The letter was from my father in Geneva, and this is what he wrote:
My dear Victor,
want you to know before you arrive home that an awful thing has
happened. Your dear youngest brother, William, is dead. He was
murdered. It happened last Thursday evening when Elizabeth and I and
your two brothers, Ernest and William, went for a walk outside the
city. William and Ernest were playing, William had hidden from Ernest,
and Ernest asked Elizabeth and me to help find William. We all began to
search for him, but we couldn't find him. We searched all night. At
five in the morning I found him. He was lying on the grass, white and
still. I could see the marks of fingers on his neck - the merderer has
Elizabeth had let him wear a gold chain of her
round his neck. On the chain was a very small picture of your mother.
We all think that someone murdered William to steal the gold chain.
Poor Elizabeth is terribly unhappy at William's death. She thinks he
died because she let him wear the chain. Hurry home, my dear Victor.
You are the only one who can help Elizabeth, and we all need you.
With all our love,
helped me to catch the train. The journey seemed very long, and it was
late at night before the train reached Geneva. I decided to spend the
night in a village outside the town and go home early in the morning. I
wanted to see the place where William had died.
As I started
my walk, a storm broke and lightning lit the sky. The police had put
posts round the place where the murdered had strangled William, so I
found it easily. I cried sadly as I stood there. My poor brother had
been a kind and happy boy, and we had all loved him.
lightning lit the sky, and I saw a huge figure standing in the rain.
When I saw it, I knew at once what it was. It was the creature that I
What was he doing there? But although I asked myself
the question, I knew the answer. He had murdered my brother. I was sure
that I was right.
I decided to try and catch him. But as I
moved, he ran towards the moutains. He ran much faster than any man. He
climbed the mountain easily, reached the top, and disappeared.
I stood there in the dark and the rain, and knew that I had created a monster. And he had murdered my brother.
first I decided to tell the police my story. But would they believe me?
I had been very ill. When the police learnt about my illness, they
would think the monster was just one of my bad dreams. I decided that I
could not tell anybody.
I went home to my family and they were
very pleased to see me. Then they told me that the police had found the
murderer. Perhaps you will think that this was good news, but I have
not told you who the police had arrested.
As I went into the
house, I noticed that one person did not come to meet me. It was
Justin, the young woman who looked after the children and who was like
a sister to us. And it was Justine that the police had arrested.
few days after murderer, the police had searched the house and had
found the gold chain in Justine's coat pocket. Everyone in the family
knew that Justine had not murdered William. I knew who the murderer
was, but I could not tell anyone. We were sure that Justine would be
free after the trial, because nobody could believe that she was a
murderer. But we were wrong.
The trial did not go well for
Justine. There were a number of strange facts that were difficult to
explain, and the judge decided that she was the murdered. The
punishment for murderer was death. We argued and cried.
she could not murder anyone. But nothing could change the judge's
order. So I got up early and went to the judge's house and told him
about the monster. He did not believe me. He thought I was lying in
order to save Justine's life.
In the prison Justine waited
quietly for death. We spent many hourrs with her, and she spoke calmly
and kindly to us. She was happy because we belived that she had not
killed William. And she was almost looking forward to death, because
then she would be with William and our dear mother in a place of peace.
love and gentleness added to my great unhappiness. I knew she was going
to die because of me. I knew my brother had died because of me. I had
brought nothing but sadness and misery to my family.
I took a
boat and went out on Lake Geneva. Why didnt I end my life then? Two
things stopped me. My father was old and another death would probably
kill him. And I had to stay alive - to keep my family safe from the
Fear for my family and hate for my monster were with me
day and night. I became ill again, and Elizabeth's love could not help
me. I needed to escape for a while - to leave my unhappiness behind me.
So I went to walk alone in the Alps. I hoped the wild beauty of the
moutains would help me.
Slowly I became calmer among the
beautiful moutains. I learnt to sleep again, and for days I did not see
anybody. Then one morning I saw a figure coming towards me faster than
any man could go. It jumped easily over the rocks and I sar with horror
the monster that I had created. On his face was a look of deep sadness,
but also of evil. At first I could not speak because I hated him so
much. But at last I said:
" You are an evil creature. I shall kill you if I can, because you have killed two people that I love"
monster's yellow eyes looked at me. " I am the unhappiest creature in
the world, but I shall fight for my life," he said. " I am bigger and
stronger than you, but I will not start the fight. I shall always be
gentle to you because you are my king and creator. You made me, and you
should love me and be kind to me, like a father. William ad Justine
died because you did not love me. Why did you create me if you were not
ready to love me?"
"We are enemies," I said. "Leave me now, or let us fight until one of us is dead. You are a murderer. How can I be kind to you?"
say I am a murderer," the monster said,"but you want to kill your own
creature. Isn't that wrong, too?" I ask you to do one thing for me -
listen. Come with me to a warmer place, and listen to my story. Then
you can decide."
I thought carefully about what he had said. It
was true that I had given him life but I had not given him love. I
decided to go with him and listen to his story.
He took me to a moutain hut where he lit a fire. We sat down by the fire and he began to tell me his story.
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