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    Chapter 4

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    Chapter 4
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    The Carew Murder Case

    Nearly a year later, in the month of October, 18--, London was
    startled by a crime of singular ferocity and rendered all the more
    notable by the high position of the victim. The details were few
    and startling. A maid servant living alone in a house not far
    from the river, had gone upstairs to bed about eleven. Although a
    fog rolled over the city in the small hours, the early part of the
    night was cloudless, and the lane, which the maid's window
    overlooked, was brilliantly lit by the full moon. It seems she
    was romantically given, for she sat down upon her box, which stood
    immediately under the window, and fell into a dream of musing.
    Never (she used to say, with streaming tears, when she narrated
    that experience), never had she felt more at peace with all men
    or thought more kindly of the world. And as she so sat she became
    aware of an aged beautiful gentleman with white hair, drawing near
    along the lane; and advancing to meet him, another and very small
    gentleman, to whom at first she paid less attention. When they
    had come within speech (which was just under the maid's eyes) the
    older man bowed and accosted the other with a very pretty manner
    of politeness. It did not seem as if the subject of his address
    were of great importance; indeed, from his pointing, it some times
    appeared as if he were only inquiring his way; but the moon shone
    on his face as he spoke, and the girl was pleased to watch it, it
    seemed to breathe such an innocent and old-world kindness of
    disposition, yet with something high too, as of a well-founded
    self-content. Presently her eye wandered to the other, and she
    was surprised to recognise in him a certain Mr. Hyde, who had once
    visited her master and for whom she had conceived a dislike. He
    had in his hand a heavy cane, with which he was trifling; but he
    answered never a word, and seemed to listen with an ill-contained
    impatience. And then all of a sudden he broke out in a great
    flame of anger, stamping with his foot, brandishing the cane, and
    carrying on (as the maid described it) like a madman. The old
    gentleman took a step back, with the air of one very much
    surprised and a trifle hurt; and at that Mr. Hyde broke out of all
    bounds and clubbed him to the earth. And next moment, with
    ape-like fury, he was trampling his victim under foot and hailing
    down a storm of blows, under which the bones were audibly
    shattered and the body jumped upon the roadway. At the horror of
    these sights and sounds, the maid fainted.

    It was two o'clock when she came to herself and called for the
    police. The murderer was gone long ago; but there lay his victim
    in the middle of the lane, incredibly mangled. The stick with
    which the deed had been done, although it was of some rare and
    very tough and heavy wood, had broken in the middle under the
    stress of this insensate cruelty; and one splintered half had
    rolled in the neighbouring gutter--the other, without doubt, had
    been carried away by the murderer. A purse and gold watch were
    found upon the victim: but no cards or papers, except a sealed and
    stamped envelope, which he had been probably carrying to the post,
    and which bore the name and address of Mr. Utterson.

    This was brought to the lawyer the next morning, before he was
    out of bed; and he had no sooner seen it and been told the
    circumstances, than he shot out a solemn lip. "I shall say
    nothing till I have seen the body," said he; "this may be very
    serious. Have the kindness to wait while I dress." And with the
    same grave countenance he hurried through his breakfast and drove
    to the police station, whither the body had been carried. As soon
    as he came into the cell, he nodded.

    "Yes," said he, "I recognise him. I am sorry to say that this
    is Sir Danvers Carew."

    "Good God, sir," exclaimed the officer, "is it possible?" And
    the next moment his eye lighted up with professional ambition.
    "This will make a deal of noise," he said. "And perhaps you can
    help us to the man." And he briefly narrated what the maid had
    seen, and showed the broken stick.

    Mr. Utterson had already quailed at the name of Hyde; but when
    the stick was laid before him, he could doubt no longer; broken
    and battered as it was, he recognized it for one that he had
    himself presented many years before to Henry Jekyll.

    "Is this Mr. Hyde a person of small stature?" he inquired.

    "Particularly small and particularly wicked-looking, is what
    the maid calls him," said the officer.

    Mr. Utterson reflected; and then, raising his head, "If you
    will come with me in my cab," he said, "I think I can take you to
    his house."

    It was by this time about nine in the morning, and the first
    fog of the season. A great chocolate-coloured pall lowered over
    heaven, but the wind was continually charging and routing these
    embattled vapours; so that as the cab crawled from street to
    street, Mr. Utterson beheld a marvelous number of degrees and hues
    of twilight; for here it would be dark like the back-end of
    evening; and there would be a glow of a rich, lurid brown, like
    the light of some strange conflagration; and here, for a moment,
    the fog would be quite broken up, and a haggard shaft of daylight
    would glance in between the swirling wreaths. The dismal quarter
    of Soho seen under these changing glimpses, with its muddy ways,
    and slatternly passengers, and its lamps, which had never been
    extinguished or had been kindled afresh to combat this mournful
    reinvasion of darkness, seemed, in the lawyer's eyes, like a
    district of some city in a nightmare. The thoughts of his mind,
    besides, were of the gloomiest dye; and when he glanced at the
    companion of his drive, he was conscious of some touch of that
    terror of the law and the law's officers, which may at times
    assail the most honest.

    As the cab drew up before the address indicated, the fog
    lifted a little and showed him a dingy street, a gin palace, a low
    French eating house, a shop for the retail of penny numbers and
    twopenny salads, many ragged children huddled in the doorways, and
    many women of many different nationalities passing out, key in
    hand, to have a morning glass; and the next moment the fog settled
    down again upon that part, as brown as umber, and cut him off from
    his blackguardly surroundings. This was the home of Henry
    Jekyll's favourite; of a man who was heir to a quarter of a
    million sterling.

    An ivory-faced and silvery-haired old woman opened the door.
    She had an evil face, smoothed by hypocrisy: but her manners were
    excellent. Yes, she said, this was Mr. Hyde's, but he was not at
    home; he had been in that night very late, but he had gone away
    again in less than an hour; there was nothing strange in that; his
    habits were very irregular, and he was often absent; for instance,
    it was nearly two months since she had seen him till yesterday.

    "Very well, then, we wish to see his rooms," said the lawyer;
    and when the woman began to declare it was impossible, "I had
    better tell you who this person is," he added. "This is Inspector
    Newcomen of Scotland Yard."

    A flash of odious joy appeared upon the woman's face. "Ah!"
    said she, "he is in trouble! What has he done?"

    Mr. Utterson and the inspector exchanged glances. "He don't
    seem a very popular character," observed the latter. "And now, my
    good woman, just let me and this gentleman have a look about us."

    In the whole extent of the house, which but for the old woman
    remained otherwise empty, Mr. Hyde had only used a couple of
    rooms; but these were furnished with luxury and good taste. A
    closet was filled with wine; the plate was of silver, the napery
    elegant; a good picture hung upon the walls, a gift (as Utterson
    supposed) from Henry Jekyll, who was much of a connoisseur; and
    the carpets were of many plies and agreeable in colour. At this
    moment, however, the rooms bore every mark of having been recently
    and hurriedly ransacked; clothes lay about the floor, with their
    pockets inside out; lock-fast drawers stood open; and on the
    hearth there lay a pile of grey ashes, as though many papers had
    been burned. From these embers the inspector disinterred the butt
    end of a green cheque book, which had resisted the action of the
    fire; the other half of the stick was found behind the door; and
    as this clinched his suspicions, the officer declared himself
    delighted. A visit to the bank, where several thousand pounds
    were found to be lying to the murderer's credit, completed his
    gratification.

    "You may depend upon it, sir," he told Mr. Utterson: "I have
    him in my hand. He must have lost his head, or he never would
    have left the stick or, above all, burned the cheque book. Why,
    money's life to the man. We have nothing to do but wait for him
    at the bank, and get out the handbills."

    This last, however, was not so easy of accomplishment; for Mr.
    Hyde had numbered few familiars--even the master of the servant
    maid had only seen him twice; his family could nowhere be traced;
    he had never been photographed; and the few who could describe him
    differed widely, as common observers will. Only on one point were
    they agreed; and that was the haunting sense of unexpressed
    deformity with which the fugitive impressed his beholders.
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