It was about half an hour later before Magus returned to the inn. He was anxiously awaited for by Thomas.
“How did it go?” he asked.
“I was unable to enter the castle.” replied Magus. “His servant prevented me from entering. If I am to speak to Dracula then I must return to his castle this evening.”
“Are you sure that’s wise?” asked Thomas. “Isn’t Dracula supposed to be at his most powerful when it’s dark?”
“He is.” said Magus. “But it’s a chance I’m going to have to take if I’m to rescue the innkeeper’s daughter.”
Magus reached into his pocket and took out a piece of paper and a pencil. He wrote a few things on it and then handed it to Thomas.
“What is this?” he asked.
“Just a few things I’m going to need when I return to the castle.” said Magus. “Some more garlic, a wooden stake and a hammer, and a bottle of holy water.”
Thomas and Igor set about collecting the items. Later that day, when it began to get dark, Magus gathered together the things that had been collected, put them in a bag and began his journey back to the castle.
“Come Teddy.” he called out.
Teddy trotted out to join him.
“Why is Magus taking Teddy and not Toby?” asked Thomas.
“Do you not know?” replied Igor. “Even Dracula himself fears the black dog.”
Magus arrived at the castle once more. As he approached the door a tall distinguished figure stood there.
“You must be Magus. I am Dracula. I bid you welcome.”
On a signal from Magus Teddy moved, unseen, into the castle. Dracula led Magus in to his chamber.
“I will not beat about the bush. You have here the daughter of the innkeeper in Kongstadt. You will return her to me now.”
“You are a brave but foolish man Magus. You would have done well to follow your name. It is Latin for wise. You would be wise to leave me in peace.”
“You would be wise, Count, not to underestimate me. I know who you are and what you are. I know your weaknesses and your strengths.”
“I have been hearing threats like that since the 14th century. They hold no fear for me.”
Magus inclined his head graciously.
“I have been making them since the 11th century. I believe I have some three hundred years on you.”
A look of astonishment passed Dracula’s face.
“You are Nosferatu?”
“No. I am Istari.”
“I thought you kind had left this world in bygone times.”
“You were mistaken. You will surrender the girl to me, or do I have to take her by force?”
“It will be interesting.”
The vampire’s eyes glowed with a satanic red hue as he sought to hypnotise Magus. It had no effect. Magus brought up his crucifix. Dracula recoiled, not in mortal terror. Then the hunchback appeared with the innkeeper’s daughter. One hand was around her throat.
“You will surrender to me.” snarled Dracula. “Or my servant will snap her neck like a rotten twig.”
The hunchback manoeuvred his captive round behind his master until they stood before the window. Then it happened. A huge black dog appeared. Dracula fled the room in terror. The dog leapt at the hunchback and his captive. The hunchback flung the girl at the dog, but the dog ignored her. Letting out a bark which sounded like the chiming of a heavenly bell it leapt at the hunchback. He staggered against the heavy curtains on the window and then, with a terrible cry he fell, plunging to his death below. Magus whirled to see where the dog was just as Teddy took his usual shape once more.
“Quickly Teddy. Take her back to the inn. It is almost sunrise. I must find Dracula.”
They parted company. Magus soon found the vampire once again, standing at the doorway of his crypt. With unnerving accuracy Magus flung the bottle of holy water at the door. It broke, sending the vampire fleeing to the window.
“The sun does not rise for twenty minutes yet. I can get to my crypt from the outside.”
As the vampire threw back the curtain the burning midday sun struck him. Instantly he was dust.
Back at the inn that night the innkeeper and his daughter were reunited. Thomas sat watching them. Then he looked at Magus.
“Teddy left you twenty minutes before sunrise. Yet Dracula was killed by the midday sun. How?”
“I merely moved the castle forward in time by six hours. Dracula thought it was still dark when he threw open the curtains. I merely allowed time to readjust itself once I had done as I wished. I did, it you recall, tell you that time was curious.”