Robert Louis

Stevenson

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Der seltsame Fall Dr. Jekyll und Mr. Hyde

Übersetzt von Barbara Cramer-Nauhaus, Lizenz der Aufbau Verlagsgruppe
Synchronisation und Ergänzungen © Doppeltext 2012

TITELBLATT

STORY OF THE DOOR

SEARCH FOR MR. HYDE

DR. JEKYLL WAS QUITE AT EASE

THE CAREW MURDER CASE

INCIDENT OF THE LETTER

REMARKABLE INCIDENT OF DR. LANYON

INCIDENT AT THE WINDOW

THE LAST NIGHT

DR. LANYON’S NARRATIVE

HENRY JEKYLL’S FULL STATEMENT OF THE CASE

IMPRESSUM

STORY OF THE DOOR

Mr. Ut­ter­son the law­yer was a man of a rugged coun­ten­ance that was nev­er lighted by a smile;
cold, scanty and em­bar­rassed in dis­course; back­ward in sen­ti­ment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet some­how lov­able.
At friendly meet­ings, and when the wine was to his taste, something em­in­ently hu­man beaconed from his eye;
something in­deed which nev­er found its way into his talk, but which spoke not only in these si­lent sym­bols of the after-din­ner face,
but more of­ten and loudly in the acts of his life.
He was aus­tere with him­self; drank gin when he was alone, to mor­ti­fy a taste for vin­tages;
and though he en­joyed the theatre, had not crossed the doors of one for twenty years.
But he had an ap­proved tol­er­ance for oth­ers; some­times won­der­ing, al­most with envy, at the high pres­sure of spir­its in­volved in their mis­deeds;
and in any ex­tremity in­clined to help rather than to re­prove.
“I in­cline to Cain’s heresy,” he used to say quaintly: “I let my broth­er go to the dev­il in his own way.”
In this char­ac­ter, it was fre­quently his for­tune to be the last reput­able ac­quaint­ance and the last good in­flu­ence in the lives of down­go­ing men.
And to such as these, so long as they came about his cham­bers, he nev­er marked a shade of change in his de­mean­our.
No doubt the feat was easy to Mr. Ut­ter­son; for he was un­demon­strat­ive at the best,
and even his friend­ship seemed to be foun­ded in a sim­il­ar cath­oli­city of good-nature.
It is the mark of a mod­est man to ac­cept his friendly circle ready-made from the hands of op­por­tun­ity; and that was the law­yer’s way.
His friends were those of his own blood or those whom he had known the longest;
his af­fec­tions, like ivy, were the growth of time, they im­plied no apt­ness in the ob­ject.
Hence, no doubt the bond that united him to Mr. Richard En­field, his dis­tant kins­man, the well-known man about town.
It was a nut to crack for many, what these two could see in each oth­er, or what sub­ject they could find in com­mon.
It was re­por­ted by those who en­countered them in their Sunday walks, that they said noth­ing,
looked sin­gu­larly dull and would hail with ob­vi­ous re­lief the ap­pear­ance of a friend.
For all that, the two men put the greatest store by these ex­cur­sions, coun­ted them the chief jew­el of each week,
and not only set aside oc­ca­sions of pleas­ure, but even res­isted the calls of busi­ness, that they might en­joy them un­in­ter­rup­ted.
It chanced on one of these rambles that their way led them down a by-street in a busy quarter of Lon­don.
The street was small and what is called quiet, but it drove a thriv­ing trade on the week­days.
The in­hab­it­ants were all do­ing well, it seemed and all emu­lously hop­ing to do bet­ter still, and lay­ing out the sur­plus of their grains in coquetry;
so that the shop fronts stood along that thor­ough­fare with an air of in­vit­a­tion, like rows of smil­ing sales­wo­men.
Even on Sunday, when it veiled its more flor­id charms and lay com­par­at­ively empty of pas­sage,
the street shone out in con­trast to its dingy neigh­bour­hood, like a fire in a forest;
and with its freshly painted shut­ters, well-pol­ished brasses, and gen­er­al clean­li­ness and gaiety of note, in­stantly caught and pleased the eye of the pas­sen­ger.
Two doors from one corner, on the left hand go­ing east the line was broken by the entry of a court;
and just at that point a cer­tain sin­is­ter block of build­ing thrust for­ward its gable on the street.
It was two storeys high; showed no win­dow, noth­ing but a door on the lower storey
and a blind fore­head of dis­col­oured wall on the up­per; and bore in every fea­ture, the marks of pro­longed and sor­did neg­li­gence.
The door, which was equipped with neither bell nor knock­er, was blistered and dis­tained.
Tramps slouched into the re­cess and struck matches on the pan­els;
chil­dren kept shop upon the steps; the school­boy had tried his knife on the mould­ings;
and for close on a gen­er­a­tion, no one had ap­peared to drive away these ran­dom vis­it­ors or to re­pair their rav­ages.
Mr. En­field and the law­yer were on the oth­er side of the by-street;
but when they came abreast of the entry, the former lif­ted up his cane and poin­ted.
“Did you ever re­mark that door?” he asked; and when his com­pan­ion had replied in the af­firm­at­ive. “It is con­nec­ted in my mind,” ad­ded he, “with a very odd story.”
“In­deed?” said Mr. Ut­ter­son, with a slight change of voice, “and what was that?”
“Well, it was this way,” re­turned Mr. En­field: “I was com­ing home from some place at the end of the world,
about three o’clock of a black winter morn­ing, and my way lay through a part of town where there was lit­er­ally noth­ing to be seen but lamps.
Street after street and all the folks asleep — street after street, all lighted up as if for a pro­ces­sion and all as empty as a church
— till at last I got into that state of mind when a man listens and listens and be­gins to long for the sight of a po­lice­man.
All at once, I saw two fig­ures: one a little man who was stump­ing along east­ward at a good walk,
and the oth­er a girl of maybe eight or ten who was run­ning as hard as she was able down a cross street.
Well, sir, the two ran into one an­oth­er nat­ur­ally enough at the corner; and then came the hor­rible part of the thing;
for the man trampled calmly over the child’s body and left her scream­ing on the ground.
It sounds noth­ing to hear, but it was hellish to see. It wasn’t like a man; it was like some damned Jug­ger­naut.
I gave a view hal­loa, took to my heels, collared my gen­tle­man, and brought him back to where there was already quite a group about the scream­ing child.
He was per­fectly cool and made no res­ist­ance, but gave me one look, so ugly that it brought out the sweat on me like run­ning.
The people who had turned out were the girl’s own fam­ily;
and pretty soon, the doc­tor, for whom she had been sent put in his ap­pear­ance.
Well, the child was not much the worse, more frightened, ac­cord­ing to the Sawbones;
and there you might have sup­posed would be an end to it. But there was one curi­ous cir­cum­stance.
I had taken a loath­ing to my gen­tle­man at first sight.
So had the child’s fam­ily, which was only nat­ur­al. But the doc­tor’s case was what struck me.
He was the usu­al cut and dry apo­thecary, of no par­tic­u­lar age and col­our,
with a strong Ed­in­burgh ac­cent and about as emo­tion­al as a bag­pipe.
Well, sir, he was like the rest of us; every time he looked at my pris­on­er, I saw that Sawbones turn sick and white with de­sire to kill him.
I knew what was in his mind, just as he knew what was in mine; and killing be­ing out of the ques­tion, we did the next best.
We told the man we could and would make such a scan­dal out of this as should make his name stink from one end of Lon­don to the oth­er.
If he had any friends or any cred­it, we un­der­took that he should lose them.
And all the time, as we were pitch­ing it in red hot, we were keep­ing the wo­men off him as best we could for they were as wild as harpies.
I nev­er saw a circle of such hate­ful faces; and there was the man in the middle, with a kind of black sneer­ing cool­ness —
frightened too, I could see that — but car­ry­ing it off, sir, really like Satan.
‘If you choose to make cap­it­al out of this ac­ci­dent,’ said he, ‘I am nat­ur­ally help­less.
No gen­tle­man but wishes to avoid a scene,’ says he. ‘Name your fig­ure.’
Well, we screwed him up to a hun­dred pounds for the child’s fam­ily;
he would have clearly liked to stick out; but there was something about the lot of us that meant mis­chief, and at last he struck.
The next thing was to get the money; and where do you think he car­ried us but to that place with the door?
— whipped out a key, went in, and presently came back with the mat­ter of ten pounds in gold and a cheque for the bal­ance on Coutts’s,
drawn pay­able to bear­er and signed with a name that I can’t men­tion, though it’s one of the points of my story,
but it was a name at least very well known and of­ten prin­ted.
The fig­ure was stiff; but the sig­na­ture was good for more than that if it was only genu­ine.
I took the liberty of point­ing out to my gen­tle­man that the whole busi­ness looked apo­cryph­al,
and that a man does not, in real life, walk into a cel­lar door at four in the morn­ing and come out with an­oth­er man’s cheque for close upon a hun­dred pounds.
But he was quite easy and sneer­ing. ‘Set your mind at rest,’ says he, ‘I will stay with you till the banks open and cash the cheque my­self.’
So we all set off, the doc­tor, and the child’s fath­er, and our friend and my­self, and passed the rest of the night in my cham­bers;
and next day, when we had break­fas­ted, went in a body to the bank.
I gave in the cheque my­self, and said I had every reas­on to be­lieve it was a for­gery. Not a bit of it. The cheque was genu­ine.”
“Tut-tut,” said Mr. Ut­ter­son.
“I see you feel as I do,” said Mr. En­field. “Yes, it’s a bad story.
For my man was a fel­low that nobody could have to do with, a really dam­nable man;
and the per­son that drew the cheque is the very pink of the pro­pri­et­ies, cel­eb­rated too,
and (what makes it worse) one of your fel­lows who do what they call good.
Black mail I sup­pose; an hon­est man pay­ing through the nose for some of the capers of his youth.
Black Mail House is what I call the place with the door, in con­sequence.
Though even that, you know, is far from ex­plain­ing all,” he ad­ded, and with the words fell into a vein of mus­ing.
From this he was re­called by Mr. Ut­ter­son ask­ing rather sud­denly: “And you don’t know if the draw­er of the cheque lives there?”
“A likely place, isn’t it?” re­turned Mr. En­field. “But I hap­pen to have no­ticed his ad­dress; he lives in some square or oth­er.”
“And you nev­er asked about the — place with the door?” said Mr. Ut­ter­son.
“No, sir: I had a del­ic­acy,” was the reply. “I feel very strongly about put­ting ques­tions;
it par­takes too much of the style of the day of judg­ment. You start a ques­tion, and it’s like start­ing a stone.
You sit quietly on the top of a hill; and away the stone goes, start­ing oth­ers;
and presently some bland old bird (the last you would have thought of)
is knocked on the head in his own back garden and the fam­ily have to change their name.
No sir, I make it a rule of mine: the more it looks like Queer Street, the less I ask.”
“A very good rule, too,” said the law­yer.
“But I have stud­ied the place for my­self,” con­tin­ued Mr. En­field. “It seems scarcely a house.
There is no oth­er door, and nobody goes in or out of that one but, once in a great while, the gen­tle­man of my ad­ven­ture.
There are three win­dows look­ing on the court on the first floor; none be­low; the win­dows are al­ways shut but they’re clean.
And then there is a chim­ney which is gen­er­ally smoking; so some­body must live there.
And yet it’s not so sure; for the build­ings are so packed to­geth­er about the court,
that it’s hard to say where one ends and an­oth­er be­gins.”
The pair walked on again for a while in si­lence; and then “En­field,” said Mr. Ut­ter­son, “that’s a good rule of yours.”
“Yes, I think it is,” re­turned En­field.
“But for all that,” con­tin­ued the law­yer, “there’s one point I want to ask:
I want to ask the name of that man who walked over the child.”
“Well,” said Mr. En­field, “I can’t see what harm it would do. It was a man of the name of Hyde.”
“Hm,” said Mr. Ut­ter­son. “What sort of a man is he to see?”
“He is not easy to de­scribe. There is something wrong with his ap­pear­ance; something dis­pleas­ing, something down-right de­test­able.
I nev­er saw a man I so dis­liked, and yet I scarce know why.
He must be de­formed some­where; he gives a strong feel­ing of de­form­ity, al­though I couldn’t spe­cify the point.
He’s an ex­traordin­ary look­ing man, and yet I really can name noth­ing out of the way.
No, sir; I can make no hand of it; I can’t de­scribe him.
And it’s not want of memory; for I de­clare I can see him this mo­ment.”
Mr. Ut­ter­son again walked some way in si­lence and ob­vi­ously un­der a weight of con­sid­er­a­tion.
“You are sure he used a key?” he in­quired at last.
“My dear sir…” began En­field, sur­prised out of him­self.
“Yes, I know,” said Ut­ter­son; “I know it must seem strange.
The fact is, if I do not ask you the name of the oth­er party, it is be­cause I know it already.
You see, Richard, your tale has gone home. If you have been in­ex­act in any point you had bet­ter cor­rect it.”
“I think you might have warned me,” re­turned the oth­er with a touch of sul­len­ness.
“But I have been pedantic­ally ex­act, as you call it.
The fel­low had a key; and what’s more, he has it still. I saw him use it not a week ago.”
Mr. Ut­ter­son sighed deeply but said nev­er a word; and the young man presently re­sumed.
“Here is an­oth­er les­son to say noth­ing,” said he. “I am ashamed of my long tongue.
Let us make a bar­gain nev­er to refer to this again.”
“With all my heart,” said the law­yer. “I shake hands on that, Richard.”

Robert Louis Stevenson
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde / Der seltsame Fall Dr. Jekyll und Mr. Hyde
Zweisprachige Ausgabe
Übersetzt von Barbara Cramer-Nauhaus

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