Dracula's Guest

Donde el protagonista observa el temor en los que lo rodean y se pregunta qué es Walpurgis nacht. Dracula's Guest es un cuento de Bram Stoker, publicado dos años después de su muerte en 1914

When we started for our drive the sun was shining brightly on Munich, and the air was full of the joyousness of early summer. Just as we were about to depart, Herr Delbruck (the maître d'hotel of the Quatre Saisons, where I was staying) came down bareheaded to the carriage and, after wishing me a pleasant drive, said to the coachman, still holding his hand on the handle of the carriage door, "Remember you are back by nightfall. The sky looks bright but there is a tremble in the north wind that says there may be a sudden storm. But I am sure you will not be late." Here he smiled and added, "For you know what night it is."
Johann answered with an emphatic, "Ja, mein Herr," and, touching his hat, drove off quickly. When we had cleared the town, I said, after signaling to him to stop:
"Tell me, Johann, what is tonight?"

He crossed himself, as he answered laconically: "Walpurgis nacht." Then he took out his watch, a great, old-fashioned German silver thing as big as a turnip and looked at it, with his eyebrows gathered together and a little impatient shrug of his shoulders. I realized that this was his way of respectfully protesting against the unnecessary delay and sank back in the carriage, merely motioning him to proceed. He started off rapidly, as if to make up for lost time. Every now and then the horses seemed to throw up their heads and sniff the air suspiciously. On such occasions I often looked round in alarm. The road was pretty miserable, for we were traversing a sort of high windswept plateau. As we drove, I saw a road that looked but little used and which seemed to immerse through a little winding valley. It looked so inviting that, even at the risk of offending him, I called Johann to stop - and when he had pulled up, I told him I would like to drive down that road. He made all sorts of excuses and frequently crossed himself as he spoke. This somewhat piqued my curiosity, so I asked him various questions. He tried to avoid an answer and repeatedly looked at his watch in protest.
coachman
Coachman, Moscow, 1896
Finally I said, "Well, Johann, I want to go down this road. I shall not ask you to come unless you like; but tell me why you do not like to go, that is all I ask." For answer he seemed to throw himself off the box, so quickly did he reach the ground. Then he stretched out his hands appealingly to me and implored me not to go. There was just enough of English mixed with the German for me to understand the flow of his talk. He seemed always just about to tell me something - the very idea of which evidently frightened him; but each time he pulled himself up saying, "Walpurgis nacht!"
I tried to argue with him, but it was difficult to argue with a man when I did not know his language. The advantage certainly rested with him, for although he began to speak in English, of a very crude and broken kind, he always got excited and broke into his native tongue - and every time he did so, he looked at his watch. Then the horses became restless and sniffed the air. At this he grew very pale, and, looking around in a frightened way, he suddenly jumped forward, took them by the bridles, and led them on some six meters. I followed and asked why he had done this. For an answer he crossed himself, pointed to the spot we had left, and drew his carriage in the direction of the other road, indicating a cross, and said, first in German, then in English, "Buried him - him what killed themselves."… (Excerpts from Dracula´s Guest, by Bram Stoker)

Para saber
Bram Stoker (1847 - 1912) fue un autor irlandés, más conocido por su novela gótica de 1897 Drácula. En vida fue más conocido como asistente personal del actor Henry Irving y como gerente del Lyceum Theatre en Londres.
Walpurgis Night es la víspera de la festividad de Santa Walpurga, el 30 de abril. Se cree que es la noche de la reunión de las brujas en Brocken, el pico más alto de las montañas Harz en Alemania.
Vocabulario
Maître d'hotel: Manager.
Plateau: Highland.
Artículos relacionados
Recursos
Dracula´s Guest, para leer en internet.

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