The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Incident of the Letter
It was late in the afternoon, when Mr. Utterson found his way to Dr. Jekyll's door, where
he was at once admitted by Poole, and carried down by the kitchen offices and across a
yard which had once been a garden, to the building which was indifferently known as the
laboratory or dissecting rooms. The doctor had bought the house from the heirs of a
celebrated surgeon; and his own tastes being rather chemical than anatomical, had
changed the destination of the block at the bottom of the garden. It was the first time that
the lawyer had been received in that part of his friend's quarters; and he eyed the dingy,
windowless structure with curiosity, and gazed round with a distasteful sense of
strangeness as he crossed the theatre, once crowded with eager students and now lying
gaunt and silent, the tables laden with chemical apparatus, the floor strewn with crates
and littered with packing straw, and the light falling dimly through the foggy cupola. At
the further end, a flight of stairs mounted to a door covered with red baize; and through
this, Mr. Utterson was at last received into the doctor's cabinet. It was a large room fitted
round with glass presses, furnished, among other things, with a cheval-glass and a
business table, and looking out upon the court by three dusty windows barred with iron.
The fire burned in the grate; a lamp was set lighted on the chimney shelf, for even in the
houses the fog began to lie thickly; and there, close up to the warmth, sat Dr. Jekyll,
looking deathly sick. He did not rise to meet his visitor, but held out a cold hand and bade
him welcome in a changed voice.
"And now," said Mr. Utterson, as soon as Poole had left them, "you have heard the
The doctor shuddered. "They were crying it in the square," he said. "I heard them in
"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?"
"Utterson, I swear to God," cried the doctor, "I swear to God I will never set eyes on
him again. I bind my honour to 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 more be heard of."
The lawyer listened gloomily; he did not like his friend's feverish manner. "You seem
pretty sure of him," said he; "and for your sake, I hope you may be right. If it came to a
trial, your name might appear."
"I am quite sure of him," replied Jekyll; "I have grounds for certainty that I cannot
share with any one. But there is one thing on which you may advise me. I have--I have
received a letter; and I am at a loss whether I should show it to the police. I should like to
leave it in your hands, Utterson; you would judge wisely, I am sure; I have so great a trust