Dracula Chapters 20 and 23 Summary

Through persistence, Jonathan finds out where Dracula has sent the other boxes of earth. Our heroes must retrieve nine boxes, and they plot the best way to accomplish that. Jonathan takes note that Mina is pale and weak.

One again the reader sees into Seward's diary giving a unique perspective on Renfield. He is completely lucid. He laughs at the idea of collecting flies and spiders. He is very adamant about being released immediately and insists that his soul depends on it. Later, when night falls and Renfield begins to behave differently, he is eventually found badly beaten with a broken back. There was no way Renfield could have given himself these injuries, and so, the men operate. Renfield realizes he is dying, so he speaks. He says that a man came to his window in the mist. He didn't invite him in, but he spoke of promises- of red blood with everlasting life. It was this man who sent him the flies and spiders promising him everlasting life. Renfield also says that after speaking to Mina that one evening, he could tell that the Count had been sucking the life from her. Shocked by the realization, the men run to Mina's room and find Jonathan unconscious. Mina, with Dracula's hand behind her head, is sucking blood from the chest of a tall thin man. Dracula's eyes are blood red and his long, pointed teeth are covered with blood looking as a "wild beast" might.

Dracula starts to attack the men but is repelled by a sacred wafer held by Van Helsing. As a mist is seen going beneath the door, Mina screams with confusion and despair. In searching the house, the men find that Dracula has removed or destroyed many records and Renfield is dead.

Now the men turn to Mina for her account of what happened. She tells them she first saw the man when Lucy was alive. She remembers him putting his "reeking lips" to her throat. She does not know how long these incidents last, but she hears him say, You are now to me fresh of my flesh..." It is clear that Dracula has some type of mind control over his victims.

In chapter 22 Jonathan is compelled to stay with Mina, however they must go to Carfax to sterilize the boxes of earth with a holy wafer. Before leaving Mina, Van Helsing places a wafer against her forehead and it burns her fresh. She is 'unclean' and wishes the men to kill her if she turns into a vampire. The men go to Dracula's house in Piccadilly to find 8 boxes of earth rather than 9. Here they find keys for his other houses, so Quincy and Lord Godalming go off to destroy those boxes. Van Helsing comes to realize that Dracula will be forced to come back to the Piccadilly house. He also realizes that Dracula must be destroyed because he is enlarging his circle of power. They hear a key rattle in the door and suddenly Dracula jumps as an animal would, to evade them. Jonathan manages to swing his knife and open Dracula's vestments. After picking up some of the money that fell out, the Count jumps out a window. As he runs away he threatens the men- he will have vengeance.

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