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“‘Well, I was anxious about the dear child in the night, and went into her room…There were a lot of those horrible, strong–smelling flowers about everywhere, and she had actually a bunch of them round her neck. I feared that the heavy odour would be too much for the dear child in her weak state, so I took them all away…’”

Mrs. Westenra must have been half-asleep, to not connect the highly unusual state of her daughter’s bedroom to the doctors’ visit. (Or maybe this was not the first tome that Lucy had played at being Ophelia?) The doctors finally see the consequences of not informing the two women more fully about the course of treatment.

Van Helsing explains why he did not tell Mrs. Westenra about the garlic flowers: “This poor mother, all unknowing, and all for the best as she think, does such thing as lose her daughter body and soul; and we must not tell her, we must not even warn her, or she die, and then both die.”

And yet, he tells Mrs. Westenra about the “medicinal” flowers after Lucy’s transfusion, and there is no problem.

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