The Story of the Door
Mister Utterson, a shy and austere lawyer, regularly walks on a Sunday with his friend, Mister Enfield. The two seem to have nothing in common but they regard their walks as a vital part of their lives.
On one walk, the pair stumble across an ugly dwelling in one of London’s back-streets. Enfield tells Utterson he knows a story about the door.
He recounts an incident when he was returning home late one evening, when he saw a man running down a street, and into a young girl, who he stamped over, before attempting to escape. Incensed, Enfield took after the man, caught him, and brought him back to a gathering crowd around the girl.
The man was horribly ugly and inspired hatred in all the crowd. Enfield threatened to ruin the man’s reputation for his act of cruelty, but the man agreed to pay one hundred pounds to the girl’s family to buy their silence.
The man takes the crowd to the derelict dwelling; he goes in then comes out with a cheque for ninety pounds and ten pounds in gold. The cheque has been signed by a very reputable gentleman. Enfield believes the cheque is a fake, but the man (identified as Mister Hyde) stays with the group until morning, accompanies them to the bank, and oversees the cashing of the cheque.
From Enfield’s description of events, Utterson is able to work out the identity of the man who signed the cheque, and the pair agree never to mention the story again.
- “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.”
- “No gentleman but wishes to avoid a scene”
- “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”