Chapter 1: What was going on behind the door?
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Retold by: Carrolina
My name is Mr Utterson and I am a lawyer. I have a very strange story which I would like to tell.
It was a delightful day when I had a walk with one of my cousins, Richard Enfield. We were talking when suddenly, I noticed a broke down building at the end of a street. I was extremely surprised and curious. It seemed that Enfield knew something about this mysterious building. This was his story:”That night, I had some work to do so I arrived home quite late, roughly(1) at midnight. On my way home, I saw a huge man stepping on a girl’s body-which was alive- and then walked calmly away. The poor girl! She was lying on the cold hard ground crying wildly. Instinctively(2), I ran after him and the chase began. Fortunately(3), I caught him and forced him to go to the place where the girl lay. They called the doctor and he came right away. He said that the girl was alright, though the man still had to pay for his cruelty. Oh! And I forgot to tell you this, Mr. Utterson, the man’s face was terrible. I hated him since the first time I saw him. Back to my story, he ran through this broke down building’s door with a key and then returned with a ninety-pound cheque(4) in his hand, which he gave to the girl’s parents. He also told me his name was Hyde”. After listening to Enfield’s story, I didn’t say a world. That night, I decided to make my way to an old friend’s house. His name was Dr Lanyon. Our conversation went wild when I mentioned Dr Jekyll, who was both our friend. Lanyon told me he thought Jekyll believed in stupid, unscientific stuff now so he didn’t like Jekyll as he used to. After that, I went towards the shabby building which I saw in the morning. I wanted to see Mr.Hyde’s face. When all the streets were noiseless, the man inexplicably(5) appeared. I asked him to let me see his face clearly. After a couple of minute’s thinking, he did as I said. There was no doubt that Hyde’s face was very ugly and vulgar(6). When I was done, he quickly vanished(7) into the locked house.
“What a terrible creature!” I thought, “He didn’t even look like a man!”
The next day, I went back to the building. The night before, I realized that this building was just a side or a room of my friend’s house. He, Dr Jekyll, was a very wealthy man. Hyde must have blackmailed(8) him when he went into the house. I knocked the door and a servant opened it. His name was Pool, and he was a very old and trusted servant. I asked him about the door and Mr Hyde’s key. Pool replied me that his master, Dr Jekyll gave the key to Hyde himself and told all of the servants to obey Hyde’s commands and serve him well. Slowly, I began to understand. Oh no! Henry Jekyll in danger! Two weeks later, Jekyll himself invited all of his friends to a party at his own house. When I received his invitation, I suddenly remembered an important thing. Once, Jekyll gave me his will(9) (because I’m a lawyer) and in the will, my friend wrote:”If anything happens to me, all my things will become Hyde’s”. When I arrived at the party, I was welcomed cheerfully by my friend. During the party, I asked him about the will and Mr. Hyde. Jekyll seemed hesitant(10) for a while and then, he told me this: “My dear friend, I’m very pleased that you still remember about my will – which I gave you very long ago. But, I’ll be a lot happier if you do not ask about it and my other friend, Mr. Hyde anymore. You know, it’s my secret. And again, please do not tell anyone about my will and Hyde. I hope you can understand and I don’t want our lasting friendship to be broken over this small problem. Okay?” He talked in a stressful voice and at the end, he laughed in a very strange tone…I believed that something was wrong but I did not know what it was. In the end, I forced him to promise me that if anything bad happened, he would call me for help. Finally, he agreed. On the other hand, he also wanted me to swear:”If I die, please do as the will says. Give all my things to Hyde. Thank you very much!”
1/roughly(adv)around, not exact in character
2/instinctively(adv): acting without thinking
4/cheque:(n) a bill of exchange drawn on a bank by the holder of an account
5/inexplicably:(adv) in a manner that other people cannot explain
6/vulgar(adj): coarse, unrefined, lowly, ugly
7/vanish(v): disappear mysteriously
8/blackmail(v): threaten someone to gain money
9/will(n): a legal declaration of how a person wishes his or her possessions to be disposed of after death.
10/hesitant(adj): unsure of what to do