Within, stood a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long whitemoustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere. He held in his hand an antique silver lamp, in which the flame burned without a chimney or globe ofany kind, throwing long quivering shadows as it flickered in the draught of the open door.
The old man motioned me in with his right hand with a courtly gesture, saying in excellent English, but witha strange intonation.
"Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own free will!"
He made no motion of stepping to meet me, but stood like a statue, as though his gesture of welcome had fixedhim into stone.
The instant, however, that I had stepped over the threshold, he moved impulsively forward, and holding out his hand grasped mine with a strength which made me wince, an effect which wasnot lessened by the fact that it seemed cold as ice, more like the hand of a dead than a living man.
Again he said.
"Welcome to my house! Enter freely. Go safely, and leave something of thehappiness you bring!" The strength of the handshake was so much akin to that which I had noticed in the driver, whose face I had not seen, that for a moment I doubted if it were not the same person to whom Iwas speaking.
So to make sure, I said interrogatively, "Count Dracula?" He bowed in a courtly was as he replied, "I am Dracula, and I bid you welcome, Mr. Harker, to my house. Come in, the night airis chill, and you must need to eat and rest." As he was speaking, he put the lamp on a bracket on the wall, and stepping out, took my luggage. He had carried it in before I could forestall him. I...