Chapter 5 and 6
The action now moves to England, where Mina Murray, Harker's young fiancée, and her friend, Lucy Westenra, exchange a series of letters. In her first letter, Mina mentions that she's learning shorthand to help with Jonathan's work, and gently chides Lucy for not writing her. Lucy responds, describing a young doctor she has just met, Dr. John Seward, who is in charge of a lunatic asylum. Lucy also mentions that she has fallen in love with a man named Arthur. The next letter is also from Lucy, as she describes the three wedding proposals she just received. The first was from Dr. Seward, and she gently refused him. The second was from an American from Texas named Quincey Morris, whom she also refused. Saddened by having to deny these men, both of whom she likes very much, she at last is proposed to by Arthur Holmwood, the man she loves.
After this letter, the narrative is briefly taken up by Dr. Seward's diary. Seward is chagrined by Lucy's rejection, but most of the diary entry is taken up with work notes. He describes an unusual patient, Mr. Renfield, who seems obsessed with some unknown idea. Morris invites Holmwood and Seward, who are all war buddies, out to drink and celebrate Holmwood's engagement.
At the end of July, Lucy and Mina travel to the coastal town of Whitby for a holiday. Mina is thrilled with the quaint old town, which features a ruined abbey and a graveyard with a view of the ocean which Mina and Lucy adopt as their favorite spot. They meet Mr. Swales, a talkative old man with a supply of opinions and tales about the area. He amuses the women with a long speech on the lies told by tombstones.
Back in London, Dr. Seward continues to observe his patient, Renfield. Seward watches the madman carefully snare dozens of flies; when the doctor complains, Renfield uses the flies to catch spiders; next the spiders are used to catch swallows. Finally Renfield asks Dr. Seward for a kitten, but the doctor refuses, enraging Renfield. The next day Seward finds the swallows gone, except for a few feathers. When Renfield vomits up a bunch of feathers, Seward concludes that the madman has eaten the birds, and that his madness is a compulsion to consume as many animal lives as possible.
By now Mina has received the first of the letters Harker wrote under Dracula's orders, and she is worried by the uncharacteristic shortness of the note. Lucy has developed a habit of sleepwalking, which also worries Mina, but she assumed it's just Lucy's anxiousness to get married. On August 6th, a storm is seen approaching the coast and Mina goes out for a walk. She meets old Mr. Swales, who seems frightened and warns her that something strange and deadly is coming in the approaching storm. A coast guard passes by, and points out to her a strange ship, which he says is Russian, drifting without direction and ignoring the incoming storm.
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Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Chapter 5 and 6
Chapter 9 and 10
Chapter 14 and 15
Chapter 19 and 20
Chapter 24 and 25