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Chapter 18

Mina asks Dr. Seward if she may meet with Renfield; Seward agrees. When he tells Renfield a woman is coming to visit, the lunatic "tidies up" his cell by eating all the flies and spiders he has caught. When Mina arrives, Renfield acts calmly rational, a perfect gentleman. He casually reveals that he knew about Seward's marriage proposal to Lucy, and of Lucy's death. As Mina is leaving, Renfield says he prays that he will never see her again. Seward leaves the asylum to meet Van Helsing at the train station. Van Helsing praises Mina, then tells Seward that for her own benefit they will have to exclude Mina from their future efforts.

That evening, the full company assembles in Seward's house: Seward, Van Helsing, Jonathan and Mina Harker, Quincey Morris, and Arthur Holmwood. Van Helsing warns them all of the dangers they will face in fighting the vampires, and they all pledge their loyalty. Van Helsing then describes the powers of the nosferatu, or vampires: they have the strength of twenty humans; they can transform into a variety of animals; they can control the weather in a limited area; they are virtually immortal. But they have several weaknesses: they must feed regularly on human blood; they cannot cross running water; they cannot enter a house for the first time until they are invited in; they are vulnerable to garlic, crucifixes, holy bullets, and can be killed by a stake through the heart. The vampire also must sleep in his coffin in the dirt of his burial ground. They resolve to investigate the boxes of dirt delivered to Carfax Abbey.

As Van Helsing is talking, Quincey Morris walks outside and a shot rings out, shattering a window. The Texan sheepishly explains that he saw a bat sitting on the windowsill and fired at it. Van Helsing breaks the news to Mina that she must not join their search; she resignedly accepts the decision. As the men are leaving, they are interrupted by a message for Seward from the asylum: Renfield wants to see him. Seward, Morris, Jonathan Harker, Holmwood, and Van Helsing go to the asylum. Renfield again appears perfectly rational. He wants badly to be discharged that night, but won't explain his reasons. Seward is tempted to release Renfield, but decides against it. As they leave, Renfield urges Seward to remember his request in the future.

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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