One Night with Doctor Jekyll’s Lawyer in London

London FogHe turned away from the window and his preoccupation with all that’s unknown and unknowable. His dedication to a profession rooted in reliable rules and procedures had been severely challenged by the doctor’s ghastly experiment. He settled into a large, comfortable chair before the hearth with, at a nicely calculated distance from the fire, a bottle of a particular old wine that had long dwelt unsunned in the foundations of his house. Who can really discern another’s motives, he wondered, and how is it we so quickly invent them when we have no evidence available? The fog still slept on the wing above the drowned city, where the lamps glimmered like carbuncles; and as usual he found no answers, though he deeply desired to see through the mist. Perhaps not all effects have causes, he thought, and some doubts need not be resolved, and through the muffle and smother of these fallen clouds, the procession of the town’s life was still rolling in through the great arteries with a sound as of a mighty wind. He raised his glass, resigned to replace one murk with another. In the bottle the acids were long ago resolved; the imperial dye had softened with time, as the colour grows richer in stained windows; he let all the unanswered questions dissolve and fixed his attention instead on the hearth, and so his mind, like the glow of hot autumn afternoons on hillside vineyards, was ready to be set free and to disperse the fogs of London.

Copyright 2021 by Brian Dean Powers
Photo by R Spegel at

Author’s Note: The italicized passages were taken from one paragraph in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

14 thoughts on “One Night with Doctor Jekyll’s Lawyer in London

    1. I recently read the novel. The main character is the lawyer for Dr. Jekyll. The lawyer, a Mr. Utterson, is disturbed that the doctor instructed him to write a will leaving everything to the mysterious Mr. Hyde. There was one paragraph of description that stood out. I built a story around that paragraph, in which I wondered what the lawyer would feel after the truth about Jekyll and Hyde was revealed. I suspect he would have felt the foundation of his life was shaken, and in the end he would have to accept that some questions just can’t be answered.


      1. this is lush! what a great idea to use another story as a launching point. as for blog titles, I am continually surprised by which of mine attract more readers…


  1. Well, it has brought me too Brian and I was highly intrigued by it. Your explanation of the context was very helpful. I suppose art and literature will always inspire others to follow on or fill in or fly off somewhere new! And long may it be so.


  2. I felt like I had been transported back to times of Ye Olde London Town. Let’s hope the plot thickens like the pea soupers!


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