The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Chapter 2Mature

INT. UTTERSON’S HOUSE (HALLWAY) - NIGHT

MR. UTTERSON has returned home. He removes his coat and hat and enters his dining room.

CUT TO:

INT. UTTERSON'S HOUSE (DINING ROOM) - NIGHT

He finishes eating a meal and moves to sit by his fire: he attempts to read a book but his mind is elsewhere. HYDE... He pours himself a stiff drink and opens his safe. From deep within he removes a letter.

E.C.U. ON LETTER: DR. JEKYLL’S WILL

Opening it, UTTERSON reads over the letter's contents, which explain through C.U.s that in the case of DR. HENRY JEKYLL's death or disappearance for three months, his shoes should be immediately filled by one EDWARD HYDE.

MR. UTTERSON (V.O.)
I thought it was madness; and now I begin to fear it is disgrace.

This perplexes and troubles MR. UTTERSON. He drinks off the last of his glass of brandy and replaces the letter in the safe.

INT. UTTERSON’S HOUSE (HALLWAY) - NIGHT

Donning his coat and hat once more he sets out into the now cool night.

MR. UTTERSON (V.O.)
If any one knows, it will be Lanyon.

CUT TO:

EXT. LONDON STREETS - NIGHT

MR. UTTERSON walks the darkened streets until he reaches a building indicated by a brass plate outside to be a Doctor's office.

EXT. DR. LANYON’S HOUSE (DOOR) - NIGHT

He knocks on the door and is welcomed by the friendly face of DR. LANYON’S BUTLER, who ushers MR. UTTERSON straight into the house.

CUT TO:

INT. DR. LANYON'S HOUSE (DINING ROOM) - NIGHT

DR. LANYON is reading a book at his dining table when MR. UTTERSON enters, but he springs up and welcomes him with open arms.

FADE TO:

Old college friends, the two men are sitting and chatting, joking with each other before moving on to the main purpose of this impromptu visit.

MR. UTTERSON
I suppose, Lanyon, you and I must be the two oldest friends that Henry Jekyll has?

DR. LANYON
(still laughing)
I wish the friends were younger! But I suppose we are. And what of that? I see little of him now.

MR. UTTERSON
Indeed! I thought you had a bond of common interest.

DR. LANYON
We had, but it is more than ten years since Henry Jekyll became too fanciful for me.
(growing more solemn)
He began to go wrong, wrong in mind; and though, of course, I continue to take an interest in him for old sake's sake as they say, I see and I have seen devilish little of the man.
(to himself)
Such unscientific balderdash would have estranged Damon and Pythias.

MR. UTTERSON
(relieved)
It is nothing worse than that! Did you ever come across a protégé of his - one Hyde?

DR. LANYON
Hyde? No, never heard of him. Since my time.

FADE TO:

EXT. LONDON STREETS - NIGHT

As he wanders back to his home, MR. UTTERSON is none the wiser than when he left earlier. The darkened streets only fuel his recollection of ENFIELD's macabre tale as he imagines ghostly figures of HYDE and the YOUNG GIRL re-enacting their interaction on his journey home.

FADE TO:

INT. UTTERSON'S HOUSE (BEDROOM) - NIGHT

MR. UTTERSON is having bad dreams; his mind is ablaze with the images of ENFIELD's words; the screams of the YOUNG GIRL as a shadowed figure of DR. JEKYLL watches from behind the door of the tale. His eyes flick open.

MR. UTTERSON (V.O.)
If he be Mr. Hyde, I shall be Mr. Seek.

FADE TO:

EXT. SHADY LANE - MORNING

MR. UTTERSON is stood in a doorway a little up the street from the one belonging to the HYDE. He is wearing a scarf pulled up high around his chin and idly inspecting the local properties, occasionally glancing towards HYDE’s place.

FADE TO:

Although still morning, it is now a different day, indicated by MR. UTTERSON’s change of attire. He is stood in the same spot as previous. There are more people around now, but none of them care about him. MR. UTTERSON looks up at the cloudy sky then looks down at HYDE’s place - still no signs of action.

FADE TO:

Another day, another change of attire. Today it’s raining, and MR. UTTERSON is carrying an umbrella as he walks past HYDE’s door, casting more than a casual glance at it. He takes up his previous spot a few doors down.

FADE TO:

Another new day, but it is late afternoon now. MR. UTTERSON is stood in a doorway diagonally opposite from HYDE’s, a new spot with a better vantage point. There is still no sign of life from there.

FADE TO:

It’s now night on a different evening. The street is almost empty. A silhouette of a small figure catches MR. UTTERSON’s eye, but as it approaches, he can see that it is just a hunchback old woman hurrying home nearby.

FADE TO:

It’s now incredibly late on yet another night and MR. UTTERSON is well hidden in the shadows provided by the newer doorway. There are sounds carried on the wind: they could be screams of joy or pain, but they’re too far away to be clear. MR. UTTERSON stiffens in his clothes and continues his intent gaze on HYDE’s door.

CUT TO:

Title card: [white on black] November 1887

FADE TO:

EXT. SHADY LANE - NIGHT

MR. UTTERSON is almost completely camouflaged by the night in his doorway. It would seem as if this evening would also be uneventful, but a sound of heavy footsteps draws closer. MR. UTTERSON peers out to see a SMALL BURLY MAN heading in the direction of the door, and as he nears it he pulls a key from his pocket. UTTERSON makes his move just as the man is about to enter the door.

MR. UTTERSON
(loudly)
Mr. Hyde, I think?

The SMALL BURLY MAN turns to face UTTERSON sharply, as if expecting an attack.

MR. HYDE
(avoiding eye contact)
That is my name. What do you want?

MR. UTTERSON steps out from his shadows and approaches HYDE who is all the while keeping his head down like some sort of small servant.

MR. UTTERSON
I see you going in. I am an old friend of Dr. Jekyll's - Mr. Utterson, of Gaunt Street - you must have heard my name; and meeting you so conveniently, I thought you might admit me.

MR. HYDE
You will not find Dr. Jekyll; he is from home. How did you know me?

MR. UTTERSON
On your side, will you do me a favour?

MR. HYDE
With pleasure. What shall it be?

MR. UTTERSON
Will you let me see your face?

HYDE takes a moment before looking up at MR. UTTERSON and dead on. His gaze unsettles MR. UTTERSON, too.

MR. UTTERSON (CONT’D)
Now I shall know you again. It may be useful.

MR. HYDE
Yes, it is as well we have met; and apropos, you should have my address.

MR. HYDE produces a notebook from his pocket and scribbles down an address, UTTERSON all the while eyeing him up and down.

MR. HYDE (CONT’D)
(still writing)
And now, how did you know me?

MR. UTTERSON
By description.

HYDE holds out the note for UTTERSON. As he reaches for it, HYDE pulls it away.

MR. HYDE
Whose description?

MR. UTTERSON
We have common friends.

MR. HYDE
(scoffing)
Common friends! Who are they?

MR. UTTERSON
Jekyll, for instance.

MR. HYDE
(suddenly angry)
He never told you. I did not think you would have lied.

MR. UTTERSON
Come, that is not fitting language.

MR. HYDE laughs and quickly enters the house, dropping the paper on the ground and locking the door behind him. UTTERSON is taken aback at HYDE's insolence. He picks up the paper and begins to walk away, the memory of the ill-fitting HYDE still fresh.

MR. UTTERSON (V.O.) (CONT'D)
There must be something else. There is something more, if I could find it. God bless me, the man seems hardly human! Something troglodytic, shall we say? Or can it be the old story of Dr. Fell? Or is it the mere radiance of a foul soul that thus transpires through, and transfigures, its clay continent? The last, I think; for, O my poor old Harry Jekyll, if ever I read Satan's signature upon a face, it is on that of your new friend!

His idle walk has lead him around the corner from the doorway.

EXT. DR. JEKYLL’S HOUSE (STREET/DOOR) - NIGHT

A familiar and fanciful door catches his eye. He knocks and is greeted by the head servant, POOLE.

MR. UTTERSON
Is Dr. Jekyll at home, Poole?

POOLE
I will see, Mr. Utterson.

CUT TO:

INT. DR. JEKYLL'S HOUSE (LOUNGE) - NIGHT

POOLE ushers him into the room.

POOLE
Will you wait here by the fire, sir? Or shall I give you a light in the dining room?

MR. UTTERSON
Here, thank you.

Poole leaves and MR. UTTERSON removes his hat in this beautifully grandiose but still homely lounge. His attention is caught by a large painting hung on one wall of the room, an oil family portrait of some wealth. A kindly-looking woman sits in contrast beside a stern man with a full beard. Beside and just behind them stands a suited man in his mid-twenties. The inscription on the frame at the bottom of the painting reads ‘JEKYLL FAMILY, 1861’ and although together, these people seem very separate. MR. UTTERSON scans the sepia photographs on the mantelpiece above the roaring fire: sepia photographs of the young man from the painting at graduation ceremonies, with friends, with a sports team. The firelight grill casts eerie shadows on the walls and ceiling, and although occupied, the room has a very deserted feel to it. MR. UTTERSON is caught up in his memories, but also not oblivious to the subtle menace in the room. POOLE returns quietly and MR. UTTERSON rises to address him.

POOLE
The doctor is gone out, sir.

MR. UTTERSON sighs to himself and heads for the door.

INT. DR. JEKYLL’S HOUSE (HALLWAY) - NIGHT

As the two men walk back towards the front door, they familiarity with each other affords them an impromptu chat, POOLE all the while retaining his respectful tone.

MR. UTTERSON
I saw Mr. Hyde go in by the old dissecting-room door, Poole. Is that right, when Dr. Jekyll is from home?

POOLE
Quite right, Mr. Utterson, sir. Mr. Hyde has a key.

MR. UTTERSON
Your master seems to repose a great deal of trust in that young man, Poole.

POOLE
Yes, sir, he do indeed. We have all orders to obey him.

MR. UTTERSON
I do not think I ever met Mr. Hyde?

POOLE
O dear no, sir. He never dines here. Indeed, we see very little of him on this side of the house; he mostly comes and goes by the laboratory.

MR. UTTERSON
Well, good-night, Poole.

POOLE
Good-night, Mr. Utterson.

CUT TO:

EXT. DR. JEKYLL’S HOUSE (DOOR/STREET) - NIGHT

MR. UTTERSON steps from the splendour of the house onto the dimly-lit streets once more. He muses on the night's events as he walks back in the direction of his home, flashes of both JEKYLL and HYDE intercutting his internal dialogue.

MR. UTTERSON (V.O.)
Poor Harry Jekyll, my mind misgives me he is in deep waters! He was wild when he was young; a long while ago, to be sure; but in the law of God there is no statute of limitations.

CUT TO:

Flashes of DR. JEKYLL sat in a cold stone room cross-legged on the floor, head in his hands.

MR. UTTERSON (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Ah, it must be that; the ghost of some old sin, the cancer of some concealed disgrace; punishment coming, pede claudo, years after memory has forgotten and self-love condoned the fault.

CUT TO:

Flashes of HYDE in the same stone room, shamefully placing a sturdy hangman’s noose around his neck and tightening it.

MR. UTTERSON (V.O.) (CONT’D)
This Master Hyde, if he were studied, must have secrets of his own: black secrets, by the look of him; secrets compared to which poor Jekyll's worst would be like sunshine.

CUT TO:

Back to MR. UTTERSON on the lane.

MR. UTTERSON (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Things cannot continue as they are. It turns me cold to think of this creature stealing like a thief to Harry's bedside; poor Harry, what a wakening!

CUT TO:

In that same stone room, the two flashes have almost been laid over each other: DR. JEKYLL is still sat cross-legged on the floor, and HYDE is stood behind him with the noose. He places the noose over DR. JEKYLL’s neck and smirks.

MR. UTTERSON (V.O.) (CONT’D)
And the danger of it! For if this Hyde suspects the existence of the will, he may grow impatient to inherit.

CUT TO:

Back to the lane.

MR. UTTERSON (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Ay, I must put my shoulder to the wheel - if Jekyll will but let me. If Jekyll will only let me...

FADE TO:

Title card: [white on black] Two weeks later.

FADE TO:

INT. DR. JEKYLL'S HOUSE (DINING ROOM) - NIGHT

Six well-dressed and austere looking gentlemen are sat around a dining table, enjoying a fine meal and indulging in pleasant conversation. MR. UTTERSON is amongst them, as is DR. JEKYLL.

FADE TO:

Time slowly passes, the gentlemen finish their meal and move on to the brandy and cigars until...

FADE TO:

...the room is filled with smoke and their numbers have dwindled...

FADE TO:

...and eventually only MR. UTTERSON and DR. JEKYLL remain, content in each others’ company.

FADE TO:

INT. DR. JEKYLL’S HOUSE (LOUNGE)

The two men are sat in elegant chairs facing each other and there is a fire burning.

MR. UTTERSON
(sternly)
I have been wanting to speak to you, Jekyll. You know that will of yours?

DR. JEKYLL
(pleasantly)
My poor Utterson, you are unfortunate in such a client. I never saw a man so distressed as you were by my will; unless it were that hide-bound pedant, Lanyon, at what he called my scientific heresies. O, I know he's a good fellow - you needn't frown - an excellent fellow, and I always mean to see more of him; but a hide-bound pedant for all that; an ignorant, blatant pedant. I was never more disappointed in any man than Lanyon.

MR. UTTERSON
(ignoring Jekyll's rant)
You know I never approved of it.

DR. JEKYLL
My will? Yes, certainly, I know that. You have told me so.

MR. UTTERSON
Well I tell you so again. I have been learning something of young Hyde.

DR. JEKYLL
(suddenly full of gravitas)
I do not care to hear more. This is a matter I thought we had agreed to drop

MR. UTTERSON
What I heard was abominable.

DR. JEKYLL
It can make no change. You do not understand my position. I am painfully situated, Utterson; my position is a very strange - a very strange one. It is one of those affairs that cannot be mended by talking.

MR. UTTERSON
Jekyll, you know me: I am a man to be trusted. Make a clean breast of this in confidence; and I make no doubt I can get you out of it.

DR. JEKYLL
My good Utterson, this is very good of you, this is downright good of you, and I cannot find words to thank you in. I believe you fully; I would trust you before any man alive, ay, before myself, if I could make the choice; but indeed it isn't what you fancy; it is not so bad as that; and just to put your good heart at rest, I will tell you one thing: the moment I choose, I can be rid of Mr. Hyde. I give you my hand upon that; and I thank you again and again; and I will add just one little word Utterson, that I'm sure you'll take in good part: this is a private matter, and I beg of you to let it sleep.

MR. UTTERSON rises to his feet, somewhat doubtful but respectful of his friend's insistence.

MR. UTTERSON
I have no doubt you are perfectly right.

DR. JEKYLL
Well, but since we have touched upon this business, and for the last time, I hope, there is one point I should like you to understand. I have really a very great interest in poor Hyde. I know you have seen him; he told me so; and I fear he was rude. But I do sincerely take a great, a very great interest in that young man; and if I am taken away, Utterson, I wish you to promise me that you will bear with him and get his rights for him. I think you would, if you knew all; and it would be a weight off my mind if you would promise.

MR. UTTERSON
I can't pretend that I shall ever like him.

DR. JEKYLL rises to face MR. UTTERSON.

DR. JEKYLL
I don't ask that; I only ask for justice; I only ask you to help him for my sake, when I am no longer here.

MR. UTTERSON
(sighing)
Well, I promise.

JEKYLL seems happy, but UTTERSON's happiness is somewhat reluctant. The air is quiet as we...

FADE TO:

The End

1 comment about this work Feed