"Poole," Jekyll murmured, leaning against the doorframe for support.
"I...will be in my laboratory all day," Jekyll explained. "I do not want any visitors unless...unless Utterson comes. Then you may send him to my laboratory. Do you understand?"
"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir."
Jekyll nodded and turned to walk back to his laboratory. He collapsed onto the sofa in the surgical theater and buried his head in his hands. What was he to do? After this murder, after Carew's murder, the double life he so loved was gone!...But, now that he thought about it, this might be a good thing. Yes, an important development! The murder was gruesome, awful, but it was also now a good a reason as any to quit the experiment. Hyde was an impossibility!
With a sudden burst of excitement, Jekyll scribbled out a fake note from Hyde, one saying that he had fled the country. It was enough to persuade Utterson, should he come. And Utterson's appearance was likely.
Jekyll returned to the surgical theater and sank back down into the sofa. He folded and unfolded the letter a few times. Then, thinking he might ruin the note in his anxiety, he shoved it into the pocket of his robe and sat back, pressing a hand to his pulsing temple.
"Henry," Utterson whispered, opening the door.
Jekyll looked up tiredly. "Oh...Gabe. Hello."
Utterson shut the door behind himself and said, "You must have heard the news then."
"I have..." Jekyll shook his head. "I can't believe it."
Utterson crossed the room and knelt beside the sofa. "Henry. This Edward Hyde. You aren't helping him, are you?"
Jekyll looked up, appalled. "Gabriel, by God, no I am not! I don't want anything to do with that man anymore. Look!" Jekyll produced the letter and handed it over. "Look, I know he is no longer here. As long as he is hiding, we are safe."
Utterson appraised the letter with a disapproving frown. "He has left, then."
"Yes, he and he left this note for me to find."
"Then you have seen him?"
"No, not recently. He comes and goes in this lab as he pleases."
Utterson pinced the bridge of his nose as he stood. "Henry...There is something I must ask you."
"Yes?" Jekyll's heart pounded. There was no way Utterson could have known. No way at all.
Utterson looked down at the letter, then cleared his throat. He stared at Jekyll, almost daring him to back down. "I have heard that Hyde once used a check in your name. And his place in your will..."
"Well, it must have been blackmail."
"Blackmail!" Had this conversation happened earlier in the experiment, Jekyll could have laughed out loud. Now, he only grew pale. "Gabe, how could you say such a thing?"
"It's the only logical conclusion," Utterson said, folding his arms across his chest. "Harry, I know you may have something dark in your past, something terrible enough that you feel you must remain under this man's control to avoid it coming to light."
"Logical," Jekyll said, standing up. He was several inches taller than Utterson. "A dark past? Gabe, this is ridiculous!"
"Is it?" Utterson demanded with a sudden flash of anger. "You never tell me what's going on. You only tell me about this terrible will of yours and that I shouldn't question any of it."
"And you shouldn't. None of this concerns you, Gabe."
"Yes - it - does!" Utterson shot Jekyll a harsh glare. "You may not have noticed, Henry, but I care for you deeply! I believe you are in serious danger, and what do you do? You tell me that it isn't my business!" The letter crumpled in his clenched fist. He pulled it out and smoothed the paper as best he could. "You may not have noticed, Henry, but I've always cared for you. I've always been worried about you, with your experiments, and now this. Tell me, Henry, what have you done that is so bad that you must be blackmailed? What have you done that you cannot even tell me?"
Jekyll turned away.
"We've known each other since you moved to London, Henry," Utterson said. He reached out for Jekyll, then pulled his hand to his chest. "I just want you to talk to me."
Jekyll closed his eyes and sucked in a breath. He looked over at Utterson, who seemed about on the verge of tears now. Jekyll took another breath.
The murder. Hyde was gone. Hyde had to be gone.
"Do...do what you will with that letter," Jekyll said, sinking down into the sofa. He put a hand to his brow. "Take it home, or take it to the police if you deem it necessary. I..don't care what happens to Hyde anymore. He can go to Hell for all I care."
Utterson frowned tightly and nodded. Not speaking, he turned and left Jekyll alone in the laboratory.