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know there is one way out for me, you must not and I must not take it!" She looked appealingly to us all in turn, beginning and ending with her husband.
"What is that way?" asked Van Helsing in a hoarse voice. "What is that way, which we must not-may not-take?"
"That I may die now, either by my own hand or that of another, before the greater evil is entirely wrought. I know, and you know, that were I once dead you could and would set free my immortal spirit, even as you did my poor Lucyís. Were death, or the fear of death, the only thing that stood in the way I would not shrink to die here, now, amidst the friends who love me. But death is not all. I cannot believe that to die in such a case, when there is hope before us and a bitter task to be done, is Godís will. Therefore, I on my part, give up here the certainty of eternal rest, and go out into the dark where may be the blackest things that the world or the nether world holds!" We were all silent, for we knew instinctively that this was only a prelude. The faces of the others were set, and Harkerís grew ashen grey; perhaps he guessed better than any of us what was coming. She continued:"This is what I can give into the hotch-pot." I could not but note the quaint legal phrase which she used in such a place, and with all seriousness. "What will each of you give? Your lives I know," she went on quickly, "that is easy for brave men. Your lives are Godís, and you can give them back to Him; but what will you give to me?" She looked again questioningly, but this time avoided her husbandís face. Quincey seemed to understand; he nodded, and her face lit up. "Then I shall tell you plainly what I want, for there must be no doubtful matter in this connection between us now. You must promise me, one and all-even you my beloved husband-that, should the time come, you will kill me."
"What is that time?" The voice was Quinceyís, but was low and strained.
"When you shall be convinced that I am so changed that it is better that I die that I may live. When I am thus dead in the flesh, then you will, without a momentís delay, drive a stake through me and cut off my head; or do whatever else may be wanting to give me rest!"
Quincey was the first to rise after the pause. He knelt down before her and taking her hand in his said solemnly:"Iím only a rough fellow, who hasnít, perhaps, lived as a man