The station-master was good enough to give me a line to his old companion the station-master at King’s Cross, so that when I arrived there in the morning I was able to ask him about the arrival of the boxes. He, too, put me at once in communication with the proper officials, and I saw that their tally was correct with the original invoice. The opportunities of acquiring an abnormal thirst had been here limited; a noble use of them had, however, been made, and again I was compelled to deal with the result in an ex post facto manner.
From thence I went on to Carter Paterson’s central office, where I met with the utmost courtesy. They looked up the transaction in their day-book and letter-book, and at once telephoned to their King’s Cross office for more details. By good fortune, the men who did the teaming were waiting for work, and the official at once sent them over, sending also by one of them the way-bill and all the papers connected with the delivery of the boxes at Carfax. Here again I found the tally agreeing exactly; the carriers’ men were able to supplement the paucity of the written words with a few details. These were, I shortly found, connected almost solely with the dusty nature of the job, and of the consequent thirst engendered in the operators. On my affording an opportunity, through the medium of the currency of the realm, of the allaying, at a later period, this beneficial evil, one of the men remarked:—
“That ’ere ’ouse, guv’nor, is the rummiest I ever was in. Blyme! but it ain’t been touched sence a hundred years. There was dust that thick in the place that you might have slep’ on it without ’urtin’ of yer bones; an’ the place was that neglected that yer might ’ave smelled ole Jerusalem in it. But the ole chapel—that took the cike, that did! Me and my mate, we thort we wouldn’t never git out quick enough. Lor’, I wouldn’t take less nor a quid a moment to stay there arter dark.”
Having been in the house, I could well believe him; but if he knew what I know, he would, I think, have raised his terms.
Of one thing I am now satisfied: that all the boxes which arrived at Whitby from Varna in the Demeter were safely deposited in the old chapel at Carfax. There should be fifty of them there, unless any have since been removed—as from Dr. Seward’s diary I fear.
I shall try to see the carter who took away the boxes from Carfax when Renfield attacked them. By following up this clue we may learn a good deal.
Later.—Mina and I have worked all day, and we have put all the papers into order.
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