Some time later, Jekyll, freed from the influence of Hyde, has become a new man. In early January, Utterson attends a dinner at Jekyll’s home, and Dr Lanyon is also present. A few days afterwards, Utterson learns that Jekyll has isolated himself and will see no one. Lanyon has suffered a terrible shock, and says he ‘shall never recover.’ He also appears to be very angry at Jekyll. Stunned and shaken, Utterson returns home and writes a note to Jekyll asking for an explanation. Jekyll replies ‘I have brought on myself a punishment and a danger that I cannot name.’ One week later, Dr Lanyon dies and leaves Mr Utterson a letter with instructions only to open it following the death or disappearance of Dr Jekyll.
More detailed summary
As time passes, with no sign of Hyde’s reappearance, Jekyll becomes healthier-looking and more sociable, devoting himself to charity. To Utterson, it appears that the removal of Hyde’s evil influence has had a tremendously positive effect on Jekyll. After two months of this placid lifestyle, Jekyll holds a dinner party, which both Utterson and Lanyon attend, and the three talk together as old friends. But a few days later, when Utterson calls on Jekyll, Poole reports that his master is receiving no visitors.
This scenario repeats itself for a week, so Utterson goes to visit Lanyon, hoping to learn why Jekyll has refused any company. He finds Lanyon in very poor health, pale and sickly, with a frightened look in his eyes. Lanyon explains that he has had a great shock and expects to die in a few weeks. “[L]ife has been pleasant,” he says. “I liked it; yes, sir, I used to like it.” Then he adds, “I sometimes think if we knew all, we should be more glad to get away.” When Utterson mentions that Jekyll also seems ill, Lanyon violently demands that they talk of anything but Jekyll. He promises that after his death, Utterson may learn the truth about everything, but for now he will not discuss it. Afterward, at home, Utterson writes to Jekyll, talking about being turned away from Jekyll’s house and inquiring as to what caused the break between him and Lanyon. Soon Jekyll’s written reply arrives, explaining that while he still cares for Lanyon, he understands why the doctor says they must not meet. As for Jekyll himself, he pledges his continued affection for Utterson but adds that from now on he will be maintaining a strict seclusion, seeing no one. He says that he is suffering a punishment that he cannot name.
Lanyon dies a few weeks later, fulfilling his prophecy. After the funeral, Utterson takes from his safe a letter that Lanyon meant for him to read after he died. Inside, Utterson finds only another envelope, marked to remain sealed until Jekyll also has died. Out of professional principle, Utterson overcomes his curiosity and puts the envelope away for safekeeping. As weeks pass, he calls on Jekyll less and less frequently, and the butler continues to refuse him entry.