“You know the doctor’s ways, sir,” replied Poole, “and how he shuts himself up. Well, he’s shut up again in the cabinet; and I don’t like it, sir—I wish I may die if I like it. Mr. Utterson, sir, I’m afraid.”
In Chapter 8, Jekyll’s butler Mr. Poole comes to Utterson’s house to ask for help. Poole says he is concerned that Jekyll has locked himself in his room and hasn’t been seen for a week. Poole suspects foul play. Poole’s concern for his master drives him to seek help, and thus Poole’s character moves the story forward. Up until this point, everyone has maintained a respectable distance from the case.
“Changed? Well, yes, I think so,” said the butler. “Have I been twenty years in this man’s house, to be deceived about his voice? No, sir; master’s made away with; he was made away with eight days ago, when we heard him cry out upon the name of God; and who’s in there instead of him, and why it stays there, is a thing that cries to Heaven, Mr. Utterson!”
Mr. Poole tells Utterson that the voice coming from inside Jekyll’s room is no longer Jekyll’s. Poole believes that the voice is Jekyll’s murderer, who killed Jekyll eight days earlier. Utterson is incredulous, but Poole asserts that as a twenty-year employee in Jekyll’s house, he knows his master’s voice. In a sad irony, the closest people in Jekyll’s life are his house staff.
“‘Quite so, sir,’ returned Poole. ‘Well, when that masked thing like a monkey jumped from among the chemicals and whipped into the cabinet, it went down my spine like ice. O, I know it’s not evidence, Mr. Utterson; I’m book-learned enough for that; but a man has his feelings, and I give you my bible-word it was Mr. Hyde!’”
Poole is recounting to Utterson what he saw when he caught a glimpse of Hyde inside Jekyll’s room. The bizarre account moves Poole’s to assure Utterson he is educated enough to know that his sight of Hyde doesn’t count as evidence of a crime. But Poole abandons rationality in his final words. In this clash between the natural and the supernatural, Poole invokes the Bible to prove his conviction of the reality of what he witnessed.
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