Here comes Part Five of my serialization of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, written in 1885 by Robert Louis Stevenson, published early the following year, and never out of print in the century-and-a-third since. Diane Oliver, a first-weekend Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club, is enjoying this one:
I have this story on audio book but have to say Mark's reading is vastly superior. There is much here I don't remember as my mind obviously wandered, whereas Mark has kept me gripped.
Thank you for that, Diane. I'm a bit rusty in my dramatic storytelling, but I'm trying to get back in shape, so that's much appreciated and I won't ask which narrator it was who sent your mind wandering. In tonight's hopefully gripping episode, Mr Utterson and his cousin espy the reclusive Dr Jekyll at his window and invite him to take a stroll:
"You stay too much indoors," said the lawyer. "You should be out, whipping up the circulation like Mr. Enfield and me. (This is my cousinâ€”Mr. Enfieldâ€”Dr. Jekyll.) Come, now; get your hat and take a quick turn with us."
"You are very good," sighed the other. "I should like to very much; but no, no, no, it is quite impossible; I dare not. But indeed, Utterson, I am very glad to see you; this is really a great pleasure; I would ask you and Mr. Enfield up, but the place is really not fit."
"Why then," said the lawyer, good-naturedly, "the best thing we can do is to stay down here and speak with you from where we are."
"That is just what I was about to venture to propose," returned the doctor with a smile. But the words were hardly uttered, before the smile was struck out of his face and succeeded by an expression of such abject terror and despair, as froze the very blood of the two gentlemen below. They saw it but for a glimpse, for the window was instantly thrust down; but that glimpse had been sufficient, and they turned and left the court without a word. In silence, too, they traversed the by-street; and it was not until they had come into a neighbouring thoroughfare, where even upon a Sunday there were still some stirrings of life, that Mr. Utterson at last turned and looked at his companion. They were both pale; and there was an answering horror in their eyes.
"God forgive us, God forgive us," said Mr. Utterson.
Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear Part Five of our adventure simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde can be found here, and previous Tales for Our Time here.
~I'm out and about over the next few weeks, starting with an appearance at the New York Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan on April 19th (scroll down here). But, that aside, I'll be live in Vermont, New York and Florida (with Mr Snerdley from my Rush excursions) over the next few weeks, and hope to see you at one or another of those events. More details here. For my fellow Canadians, I'll be north of the border in June to receive the inaugural George Jonas Award, a great honor and one I'm not sure any of us who labor in George's shadow are worthy of.
See you on the radio in Toronto with John Oakley on Wednesday afternoon, and tomorrow evening for Part Six of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.