Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Chapter 8 - The Last Night
One evening, Poole makes a surprise visit to Mr. Utterson and tells him that the doctor might be in trouble. Poole fears foul play. At Dr. Jekyll's house, all the servants are gathered in a room. Poole leads Mr. Utterson to the laboratory. The butler knocks on the door and announces Mr. Utterson's presence. The voice behind the door answers back that he cannot see anyone. Poole is sure it is not Dr. Jekyll's voice. Mr. Utterson agrees. The old lawyer, however, cannot make sense of a murderer who would remain locked up in a room. Poole recounts that for the past week, there has been a persistent cry for a certain medicine. Poole has been to different chemists around the city, looking for the elusive order of some kind of salt. Mr. Utterson looks at one of the orders. It is an urgent request for the same sample that was purchased some time ago. Poole tells Mr. Utterson that he had seen someone in the laboratory digging among the crates. The person looked up at Poole, let out a cry and ran upstairs. Poole says,
"It was 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?" Chapter 8, pg. 84
Mr. Utterson concludes that Dr. Jekyll must be suffering from some malady, from which he desperately needs a cure. Poole is certain, however, that the person he saw was not his master--perhaps his murderer. Mr. Utterson determines to break down the door to find out. Knowing that they might be in danger, the two men take up an axe and a kitchen poker. Poole confesses that he feels the masked figure to be Mr. Hyde. Mr. Utterson agrees, saying,
"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 derer (for what purpose, God alone can tell) is still lurking in his victim's room. Well, let our name be vengeance." Chapter 8, pg. 87
Mr. Utterson calls for the footman, Bradshaw, to take post at the rear laboratory door lest the suspect attempts an escape. After ten minutes, Mr. Utterson warns the person behind the door that he is coming in by force. They hear Hyde's voice asking for mercy. Poole strikes the door with the axe. They hear a screech as from an animal. After the fifth strike of the axe, the door falls. They find on the floor a body, still twitching. Turned over, they see the face of Edward Hyde. He is wearing Dr. Jekyll's oversized clothes. It seems as though the man had taken his own life. They search for Dr. Jekyll, but there are no signs of his presence. An examination of the room shows traces of unfinished chemical work, the kettle still boiling and a copy of an experiment book opened. They also come upon a cheval-glass. "This glass has seen some strange things, sir," whispers Poole (pg. 91). On the business table, they find an envelope addressed to Mr. Utterson. When opened, several enclosures fall out. One is the will, similar in content, with the exception of the name "Edward Hyde" being replaced with the name "Gabriel John Utterson." Another is a letter written by Dr. Jekyll addressed also to Mr. Utterson. It suggests that Mr. Utterson read Dr. Lanyon's letter first, and if further clarification is needed, to read his confession.