The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde HTML version
Incident of Dr. Lanyon
Time ran on; thousands of pounds were offered in reward, for the death of Sir Danvers
was resented as a public injury; but Mr. Hyde had disappeared out of the ken of the police
as though he had never existed. Much of his past was unearthed, indeed, and all
disreputable: tales came out of the man's cruelty, at once so callous and violent; of his
vile life, of his strange associates, of the hatred that seemed to have surrounded his
career; but of his present whereabouts, not a whisper. From the time he had left the house
in Soho on the morning of the murder, he was simply blotted out; and gradually, as time
drew on, Mr. Utterson began to recover from the hotness of his alarm, and to grow more
at quiet with himself. The death of Sir Danvers was, to his way of thinking, more than
paid for by the disappearance of Mr. Hyde. Now that that evil influence had been
withdrawn, a new life began for Dr. Jekyll. He came out of his seclusion, renewed
relations with his friends, became once more their familiar guest and entertainer; and
whilst he had always been known for charities, he was now no less distinguished for
religion. He was busy, he was much in the open air, he did good; his face seemed to open
and brighten, as if with an inward consciousness of service; and for more than two
months, the doctor was at peace.
On the 8th of January Utterson had dined at the doctor's with a small party; Lanyon
had been there; and the face of the host had looked from one to the other as in the old
days when the trio were inseparable friends. On the 12th, and again on the 14th, the door
was shut against the lawyer. "The doctor was confined to the house," Poole said, "and
saw no one." On the 15th, he tried again, and was again refused; and having now been
used for the last two months to see his friend almost daily, he found this return of solitude
to weigh upon his spirits. The fifth night he had in Guest to dine with him; and the sixth
he betook himself to Dr. Lanyon's.
There at least he was not denied admittance; but when he came in, he was shocked at
the change which had taken place in the doctor's appearance. He had his death-warrant
written legibly upon his face. The rosy man had grown pale; his flesh had fallen away; he
was visibly balder and older; and yet it was not so much these tokens of a swift physical
decay that arrested the lawyer's notice, as a look in the eye and quality of manner that
seemed to testify to some deep-seated terror of the mind. It was unlikely that the doctor
should fear death; and yet that was what Utterson was tempted to suspect. "Yes," he
thought; he is a doctor, he must know his own state and that his days are counted; and the
knowledge is more than he can bear." And yet when Utterson remarked on his ill-looks, it
was with an air of great firmness that Lanyon declared himself a doomed man.
"I have had a shock," he said, "and I shall never recover. It is a question of weeks.
Well, life has been pleasant; I liked it; yes, sir, I used to like it. I sometimes think if we
knew all, we should be more glad to get away."
"Jekyll is ill, too," observed Utterson. "Have you seen him?"