The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde (Chapter 5)

 Contains: The Incident of The Letter (Or where Utterson learns Jekyll is full of shit)

Picking up from the last chapter, Utterson decides that enough is enough and visits Jekyll. We get about a page of description of Jekyll’s laboratory, but all you really need to know about it is that it belonged to a surgeon and it’s dingy and windowless. 

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   And probably not half as interesting as this

Jekyll is sitting near the fireplace in the labratory, and he looks sick, which we know because of his “cold hand” and “changed voice.” Utterson asks him if he has heard the news. 

“And now,” said Mr.Utterson, as soon as Poole had left them, “you have heard the news?”

The doctor shuddered. “They were crying it in the square,” he said “I heard them in my dining-room.”

“One word,” said the lawyer. “Carew was my client, but so are you, and I want to know what I am doing. You have not been mad enough to hide this fellow?”

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   Er…No?

“Utterson, I swear to God,” cried the doctor, “I swear to god I will never set eyes on him again. I will bind my honour with you that I am done with him in this world. It is all at an end. And Indeed he does not want my help; you do not know him as I do; he is safe, he is quite safe; mark my words he will never be more heard of.”

Now, to Jekyll’s credit, he does actually sound remorseful for what happened and seems to want to hold to to his promise…but I have 200+ pages of this book left, so fuck that shit. Baby Stompin’ time will commence again. 

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   It’s only a matter of time

Jekyll swears again that he’s done with Hyde and that really, he won’t be a bother again, no trouble at at all, then asks advice about a letter from…himself? 

“The letter was written in an odd, upright hand and signed “Edward Hyde”: and it signified, briefly enough, that the writer’s benefactor, Dr.Jekyll, whom he had so unworthily repaid for a thousand generosities, need labour no alarm for his safety, as he had means of escape on which he placed a sure dependence.”

…Okay. So I’m assuming that Hyde, sometime shortly after killing Carew, wrote a letter to Jekyll so he would not worry? I’m not sure whether to qualify that as considerate or narcissistic.

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      Maybe both?

I’m also quite intrigued by what Hyde’s “means of escape” just are. It’s the 1800s, so there’s not much available. Unless horse-and-buggies are much faster than historical films suggests, Hyde has something else up his sleeve. 

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          Hopefully, it’s not a knife

There’s some more talk afterwards. Utterson likes the letter for it paints Jekyll in a better light. He also asks whether Jekyll still has the envelope, but Jekyll claims to have “burned it”, but it doesn’t matter, because it had no postmark anyway. Utterson keeps the letter to think it over, and tells Jekyll that he is lucky because Hyde could’ve meant to murder him.  Finally, Utterson runs into the servant, Poole, on the way out and inquires what the messenger of the letter looked like, but the call was coming from inside the house, there were no messengers that day. 

Utterson decides to talk to a man named Mr.Guest, which is probably one of the blandest names I’ve heard in fiction, because he is “a great student and critic of handwriting”. The two briefly talk about Sir Danvers death, and Utterson brings up the letter. 

“I have a document here in his handwriting; it is between ourselves, for I scarce know what to do about it; it is an ugly business at the best. But there it is; quite in your way; a murderer’s autograph.”

A servant enters with a note and then…

“Is that from Dr.Jekyll sir?” inquired the clerk. “I thought I knew the writing. Anything private, Mr. Utterson?” 

“Only an invitation to dinner. Why? Do you want to see it?” 

Mr.Guest agrees and compares them. Utterson asks why

“Well, sir,” returned the clerk, “there’s a rather singular resemblance; the two hands are in many points identical; only differently sloped.” 

“Rather quaint,” says Utterson. 

“It is, as you say, rather quaint,” returned Guest.

“I wouldn’t speak of this note, you know,” said the master. 

“No sir,” said the clerk. “I understand.” 

But no sooner than was Mr.Utterson alone that night, than he locked the note into his safe, where it was reposed from that time forward. “What!” he thought. “Henry Jekyll forge for a murderer!” And his blood ran cold in his veins. 

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Sources: 

First Photo- Cartoonnetwork

Second Photo,- Young-Wolf, deviantart.com

Third Photo-  boropulse.com

Fourth Photo-  Getty Images 

Fifth Photo- Shutterstock

Sixth Photo- Dramatic Chipmunk, youtube.com

 

 

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