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Mina: "Dr. Van Helsing...tells the farmers that he is hurrying to Bistritz..."

Doubtless the farmers assume that he wants to get to the other side of the Borgo Pass before winter snows make it impassable.

MyNoise soundtrack Carriage thru Villages (takes a little while to fully load): https://tinyurl.com/npaxdjru

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"...when the woman who served us saw the scar on my forehead, she crossed herself and put out two fingers towards me, to keep off the evil eye... Ever since then I have taken care not to take off my hat or veil, and so have escaped their suspicions. We are travelling fast, and as we have no driver with us to carry tales, we go ahead of scandal."

What scandal does Mina suppose follows them? Is Van Helsing doing something disreputable that she dare not record?

Perhaps the strain is beginning to tell on her, and she assumes the local people somehow know she is a vampire-in-waiting and that the scar on her forehead is not from an accident with curling tongs.

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*sigh* And I was doing so well… I will repost those in the right spot.

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Jonathan: “Some of the Slovaks tell us that a big boat passed them, going at more than usual speed as she had a double crew on board.”

The Count’s boat has no engine, so there are only so many ways it can travel against the current. Since the double crew is moving the boat faster than a regular-sized crew, it is probably being poled at this point in the journey.

Setting pole: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Setting_pole

There are other ways of moving the boat upstream besides poling. If the river is wide and slow enough, and winds are favourable, the crew could rig a small sail. If the current is slow, it might be propelled with a stern sculling oar. If the riverbank is clear enough to walk on, the boat can be towed (lined) upstream by horse or by crew members.

Stern sculling: https://www.simplicityboats.com/ScullYulohaboat.htm

Of course, in the worst case, the Slovak crew would have to lighten the boat in order to line the boat up rapids. They could portage the Count, box & all, much like Lady Frances Simpson’s piano: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ON-Q63BO8Ok

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