نامه دکتر لنیون

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کتاب های فوق متوسط

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Doctor Lanyon’s letter

Dear Utterson, Four days ago, on the 9th of January, I received a letter by the evening post. It was in the handwriting of my old friend Henry Jekyll. I was rather surprised, as we were not in the habit of writing to each other, and I had had dinner with him the night before. When I came to read the letter, I was even more surprised. The letter said: Dear Lanyon, You are one of my oldest friends. Although we have sometimes disagreed on scientific matters, I have always remained your friend. I would do anything for you, Lanyon - please will you do something for me now?

Please, old friend, come to my house at once with this letter in your hand. Poole, my servant, has his orders. He will be here with a locksmith^ Break the lock of my study door, and then you must go in there alone. Open the glass- fronted cupboard on the left-hand side and look on the fourth shelf fro m the top. Ori it you w ill find some packets of chemical powders, a small bottle and a book. Please take everything back to your house.

If you leave as soon as you receive this letter, you should be back home before midnight. At that time you will receive a visit from a man. Please give him the bottle, the powders and the book, and I shall always be grateful to you.

Do not fail me, Lanyon. Believe me, my life and my peace of mind depend on you. I am in fearful danger and ; I only you can save me.

Your friend, Henry Jekyll

After reading this letter, I was sure that Doctor Jekyll was mad. But a friend is a friend, and so I went at once to his house. Jekyll’s servant had received by the same post a letter similar to mine, and he was waiting for me with the locksmith. Together we went through the old laboratory and climbed the stairs to the doctor’s private study. The door was very strong, with an excellent lock, but the locksmith knew his job. Soon the door stood open and I entered the study. I opened the cupboard and found the shelf. Sure enough, the powders, the bottle and the book were there, and I took them home with me.

At home I looked at everything more carefully. There were several packets of white powder and a bottle of red, strong-smelling liquid. The book contained nothing except a list of dates, going back several years. The last date was nearly a year ago. Here and there the doctor had added a few words.

The word ‘double ‘ appeared very early in the list, followed by the w ord ‘Failed!!’. ‘Double’ appeared in the list several more times . .. What was Jekyll doing? The book looked like a list of unsuccessful experiments. How could I, by taking these things to my house, save my friend’s life and peace of mind? And what was the reason for this midnight visitor?

I put m y old gun in my pocket, then I put everything in a box for my midnight visitor to collect.

At midnight exactly there was a knock on my door. A short man was standing in the shadows. ‘Are you from Doctor Jekyll?’ I asked. He bent his head.

Although I could not see his face, there was something unpleasing about him and I was glad I had a weapon. I invited him into the house and there, in the bright light, I took a closer look at him.

His appearance was extremely strange. His clothes were well made and expensive, but they were far too large for him.

He looked like a child wearing his father’s clothes, but there was nothing childlike about this man. He was short, as I have said, but very strong. At the same time there was a look of sickness and horror about him, and his face was a mask of pain, violence and hate. As a doctor I could perhaps feel sorry for him; as a man I felt only fear and dislike. ‘Have you got it?’ said the stranger impatiently, reaching out his hand and touching my arm. His touch made my blood run cold. I shook off his hand. ‘Come, sir,’ I said calmly. ‘Sit down and introduce yourself.’ ‘I apologize, Doctor Lanyon,’ the stranger said more politely. ‘Doctor Henry Jekyll sent me here on an important matter. I have to collect something from you.’

I gave him the box. He took it with trembling hands. ‘At last!’ he cried. He turned to me. His face was deathly pale. ‘Have you a medicine glass?’ he asked.

I gave it to him. He put a little of the red liquid in the glass and added a packet of powder. A small cloud of smoke rose from the glass and the colour of the liquid changed from red to purple, and from purple to a watery green. The stranger put the glass down on the table and looked sharply at me. ‘And now,’ he said, ‘choose carefully. You can leave the room now. Or you can stay and’experience something new, something unknown to science^. You can be rich, famous and successful, if only you will believe.’ ‘Sir,’ I said, trying to remain calm, ‘I don’t understand what you’re trying to say, and I think you are probably mad. But I will stay.’ ‘Very well,’ said the stranger. ‘Now remember your promise. You’ve been an unbeliever all your life. You laughed at Doctor Jekyll’s ideas and called them unscientific rubbish - now see for yourself I’

He put the glass to his lips and drank the liquid. His whole body shook and jumped and he almost fell. He held onto the edge of the table, breathing fast through his open mouth. As I watched, his whole body seemed to change. He seemed to become taller, fatter - his face turned black and its shape began to change . .. The next moment I jumped back against the wall, trembling with fear and horror. There before my eyes, pale and shaken and sick stood Henry Jekyll!

I cannot make myself write down the things that Jekyll, with tears in his eyes, confessed to me that night.

Now fear and horror are my Only companions. Sleep has left me and I feel that I have not long to live! As I write, I wonder. Did I imagine it all? As a scientist I cannot believe it - but I saw it happen with my own eyes.

I will say just one thing more, Utterson. The evil thing that came into my house that night -as Jekyll told me - was known by the name of Hyde, and was wanted by the police for the murder of Sir Danvers Carew. j Hastie Lanyon I I j ! With fear in his heart, Mr Utterson put away Doctor Lanyon’s letter, and then opened the confession of Doctor Henry Jekyll.

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