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Chapter 4

Harker awakes, unsure if he's dreamed the previous night's events. Later, as he's exploring the castle, he finds the door to the distant room wedged tightly closed. Dracula asks Harker to write three letters, indicating his return to England, dated June 12, June 19, and June 29 (it is now May 19). Harker cannot refuse. A week later, Harker has a chance to escape, as a band of gypsies, or Szgany, camp near the castle. He passes some letters and a coin to one of the Szgany, who seems to understand. The Szgany give the letters to Dracula, who angrily burns one written in shorthand, to his fiancée Mina. Weeks pass, and Harker begins to despair. On the 24th of June, Harker sees Dracula leaving the castle dressed in Harker's clothes. He concludes that Dracula wants people in the nearby village to think that Harker is mailing his own letters. That night, Harker sees a woman from his window crying desperately that he should give back her child. At a command from Dracula, dozens of wolves appear and tear the woman to pieces. Knowing that his time is short, Harker decides he must act; he decides to follow the Count's example and try to scale the castle wall. He succeeds in making his way to Dracula's window and climbs inside. The room is empty and Harker discovers a staircase leading down into a dark basement. In the basement are close to fifty large wooden boxes, filled with newly-dug earth. In one of the boxes, Harker finds Dracula resting in a strange state of suspended animation: the Count's eyes are open but there is no sign of life. Harker uneasily returns to his room.

June 29th, the date of Harker's last letter, arrives. Dracula awakens Harker and tells him he is leaving for England and that a carriage will come for Harker the next day to take him to Borgo Pass. Harker decides to call Dracula's bluff and insists on leaving that night. Reluctantly, the Count agrees to let Harker walk to the village. As he's opening the great door of the castle, the howling of ravenous wolves grows steadily louder, and Harker agrees to stay the night. The next morning, Harker again scales the wall and descends into the basement. He searches the Count's body for the key to the castle door. Unable to find the key, Harker notices that the Count appears much younger: his hair is no longer white, and his face looks bloated with blood. Harker tries to behead the sleeping Dracula with a shovel, but Dracula's head turns suddenly, startling Harker and making the blow miss. The Count's Szgany servants arrive to take the boxes away and Harker flees. He decides to make a desperate attempt to climb all the way down the castle wall and get to the village.

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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