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    Chapter 8

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    Chapter 8
    Previous Chapter
    The Last Night

    Mr. Utterson was sitting by his fireside one evening after dinner,
    when he was surprised to receive a visit from Poole.

    "Bless me, Poole, what brings you here?" he cried; and then
    taking a second look at him, "What ails you?" he added; is the
    doctor ill?"

    "Mr. Utterson," said the man, "there is something wrong."

    "Take a seat, and here is a glass of wine for you," said the
    lawyer. "Now, take your time, and tell me plainly what you want."

    "You know the doctor's ways, sir," replied Poole, "and how he
    shuts himself up. Well, he's shut up again in the cabinet; and I
    don't like it, sir--I wish I may die if I like it. Mr.
    Utterson, sir, I'm afraid."

    "Now, my good man," said the lawyer, "be explicit. What are
    you afraid of?"

    "I've been afraid for about a week," returned Poole, doggedly
    disregarding the question, "and I can bear it no more."

    The man's appearance amply bore out his words; his manner was
    altered for the worse; and except for the moment when he had first
    announced his terror, he had not once looked the lawyer in the
    face. Even now, he sat with the glass of wine untasted on his
    knee, and his eyes directed to a corner of the floor. "I can bear
    it no more,"he repeated.

    "Come," said the lawyer, "I see you have some good reason,
    Poole; I see there is something seriously amiss. Try to tell me
    what it is."

    "I think there's been foul play," said Poole, hoarsely.

    "Foul play!" cried the lawyer, a good deal frightened and
    rather inclined to be irritated in consequence. "What foul play!
    What does the man mean?"

    "I daren't say, sir," was the answer; but will you come along
    with me and see for yourself?"

    Mr. Utterson's only answer was to rise and get his hat and
    greatcoat; but he observed with wonder the greatness of the relief
    that appeared upon the butler's face, and perhaps with no less,
    that the wine was still untasted when he set it down to follow.

    It was a wild, cold, seasonable night of March, with a pale
    moon, lying on her back as though the wind had tilted her, and
    flying wrack of the most diaphanous and lawny texture. The wind
    made talking difficult, and flecked the blood into the face. It
    seemed to have swept the streets unusually bare of passengers,
    besides; for Mr. Utterson thought he had never seen that part of
    London so deserted. He could have wished it otherwise; never in
    his life had he been conscious of so sharp a wish to see and touch
    his fellow-creatures; for struggle as he might, there was borne in
    upon his mind a crushing anticipation of calamity. The square,
    when they got there, was full of wind and dust, and the thin trees
    in the garden were lashing themselves along the railing. Poole,
    who had kept all the way a pace or two ahead, now pulled up in the
    middle of the pavement, and in spite of the biting weather, took
    off his hat and mopped his brow with a red pocket-handkerchief.
    But for all the hurry of his coming, these were not the dews of
    exertion that he wiped away, but the moisture of some strangling
    anguish; for his face was white and his voice, when he spoke,
    harsh and broken.

    "Well, sir," he said, "here we are, and God grant there be
    nothing wrong."

    "Amen, Poole," said the lawyer.

    Thereupon the servant knocked in a very guarded manner; the
    door was opened on the chain; and a voice asked from within, "Is
    that you, Poole?"

    "It's all right," said Poole. "Open the door."

    The hall, when they entered it, was brightly lighted up; the
    fire was built high; and about the hearth the whole of the
    servants, men and women, stood huddled together like a flock of
    sheep. At the sight of Mr. Utterson, the housemaid broke into
    hysterical whimpering; and the cook, crying out "Bless God! it's
    Mr. Utterson," ran forward as if to take him in her arms.

    "What, what? Are you all here?" said the lawyer peevishly.
    "Very irregular, very unseemly; your master would be far from
    pleased."

    "They're all afraid," said Poole.

    Blank silence followed, no one protesting; only the maid
    lifted her voice and now wept loudly.

    "Hold your tongue!" Poole said to her, with a ferocity of
    accent that testified to his own jangled nerves; and indeed, when
    the girl had so suddenly raised the note of her lamentation, they
    had all started and turned towards the inner door with faces of
    dreadful expectation. "And now," continued the butler, addressing
    the knife-boy, "reach me a candle, and we'll get this through
    hands at once." And then he begged Mr. Utterson to follow him,
    and led the way to the back garden.

    "Now, sir," said he, "you come as gently as you can. I want
    you to hear, and I don't want you to be heard. And see here, sir,
    if by any chance he was to ask you in, don't go."

    Mr. Utterson's nerves, at this unlooked-for termination, gave
    a jerk that nearly threw him from his balance; but he recollected
    his courage and followed the butler into the laboratory building
    through the surgical theatre, with its lumber of crates and
    bottles, to the foot of the stair. Here Poole motioned him to
    stand on one side and listen; while he himself, setting down the
    candle and making a great and obvious call on his resolution,
    mounted the steps and knocked with a somewhat uncertain hand on
    the red baize of the cabinet door.

    "Mr. Utterson, sir, asking to see you," he called; and even as
    he did so, once more violently signed to the lawyer to give ear.

    A voice answered from within: "Tell him I cannot see anyone,"
    it said complainingly.

    "Thank you, sir," said Poole, with a note of something like
    triumph in his voice; and taking up his candle, he led Mr.
    Utterson back across the yard and into the great kitchen, where
    the fire was out and the beetles were leaping on the floor.

    "Sir," he said, looking Mr. Utterson in the eyes, "Was that my
    master's voice?"

    "It seems much changed," replied the lawyer, very pale, but
    giving look for look.

    "Changed? Well, yes, I think so," said the butler. "Have I
    been twenty years in this man's house, to be deceived about his
    voice? No, sir; master's made away with; he was made away with
    eight days ago, when we heard him cry out upon the name of God;
    and who's in there instead of him, and why it stays there, is a
    thing that cries to Heaven, Mr. Utterson!"

    "This is a very strange tale, Poole; this is rather a wild
    tale my man," said Mr. Utterson, biting his finger. "Suppose it
    were as you suppose, supposing Dr. Jekyll to have been--well,
    murdered what could induce the murderer to stay? That won't hold
    water; it doesn't commend itself to reason."

    "Well, Mr. Utterson, you are a hard man to satisfy, but I'll
    do it yet," said Poole. "All this last week (you must know) him,
    or it, whatever it is that lives in that cabinet, has been crying
    night and day for some sort of medicine and cannot get it to his
    mind. It was sometimes his way--the master's, that is--to
    write his orders on a sheet of paper and throw it on the stair.
    We've had nothing else this week back; nothing but papers, and a
    closed door, and the very meals left there to be smuggled in when
    nobody was looking. Well, sir, every day, ay, and twice and
    thrice in the same day, there have been orders and complaints, and
    I have been sent flying to all the wholesale chemists in town.
    Every time I brought the stuff back, there would be another paper
    telling me to return it, because it was not pure, and another
    order to a different firm. This drug is wanted bitter bad, sir,
    whatever for."

    "Have you any of these papers?" asked Mr. Utterson.

    Poole felt in his pocket and handed out a crumpled note, which
    the lawyer, bending nearer to the candle, carefully examined. Its
    contents ran thus: "Dr. Jekyll presents his compliments to Messrs.
    Maw. He assures them that their last sample is impure and quite
    useless for his present purpose. In the year 18--, Dr. J.
    purchased a somewhat large quantity from Messrs. M. He now begs
    them to search with most sedulous care,and should any of the same
    quality be left, forward it to him at once. Expense is no
    consideration. The importance of this to Dr. J. can hardly be
    exaggerated." So far the letter had run composedly enough, but
    here with a sudden splutter of the pen, the writer's emotion had
    broken loose. "For God's sake," he added, "find me some of the
    old."

    "This is a strange note," said Mr. Utterson; and then sharply,
    "How do you come to have it open?"

    "The man at Maw's was main angry, sir, and he threw it back to
    me like so much dirt," returned Poole.

    "This is unquestionably the doctor's hand, do you know?"
    resumed the lawyer.

    "I thought it looked like it," said the servant rather
    sulkily; and then, with another voice, "But what matters hand of
    write?" he said. "I've seen him!"

    "Seen him?" repeated Mr. Utterson. "Well?"

    "That's it!" said Poole. "It was this way. I came suddenly
    into the theater from the garden. It seems he had slipped out to
    look for this drug or whatever it is; for the cabinet door was
    open, and there he was at the far end of the room digging among
    the crates. He looked up when I came in, gave a kind of cry, and
    whipped upstairs into the cabinet. It was but for one minute that
    I saw him, but the hair stood upon my head like quills. Sir, if
    that was my master, why had he a mask upon his face? If it was my
    master, why did he cry out like a rat, and run from me? I have
    served him long enough. And then..." The man paused and passed
    his hand over his face.

    "These are all very strange circumstances," said Mr.
    Utterson, "but I think I begin to see daylight. Your master,
    Poole, is plainly seized with one of those maladies that both
    torture and deform the sufferer; hence, for aught I know, the
    alteration of his voice; hence the mask and the avoidance of his
    friends; hence his eagerness to find this drug, by means of which
    the poor soul retains some hope of ultimate recovery--God grant
    that he be not deceived! There is my explanation; it is sad
    enough, Poole, ay, and appalling to consider; but it is plain and
    natural, hangs well together, and delivers us from all exorbitant
    alarms."

    "Sir," said the butler, turning to a sort of mottled pallor,
    "that thing was not my master, and there's the truth. My
    master"--here he looked round him and began to whisper--"is a
    tall, fine build of a man, and this was more of a dwarf."
    Utterson attempted to protest. "O, sir," cried Poole, "do you
    think I do not know my master after twenty years? Do you think I
    do not know where his head comes to in the cabinet door, where I
    saw him every morning of my life? No, sir, that thing in the mask
    was never Dr. Jekyll--God knows what it was, but it was never
    Dr. Jekyll; and it is the belief of my heart that there was murder
    done."

    "Poole," replied the lawyer, "if you say that, it will become
    my duty to make certain. Much as I desire to spare your master's
    feelings, much as I am puzzled by this note which seems to prove
    him to be still alive, I shall consider it my duty to break in
    that door."

    "Ah, Mr. Utterson, that's talking!" cried the butler.

    "And now comes the second question," resumed Utterson: "Who
    is going to do it?"

    "Why, you and me, sir," was the undaunted reply.

    "That's very well said," returned the lawyer; "and whatever
    comes of it, I shall make it my business to see you are no loser."

    "There is an axe in the theatre," continued Poole; "and you
    might take the kitchen poker for yourself."

    The lawyer took that rude but weighty instrument into his
    hand, and balanced it. "Do you know, Poole," he said, looking up,
    "that you and I are about to place ourselves in a position of
    some peril?"

    "You may say so, sir, indeed," returned the butler.

    "It is well, then that we should be frank," said the other.
    "We both think more than we have said; let us make a clean breast.
    This masked figure that you saw, did you recognise it?"

    "Well, sir, it went so quick, and the creature was so doubled
    up, that I could hardly swear to that," was the answer. "But if
    you mean, was it Mr. Hyde?--why, yes, I think it was!" You see,
    it was much of the same bigness; and it had the same quick, light
    way with it; and then who else could have got in by the laboratory
    door? You have not forgot, sir, that at the time of the murder he
    had still the key with him? But that's not all. I don't know,
    Mr. Utterson, if you ever met this Mr. Hyde?"

    "Yes," said the lawyer, "I once spoke with him."

    "Then you must know as well as the rest of us that there was
    something queer about that gentleman--something that gave a man
    a turn--I don't know rightly how to say it, sir, beyond this:
    that you felt in your marrow kind of cold and thin."

    "I own I felt something of what you describe," said Mr.
    Utterson.

    "Quite so, sir," returned Poole. "Well, when that masked
    thing like a monkey jumped from among the chemicals and whipped
    into the cabinet, it went down my spine like ice. O, I know it's
    not evidence, Mr. Utterson; I'm book-learned enough for that; but
    a man has his feelings, and I give you my bible-word it was Mr.
    Hyde!"

    "Ay, ay," said the lawyer. "My fears incline to the same
    point. Evil, I fear, founded--evil was sure to come--of that
    connection. Ay truly, I believe you; I believe poor Harry is
    killed; and I believe his murderer (for what purpose, God alone
    can tell) is still lurking in his victim's room. Well, let our
    name be vengeance. Call Bradshaw."

    The footman came at the summons, very white and nervous.

    "Put yourself together, Bradshaw," said the lawyer. "This
    suspense, I know, is telling upon all of you; but it is now our
    intention to make an end of it. Poole, here, and I are going to
    force our way into the cabinet. If all is well, my shoulders are
    broad enough to bear the blame. Meanwhile, lest anything should
    really be amiss, or any malefactor seek to escape by the back, you
    and the boy must go round the corner with a pair of good sticks
    and take your post at the laboratory door. We give you ten
    minutes, to get to your stations."

    As Bradshaw left, the lawyer looked at his watch. "And now,
    Poole, let us get to ours," he said; and taking the poker under
    his arm, led the way into the yard. The scud had banked over the
    moon, and it was now quite dark. The wind, which only broke in
    puffs and draughts into that deep well of building, tossed the
    light of the candle to and fro about their steps, until they came
    into the shelter of the theatre, where they sat down silently to
    wait. London hummed solemnly all around; but nearer at hand, the
    stillness was only broken by the sounds of a footfall moving to
    and fro along the cabinet floor.

    "So it will walk all day, sir," whispered Poole; "ay, and the
    better part of the night. Only when a new sample comes from the
    chemist, there's a bit of a break. Ah, it's an ill conscience
    that's such an enemy to rest! Ah, sir, there's blood foully shed
    in every step of it! But hark again, a little closer--put your
    heart in your ears, Mr. Utterson, and tell me, is that the
    doctor's foot?"

    The steps fell lightly and oddly, with a certain swing, for
    all they went so slowly; it was different indeed from the heavy
    creaking tread of Henry Jekyll. Utterson sighed. "Is there never
    anything else?" he asked.

    Poole nodded. "Once," he said. "Once I heard it weeping!"

    "Weeping? how that?" said the lawyer, conscious of a sudden
    chill of horror.

    "Weeping like a woman or a lost soul," said the butler. "I
    came away with that upon my heart, that I could have wept too."

    But now the ten minutes drew to an end. Poole disinterred the
    axe from under a stack of packing straw; the candle was set upon
    the nearest table to light them to the attack; and they drew near
    with bated breath to where that patient foot was still going up
    and down, up and down, in the quiet of the night. "Jekyll," cried
    Utterson, with a loud voice, "I demand to see you." He paused a
    moment, but there came no reply. "I give you fair warning, our
    suspicions are aroused, and I must and shall see you," he resumed;
    "if not by fair means, then by foul--if not of your consent,
    then by brute force!"

    "Utterson," said the voice, "for God's sake, have mercy!"

    "Ah, that's not Jekyll's voice--it's Hyde's!" cried
    Utterson. "Down with the door, Poole!"

    Poole swung the axe over his shoulder; the blow shook the
    building, and the red baize door leaped against the lock and
    hinges. A dismal screech, as of mere animal terror, rang from the
    cabinet. Up went the axe again, and again the panels crashed and
    the frame bounded; four times the blow fell; but the wood was
    tough and the fittings were of excellent workmanship; and it was
    not until the fifth, that the lock burst and the wreck of the door
    fell inwards on the carpet.

    The besiegers, appalled by their own riot and the stillness
    that had succeeded, stood back a little and peered in. There lay
    the cabinet before their eyes in the quiet lamplight, a good fire
    glowing and chattering on the hearth, the kettle singing its thin
    strain, a drawer or two open, papers neatly set forth on the
    business table, and nearer the fire, the things laid out for tea;
    the quietest room, you would have said, and, but for the glazed
    presses full of chemicals, the most commonplace that night in
    London.

    Right in the middle there lay the body of a man sorely
    contorted and still twitching. They drew near on tiptoe, turned
    it on its back and beheld the face of Edward Hyde. He was dressed
    in clothes far to large for him, clothes of the doctor's bigness;
    the cords of his face still moved with a semblance of life, but
    life was quite gone: and by the crushed phial in the hand and the
    strong smell of kernels that hung upon the air, Utterson knew that
    he was looking on the body of a self-destroyer.

    "We have come too late," he said sternly, "whether to save or
    punish. Hyde is gone to his account; and it only remains for us
    to find the body of your master."

    The far greater proportion of the building was occupied by
    the theatre, which filled almost the whole ground storey and was
    lighted from above, and by the cabinet, which formed an upper
    story at one end and looked upon the court. A corridor joined the
    theatre to the door on the by-street; and with this the cabinet
    communicated separately by a second flight of stairs. There were
    besides a few dark closets and a spacious cellar. All these they
    now thorougly examined. Each closet needed but a glance, for all
    were empty, and all, by the dust that fell from their doors, had
    stood long unopened. The cellar, indeed, was filled with crazy
    lumber, mostly dating from the times of the surgeon who was
    Jekyll's predecessor; but even as they opened the door they were
    advertised of the uselessness of further search, by the fall of a
    perfect mat of cobweb which had for years sealed up the entrance.
    No where was there any trace of Henry Jekyll dead or alive.

    Poole stamped on the flags of the corridor. "He must be
    buried here," he said, hearkening to the sound.

    "Or he may have fled," said Utterson, and he turned to examine
    the door in the by-street. It was locked; and lying near by on
    the flags, they found the key, already stained with rust.

    "This does not look like use," observed the lawyer.

    "Use!" echoed Poole. "Do you not see, sir, it is broken?
    much as if a man had stamped on it."

    "Ay," continued Utterson, "and the fractures, too, are rusty."
    The two men looked at each other with a scare. "This is beyond
    me, Poole," said the lawyer. "Let us go back to the cabinet."

    They mounted the stair in silence, and still with an
    occasional awestruck glance at the dead body, proceeded more
    thoroughly to examine the contents of the cabinet. At one table,
    there were traces of chemical work, various measured heaps of some
    white salt being laid on glass saucers, as though for an
    experiment in which the unhappy man had been prevented.

    "That is the same drug that I was always bringing him," said
    Poole; and even as he spoke, the kettle with a startling noise
    boiled over.

    This brought them to the fireside, where the easy-chair was
    drawn cosily up, and the tea things stood ready to the sitter's
    elbow, the very sugar in the cup. There were several books on a
    shelf; one lay beside the tea things open, and Utterson was amazed
    to find it a copy of a pious work, for which Jekyll had several
    times expressed a great esteem, annotated, in his own hand with
    startling blasphemies.

    Next, in the course of their review of the chamber, the
    searchers came to the cheval-glass, into whose depths they looked
    with an involuntary horror. But it was so turned as to show them
    nothing but the rosy glow playing on the roof, the fire sparkling
    in a hundred repetitions along the glazed front of the presses,
    and their own pale and fearful countenances stooping to look in.

    "This glass has seen some strange things, sir," whispered
    Poole.

    "And surely none stranger than itself," echoed the lawyer in
    the same tones. "For what did Jekyll"--he caught himself up at
    the word with a start, and then conquering the weakness--"what
    could Jekyll want with it?" he said.

    "You may say that!" said Poole.

    Next they turned to the business table. On the desk, among
    the neat array of papers, a large envelope was uppermost, and
    bore, in the doctor's hand, the name of Mr. Utterson. The lawyer
    unsealed it, and several enclosures fell to the floor. The first
    was a will, drawn in the same eccentric terms as the one which he
    had returned six months before, to serve as a testament in case of
    death and as a deed of gift in case of disappearance; but in place
    of the name of Edward Hyde, the lawyer, with indescribable
    amazement read the name of Gabriel John Utterson. He looked at
    Poole, and then back at the paper, and last of all at the dead
    malefactor stretched upon the carpet.

    "My head goes round," he said. "He has been all these days in
    possession; he had no cause to like me; he must have raged to see
    himself displaced; and he has not destroyed this document."

    He caught up the next paper; it was a brief note in the
    doctor's hand and dated at the top. "O Poole!" the lawyer cried,
    "he was alive and here this day. He cannot have been disposed of
    in so short a space; he must be still alive, he must have fled!
    And then, why fled? and how? and in that case, can we venture to
    declare this suicide? O, we must be careful. I foresee that we
    may yet involve your master in some dire catastrophe."

    "Why don't you read it, sir?" asked Poole.

    "Because I fear," replied the lawyer solemnly. "God grant I
    have no cause for it!" And with that he brought the paper to his
    eyes and read as follows:

    "My dear Utterson,--When this shall fall into your hands, I
    shall have disappeared, under what circumstances I have not the
    penetration to foresee, but my instinct and all the circumstances
    of my nameless situation tell me that the end is sure and must be
    early. Go then, and first read the narrative which Lanyon warned
    me he was to place in your hands; and if you care to hear more,
    turn to the confession of

    "Your unworthy and unhappy friend,

    "HENRY JEKYLL."

    "There was a third enclosure?" asked Utterson.

    "Here, sir," said Poole, and gave into his hands a
    considerable packet sealed in several places.

    The lawyer put it in his pocket. "I would say nothing of this
    paper. If your master has fled or is dead, we may at least save
    his credit. It is now ten; I must go home and read these
    documents in quiet; but I shall be back before midnight, when we
    shall send for the police."

    They went out, locking the door of the theatre behind them;
    and Utterson, once more leaving the servants gathered about the
    fire in the hall, trudged back to his office to read the two
    narratives in which this mystery was now to be explained.
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    Chapter 8
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