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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.clom-Digital Library-Dracula by Bram Stoker

affect his imagination, for he put his fingers to his ears and shut his eyes, screwing them up tightly just as a small boy does when his face is being soaped. There was something pathetic in it that touched me; it also gave me a lesson, for it seemed that before me was a child-only a child, though the features were worn, and the stubble on the jaws was white. It was evident that he was undergoing some process of mental disturbance, and, knowing how his past moods had interpreted things seemingly foreign to himself, I thought I would enter into his mind as well as I could and go with him. The first step was to restore confidence, so I asked him, speaking pretty loud so that he would hear me through his closed ears:"Would you like some sugar to get your flies round again?" He seemed to wake up all at once, and shook his head. With a laugh he replied:"Not much! flies are poor things, after all!" After a pause he added, "But I donít want their souls buzzing round me, all the same."

"Or spiders?" I went on.

"Blow spiders! Whatís the use of spiders? There isnít anything in them to eat or"- he stopped suddenly, as though reminded of a forbidden topic.

"So, so!" I thought to myself, "this is the second time he has suddenly stopped at the word Ďdrink;í what does it mean?" Renfield seemed himself aware of having made a lapse, for he hurried on, as though to distract my attention from it:"I donít take any stock at all in such matters. ĎRats and mice and such small deer,í as Shakespeare has it, Ďchicken-feed of the larderí they might be called. Iím past all that sort of nonsense. You might as well ask a man to eat molecules with a pair of chop-sticks, as to try to interest me about the lesser carnivora, when I know of what is before me."

"I see," I said. "You want big things that you can make your teeth meet in? How would you like to breakfast on elephant?"

"What ridiculous nonsense you are talking!" He was getting too wide awake, so I thought I would press him hard. "I wonder," I said reflectively, "what an elephantís soul is like!"

The effect I desired was obtained, for he at once fell from his high-horse and became a child again.

"I donít want an elephantís soul, or, any soul at all!" he said. For a few moments he sat despondently. Suddenly he jumped to his feet,


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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.clom-Digital Library-Dracula by Bram Stoker



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