Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Chapter 6 - Remarkable Incident of Dr. Lanyon
Although there is a large reward out for Hyde and many details of his life are uncovered, the police have no clue as to his whereabouts. As more time passes, Mr. Utterson is relieved that Hyde seems to be gone. Dr. Jekyll begins to act like his former self--entertaining guests, getting involved in charities and religion, being generally at peace. For close to two months, Mr. Utterson spends a great deal of time with Dr. Jekyll and his recently reconciled friend, Dr. Lanyon. But one day, Mr. Utterson is suddenly turned away; Dr. Jekyll is not seeing visitors. After repeated attempts, Mr. Utterson goes to visit Dr. Lanyon and is surprised to find him in a deathly state. At first, Mr. Utterson thinks that his friend, being a doctor, is self-aware that his days are limited. But Dr. Lanyon speaks of being in shock about some matter he cannot recover from. Mr. Utterson mentions that Dr. Jekyll is also ill. Dr. Lanyon turns sour and refuses to speak about Dr. Jekyll. Dr. Lanyon is not surprised when told that Dr. Jekyll has refused to meet. He says:
"Some day, Utterson, after I am dead, you may perhaps come to learn the right and wrong of this. I cannot tell you." Chapter 6, pg. 73
Mr. Utterson writes a note to Dr. Jekyll, asking why he is being turned away, and about his sudden break with Dr. Lanyon. Dr. Jekyll replies that from now on, he will live a life of seclusion. He writes back cryptically, "If I am the chief of sinners, I am the chief of sufferers also" (pg. 74). Mr. Utterson cannot understand how things have changed so suddenly. Without the presence of Hyde, Dr. Jekyll seemed to have recovered nicely. Now, life-long relationships are broken. Taking cue from what Dr. Lanyon said, Mr. Utterson is convinced there is some underlying reason for this.
A week later, Dr. Lanyon passes away. After the funeral, Mr. Utterson locks himself in his office and takes out an envelope prepared by his deceased friend. It reads, "Private: for the hands of G.J. Utterson ALONE, and in case of his predecease to be destroyed unread." In it is another letter with the words: "not to be opened till the death or disappearance of Dr. Henry Jekyll." Mr. Utterson quickly notices the words "disappearance," just like the will. Although he desires to get to the bottom of this mystery, professional honor prompts Mr. Utterson to put the letter back into his safe. Meanwhile, Mr. Utterson gets periodic reports from Poole regarding Dr. Jekyll's condition. Poole confesses that Dr. Jekyll is constantly confined to the laboratory and is often out of spirits. Because of the consistency of the reports, Mr. Utterson visits less frequently.