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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson
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In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the maid stated she was sitting in her window when she saw the murder of Sir Carew. How could she be sure that the murderer was Hyde? Could the time of night, location, and weather conditions have affected her view?

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The murder of Sir Danvers Carew was definitely a disturbing part of the story. A highly respected London gentleman, Carew met his demise on an eerie, foggy night at the hands of a person whom the maid claims is Mr. Hyde. The murder happens near midnight under a full moon, and the maid said she saw the entire thing unfold from the upstairs window of the house she worked in, not far from the Thames. Oddly, she told the police that she was feeling romantic and dreamlike and spent a long time simply gazing out the window.

Though the weather was poor, with dark and fog, she looked down and recognized Mr. Hyde because he had come to visit her master previously. She also distinctly remembers disliking him almost instantly. She watches as Mr. Hyde runs into Carew, whom the maid did not know and only identified as "an aged and beautiful gentleman with white hair." Hyde then lifts his walking stick, bludgeons the man to death, and then tramples over him. Horrified, the maid faints.

Even if the maid's testimony is spotty because of the weather, there are other ways the police were able to positively identify Hyde as the killer. The walking stick he used, for example, was a gift to Dr. Jekyll from Mr. Utterson, one of his friends. When they search Hyde's apartment, it certainly looks suspicious. He had left in a hurry; clothes were strewn everywhere, and it appears Hyde has tried to burn something on the hearth. In the pile of ashes, they find the other half of the broken walking stick.

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