Summary and Analysis
Van Helsing thinks that Jonathan Harker should stay in England with his wife, since he now knows that Dracula is returning to Transylvania. Jonathan Harker expresses in his journal how happy Mina is that Dracula is returning to Transylvania, but when Harker looks at the terrible mark on Mina's forehead (a sign of the evil "infection" that was caused by Dracula's blood), he is reminded of the reality of the vampire.
In her journal Mina Harker records the various reports concerning Dracula's departure. In the investigations, it was discovered that Dracula boarded a ship headed for Varna, a seaport on the Black Sea, near the mouth of the Danube River, the same place he had left from three months earlier. Evidently, Van Helsing has deduced the reason why Dracula came to England: Dracula's own country is so "barren of people" that he came to England, a place where life is rich and flourishing; he is now returning to his native soil to escape discovery.
Seward recalls his fear concerning Mina Harker, and in a short time, Van Helsing confirms his views: Mina is changing. Characteristics of the vampire are beginning to show in her face — that is, her teeth are longer, and her eyes are colder. He now fears that the Count could, by hypnosis, even over long distances, discover their plans, so they must keep Mina ignorant of their plans so that the Count cannot discover their whereabouts through her. They determine how long it will take the ship to reach Varna by sea, and they set a date for their own departure so that they will be in Varna before Count Dracula arrives. Then Mina surprises them by telling them that she should accompany them on the journey, since through hypnotizing her they can discover the whereabouts and intentions of Count Dracula. Everyone agrees with her, so it is settled: Mina will accompany them.
Chapter 25 begins with Dr. Seward's journal, written on the evening of October 11th. While Mina Harker is pleased that they are going to take her with them, she makes them repeat their promise to kill her if she is ever so totally changed into a vampire form that they cannot save her. All of them swear to do so, and Seward is pleased that the word "euthanasia" exists, because it euphemistically disguises the nature of her request. Mina makes one seemingly unusual request — in case she has to be killed, she would like to hear the "burial service" read to her immediately this very night.
Four days later, on the 15th of October, the six people arrive at Varna via the Orient Express, and when they arrive, they place Mina under hypnosis, during which she reports that she still senses the lapping of water against the ship. Van Helsing expresses his desire for them to board the ship as soon as it arrives at Varna. If they can board the ship before Dracula's coffin is removed, they will have him trapped, for one of the limitations of vampires is that they cannot cross running water. On the 17th, Jonathan notes in his journal that Van Helsing has secured admittance for the group to board Dracula's ship as soon as it arrives, so that they may more easily carry out the extermination of the vampire.
A week later, they receive a telegram from London reporting that the ship was sighted at the Dardanelles. Dr. Seward, therefore, assumes that it will arrive the next day. While waiting, Dr. Seward and Van Helsing are concerned about Mina's lethargy and her general state of weakness. They wait for two days and still the ship does not arrive. On the 28th of October they receive a telegram reporting that the ship has arrived at the port of Galatz, a city on the coast, near Varna.
Van Helsing offers a theory that when Mina was weak, the Count had pulled her spirit to him; now, the Count knows of their presence, as well as their efforts to trap and exterminate him. At present, however, Mina is feeling free and healthy, and she and Van Helsing use their knowledge of criminology to deduce that the Count is a "criminal type" — hence, he will act as a criminal, and therefore, his main purpose will be to escape his pursuers.
It is only now, this late in the novel, that we learn the real reason why Dracula has come to England: his country is "barren of peoples," and England is teeming with numbers of new victims. Since Count Dracula brought with him fifty boxes of earth, one can assume that he was intending to stay in England quite some time.
The central incident of these chapters is the infection of Mina: She has a mark on her forehead, a sign that she is "unclean," that she is "infected" with vampirism. Her teeth have grown noticeably longer and her eyes have grown colder. We are also led to believe, in the course of these chapters, that the pursuers are in perfect control because they remember to arm themselves with all kinds of weapons — even Winchesters for the wolves. In theory, they will be able to track down Dracula's destination as far as Varna. However, in the next chapter, we discover that the Count deliberately misled them, and that instead of Varna, he had his box of earth sent on to Galatz, thus bypassing the awaiting pursuers.
The idea of hypnosis is continued throughout these chapters, as well as in the two remaining chapters, in order to track down Dracula, and once again Mina extracts a promise that if she begins to change into a vampire, she wants to be killed. In preparation she has the Church's burial service read to her. The notion of "euthanasia" would have been a shocking notion to Victorian readers.