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Most Significant

‘This is no jest, but life and death, perhaps more.' I asked [Van Helsing] what he meant by that, for he was very serious… He would not give me any further clue. You must not be angry with me, Art, because his very reticence means that all his brains are working for her good.”

Reticence indeed! Van Helsing does not say the word “vampire” until after Lucy’s death (27 September), even though this cryptic statement after his first examination of Lucy suggests he may have been considering the possibility. On the other hand, he would surely have made a point of examining her neck on this visit if he suspected she was a vampire’s victim.

Perhaps he thought Lucy might have been subject to a witch’s curse or demonic possession? Van Helsing later visits the British Museum, “searching for witch and demon cures” (2 October).

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