20 July - 11 pm
I gave Renfield a strong opiate tonight,
enough to make even him sleep, and took away his pocketbook to look at it. The
thought that has been buzzing about my brain lately is complete, and the theory
My homicidal maniac is of a peculiar kind. I shall have to invent
a new classification for him, and call him a zoophagous (life-eating) maniac.
What he desires is to absorb as many lives as he can, and he has laid himself
out to achieve it in a cumulative way. He gave many flies to one spider and many
spiders to one bird, and then wanted a cat to eat the many birds. What would have
been his later steps?
It would almost be worth while to complete the experiment.
It might be done if there were only a sufficient cause. Men sneered at vivisection,
and yet look at its results today! Why not advance science in its most difficult
and vital aspect, the knowledge of the brain?
Had I even the secret of one
such mind, did I hold the key to the fancy of even one lunatic, I might advance
my own branch of science to a pitch compared with which Burdon-Sanderson's physiology
or Ferrier's brain knowledge would be as nothing. If only there were a sufficient
cause! I must not think too much of this, or I may be tempted. A good cause might
turn the scale with me, for may not I too be of an exceptional brain, congenitally?
well the man reasoned. Lunatics always do within their own scope. I wonder at
how many lives he values a man, or if at only one. He has closed the account most
accurately, and today begun a new record. How many of us begin a new record with
each day of our lives?
To me it seems only yesterday that my whole life
ended with my new hope, and that truly I began a new record. So it shall be until
the Great Recorder sums me up and closes my ledger account with a balance to profit
Oh, Lucy, Lucy, I cannot be angry with you, nor can I be angry
with my friend whose happiness is yours, but I must only wait on hopeless and
work. Work! Work!
If I could have as strong a cause as my poor mad friend
there, a good, unselfish cause to make me work, that would be indeed happiness.