls asleep.)

 

SEWARD: What is it, Heinrich?

 

VAN HELSING: I cannot believe it, friend John.I think I know, but I donít know.I have seen much here that is strange.I must return to Amsterdam immediately to consult with books I have there. I must have more knowledge.I will return as quickly as possible, but do not ask me to explain.Until I know more, an explanation would only confuse.In the meantime, I should like you to gather together all your notes, everything having to do with miss Lucyís illness.And while I am away, she must be watched at all times.

 

(THE LIGHTS fade.)

 

ACT I, Scene 8

Sewardís Diary Continued

 

 

(The scene is the same.Some time has elapsed.LIGHTS up to simulate moonlight coming through the windows. LUCY is asleep in bed.SEWARD has fallen asleep in a chair, the back of which is a NOSFERATU that seems to cradle Seward in its arms.A WOLF HOWL is heard.†† A NOSFERATU at the foot of the bed rises, goes to Lucy, then bends over and kisses her lightly on the lips. LUCY awakes with a start.WOLF HOWLS continue.LUCY gets out of bed wearing only a thin nightgown.She seems to experience claustrophobia and starts to leave.She sees Seward, stops, goes to a desk, finds pencil and paper.We hear her voice over the sound system as she writes the note, goes to Seward and places it in his lap.)

 

LUCYíS VOICE: My darling Jack.I am still unable to sleep and this nameless fear and longing possess me.I fear I am lost. Somehow, without knowing why, I fell that the end is near.I write this so that you may know my last thoughts are of you.A strange drowsiness, as before, descends over me.I am afraid of its oblivion and yet I long for it. This room is so small and stuffy.I must leave it, no matter what the cost. Please try to believe that I loved you.

 

(Having placed the note in Sewardís lap she now stands in the center of the room and waits as two NOSFERATU approach her from behind and drape a cloth over her head like a bridal veil.)

 

Oh, I am lost.I am lost.

 

(She turns and flies eagerly from the room.The NOSFERATU follow as the WOLF HOWLS crescendo and the LIGHTS fade.After a moment, the LIGHTS restore and we see SEWARD standing down stage with Lucyís note in his hand.As we hear Sewardís voice making the last entry in his diary, the NOSFERATU enter, bearing Lucyís body on their shoulders.They place her on the bed and form a tableau around her.At the end of the voice-over, SEWARD is kneeling by the body.

 

SEWARDíS VOICE: Only habit and resolution can let me make an entry in this diary tonight. I am so miserable at th;is moment that I would not care if I heard the flapping of the wings of the angel of death coming for me.My darling Lucy is no more.As she lay on her bed, at last released from her suffering she had a beatific look on her face.Death had given back part of her beauty.Even her lips had lost their deadly pallor. It was as if the blood, no longer needed for the working of the heart, had gone to make the harshness of death less rude.The mystery of her illness is compounded, however.Not only had the two tiny wounds on her throat totally disappeared, but her teeth, particularly the canines, seemed to have grown somewhat longer and sharper.Further, her feet were covered with earth, as if she had been walking in the garden, though I know that she did not have the strength to do so.She left a note which spoke of fear, longing, and oblivion.It also said that her last thoughts were of me.

 

(The LIGHTS fade)

 

 

ACT I, Scene 9

The Present

 

(The scene is now the same as at the beginning of the play, except that Lucyís body has been removed during Van Helsingís reading of the journals.The LIGHTS come up on Van Helsing. He sets Sewardís diary aside.He gets up and rings a bell and stands in thought, waiting for Seward.SEWARD enters)

 

SEWARD: Yes, Heinrich?

 

VAN HELSING: I have finished, John.It is as I feared.

 

SEWARD: My God, how can it be.?

 

VAN HELSING: Another mystery of nature which science must solve, friend John.It may be that we can save someone else the anguish you now suffer.Somewhere there is

 

(MINA enters, carrying a decanter of wine and glasses on a tray.)

 

another, such as Lucy, full of life and hope, certain to be victimized.(He sees Mina.)Ah, Madam Mina.Would you be so kind as to ask your husband to come in.?

 

MINA: Of course (She sets the tray down and exits.

 

SEWARD: But what can we do?

 

VAN HELSING: Several things.First, I think Mr. Harkerís experiences are very important.

 

(MINA and JONATHAN enter.)

 

Ah, my friends, come in.All of this has been very helpful.Though I had hoped otherwise, your journals have only confirmed my fears.What I am about to tell you will seem contrary to everything modern science has taught us. Yet, I am convinced that it is true and we must confront it with our scientific knowledge.As you know, the folklore of many cultures contains stories of unnatural creatures.†† Many years ago, I began to wonder if such stories did not have some factual base, and I have long pursued the study as a matter of interest.Never before, however, have I found actual evidence.

 

MINA: What are you saying, Dr. Van Helsing?

 

VAN HELSING: I am saying that our dear miss Lucy was the victim of a . . . of a vampire.

 

(With a loud, maniacal laugh, RENFIELD springs from hiding.)

 

RENFIELD: The blood is the life!

 

SEWARD: Renfield, how did you get out of your quarters?

 

RENFIELD: It was easy, Doctor.I escaped.Do you think that is hard to do with those fools you employ to watch over us.?

 

(SEWARD makes a mover toward Renfield, but RENFIELD nimbly eludes him, cavorting around the room, laughing, teasing.)

 

RENFIELD: You are not in charge anymore.I can come and go as I like. I see all your motives and plans.The master is at hand, and you are at our mercy.

 

(JONATHAN and VAN HELSING begin to position themselves to help Seward capture this lunatic.Suddenly, RENFIELD, recognizing Van Helsing, abandons his elusive behavior, becoming a perfect gentleman and walking right up to Van Helsing.)

 

Ah, the famous Dr. Van Helsing.Iíve heard so much about you. How nice that you could be with us, and so full of life too.

 

(RENFIELD offers his hand to VAN HELSING, who cautiously takes it after a quick exchange of looks with SEWARD.RENFIELD sees this exchange and regards them both with a cynical smile.Now RENFIELD sees Mina. His demeanor abruptly changes again, this time to a puzzled seriousness.He starts toward her.The men become alert, preparing to protect her, but MINA, wishing to avoid possible violence, takes command of the situation by stepping forward and offering her hand to Renfield.)

 

MINA: Good evening, Mr. Renfield.Dr. Seward has spoken of you.

 

RENFIELD: (With an amused glance at Seward) Kindly, I hope.My, but you are beautiful.(He kisses her hand, then looks at her in confusion..)But youíre not the girl the Doctor wanted to marry. You canít be.Sheís dead.

 

MINA: No, I am her friend, Mina Harker.And this is my husband, Mr. Harker.

 

(RENFIELD barely acknowledges Jonathan.)

 

SEWARD: How did you know I wanted to marry anyone, Renfield?

 

RENFIELD: Really, Doctor.What an asinine question.(To Mina) You will, of course, understand, Mrs. Harker, that when a man is so loved and honored as is our host everything about him is of interest, especially in our little community where the closeness and rigidity of the limits force the attention to turn inward.You see, Dr. Seward is loved, not only by his household and friends, but even by his patients, some of whom can hardly be said to be in mental equilibrium.And some, who bask in the sunshine of his care, actually find themselves restored to the path of reason.I hope Iím not embarrassing you, Doctor.Why, I myself am a perfect example.I used to fancy that by consuming a multitude of live things, no matter how low on the scale of creation, one might indefinitely prolong life.

 

SEWARD: Are you saying that you no longer hold that belief, Renfield?

 

RENFIELD: I have new knowledge, Doctor.I have become acquainted with the scriptural phrase, ďthe blood is the life.ĒYou are no doubt familiar with it.

 

(RENFIELD suddenly produces a knife.He again cavorts around the room,, holding the men at bay with the knife and laughing at them.He stops near Mina and again focuses on her.A strange look comes over his face, and before anyone can stop him, he extends his free hand and draws the knife blade across the palm, leaving an ugly cut.He then offers his hand, dripping with blood, to Mina.)

 

Would you care to drink of my life?

 

JONATHAN: Good God, man! watch yourself!

 

(The MEN start to advance.RENFIELD again threatens with the knife, continuing to hold them at bay.MINA produces a handkerchief and begins to bandage Renfieldís wounded hand. )

 

MINA: Put down the knife, Mr Renfield.For my sake.Please?

(RENFIELD drops the knife.SEWARD and JONATHAN seize him.VAN HELSING picks up the knife.)

 

SEWARD: Letís go, Renfield.

 

RENFIELD: Good-bye, my dear.I pray that I never see your sweet face again.

 

(SEWARD and JONATHAN begin to drag him off.He shouts frantically.)

 

Go away from here!Please!(As they exit) Doctor, Iím going to be sick.

 

(Off stage retching.After a moment, SEWARD and JONATHAN reenter.)

 

JONATHAN: Good God, feathers.How did he get feathers in his stomach?

 

SEWARD: Iím afraid he has eaten his birds.My apologies to you all.Heís an incredibly difficult man to contain, no matter what restraints we put on him.I have never seen anything like it.(Pause) But back to what you were saying, Heinrich.

 

VAN HELSING: Yes.Well, as I was saying, all the combined evidence points to the existence of a vampire, perhaps, even yet, right here in London.I know this is difficult to believe, but it is precisely our lack of belief that enables him to do his will.Mr. Harker, I have no wish to recall unpleasant things for you, but I should like to ask you a question o two concerning your journal.

 

JONATHAN: Yes, of course.I think I can withstand it now.

 

VAN HELSING: In Transylvania, you went to see a man.Can you tell me why?

 

JONATHAN: I . . . I was to complete arrangements for his purchase of an estate in . . . in London.

 

VAN HELSING:†† Yes, and do you recall its exact location?

 

JONATHAN: I . . . I . . . .

 

VAN HELSING: I believe it was called Carfax.

 

SEWARD: My God!

 

JONATHAN: Yes, I remember now.It was in this very district.

 

VAN HELSING: That is what I was afraid of.

SEWARD: Then that means--

 

VAN HELSING: Yes, friend John.The man who imprisoned Mr. Harker is your neighbor.And if he is what I think he is, then his presence could explain Miss Lucyís strange disease.

 

SEWARD: But Lucy was taken ill in Whitby.

 

VAN HELSING: Yes, but she continued to decline and died here in London.I think the Whitby onset can be explained by and entry in Madam Minaís diary.At the same time that Lucy began her sleepwalking, Madam Mina records the arrival in Whitby of a strange ship during mysteriously uncommon storm.

 

MINA: Yes, I remember it well.There was much fear in the town and talk of supernatural forces.

 

VAN HELSING: The superstitions of the sea are not taken lightly in seafaring towns.

 

MINA: The ships log told of the crew going mad and disappearing, one by one.There was only one man on board, the captain, and he was dead, lashed to the wheel with some beads and a crucifix about his neck.

 

VAN HELSING: Our mysterious count may very well have arrived in England at Whitby aboard this ship.You see, the Demeter, as she was called, sailed from Varna.

 

SEWARD: Is it possible?

 

VAN HELSING: Yes, I think it is.

 

SEWARD: Then I have done a terrible thing.

 

VAN HELSING: What do you mean?

 

SEWARD: I invited him here.

 

VAN HELSING: What?!

 

SEWARD: A few days ago, I received a message requesting an audience to discuss a contribution to my hospital.I was feeling neighborly at the time, I suppose, and I was no little amount interested in the contribution.In any event, I invited him to dinner

. . . tonight!

 

VAN HELSING: (Incredulous) You invited him to dinner?This evening?

 

SEWARD: Yes.

 

VAN HELSING: Count Dracula?!

 

DRACULA: (Suddenly at the doorway) Good evening. I hope I am not late.

 

(DRACULA is now much younger and extremely handsome.For a moment, everyone is spellbound.DRACULA approaches Mina, taking and kissing her hand.)

 

Ah, Miss Murray, you are enchanting.

 

JONATHAN: Sheís Mrs. Harker now.

 

DRACULA: Of course.How careless of me.I trust you had a safe return from my homeland, Mr. Harker.

 

JONATHAN: I . . . I canít . . . I donít remember . . . I--

 

DRACULA: You should have departed as you came, with my help.It is never wise to travel unassisted in a foreign locale.But then, You seemed, how do you say, ďall at sea.ĒDr. Seward.How nice of you to share your friends with me.I have read your recent paper on zoophagus insanity.I believe that is a word you coined, is it not?

 

SEWARD: It means life-eating.

 

DRACULA: Yes, I know.And this is the renowned Dr. Abraham Van Helsing.

 

VAN HELSING: How do you do.I am surprised that you know me.

 

DRACULA: Reading is a favorite avocation with me.I have much time for it, and as a result, I learn many things.I know you through your book on ancient superstitions.

 

VAN HELSING: But I also know you.

 

DRACULA:†† Ah.

 

VAN HELSING: Or perhaps I should say your ancestor.(DRACULA smiles.)There was, in the fifteenth century, a man called Vlad Tepes, a name which, translated, means Vlad the impaler and no doubt derived from his favorite form of execution: he is said to have skewered on sharpened poles, like meat on toothpicks, between 75 and 100 thousand people.

 

DRACULA: Enemies, wrongdoers, and thieves.

 

VAN HELSING: He was so feared that a priceless gold drinking cup which he placed on a public well remained there for six years, no thief daring to take it.

 

DRACULA: He had a high respect for honesty and often rewarded it.

 

VAN HELSING: This Vlad was also surnamed Dracula.

 

DRACULA: A name which, translated, means son of the dragon.

 

VAN HELSING: Or son of the devil.And you are descended from him?

 

DRACULA: So it is said.

 

VAN HELSING: Donít you know?

 

DRACULA: What I know, Dr. Van Helsing, would astound even you.

 

(There is a tense pause.During the foregoing exchange, SEWARD has poured himself a short glass of wine and gulped in down in one draught, as if to fortify himself.Then as if to cover the compulsiveness of this act by proceeding in a normal fashion, he pours two more glasses.Then, unable to be anything but perfect host, in an attempt to defuse the tension he carries the two glasses of wine toward Van Helsing and Dracula.)

 

SEWARD: May I offer you a glass of wine, Count Dracula?

 

DRACULA: Thank you.

 

(SEWARD offers the other glass to VAN HELSING who refuses it with a small gesture.SEWARD keeps it himself and will drink of it when the opportunity arises. DRACULA lifts the wine to the light to see its color; he breathes it bouquet; then finally, with the skepticism of a great connoisseur, he tastes it.He is clearly surprised and casts a glance of reappraisal toward Seward.)

 

††††††††††† Why, I believe this is the finest claret I have ever tasted.

 

SEWARD: (Pleased by the compliment and still unable to completely accept Van Helsingís theory) Thank you.It was a legacy from my father.Wines were his passion, and he spent his lifetime studying and collecting them.When he died, I was offered large sums of money for his cellar.I chose, instead, to enjoy it, as a way of prolonging his presence.I never open a bottle without feeling that, somehow, he lives on through the wine.

 

DRACULA: How interesting.

 

SEWARD: Yes, and I have apparently inherited the avocation as well, for now, I find myself adding to the cellar almost as fast as I deplete it.Strange, while was alive, I didnít care tuppence about it.I wish I had learned earlier.I think of the pleasure we might have shared before his death if I had.

 

VAN HELSING: It is a pity life is so short.I sometimes think we have only begun to master its lessons when we are snatched out of school, so to speak.

 

SEWARD: (Back from his reverie) Yes, and just as it used to be in school, there are moments when it all seems unbearably long.Sometimes I just wish it were over.

 

VAN HELSING: But John, you must remember, there is your work and those who depend on you.For these you must find the courage to go on.(To Dracula) Dr. Seward has recently suffered the loss of his fiancť from an obscure malady.

 

DRACULA: Yes, I know.My deepest sympathies, Dr Seward.

 

MINA: How do you know, Count Dracula?

 

DRACULA: (After a moment) I read it in the papers.But it can also be seen in his face, dear lady.

 

MINA: Yes, it can.

 

SEWARD: I have considered ending it all.

 

VAN HELSING: (Going to Seward and clasping him on the shoulder) It is said that in each manís life there comes a moment when he must choose between living and dying.But you must choose to live, friend John.. You know that reason, which offers us the choice in the first place, also enables us to find meaning.

 

SEWARD: Perhaps.But I doubt that reason has anything to do with our real apprehension of the meaning.Though I understand it better now, I felt it more when I was fifteen.†† When I compare my enthusiasm for life wow with what I felt then, I am convinced that by the time I reach sixty, I shall be quite ready to die.

 

VAN HELSING: What do you think, Count Dracula?Does the will to live remain strong enough to bear up the weight of existence, no matter how long a man may live?

 

DRACULA: It is your insistence on searching for meaning which causes what you call the ďweight of existence.ĒThere is no meaning.There is only the search.When you give up the search, there is no weight.Life, death, time--all are unimportant.

 

VAN HELSING: And what is important?

 

DRACULA: Knowledge.Power.(Looking at Mina) Beauty.

 

MINA: Love?

 

DRACULA: A form of power.A power that reciprocates.Like all powers, if it is abused it is lost.

 

MINA: Have you ever been in love, Count Dracula?

 

DRACULA: Can you not see a womanís mark on me, dear lady?I am in love.

 

(VAN HELSING has picked up a Bible.He thrusts it at Dracula.)

 

VAN HELSING: Here is a treatise on love you should read sometime.

 

(With a howl of anger, DRACULA makes a violent gesture toward the Bible, making the cross on the front of it burst into flame. VAN HELSING, his hand burned, drops the Bible which falls smoking to the floor.)

 

DRACULA: (With great energy) Van Helsing, you know a great deal for a man who has lived only one lifetime.Dr. Seward, I must take my leave now.Again, let me express my sympathy for your loss and my thanks for inviting me here this evening.Beautiful Mina, it was wonderful to see you again.

 

(JONATHAN has grabbed a cane and raises it as if to strike Dracula.DRACULA simply freezes him as he passes.)

 

DRACULA: No thank you, Mr. Harker.Iíll show myself out.

 

(The LIGHTS black out.A split-second later, a FLASH OF LIGHTNINGfreezes an image of DRACULA, cape spread, as he appears to leap into flight.A clap of thunder follows.)

 

END OF ACT I

 

 

 

ACT II, Scene 1

 

(Immediately following.A FLASH OF LIGHTNING reveals MINA where Dracula last stood.THUNDER.LIGHTS up.)

 

VAN HELSING: Can there be any doubt now?

 

SEWARD: Incredible!

 

MINA: Such wisdom in his eyes.

 

JONATHAN: I swear itís the same man, but heís at least fifty years younger.He said it was wonderful to see you again.Where did he see you before?

 

MINA: Iím sure he was nearby the night I found poor Lucy in the churchyard.Perhaps that was the first time . . . .

 

SEWARD: If only I had known.

 

VAN HELSING: My friends, I do not wish to alarm you further, but he knows us now, and he knows that we know him, so we much make a very important decision.We can forget what we know and go on with our lives. We can hope that he will return to his homeland, now that he has accomplished his ends with our dear Lucy.Or, for the sake of his future victims, we can try to destroy him.For me, the first course is unthinkable, but in the second course there is much danger and the circumstances of our lives are different. Let me tell you something of the enemy we face.

††††† He is very old and very powerful.He has consumed many lifetimes and accumulated the strength and knowledge of each of them. He is cursed to live forever if no one stops him.But like the rest of us, he continues to grow older unless he renews his youth by stealing the life blood of another person.He preys on beautiful young women because they are the epitome of life. It is, no doubt, the blood of our dear Miss Lucy, taken in unholy communion, that accounts for the change in Dracula that Mr. Harker has observed.But that is not the worst.You see, the bite of the vampire is contagious.His victim becomes his bride, cursed to join him forever in his terrible undead state.

 

SEWARD: Then Lucy . . . ?

 

VAN HELSING: Yes, John.

 

SEWARD: What can we do?

 

VAN HELSING: If we oppose him, we can rely on our faith, our knowledge of science, and our superior ability to function during the daylight hours. During the day, his powers are limited, but at night, he is all powerful.He has great strength and cunning.At night, he can appear in any animal form that he chooses, direct the elements, appear and vanish from nowhere.He is truly a creature of the darkness.And I must warn you that once he has been invited into a life there can be no safety while he lives. There is only one way to kill him.You must drive a wooden stake through his heart. Then he turns to dust, as he should be at his age.

 

Gentlemen, we are face to face with the beast.From such a challenge can we shrink?For me, I say, ďno.ĒBut I am old, and life with its music and love is far behind. But you are young men, with many fair days yet ahead.So, what say you?

 

SEWARD: There is no question, Heinrich.I am with you.

 

(MINA and JONATHAN exchange looks.)

 

JONATHAN: I answer for my wife and myself.

 

VAN HELSING: Good.Then we must plan.Ah, but first, Madam Mina, much of what I am going to say will be abhorrent to ears so sensitive as yours.Perhaps it would be best if you left us for a moment.

 

MINA: Thank you, Professor, but I am stronger than you think.I have already heard and seen things of unsurpassable horror.We need have no secrets among us.Working together we can surely be stronger than if some of us were kept in the dark.

 

VAN HELSING: Very well. God forgive me if I do wrong for there are terrible things yet to learn of.I am told that you are accomplished in shorthand and that you are also skilled with this new invention, the typewriter.

 

MINA: At the risk of appearing immodest, Professor, that is true.

 

VAN HELSING: Excellent.It will be of great value if what we do and say hereafter is recorded.

 

MINA: Of course, Professor.I shall be glad to help in any way that I can.Excuse one moment while I get my note book. (She exits.)

 

VAN HELSING: Ah, wonderful Madam Mina.She has a manís brain and a womanís heart.The good God made her for a purpose when he fashioned such a good combination.But hear me, gentlemen.She must have no more to do with this than I have already spoken of.It is not a task for a woman.Even if she were not harmed, her heart might fail her, or she might suffer for a long time hereafter, both in waking, from her nerves, and in sleeping, from her dreams.And besides, she is young and not so long married.(He chuckles knowingly and winks at Jonathan.)There may be other things to think of sometime, if not now.

 

JONATHAN: I am grateful to you for protecting her.

 

VAN HELSING: Yes, well she is a fortunate young woman to have--

 

(MINA enters.)

 

MINA: Shall we begin?

 

VAN HELSING:†† First, dear friends, let us join hand in a moment of silent prayer and commitment to each other and our terrible task.Our faith will surely be tested and we will need Godís help.(They join hands and bow their heads in silent prayer.Note: this is the .moment we saw mimed in the Prologue.Thunder and lightning answer the prayer.) Amen.

 

OTHER: Amen.

 

VAN HELSING: Now here is our plan.Later tonight, before dawn, we shall go to the Westenra tomb and open Miss Lucyís casket.If she is there and truly dead, it will be obvious from the decomposition of the body.On the other hand, if my theory is correct, she will be resting there, as beautiful as ever, or she will be out in the night, which is, I think, most likely the case.

 

VAN HELSING: But she will return before daylight.And when she is again at rest, we shall put a wooden stake through her heart.

 

SEWARD: You canít mean it, Heinrich.

 

VAN HELSING: It is the only way her body can truly die and her soul find freedom.

 

SEWARD: My God!

 

VAN HELSING: Then tomorrow, during the day,we shall go to Carfax, find Draculaís resting place and do the same for him. Now here is a crucifix for each of you.From his early connections, he so respects symbols of true purity that he is powerless to do harm to persons who wear them.You must keep them about at all times while we do this work.Of course, Madam Mina, you must stay here where you are protected.

 

MINA: Oh no!

 

VAN HELSING: Yes. You are too precious to us to suffer such risk. You must be our star and our hope.We shall be able to act all the more freely, knowing that you are not in danger.

 

MINA: Oh, very well.

 

VAN HELSING: Now, gentlemen, there are things we must gather together before we leave.

 

(The LIGHTS fade.)

 

 

ACT II, Scene 2

 

††††† (The guest room at the asylum.Two NOSFERATU form the headboard of the bed.MINA sits working in her notebook. A KNOCK is heard)

 

MINA: Come in.

 

(SEWARD enters.)

 

SEWARD: Mina?I hope Iím not disturbing you.You must be exhausted.

 

MINA: Of course not.And it is you who must get some rest.

 

SEWARD: Yes, soon, I hope.But before we go, I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate . . . well, you and Jonathan . . . I know that you loved my dear Lucy . . . . (emotion prevents him from continuing.)

 

MINA: Oh, my poor Dr. Seward.I did love her.I know what she was to you and what you were to her.She and I were like sisters.And now that she is gone, let me be like a sister to you in your grief.If sympathy can help, let me comfort you.For Lucyís sake.

 

SEWARD: I can hardly think of my life without Lucy, and now, I must go and defile her memory.

 

(With this, SEWARD completely breaks down, weeping on Minaís shoulder.She comforts him.After a time, he regains control.)

 

SEWARD: My apologies, Mina.I didnít mean to--

 

MINA: Nonsense, Dr. Seward.

SEWARD: All these weary days and sleepless nights I have been unable to speak with anyone.I shall never forget your kindness at this moment.

 

(MINA has her arm around Seward, comforting him.He kisses her hand.JONATHAN enters.)

 

JONATHAN: Oh!

 

SEWARD: I . . . you will let me be like a brother, will you not?For all our lives, for dear Lucyís sake?

 

MINA: For dear Lucyís sake.And for yours.

 

JONATHAN: Aye.And for yours. Mr. Harker, you have a wonderful wife.

 

(JONATHAN nods and smiles, a little uncomfortably.)

 

Excuse me now.I shall wait downstairs. (He exits.)

 

JONATHAN: Ah, I see you have been comforting him.Poor old fellow, he needs it.No one but a woman can help a man when he is in trouble of the heart.

 

MINA: I wish I could comfort all who suffer from the heart.Oh, Jonathan, it makes me think of when you were away, and somehow, I knew that things were not right. My heart ached so.Oh, how fortunate we are to have each other.And yet, how afraid I am.

 

JONATHAN: You neednít be, my darling.We shall be most cautious.As for you, you must go right to bed and go to sleep now.

 

MINA: Oh, Jonathan, how can a woman go to sleep when those she loves are in danger.Nonetheless, I shall try, if only to ease your mind.

 

JONATHAN: Thatís my girl.

 

(A GUST OF WIND blows the doors open.A DOG HOWLS in the distance.JONATHAN goes to the doors and closes them.)

 

MINA: Jonathan?

 

,JONATHAN: Yes.

 

MINA: Must you go?Couldnít Dr. Seward and Professor Van Helsing go alone?

 

JONATHAN: My duty calls me, Mina.

 

MINA: But have you no duty to me?

 

JONATHAN: Mina!

 

MINA: Iím sorry, Jonathan.I didnít mean to be selfish.Iíll be all right.Leave me now.

 

JONATHAN: Of course, darling.Sleep well now.I shall return in no time, youíll see.

 

(JONATHAN exits as the LIGHTS fade.)

 

 

ACT II, Scene 3

 

(A graveyard near Hampstead Heath.The scene begins in darkness.VAN HELSING, JONATHAN, and SEWARD enter carrying lanterns and implements.VAN HELSING carries a large satchel which contains the mallet and stake.The NOSFERATU are posed as a colonnade of statues.)

 

VAN HELSING: Ah, there!Now, friend John, you may stay here while Mr. Harker and I go down into the tomb and open the coffin.If we are wrong, you need not look.But if what we fear is true, we shall make the preparations, then you must help us.

 

(VAN HELSING and JONATHAN exit into the tomb.SEWARD paces.The WIND whistles softly about.In the near darkness, the NOSFERATU use their voice softly to blend with and imitate the wind so that it seems to whisper, ďJack. . . . Jack . . .ĒSuddenly LUCY appears, all dressed in diaphanous things and very beautiful.)

 

LUCY: Jack.

 

SEWARD: My God! Lucy!

 

(Throughout the following exchange, LUCY entices, seduces, offering herself with great sensuality.SEWARD is torn between his desire, on the one hand, and his fear, disgust, and jealousy on the other.)

 

LUCY: My own sweet Jack.

 

SEWARD: Lucy.How can it be?

 

LUCY: It is I, Jack.

 

SEWARD: How beautiful you look.

 

LUCY: I am lonely for you, Jack.

 

SEWARD: But you are with him, are you not?

 

LUCY: Am I not beautiful, Jack?

 

SEWARD: Lucy, tell me, what is it like?Do you love him now?

 

LUCY: Jack, look at me.I long for you.Come be with me.Itís so lonely without you.

 

SEWARD: Oh, Lucy, my love.I would give anything.

 

LUCY: Come to me, Jack.Come to me.Come.Come.

 

(SEWARD is nearly mesmerized and slowly being drawn to her.VAN HELSING enters from the tomb just as Seward is about to give in completely.)

 

VAN HELSING: John!

 

LUCY: Jack!

 

SEWARD: No!

 

(SEWARD violently pushes VAN HELSING away, knocking him to the ground, then turns back to Lucy.)

 

VAN HELSING: John Seward!Think man, think! ††You are a scientist.Rational!Look at her.It is not Lucy.It is a vile unnatural demon.See with your eyes, John

 

LUCY: Jack!Come with me!Jack. I need you, Jack..Come . . . Come . . . Jack!Come . . . †††††††††† Come . .Come to me, Jack!Come!

 

(A COCK CROWS.)

 

VAN HELSING: Aha! Look, Lucy, the dawn.It is too late.!

 

(LUCY shrieks like an animal, knocks SEWARD to the ground, and flies into the tomb.SEWARD starts to follow, but VAN HELSING, who has risen, stands in his way, thrusting the stake at him.)

 

SEWARD: No!

 

VAN HELSING: Yes!

 

SEWARD: I canít!

 

VAN HELSING: You must!You must set her free or you will never forgive yourself.It is your right and your duty!

 

(Finally, with great agony, SEWARD takes the stake, and with tears streaming down his face, he stumbles into the tomb.The SOUND of the mallet striking the stake is heard three times.The NOSFERATU react to each blow and Lucyís last bloodcurdling SCREAM is heard on the third.LIGHTS fade.)

 

 

ACT II, Scene 4

 

(The guest room at the asylum.MINA sits preparing for bed. Suddenly, a cape-shrouded figure darts into the room and hides, concealing itself behind the cape.After a moment, a face peers out.It is RENFIELD.He has pressed a black drapery into service as a cape.Slowly, her creeps up behind Mina.SHE sees him over her shoulder in a hand mirror she holds.She is briefly startled, but does not turn around. Instead, she speaks, showing no fear or alarm.)

 

MINA: Good evening, Mr. Renfield.Shouldnít you be in your quarters?

 

RENFIELD: No, I . . . I . . . I wanted to see you.

 

MINA: How nice, wonít you sit down?

 

RENFIELD: (HE starts to sit on the bed, but realizes the implications, and jumps back.)No. No.No.No. No thank you.I . . . I only . . . I only . . . I wanted to ask you: why are you here?

 

MINA: Dr. Sewardís fiancť was my very dear friend.Her death was a great shock.My husband and I are here to comfort Dr. Seward and--

 

RENFIELD: No!No!I mean , why are you in league with those fools?They donít respect you.They donít value you nearly enough.They--

 

MINA: Mr. Renfield, I will not permit you to say such things.

 

RENFIELD: You must leave here!Now!

 

MINA: Mr. Renfield, what is it?

 

RENFIELD: You are so beautiful.

 

MINA: Thank you, Mr. Renfield, but shouldnít you--?

 

RENFIELD: (HE falls to his knees at her feet and fondles the hem of her skirt.)††† Oh, if only . . . If only you . . . If only I . . .

 

(Suddenly, RENFIELD seems to hear something.He frantically takes Minaís hand, kisses it, then presses it to his cheek.)

 

God bless you.God bless you.

 

(RENFIELD goes to the doors and opens them. He turns, looks at Mina one last time, then both crying and laughing, he runs into the night.MINA starts toward the doors as if to close them.A HEAVY FOG begins to roll in.She seems mesmerized by it.She sits, takes down her hair, and begins to brush it.DRACULA materializes out of the fog.He steps up behind Mina and takes over the function of the brush with his fingers, running them through her hair for a time.MINA lets the brush fall to the floor. Then he gathers her long hair up into his hands, lifting it up away from the back of her neck and up to his face where he smells it and kisses it. MINA reaches up and undoes the clasp on the chain that holds the crucifix and removes it.She holds the crucifix away at arms length, then drops it to the end of its chain, where it dangles as DRACULA bends over her and the LIGHTS fade to black.)

 

 

ACT II, Scene 5

 

 

(A room at the asylum.SEWARD sits, devastated.JONATHAN is pacing.VAN HELSING is questioning RENFIELD, who sits in a chair, wearing a strait-jacket.)

 

JONATHAN: I should have stayed here.

 

VAN HELSING: Do not torture yourself, Mr. Harker.

 

JONATHAN: I thought you knew what you were doing.

 

VAN HELSING: There is much that is not known by anyone, Mr. Harker.I thought his blood-lust was satisfied.I made a mistake.

 

JONATHAN: A Mistake!My God!How has it come to this?Has Heaven decreed it?Am I the guilty one?You cannot imagine what agony it is to doubt everything, even yourself.I must know what he did to her.(To Renfield) You must tell me!Everything!

 

 

VAN HELSING: Mr. Renfield, can you tell us anything at all?

 

RENFIELD: I can tell you that while the catís away the mice will play.

 

VAN HELSING: And where were you?

 

RENFIELD: I watched it all through the window.

 

JONATHAN: What did you see?Tell me, you fiend.

 

RENFIELD: I saw that she didnít seem to mind.

 

(With an agonized cry, JONATHAN starts to strike Renfield.VAN HELSING prevents it.)

 

VAN HELSING: He cannot judge such things, Mr. Harker.

 

RENFIELD: It was you who left her alone.I wouldnít have left her alone.

 

VAN HELSING: Mr. Renfield, please try to tell us what happened.

 

RENFIELD: I ran out.I didnít want to, but I did.I was trying to . . . .He made me do it..He promised me things, not in words, but by doing them.In the beginning, he sent flies, great vig fat ones, with steel and sapphire on their wings; and big moths with skull and crossbones on their backs. Then last night, a miracle--rats.Rats! Rats!Hundreds, thousands, millions of them.I looked out and a dark mass spread over the lawn, coming on like the shape of a flame of fire.Then, he waved his hand, the ;mist moved away, and I could see their eyes, blazing like his, only smaller.†† After that, a large bat flew through the open doors.When I dared to look, I saw him over her.After that, I remember nothing.Iím sorry, Doctor.Iím sorry.I didnít mean to let him in, honestly I didnít.

 

JONATHAN: Oh, letís be done with him before I lose my temper and murder the brute.

 

VAN HELSING: Yes, I think he can help us no further.Thank you, Mr. Renfield.Iíll see you back to your room.Come.

 

(VAN HELSING starts to ;usher Renfield out.RENFIELD breaks away from him and runs to Seward, falling on his knees.)

 

RENFIELD: Let me entreat you, Dr. Seward.Oh, let me implore you: let me out of this house at once.Send me away from you manacled and leg-ironed, even to jail, but let me out of this and save my soul from guilt.

 

SEWARD: Please, Renfield.

 

RENFIELD: Canít you hear me, man?Canít you understand?Donít you know that I am sane and earnest now?Donít you know that I am no lunatic in a mad fit but a sane man fighting for his soul? Oh, hear me!Hear me!Let me go!Let me go!

 

SEWARD: (Suddenly he stands and shouts.)Come no more of this!Go to your quarters.And try to behave more discreetly if you have any hope of convincing me of your sanity.

 

VAN HELSING: Come.

 

(RENFIELDís face takes on a hard wounded expression.SEWARD collapses back into his misery.RENFIELD slowly rises and allows VAN HELSING to escort him toward the door.Just before he exists, he turns suddenly, and with great strength, breaks the ties on the strait-jacket.He then extends his arm toward Seward accusingly, the long sleeve dangling.)

 

RENFIELD: You will, I trust, Dr. Seward, do me the justice to bear in mind, later on, that I did what I could to convince you today.

 

(RENFIELD and VAN HELSING exit.JONATHAN paces agrily.)

 

JONATHAN: My God, how could I have been so stupid?He tried to seduce her right here in front of us.The attraction was all too clear.And I let that old fool lure me away on an unspeakably grotesque adventure--Oh, my God, Jack.Iím sorry.I didnít mean to bring it up.

 

SEWARD: Yes, it was unspeakably grotesque.But for you there is still time, still hope.Lucy is dead.Forever.But you can protect Mina.Thanks to that old fool, you have knowledge.

 

JONATHAN: Jack, Iím sorry.I apologize.Itís just that Iím so exhausted and upset.Itís as if something is gone now, something Mina and I had but can never have again.

 

SEWARD: I know.And Iím sorry too.It was I who invited him here.

 

(VAN HELSING enters, overhearing Sewardís last sentence.)

 

VAN HELSING: Yes, but you couldnít know the consequences, John.

 

JONATHAN: I must go see how she is.

 

(JONATHAN brusquely pushes by Van Helsing and exits.)

 

VAN HELSING: Come, friend John.You must not brood anymore.

 

SEWARD: She reached out to me.I loved her Heinrich.

 

VAN HELSING: Love is like a narcotic, John.When we have it, it takes away many of the pains of life.But when we lose it, the pain returns, many times stronger.And if we are to endure, we must remember that life has other meanings and purposes.

 

SEWARD: Oh, what does it all mean?I am beginning to wonder if my long habit of life among the insane has begun to tell upon my own brain.Sometimes I think we are all mad and that we shall wake to sanity in strait-jackets.Renfield will be ministering to us.(Pause) The thing I cannot bear is my own self-righteous feelings.I felt hatred for her.As she lay there, so beautiful, my love turned to hatred, because I imagined that, somehow, she wanted to be where she was, that it was her fault.I ask myself: if she had been pure of heart, would she have been susceptible to his evil?

 

VAN HELSING: Friend John, there is no such thing as a pure heart.No one is immune to all evil.Life, in its infinite metamorphoses, is much too complicated, and we are too much the victims of our own beginnings to ever remain completely pure.

 

SEWARD: She might have resisted.

 

VAN HELSING: No, friend John, she could not.She was too young and inexperienced.She was helpless.But you must not think of this further, or you will, indeed, go mad.Your thoughts must leave her now and turn to the salvation of others.There lies your deliverance as well.

 

SEWARD: But what can I do?What can you do?What can anyone do?

 

VAN HELSING: We can do our best, friend John.If our best is good enough, we succeed; if not, we fail.But we must not fail to act.

 

SEWARD: What shall we do?

 

VAN HELSING: You go upstairs and tell Mr. Harker that he must remain with his wife at all times.She must be protected.Dracula has already attacked her once, and he would, no doubt, love to make her his eternal concubine.Then, come back here, and you and I, friend John, we shall go to Carfax to find and destroy him.

 

(The LIGHTS fade.)

 

 

ACT II, Scene 6

(The guest room at the Asylum.MINA is in bed, resting.JONATHAN paces.)

 

JONATHAN: I wish they would get back.Theyíve been gone all day.Itís more than an hour past sunset.Perhaps, I should go looking for them.

 

MINA: (Near panic)No, Jonathan.Donít leave me.

 

JONATHAN: Of course I wonít, dear.It was just a careless thought.

 

MINA: (Near tears) Iím sorry to be such a bother, Jonathan.I just feel so . . . so frightened, so guilty, so unclean.

 

JONATHAN: Now stop that, My darling.You are not to blame.

 

(There is a DOOR SLAM off.JONATHAN starts to move toward it.)

 

MINA: Jonathan!

 

(VOICES are heard off.)

 

JONATHAN: At last!

 

(VAN HELSING and SEWARD enter.VAN HELSING goes directly to Mina. JONATHAN intercepts Seward near the door.)

 

VAN HELSING: And how is our beautiful patient?(HE examines her.)

 

MINA: I feel very weak, Doctor, but otherwise, Iím quite all right.

 

JONATHAN: Any luck?

 

SEWARD: Not yet.It was very difficult.The grounds are very wild and all overgrown with thorns and brambles.Weíre both exhausted.We think he lies in a vault beneath the chapel, but we have been unable to find a way in.Perhaps tomorrow.

 

VAN HELSING: (Finishing his examination) Ah yes, very good.You will be your old self in no time.(He prepares to leave.) Mr. Harker, you must remain with your wife at all times. You must not leave her, even for a minute.Dr. Seward and I will continue with our plans.

 

MINA: What has happened, Jonathan?What are your plans?

 

(JONATHAN casts a quick glace at VAN HELSING who shakes his head.)

 

JONATHAN: Iím sorry, Mina.I canít tell you.

 

MINA: Oh, why must I suffer not knowing along with this fear and weakness?Why do you separate yourselves from me when I am so alone?

 

VAN HELSING: Ah Madame Mina, it is very sad.Last night, we made a bad mistake, so now, we must isolate you, not only to protect you, but to protect our chances of success.I fear that he now has access to your mind and can know all that you know.If we are win, you must not know our plans.

 

MINA: Oh, itís all so dreadful.

 

VAN HELSING: Tomorrow we shall rid you of your fears, and then we shall tell you all. Get some sleep now.

 

MINA: Thank you, Dr. Van Helsing.Iím sorry to be so difficult.

 

VAN HELSING: Nonsense, my dear. It is not your fault.You have been cruelly victimized.But I promise you, we shall have your revenge.

 

MINA: Professor, please! Think not of revenge, but of charity for his soul.Someday, I too may need your pity.

 

VAN HELSING: Dear, kind madam Mina.Of course. Of course.But you must not worry.You are safe now.Your husband will be at your side, and Dr. Seward and I will be right down the hall in our rooms.One of us will be awake at all times. Sleep well now.

 

††††††††††††††††† (VAN HELSING and SEWARD exit.)

 

MINA: Jonathan, read to me a while.I donít feel like sleeping.It frightens me so.

 

JONATHAN: Of course, my darling.

 

(JONATHAN picks up a copy of Alice in Wonderland, goes and sits near Mina, opens it to the first few pages, and reads.)

 

Down, down down.Would the fall never come to an end?ďI wonder how many miles Iíve fallen by this time,Ē Alice said aloud.

 

(A NOSFERATU passes a hand in front of Jonathanís face and he falls asleep. LIGHTS fade to black, then come right back to indicate a passage of time.A WOLF HOWLS.MINA awakes with a start.)

 

MINA: Jonathan!

 

JONATHAN:†† (Startled awake) What?!

 

MINA: Check the doors!

 

JONATHAN: But I did, just before--

 

MINA: Please!Check them again, please!

 

JONATHAN: Very well.

 

(JONATHAN get up and sleepily trudges toward the doors, from under which fog has begun to seep.)

 

DRACULAíS VOICE: Jonathan Harker, unlock the doors.The power of eternity bids you do my will.Unlock the doors.

 

(JONATHAN is mesmerized.As MINA watches in absolute horror, JONATHAN goes to the doors and opens them.DRACULA emerges out of the fog.He waves his hand.JONATHAN is thrown to the side by the invisible force, and is left standing on his knees, transfixed, to watch everything that follows.A WOLF HOWL is heard.)

 

DRACULA: I loved you from the first moment I saw you in the churchyard.

 

(Suddenly, RENFIELD appears, interposing himself between Mina and Dracula)

 

RENFIELD: No!You shall not have her.There are others.You must take one of the others.

 

(DRACULA kills RENFIELD, demonstrating great strength.He howls a great triumphant cry.WOLF HOWLS answer him.He turns back to Mina.The WOLF HOWLS turn to music. DRACULA pursues MINA in a slow mating dance.Her resistance slowly erodes, until he envelopes her, kissing her, and ultimately biting her neck in a long rhythmic embrace.When he has finished, MINA unbuttons his shirt.Using his fingernail, he makes a cut across his chest. Then, taking Mina by the back of the head, he slowly forces her face to his chest.She drinks his blood as he speaks.)

 

DRACULA: Flesh of miy flesh.Blood of my blood.Kin of my kin.Most beloved of all.My bountiful wine press.My bride. This life is no longer than the space between two heart beats, I give you eternity.

 

(VAN HELSING and SEWARD run into the room, crucifixes at the ready.)

 

When I say come, you shall cross land and sea to do my bidding.

 

VAN HELSING: My God!Now is our chance.It is almost sunrise.If we can keep him here, in the daylight we can overpower and destroy him.

 

(DRACULA passes his hand over MINAíS face, putting her to sleep.He lays her gently back on the pillow then turns back to the men.)

 

DRACULA: So.You think to play your brains against me.Against me, who commanded nations hundreds of years before you were born.You, with your pale faces all in a row like sheep at a butcherís.The women you love are all mine.You develop ideas and systems to protect them from me, because you think they are weak, and you fear their desire, desire that you work to awaken, but which leaves you trembling with a sense of inadequacy.It is your fear that makes you weak, gentlemen.At the bottom, you would like to be in my place, but you lack the courage.How ludicrous you are in your futility.If you really understood who you were, you would have no need to fear me.

 

VAN HELSING: Thank you for the lesson in manhood.Now we shall watch the sunrise together and I shall give you a lesson in eternity.

 

(At a nod from VAN HELSING, SEWARD runs to block Draculaís escape route.DRACULA whirls and stuns Seward with a blow of his cape.He again faces VAN HELSING.)

 

DRACULA: Look at you Van Helsing.You cling to your mortality. You know that I can easily kill you and you are afraid.You have accomplished much Van Helsing, but you have failed to conquer lifeís greatest limitation--fear.You are still afraid to die, and so you shall not kill me.

 

(DRACULA grabs VAN HELSING by the wrist of the hand in which he holds the cross.With two deft moves that are nearly simultaneous, DRACULA breaks VAN HELSINGíS arm and throws him to the ground..)

 

And I shall leave you to live in fear.

 

(With a swirl of his cape, DRACULA is gone.The NOSFERATU fly after him.JONATHAN, at last released, crumples to the floor.SEWARD stirs.VAN HELSING tries to sit up. MINA is unconscious on the bed.SEWARD struggles to his feet.)

 

SEWARD: Heinrich, what has happened?

 

VAN HELSING: My arm is broken.See to the others.

 

(SEWARD helps JONATHAN, who is struggling to rise.)

 

SEWARD: My God.What do we do now?

 

(The LIGHTS fade.)

 

 

ACT II, Scene 7

 

††††† (A room at the asylum.MINA sits in a chair.VAN HELSING is hypnotizing her.SEWARD and JONATHAN watch, the latter with great anxiety.)

 

VAN HELSING: You are sleepy, very sleepy.Close your eyes.Sleep.Restful sleep.Do you hear me, Madam Mina?

 

MINA: Yes.

 

VAN HELSING: Good.Now, Mr. Harker, I believe that since he has penetrated her mind, she will have access to his.And by questioning her under hypnosis we may discover his whereabouts.Madam Mina.

 

MINA: Yes.

 

VAN HELSING: I want you to go through space, in your mind, to where Count Dracula is.Do you understand?

 

MINA: Yes.

 

VAN HELSING: Go there now.

 

(MINA exhibits great agony as her body begins to stiffen.This continues until her body is perfectly straight, as if lying down, though she is still in the chair, which has rocked back, perfectly balanced, on its rear legs [with the aid of a NOSFERATU] to accommodate her posture.She seems to float on the chair.Her face assumes a faint smile.The NOSFERATU, who have been in the periphery, creep and crawl toward Mina as her connection with Dracula grows.)

 

VAN HELSING: Do you hear me, Madam Mina?

 

MINA: Yes.

 

VAN HELSING: Tell me, what do you see?

 

MINA: Darkness.Everything is darkness.

 

VAN HELSING: And the smells.Are there any smells.

 

MINA: Earth.Damp, moldy earth.

 

VAN HELSING: What do you hear?

 

MINA: It is very still.It is like death.

 

VAN HELSING: Where are you?

 

MINA: I am with him.

 

VAN HELSING: Where is he?

 

MINA: Blood of my blood.Flesh of my flesh.

 

VAN HELSING: Madam Mina, where are you?

 

MINA:†† Kin of my kin.

 

VAN HELSING: It is no use.He has blocked her mind.

 

MINA: Most beloved of all.

 

VAN HELSING: Madam Mina, come back to this room.

 

MINA: My bountiful wine press.

 

VAN HELSING: Madam Mina!

 

MINA: When I say come . . .

 

VAN HELSING: Come back to this room, now, Madam Mina.

 

MINA: . . . you will cross land and sea to do my bidding.

 

VAN HELSING: Madam Mina, it was I who sent you there.You must obey my command to return.

 

(Slowly, with great agony and struggle, MINA returns to a sitting position.VAN HELSING snaps his fingers.)

 

Wake up, Madam Mina!

 

JONATHAN: Enough!Enough! No more of this!

 

MINA: (Coming out of the trance) Jonathan?!

 

JONATHAN: Itís all right, darling. Iím right here.

 

MINA: Oh Jonathan, such dreams.I could see through my eyelids.

 

JONATHAN: Jack, we are leaving here.Now!

 

VAN HELSING: But,. Mr. Harker--

 

JONATHAN: No!Enough!We will no longer be your bait.Mina has suffered enough.I have suffered enough!

 

VAN HELSING: But, Mr. Harker, where will you go?

 

JONATHAN: Anywhere!We are obviously not safe here.At least at home we shall not be bullied by you.

 

VAN HELSING: How will you protect yourselves?

 

JONATHAN: As best we can.Here, darling, put this on.

 

(JONATHAN has moved behind Mina and he now starts to hang a crucifix about her neck.When it touches her, it smokes.MINA screams and tears it away.It leaves an ugly, cross-shaped burn on her breast-bone.)

 

VAN HELSING: My God!Itís worse than I thought.

 

MINA: Unclean!Unclean!Even the Almighty shuns my polluted flesh.

 

VAN HELSING: Hush, Madam Mina, hush.That is not so.Donít even say it.Donít even think it.

 

(MINA continues to sob.VAN HELSING takes out a salve, kneels before her, and spreads some on Minaís burn.)

 

Here, this will at least make the pain go away.

 

(VAN HELSING, almost in tears, slowly gets to his feet.He surveys his sad, beaten, little contingent.JONATHAN, once again, stands in stunned silence; SEWARD is near the end of his strength and his sanity; MINA sobs piteously.)

 

My friends, I must tell you the truth.I do not know if we can do it.The next time, he may kill us all.He has far greater power even than I thought.But I must also tell you that if we donít destroy this Dracula, Madam Mina is lost.

 

MINA: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

 

VAN HELSING: What?What did you saiy?

 

MINA: (Puzzled) I said nothing.

 

VAN HELSING: Did you hear, gentlemen?

 

JONATHAN: She quoted a portion of the Twenty-third Psalm.

 

MINA: Did I?

 

VAN HELSING: A momentary reversion to the hypnotized state.

 

MINA: Oh yes, I was hypnotized, wasnít I?Did you learn anything, Professor?

 

VAN HELSING: I learned how precious you are, Madam Mina.You must forgive me for the suffering I have caused you.Gentlemen, we cannot give up.Give me one more day of your faith, and I swear to you, I will find a way.

 

SEWARD: But we canít leave Mina.

 

VAN HELSING: No, she must go with us.

 

JONATHAN: What?

 

MINA: Please, Jonathan, itís the only way.We began together, let us stay together.

 

JONATHAN: Oh, very well.

 

VAN HELSING: We shall have to move quickly.Our terrible work must be done by sunset, or we lose all advantage and, perhaps, our lives.So, go to your rooms and make yourselves ready.We shall reassemble in the front hall in fifteen minutes.

 

(MINA and JONATHAN exit.VAN HELSING detains SEWARD.)

 

Friend John, I have it.I could not speak in front of Madam Mina, but I know the way into his lair.

 

SEWARD: What?

 

VAN HELSING: Think.She recited the Twenty-third Psalm.Where have you seen that lately.

 

SEWARD: My God!Itís inscribed over the entrance to that tomb near the chapel at Castle Carfax.

 

VAN HELSING: Exactly!That must be the way in.There must be an underground passage from the tomb to the vault underneath the chapel.We have him now!

 

(The LIGHTS fade.)

 

 

ACT II, Scene 8

 

††††††††††††††††† (The crypt. Darkness.VAN HELSING, SEWARD, MINA, and JONATHAN are seen approaching.They carry carbide lanterns which are the only apparent source of light.The bier-like box of earth on which Dracula rests is such that they donít see it immediately.Two NOSFERATU hold a cloth canopy over it.THE REST try to impede the searchers.A smell of myrrh again fills the air.)

 

SEWARD: Heinrich, these tunnels are endless.We should go back.We may be lost.We must not be down here with him after sunset.There is always tomorrow.

 

VAN HELSING: Not for me.I cannot hold you, but I go on.I must.I must!

 

(MINA has continued on and now stands with her light directed at the bier.

 

There!

 

(VAN HELSING and SEWARD move quickly, but cautiously to the bier and begin removing, first the canopy, then a black cloth that covers Draculaís body.MINA becomes very anxious and begins a cat-like pacing.)

 

JONATHAN: Mina?

 

MINA: Itís all right, Jonathan.Itís all right!

 

VAN HELSING: We must hurry; it nearly sundown.

 

(MINAíS anxiety grows.)

 

JONATHAN: Professor, Iím taking her out of here.

 

MINA: No, Jonathan!Iíll stay.I must!

 

VAN HELSING: She stays.It is her right.We do this together.

 

SEWARD: My God!Look at him.I still canít believe itís possible.

 

VAN HELSING: Let us proceed quickly.Mr. Harker, the mallet.Dr. Seward, the stake.

 

(VAN HELSING has removed the mallet and stake from the satchel and hands them to the other men.MINA is still anxious, though she seems to be under control.VAN HELSING stands dear Draculaís head and begins to read from a prayer book.)

 

Libera me, domine, de morte aeterna.In die illa tremenda: quando caeli movendi sunt et terra: dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem--

 

DRACULAíS VOICE: Flesh of my flesh.Blood of my blood.Guilt of my guilt.Speak and be manifest!

 

††††††††††††††††† (At the sound of Draculaís voice, SEWARD and JONATHAN, who have taken up †††††† positions on either side of Draculaís body and are about to strike, are frozen. Suddenly, there is a flash of crimson subterranean LIGHTNING and a †††††††† simultaneous clap of THUNDER.. SEWARD and JONATHAN are both knocked to †††††††† the ground, causing them to lose the mallet and the stake. MINA has fallen to the ††††† ground and is writhing in agony.Though shaken, VAN HELSING remains the only ††† thing standing.He surveys the situation.He sees the mallet, picks it up, and turns †††††† to find the stake, only to discover that MINA has picked it up and is now behaving very much like one of Draculaís brides.He puts the mallet in the hand of his broken arm--which is in a sling--and with his free hand, moves to take the stake from Mina.With a cat-like growl, she draws back, then threatens to stab Van Helsing with the stake.

 

VAN HELSING: Mina!

 

(MINA turns and starts to run from the room, taking the stake.)

 

VAN HELSING: Mina!

 

(MINA stops at the periphery, turns and screeches at Van Helsing.)

 

VAN HELSING: Mina!The choice is yours.

 

(VAN HELSING returns to his original position over Dracula and continues his recitation.)

 

Tremens facto sum ego, et timeo, dum discussio venerit, atque ventura ira, quando caeli movendi sunt et terra.Dies illa, dies irae, clamitatis et miseriae; dies magna et amara valde.

 

DRACULAíS VOICE: (Over Van Helsingís recitation) Mina, my darling, you have served me well.Flesh of my flesh, death of my death, this life is no longer than the space between two heartbeats.I give you eternity.Come into the night, the darkness.Come to me my love.

 

(One of Draculaís hands begins to move slightly as his body begins to waken.MINA goes through a great struggle, being torn one way, then the other.Part of her wants to carry the stake away to save Dracula, the other part of her wants to give it to Van Helsing.Finally, as the music swells, and with a great final effort, MINA runs to the bier, places the stake over Draculaís heart, and with three mighty blows of his good arm, VAN HELSING drives it in.A great WHIRLWIND escapes from Draculaís chest and all the NOSFERATU disappear.MINA turns to VAN HELSING.They embrace and are bathed in a warm rosy LIGHT as the music raises to its final climax and draws to a close.The LIGHTS fade to black.)

 

--CURTAIN--