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“Mr. Holmwood has been suddenly called to Ring to see his father, who has been taken seriously ill. Lucy frets at the postponement of seeing him... “

Recovering Lucy’s health through fresh air and exercise may have been part of the reason behind the stay in Whitby. When Mrs. Westenra arranged this holiday in Whitby, it was also her intention that she, her daughter, her daughter’s confidant Mina, and her daughter’s fiancé would spend this time together. She may have seen Mina serving as chaperone for the affectionate and impulsive Lucy. Mina would be able to accompany the young couple to places that Lucy’s aging mother could not. Level-headed, reliable Mina would do her utmost to prevent any premarital excesses. If Mina’s own fiancé, Jonathan, also was invited, he would be an additional steadying influence.

This plan is already getting off to a rocky start, however: Holmwood’s arrival is delayed, Lucy starts sleepwalking again, and Mina is distracted by Jonathan’s unexpected absence.

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“I pray [Lucy’s signs of better health] will all last.”

Is this an actual prayer, or simply a pious wish? Probably both. This is the first time Mina mentions praying in her shorthand journal.

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