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Chapter 12

Seward and Van Helsing arrive the next morning at nearly the same moment. They break into the silent house, see the still-sleeping servants, and head up to Lucy's room. To their horror, they find Mrs. Westenra dead and Lucy in a state near death, with the puncture wounds on her throat white and ragged. She is still breathing, but barely. Seward goes downstairs to wake the maids, who are frightened and disoriented. Van Helsing puts Lucy in a hot bath to get her circulation going; they need to transfuse more blood, but both men are weak from previous transfusions. Fortunately, the Texan, Quincey Morris, has come with a message from Arthur Holmwood, who is away visiting his sick father. Morris is shocked to see Lucy's condition, but happy to give his blood. Van Helsing finds Lucy's account of the last night's events. He draws some conclusion from what he reads, but won't reveal it to Seward.

The doctors stay through the night; while Lucy sleeps, they see her tear up the paper with her account on it; when they take the pieces from her, she keeps making tearing motions as if in a trance. Lucy seems to gain strength while asleep, and the men notice her teeth seem longer; when she wakes, her teeth return to normal and she appears to be dying. Arthur Holmwood arrives, very upset at his fiancée's condition. The doctors think she is too weak to recover; it is only a matter of time until she dies.

At this point the narrative is interrupted by three letters: the first is from Mina Harker to Lucy, and tells of her and Jonathan's return to England. They are staying with Jonathan's employer, Mr. Hawkins, who told the young couple that he is leaving everything he owns to them in his will. Hawkins also made Jonathan a partner in the law firm. The second letter is from a doctor at the asylum, who reports to Dr. Seward that Renfield has broken out again and attacked some workmen making a delivery to Carfax, the house next door. Renfield overpowered the two workers and fought off several attendants, shouting about his master the whole time, before being subdued. The third letter, dated the day after the first, is also from Mina to Lucy. Mr. Hawkins has died, and she and Jonathan are heading to London for the funeral.

Meanwhile, Lucy continues to deteriorate. She continues her strange double behavior: when awake, she appears normal but deadly weak; when she falls asleep, her breathing changes, she appears healthier, her teeth seem to elongate, and she pushes off the garlic that's been put around her neck. When it becomes clear that death is approaching, Van Helsing brings Holmwood to her. She falls into a strange, trance-like state and offers, in a strange voice, to kiss Holmwood, but Van Helsing pushes him back. At last she dies, but Van Helsing says ominously to Seward that this is only the beginning.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5 and 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9 and 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14 and 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19 and 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24 and 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27


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