He stood and gazed and could not believe his eyes: the door, the outer door from the stairs, at which he had not long before waited and rung, was standing unfastened and at least six inches open. No lock, no bolt, all the time, all that time! The old woman had not shut it after him perhaps as a precaution. But, good God! Why, he had seen Lizaveta afterwards! And how could he, how could he have failed to reflect that she must have come in somehow! She could not have come through the wall!
He dashed to the door and fastened the latch.
"But no, the wrong thing again! I must get away, get away...."
He unfastened the latch, opened the door and began listening on the staircase.
He listened a long time. Somewhere far away, it might be in the gateway, two voices were loudly and shrilly shouting, quarrelling and scolding. "What are they about?" He waited patiently. At last all was still, as though suddenly cut off; they had separated. He was meaning to go out, but suddenly, on the floor below, a door was noisily opened and someone began going downstairs humming a tune. "How is it they all make such a noise?" flashed through his mind. Once more he closed the door and waited. At last all was still, not a soul stirring. He was just taking a step towards the stairs when he heard fresh footsteps.
The steps sounded very far off, at the very bottom of the stairs, but he remembered quite clearly and distinctly that from the first sound he began for some reason to suspect that this was someone coming there, to the fourth floor, to the old woman. Why? Were the sounds somehow peculiar, significant? The steps were heavy, even and unhurried. Now he had passed the first floor, now he was mounting higher, it was growing more and more distinct! He could hear his heavy breathing. And now the third storey had been reached. Coming here! And it seemed to him all at once that he was turned to stone, that it was like a dream in which one is being pursued, nearly caught and will be killed, and is rooted to the spot and cannot even move one's arms.
At last when the unknown was mounting to the fourth floor, he suddenly started, and succeeded in slipping neatly and quickly back into the flat and closing the door behind him. Then he took the hook and softly, noiselessly, fixed it in the catch. Instinct helped him. When he had done this, he crouched holding his breath, by the door. The unknown visitor was by now also at the door. They were now standing opposite one another, as he had just before been standing with the old woman, when the door divided them and he was listening.
The visitor panted several times. "He must be a big, fat man," thought Raskolnikov, squeezing the axe in his hand. It seemed like a dream indeed. The visitor took hold of the bell and rang it loudly.
As soon as the tin bell tinkled, Raskolnikov seemed to be aware of something moving in the room. For some seconds he listened quite seriously. The unknown rang again, waited and suddenly tugged violently and impatiently at the handle of the door. Raskolnikov gazed in horror at the hook shaking in its fastening, and in blank terror expected every minute that the fastening would be pulled out. It certainly did seem possible, so violently was he shaking it. He was tempted to hold the fastening, but he might be aware of it. A giddiness came over him again. "I shall fall down!" flashed through his mind, but the unknown began to speak and he recovered himself at once.
"What's up? Are they asleep or murdered? D-damn them!" he bawled in a thick voice, "Hey, Alyona Ivanovna, old witch! Lizaveta Ivanovna, hey, my beauty! open the door! Oh, damn them! Are they asleep or what?"
And again, enraged, he tugged with all his might a dozen times at the bell. He must certainly be a man of authority and an intimate acquaintance.
At this moment light hurried steps were heard not far off, on the stairs. Someone else was approaching. Raskolnikov had not heard them at first.
"You don't say there's no one at home," the new-comer cried in a cheerful, ringing voice, addressing the first visitor, who still went on pulling the bell. "Good evening, Koch."
"From his voice he must be quite young," thought Raskolnikov.
"Who the devil can tell? I've almost broken the lock," answered Koch. "But how do you come to know me?
"Why! The day before yesterday I beat you three times running at billiards at Gambrinus'."
"So they are not at home? That's queer. It's awfully stupid though. Where could the old woman have gone? I've come on business."
"Yes; and I have business with her, too."
"Well, what can we do? Go back, I suppose, Aie—aie! And I was hoping to get some money!" cried the young man.
"We must give it up, of course, but what did she fix this time for? The old witch fixed the time for me to come herself. It's out of my way. And where the devil she can have got to, I can't make out. She sits here from year's end to year's end, the old hag; her legs are bad and yet here all of a sudden she is out for a walk!"
"Hadn't we better ask the porter?"
"Where she's gone and when she'll be back."
"Hm.... Damn it all!... We might ask.... But you know she never does go anywhere."
And he once more tugged at the door-handle.
"Damn it all. There's nothing to be done, we must go!"
"Stay!" cried the young man suddenly. "Do you see how the door shakes if you pull it?"
"That shows it's not locked, but fastened with the hook! Do you hear how the hook clanks?"
"Why, don't you see? That proves that one of them is at home. If they were all out, they would have locked the door from the outside with the key and not with the hook from inside. There, do you hear how the hook is clanking? To fasten the hook on the inside they must be at home, don't you see. So there they are sitting inside and don't open the door!"
"Well! And so they must be!" cried Koch, astonished. "What are they about in there?" And he began furiously shaking the door.
"Stay!" cried the young man again. "Don't pull at it! There must be something wrong.... Here, you've been ringing and pulling at the door and still they don't open! So either they've both fainted or..."
"I tell you what. Let's go fetch the porter, let him wake them up."
Both were going down.
"Stay. You stop here while I run down for the porter."
"Well, you'd better."
"I'm studying the law you see! It's evident, e-vi-dent there's something wrong here!" the young man cried hotly, and he ran downstairs.
Koch remained. Once more he softly touched the bell which gave one tinkle, then gently, as though reflecting and looking about him, began touching the door-handle pulling it and letting it go to make sure once more that it was only fastened by the hook. Then puffing and panting he bent down and began looking at the keyhole: but the key was in the lock on the inside and so nothing could be seen.
Raskolnikov stood keeping tight hold of the axe. He was in a sort of delirium. He was even making ready to fight when they should come in. While they were knocking and talking together, the idea several times occurred to him to end it all at once and shout to them through the door. Now and then he was tempted to swear at them, to jeer at them, while they could not open the door! "Only make haste!" was the thought that flashed through his mind.
"But what the devil is he about?..." Time was passing, one minute, and another—no one came. Koch began to be restless.
"What the devil?" he cried suddenly and in impatience deserting his sentry duty, he, too, went down, hurrying and thumping with his heavy boots on the stairs. The steps died away.
"Good heavens! What am I to do?"
Raskolnikov unfastened the hook, opened the door—there was no sound. Abruptly, without any thought at all, he went out, closing the door as thoroughly as he could, and went downstairs.
He had gone down three flights when he suddenly heard a loud voice below—where could he go! There was nowhere to hide. He was just going back to the flat.
"Hey there! Catch the brute!"
Somebody dashed out of a flat below, shouting, and rather fell than ran down the stairs, bawling at the top of his voice.
"Mitka! Mitka! Mitka! Mitka! Mitka! Blast him!"
The shout ended in a shriek; the last sounds came from the yard; all was still. But at the same instant several men talking loud and fast began noisily mounting the stairs. There were three or four of them. He distinguished the ringing voice of the young man. "They!"
Filled with despair he went straight to meet them, feeling "come what must!" If they stopped him—all was lost; if they let him pass—all was lost too; they would remember him. They were approaching; they were only a flight from him—and suddenly deliverance! A few steps from him on the right, there was an empty flat with the door wide open, the flat on the second floor where the painters had been at work, and which, as though for his benefit, they had just left. It was they, no doubt, who had just run down, shouting. The floor had only just been painted, in the middle of the room stood a pail and a broken pot with paint and brushes. In one instant he had whisked in at the open door and hidden behind the wall and only in the nick of time; they had already reached the landing. Then they turned and went on up to the fourth floor, talking loudly. He waited, went out on tiptoe and ran down the stairs.
No one was on the stairs, nor in the gateway. He passed quickly through the gateway and turned to the left in the street.
He knew, he knew perfectly well that at that moment they were at the flat, that they were greatly astonished at finding it unlocked, as the door had just been fastened, that by now they were looking at the bodies, that before another minute had passed they would guess and completely realise that the murderer had just been there, and had succeeded in hiding somewhere, slipping by them and escaping. They would guess most likely that he had been in the empty flat, while they were going upstairs. And meanwhile he dared not quicken his pace much, though the next turning was still nearly a hundred yards away. "Should he slip through some gateway and wait somewhere in an unknown street? No, hopeless! Should he fling away the axe? Should he take a cab? Hopeless, hopeless!"
At last he reached the turning. He turned down it more dead than alive. Here he was half way to safety, and he understood it; it was less risky because there was a great crowd of people, and he was lost in it like a grain of sand. But all he had suffered had so weakened him that he could scarcely move. Perspiration ran down him in drops, his neck was all wet. "My word, he has been going it!" someone shouted at him when he came out on the canal bank.
He was only dimly conscious of himself now, and the farther he went the worse it was. He remembered however, that on coming out on to the canal bank, he was alarmed at finding few people there and so being more conspicuous, and he had thought of turning back. Though he was almost falling from fatigue, he went a long way round so as to get home from quite a different direction.
He was not fully conscious when he passed through the gateway of his house! he was already on the staircase before he recollected the axe. And yet he had a very grave problem before him, to put it back and to escape observation as far as possible in doing so. He was of course incapable of reflecting that it might perhaps be far better not to restore the axe at all, but to drop it later on in somebody's yard. But it all happened fortunately, the door of the porter's room was closed but not locked, so that it seemed most likely that the porter was at home. But he had so completely lost all power of reflection that he walked straight to the door and opened it. If the porter had asked him, "What do you want?" he would perhaps have simply handed him the axe. But again the porter was not at home, and he succeeded in putting the axe back under the bench, and even covering it with the chunk of wood as before. He met no one, not a soul, afterwards on the way to his room; the landlady's door was shut. When he was in his room, he flung himself on the sofa just as he was—he did not sleep, but sank into blank forgetfulness. If anyone had come into his room then, he would have jumped up at once and screamed. Scraps and shreds of thoughts were simply swarming in his brain, but he could not catch at one, he could not rest on one, in spite of all his efforts....
So he lay a very long while. Now and then he seemed to wake up, and at such moments he noticed that it was far into the night, but it did not occur to him to get up. At last he noticed that it was beginning to get light. He was lying on his back, still dazed from his recent oblivion. Fearful, despairing cries rose shrilly from the street, sounds which he heard every night, indeed, under his window after two o'clock. They woke him up now.
"Ah! the drunken men are coming out of the taverns," he thought, "it's past two o'clock," and at once he leaped up, as though someone had pulled him from the sofa.
"What! Past two o'clock!"
He sat down on the sofa—and instantly recollected everything! All at once, in one flash, he recollected everything.
For the first moment he thought he was going mad. A dreadful chill came over him; but the chill was from the fever that had begun long before in his sleep. Now he was suddenly taken with violent shivering, so that his teeth chattered and all his limbs were shaking. He opened the door and began listening—everything in the house was asleep. With amazement he gazed at himself and everything in the room around him, wondering how he could have come in the night before without fastening the door, and have flung himself on the sofa without undressing, without even taking his hat off. It had fallen off and was lying on the floor near his pillow.
"If anyone had come in, what would he have thought? That I'm drunk but..."
He rushed to the window. There was light enough, and he began hurriedly looking himself all over from head to foot, all his clothes; were there no traces? But there was no doing it like that; shivering with cold, he began taking off everything and looking over again. He turned everything over to the last threads and rags, and mistrusting himself, went through his search three times.
But there seemed to be nothing, no trace, except in one place, where some thick drops of congealed blood were clinging to the frayed edge of his trousers. He picked up a big claspknife and cut off the frayed threads. There seemed to be nothing more.
Suddenly he remembered that the purse and the things he had taken out of the old woman's box were still in his pockets! He had not thought till then of taking them out and hiding them! He had not even thought of them while he was examining his clothes! What next? Instantly he rushed to take them out and fling them on the table. When he had pulled out everything, and turned the pocket inside out to be sure there was nothing left, he carried the whole heap to the corner. The paper had come off the bottom of the wall and hung there in tatters. He began stuffing all the things into the hole under the paper: "They're in! All out of sight, and the purse too!" he thought gleefully, getting up and gazing blankly at the hole which bulged out more than ever. Suddenly he shuddered all over with horror; "My God!" he whispered in despair: "what's the matter with me? Is that hidden? Is that the way to hide things?"
He had not reckoned on having trinkets to hide. He had only thought of money, and so had not prepared a hiding-place.
"But now, now, what am I glad of?" he thought, "Is that hiding things? My reason's deserting me—simply!"
He sat down on the sofa in exhaustion and was at once shaken by another unbearable fit of shivering. Mechanically he drew from a chair beside him his old student's winter coat, which was still warm though almost in rags, covered himself up with it and once more sank into drowsiness and delirium. He lost consciousness.
Not more than five minutes had passed when he jumped up a second time, and at once pounced in a frenzy on his clothes again.
"How could I go to sleep again with nothing done? Yes, yes; I have not taken the loop off the armhole! I forgot it, forgot a thing like that! Such a piece of evidence!"
He pulled off the noose, hurriedly cut it to pieces and threw the bits among his linen under the pillow.
"Pieces of torn linen couldn't rouse suspicion, whatever happened; I think not, I think not, any way!" he repeated, standing in the middle of the room, and with painful concentration he fell to gazing about him again, at the floor and everywhere, trying to make sure he had not forgotten anything. The conviction that all his faculties, even memory, and the simplest power of reflection were failing him, began to be an insufferable torture.
"Surely it isn't beginning already! Surely it isn't my punishment coming upon me? It is!"
The frayed rags he had cut off his trousers were actually lying on the floor in the middle of the room, where anyone coming in would see them!
"What is the matter with me!" he cried again, like one distraught.
Then a strange idea entered his head; that, perhaps, all his clothes were covered with blood, that, perhaps, there were a great many stains, but that he did not see them, did not notice them because his perceptions were failing, were going to pieces... his reason was clouded.... Suddenly he remembered that there had been blood on the purse too. "Ah! Then there must be blood on the pocket too, for I put the wet purse in my pocket!"
In a flash he had turned the pocket inside out and, yes!—there were traces, stains on the lining of the pocket!
"So my reason has not quite deserted me, so I still have some sense and memory, since I guessed it of myself," he thought triumphantly, with a deep sigh of relief; "it's simply the weakness of fever, a moment's delirium," and he tore the whole lining out of the left pocket of his trousers. At that instant the sunlight fell on his left boot; on the sock which poked out from the boot, he fancied there were traces! He flung off his boots; "traces indeed! The tip of the sock was soaked with blood;" he must have unwarily stepped into that pool.... "But what am I to do with this now? Where am I to put the sock and rags and pocket?"
He gathered them all up in his hands and stood in the middle of the room.
"In the stove? But they would ransack the stove first of all. Burn them? But what can I burn them with? There are no matches even. No, better go out and throw it all away somewhere. Yes, better throw it away," he repeated, sitting down on the sofa again, "and at once, this minute, without lingering..."
But his head sank on the pillow instead. Again the unbearable icy shivering came over him; again he drew his coat over him.
And for a long while, for some hours, he was haunted by the impulse to "go off somewhere at once, this moment, and fling it all away, so that it may be out of sight and done with, at once, at once!" Several times he tried to rise from the sofa, but could not.
He was thoroughly waked up at last by a violent knocking at his door.
"Open, do, are you dead or alive? He keeps sleeping here!" shouted Nastasya, banging with her fist on the door. "For whole days together he's snoring here like a dog! A dog he is too. Open I tell you. It's past ten."
"Maybe he's not at home," said a man's voice.
"Ha! that's the porter's voice.... What does he want?"
He jumped up and sat on the sofa. The beating of his heart was a positive pain.
"Then who can have latched the door?" retorted Nastasya. "He's taken to bolting himself in! As if he were worth stealing! Open, you stupid, wake up!"
"What do they want? Why the porter? All's discovered. Resist or open? Come what may!..."
He half rose, stooped forward and unlatched the door.
His room was so small that he could undo the latch without leaving the bed. Yes; the porter and Nastasya were standing there.
Nastasya stared at him in a strange way. He glanced with a defiant and desperate air at the porter, who without a word held out a grey folded paper sealed with bottle-wax.
"A notice from the office," he announced, as he gave him the paper.
"From what office?"
"A summons to the police office, of course. You know which office."
"To the police?... What for?..."
"How can I tell? You're sent for, so you go."
The man looked at him attentively, looked round the room and turned to go away.
"He's downright ill!" observed Nastasya, not taking her eyes off him. The porter turned his head for a moment. "He's been in a fever since yesterday," she added.
Raskolnikov made no response and held the paper in his hands, without opening it. "Don't you get up then," Nastasya went on compassionately, seeing that he was letting his feet down from the sofa. "You're ill, and so don't go; there's no such hurry. What have you got there?"
He looked; in his right hand he held the shreds he had cut from his trousers, the sock, and the rags of the pocket. So he had been asleep with them in his hand. Afterwards reflecting upon it, he remembered that half waking up in his fever, he had grasped all this tightly in his hand and so fallen asleep again.
"Look at the rags he's collected and sleeps with them, as though he has got hold of a treasure..."
And Nastasya went off into her hysterical giggle.
Instantly he thrust them all under his great coat and fixed his eyes intently upon her. Far as he was from being capable of rational reflection at that moment, he felt that no one would behave like that with a person who was going to be arrested. "But... the police?"
"You'd better have some tea! Yes? I'll bring it, there's some left."
"No... I'm going; I'll go at once," he muttered, getting on to his feet.
"Why, you'll never get downstairs!"
"Yes, I'll go."
"As you please."
She followed the porter out.
At once he rushed to the light to examine the sock and the rags.
"There are stains, but not very noticeable; all covered with dirt, and rubbed and already discoloured. No one who had no suspicion could distinguish anything. Nastasya from a distance could not have noticed, thank God!" Then with a tremor he broke the seal of the notice and began reading; he was a long while reading, before he understood. It was an ordinary summons from the district police-station to appear that day at half-past nine at the office of the district superintendent.
"But when has such a thing happened? I never have anything to do with the police! And why just to-day?" he thought in agonising bewilderment. "Good God, only get it over soon!"
He was flinging himself on his knees to pray, but broke into laughter—not at the idea of prayer, but at himself.
He began, hurriedly dressing. "If I'm lost, I am lost, I don't care! Shall I put the sock on?" he suddenly wondered, "it will get dustier still and the traces will be gone."
But no sooner had he put it on than he pulled it off again in loathing and horror. He pulled it off, but reflecting that he had no other socks, he picked it up and put it on again—and again he laughed.
"That's all conventional, that's all relative, merely a way of looking at it," he thought in a flash, but only on the top surface of his mind, while he was shuddering all over, "there, I've got it on! I have finished by getting it on!"
But his laughter was quickly followed by despair.
"No, it's too much for me..." he thought. His legs shook. "From fear," he muttered. His head swam and ached with fever. "It's a trick! They want to decoy me there and confound me over everything," he mused, as he went out on to the stairs—"the worst of it is I'm almost light-headed... I may blurt out something stupid..."
On the stairs he remembered that he was leaving all the things just as they were in the hole in the wall, "and very likely, it's on purpose to search when I'm out," he thought, and stopped short. But he was possessed by such despair, such cynicism of misery, if one may so call it, that with a wave of his hand he went on. "Only to get it over!"
In the street the heat was insufferable again; not a drop of rain had fallen all those days. Again dust, bricks and mortar, again the stench from the shops and pot-houses, again the drunken men, the Finnish pedlars and half-broken-down cabs. The sun shone straight in his eyes, so that it hurt him to look out of them, and he felt his head going round—as a man in a fever is apt to feel when he comes out into the street on a bright sunny day.
When he reached the turning into the street, in an agony of trepidation he looked down it... at the house... and at once averted his eyes.
"If they question me, perhaps I'll simply tell," he thought, as he drew near the police-station.
The police-station was about a quarter of a mile off. It had lately been moved to new rooms on the fourth floor of a new house. He had been once for a moment in the old office but long ago. Turning in at the gateway, he saw on the right a flight of stairs which a peasant was mounting with a book in his hand. "A house-porter, no doubt; so then, the office is here," and he began ascending the stairs on the chance. He did not want to ask questions of anyone.
"I'll go in, fall on my knees, and confess everything..." he thought, as he reached the fourth floor.
The staircase was steep, narrow and all sloppy with dirty water. The kitchens of the flats opened on to the stairs and stood open almost the whole day. So there was a fearful smell and heat. The staircase was crowded with porters going up and down with their books under their arms, policemen, and persons of all sorts and both sexes. The door of the office, too, stood wide open. Peasants stood waiting within. There, too, the heat was stifling and there was a sickening smell of fresh paint and stale oil from the newly decorated rooms.
After waiting a little, he decided to move forward into the next room. All the rooms were small and low-pitched. A fearful impatience drew him on and on. No one paid attention to him. In the second room some clerks sat writing, dressed hardly better than he was, and rather a queer-looking set. He went up to one of them.
"What is it?"
He showed the notice he had received.
"You are a student?" the man asked, glancing at the notice.
"Yes, formerly a student."
The clerk looked at him, but without the slightest interest. He was a particularly unkempt person with the look of a fixed idea in his eye.
"There would be no getting anything out of him, because he has no interest in anything," thought Raskolnikov.
"Go in there to the head clerk," said the clerk, pointing towards the furthest room.
He went into that room—the fourth in order; it was a small room and packed full of people, rather better dressed than in the outer rooms. Among them were two ladies. One, poorly dressed in mourning, sat at the table opposite the chief clerk, writing something at his dictation. The other, a very stout, buxom woman with a purplish-red, blotchy face, excessively smartly dressed with a brooch on her bosom as big as a saucer, was standing on one side, apparently waiting for something. Raskolnikov thrust his notice upon the head clerk. The latter glanced at it, said: "Wait a minute," and went on attending to the lady in mourning.
He breathed more freely. "It can't be that!"
By degrees he began to regain confidence, he kept urging himself to have courage and be calm.
"Some foolishness, some trifling carelessness, and I may betray myself! Hm... it's a pity there's no air here," he added, "it's stifling.... It makes one's head dizzier than ever... and one's mind too..."
He was conscious of a terrible inner turmoil. He was afraid of losing his self-control; he tried to catch at something and fix his mind on it, something quite irrelevant, but he could not succeed in this at all. Yet the head clerk greatly interested him, he kept hoping to see through him and guess something from his face.
He was a very young man, about two and twenty, with a dark mobile face that looked older than his years. He was fashionably dressed and foppish, with his hair parted in the middle, well combed and pomaded, and wore a number of rings on his well-scrubbed fingers and a gold chain on his waistcoat. He said a couple of words in French to a foreigner who was in the room, and said them fairly correctly.
"Luise Ivanovna, you can sit down," he said casually to the gaily-dressed, purple-faced lady, who was still standing as though not venturing to sit down, though there was a chair beside her.
"Ich danke," said the latter, and softly, with a rustle of silk she sank into the chair. Her light blue dress trimmed with white lace floated about the table like an air-balloon and filled almost half the room. She smelt of scent. But she was obviously embarrassed at filling half the room and smelling so strongly of scent; and though her smile was impudent as well as cringing, it betrayed evident uneasiness.
The lady in mourning had done at last, and got up. All at once, with some noise, an officer walked in very jauntily, with a peculiar swing of his shoulders at each step. He tossed his cockaded cap on the table and sat down in an easy-chair. The small lady positively skipped from her seat on seeing him, and fell to curtsying in a sort of ecstasy; but the officer took not the smallest notice of her, and she did not venture to sit down again in his presence. He was the assistant superintendent. He had a reddish moustache that stood out horizontally on each side of his face, and extremely small features, expressive of nothing much except a certain insolence. He looked askance and rather indignantly at Raskolnikov; he was so very badly dressed, and in spite of his humiliating position, his bearing was by no means in keeping with his clothes. Raskolnikov had unwarily fixed a very long and direct look on him, so that he felt positively affronted.
"What do you want?" he shouted, apparently astonished that such a ragged fellow was not annihilated by the majesty of his glance.
"I was summoned... by a notice..." Raskolnikov faltered.
"For the recovery of money due, from the student," the head clerk interfered hurriedly, tearing himself from his papers. "Here!" and he flung Raskolnikov a document and pointed out the place. "Read that!"
"Money? What money?" thought Raskolnikov, "but... then... it's certainly not that."
And he trembled with joy. He felt sudden intense indescribable relief. A load was lifted from his back.
"And pray, what time were you directed to appear, sir?" shouted the assistant superintendent, seeming for some unknown reason more and more aggrieved. "You are told to come at nine, and now it's twelve!"
"The notice was only brought me a quarter of an hour ago," Raskolnikov answered loudly over his shoulder. To his own surprise he, too, grew suddenly angry and found a certain pleasure in it. "And it's enough that I have come here ill with fever."
"Kindly refrain from shouting!"
"I'm not shouting, I'm speaking very quietly, it's you who are shouting at me. I'm a student, and allow no one to shout at me."
The assistant superintendent was so furious that for the first minute he could only splutter inarticulately. He leaped up from his seat.
"Be silent! You are in a government office. Don't be impudent, sir!"
"You're in a government office, too," cried Raskolnikov, "and you're smoking a cigarette as well as shouting, so you are showing disrespect to all of us."
He felt an indescribable satisfaction at having said this.
The head clerk looked at him with a smile. The angry assistant superintendent was obviously disconcerted.
"That's not your business!" he shouted at last with unnatural loudness. "Kindly make the declaration demanded of you. Show him. Alexandr Grigorievitch. There is a complaint against you! You don't pay your debts! You're a fine bird!"
But Raskolnikov was not listening now; he had eagerly clutched at the paper, in haste to find an explanation. He read it once, and a second time, and still did not understand.
"What is this?" he asked the head clerk.
"It is for the recovery of money on an I O U, a writ. You must either pay it, with all expenses, costs and so on, or give a written declaration when you can pay it, and at the same time an undertaking not to leave the capital without payment, and nor to sell or conceal your property. The creditor is at liberty to sell your property, and proceed against you according to the law."
"But I... am not in debt to anyone!"
"That's not our business. Here, an I O U for a hundred and fifteen roubles, legally attested, and due for payment, has been brought us for recovery, given by you to the widow of the assessor Zarnitsyn, nine months ago, and paid over by the widow Zarnitsyn to one Mr. Tchebarov. We therefore summon you, hereupon."
"But she is my landlady!"
"And what if she is your landlady?"
The head clerk looked at him with a condescending smile of compassion, and at the same time with a certain triumph, as at a novice under fire for the first time—as though he would say: "Well, how do you feel now?" But what did he care now for an I O U, for a writ of recovery! Was that worth worrying about now, was it worth attention even! He stood, he read, he listened, he answered, he even asked questions himself, but all mechanically. The triumphant sense of security, of deliverance from overwhelming danger, that was what filled his whole soul that moment without thought for the future, without analysis, without suppositions or surmises, without doubts and without questioning. It was an instant of full, direct, purely instinctive joy. But at that very moment something like a thunderstorm took place in the office. The assistant superintendent, still shaken by Raskolnikov's disrespect, still fuming and obviously anxious to keep up his wounded dignity, pounced on the unfortunate smart lady, who had been gazing at him ever since he came in with an exceedingly silly smile.
"You shameful hussy!" he shouted suddenly at the top of his voice. (The lady in mourning had left the office.) "What was going on at your house last night? Eh! A disgrace again, you're a scandal to the whole street. Fighting and drinking again. Do you want the house of correction? Why, I have warned you ten times over that I would not let you off the eleventh! And here you are again, again, you... you...!"
The paper fell out of Raskolnikov's hands, and he looked wildly at the smart lady who was so unceremoniously treated. But he soon saw what it meant, and at once began to find positive amusement in the scandal. He listened with pleasure, so that he longed to laugh and laugh... all his nerves were on edge.
"Ilya Petrovitch!" the head clerk was beginning anxiously, but stopped short, for he knew from experience that the enraged assistant could not be stopped except by force.
As for the smart lady, at first she positively trembled before the storm. But, strange to say, the more numerous and violent the terms of abuse became, the more amiable she looked, and the more seductive the smiles she lavished on the terrible assistant. She moved uneasily, and curtsied incessantly, waiting impatiently for a chance of putting in her word: and at last she found it.
"There was no sort of noise or fighting in my house, Mr. Captain," she pattered all at once, like peas dropping, speaking Russian confidently, though with a strong German accent, "and no sort of scandal, and his honour came drunk, and it's the whole truth I am telling, Mr. Captain, and I am not to blame.... Mine is an honourable house, Mr. Captain, and honourable behaviour, Mr. Captain, and I always, always dislike any scandal myself. But he came quite tipsy, and asked for three bottles again, and then he lifted up one leg, and began playing the pianoforte with one foot, and that is not at all right in an honourable house, and he ganz broke the piano, and it was very bad manners indeed and I said so. And he took up a bottle and began hitting everyone with it. And then I called the porter, and Karl came, and he took Karl and hit him in the eye; and he hit Henriette in the eye, too, and gave me five slaps on the cheek. And it was so ungentlemanly in an honourable house, Mr. Captain, and I screamed. And he opened the window over the canal, and stood in the window, squealing like a little pig; it was a disgrace. The idea of squealing like a little pig at the window into the street! Fie upon him! And Karl pulled him away from the window by his coat, and it is true, Mr. Captain, he tore sein rock. And then he shouted that man muss pay him fifteen roubles damages. And I did pay him, Mr. Captain, five roubles for sein rock. And he is an ungentlemanly visitor and caused all the scandal. 'I will show you up,' he said, 'for I can write to all the papers about you.'"
"Then he was an author?"
"Yes, Mr. Captain, and what an ungentlemanly visitor in an honourable house...."
"Now then! Enough! I have told you already..."
"Ilya Petrovitch!" the head clerk repeated significantly.
The assistant glanced rapidly at him; the head clerk slightly shook his head.
"... So I tell you this, most respectable Luise Ivanovna, and I tell it you for the last time," the assistant went on. "If there is a scandal in your honourable house once again, I will put you yourself in the lock-up, as it is called in polite society. Do you hear? So a literary man, an author took five roubles for his coat-tail in an 'honourable house'? A nice set, these authors!"
And he cast a contemptuous glance at Raskolnikov. "There was a scandal the other day in a restaurant, too. An author had eaten his dinner and would not pay; 'I'll write a satire on you,' says he. And there was another of them on a steamer last week used the most disgraceful language to the respectable family of a civil councillor, his wife and daughter. And there was one of them turned out of a confectioner's shop the other day. They are like that, authors, literary men, students, town-criers.... Pfoo! You get along! I shall look in upon you myself one day. Then you had better be careful! Do you hear?"
With hurried deference, Luise Ivanovna fell to curtsying in all directions, and so curtsied herself to the door. But at the door, she stumbled backwards against a good-looking officer with a fresh, open face and splendid thick fair whiskers. This was the superintendent of the district himself, Nikodim Fomitch. Luise Ivanovna made haste to curtsy almost to the ground, and with mincing little steps, she fluttered out of the office.
"Again thunder and lightning—a hurricane!" said Nikodim Fomitch to Ilya Petrovitch in a civil and friendly tone. "You are aroused again, you are fuming again! I heard it on the stairs!"
"Well, what then!" Ilya Petrovitch drawled with gentlemanly nonchalance; and he walked with some papers to another table, with a jaunty swing of his shoulders at each step. "Here, if you will kindly look: an author, or a student, has been one at least, does not pay his debts, has given an I O U, won't clear out of his room, and complaints are constantly being lodged against him, and here he has been pleased to make a protest against my smoking in his presence! He behaves like a cad himself, and just look at him, please. Here's the gentleman, and very attractive he is!"
"Poverty is not a vice, my friend, but we know you go off like powder, you can't bear a slight, I daresay you took offence at something and went too far yourself," continued Nikodim Fomitch, turning affably to Raskolnikov. "But you were wrong there; he is a capital fellow, I assure you, but explosive, explosive! He gets hot, fires up, boils over, and no stopping him! And then it's all over! And at the bottom he's a heart of gold! His nickname in the regiment was the Explosive Lieutenant...."
"And what a regiment it was, too," cried Ilya Petrovitch, much gratified at this agreeable banter, though still sulky.
Raskolnikov had a sudden desire to say something exceptionally pleasant to them all. "Excuse me, Captain," he began easily, suddenly addressing Nikodim Fomitch, "will you enter into my position?... I am ready to ask pardon, if I have been ill-mannered. I am a poor student, sick and shattered (shattered was the word he used) by poverty. I am not studying, because I cannot keep myself now, but I shall get money.... I have a mother and sister in the province of X. They will send it to me, and I will pay. My landlady is a good-hearted woman, but she is so exasperated at my having lost my lessons, and not paying her for the last four months, that she does not even send up my dinner... and I don't understand this I O U at all. She is asking me to pay her on this I O U. How am I to pay her? Judge for yourselves!..."
"But that is not our business, you know," the head clerk was observing.
"Yes, yes. I perfectly agree with you. But allow me to explain..." Raskolnikov put in again, still addressing Nikodim Fomitch, but trying his best to address Ilya Petrovitch also, though the latter persistently appeared to be rummaging among his papers and to be contemptuously oblivious of him. "Allow me to explain that I have been living with her for nearly three years and at first... at first... for why should I not confess it, at the very beginning I promised to marry her daughter, it was a verbal promise, freely given... she was a girl... indeed, I liked her, though I was not in love with her... a youthful affair in fact... that is, I mean to say, that my landlady gave me credit freely in those days, and I led a life of... I was very heedless..."
"Nobody asks you for these personal details, sir, we've no time to waste," Ilya Petrovitch interposed roughly and with a note of triumph; but Raskolnikov stopped him hotly, though he suddenly found it exceedingly difficult to speak.
"But excuse me, excuse me. It is for me to explain... how it all happened... In my turn... though I agree with you... it is unnecessary. But a year ago, the girl died of typhus. I remained lodging there as before, and when my landlady moved into her present quarters, she said to me... and in a friendly way... that she had complete trust in me, but still, would I not give her an I O U for one hundred and fifteen roubles, all the debt I owed her. She said if only I gave her that, she would trust me again, as much as I liked, and that she would never, never—those were her own words—make use of that I O U till I could pay of myself... and now, when I have lost my lessons and have nothing to eat, she takes action against me. What am I to say to that?"
"All these affecting details are no business of ours." Ilya Petrovitch interrupted rudely. "You must give a written undertaking but as for your love affairs and all these tragic events, we have nothing to do with that."
"Come now... you are harsh," muttered Nikodim Fomitch, sitting down at the table and also beginning to write. He looked a little ashamed.
"Write!" said the head clerk to Raskolnikov.
"Write what?" the latter asked, gruffly.
"I will dictate to you."
Raskolnikov fancied that the head clerk treated him more casually and contemptuously after his speech, but strange to say he suddenly felt completely indifferent to anyone's opinion, and this revulsion took place in a flash, in one instant. If he had cared to think a little, he would have been amazed indeed that he could have talked to them like that a minute before, forcing his feelings upon them. And where had those feelings come from? Now if the whole room had been filled, not with police officers, but with those nearest and dearest to him, he would not have found one human word for them, so empty was his heart. A gloomy sensation of agonising, everlasting solitude and remoteness, took conscious form in his soul. It was not the meanness of his sentimental effusions before Ilya Petrovitch, nor the meanness of the latter's triumph over him that had caused this sudden revulsion in his heart. Oh, what had he to do now with his own baseness, with all these petty vanities, officers, German women, debts, police-offices? If he had been sentenced to be burnt at that moment, he would not have stirred, would hardly have heard the sentence to the end. Something was happening to him entirely new, sudden and unknown. It was not that he understood, but he felt clearly with all the intensity of sensation that he could never more appeal to these people in the police-office with sentimental effusions like his recent outburst, or with anything whatever; and that if they had been his own brothers and sisters and not police-officers, it would have been utterly out of the question to appeal to them in any circumstance of life. He had never experienced such a strange and awful sensation. And what was most agonising—it was more a sensation than a conception or idea, a direct sensation, the most agonising of all the sensations he had known in his life.
The head clerk began dictating to him the usual form of declaration, that he could not pay, that he undertook to do so at a future date, that he would not leave the town, nor sell his property, and so on.
"But you can't write, you can hardly hold the pen," observed the head clerk, looking with curiosity at Raskolnikov. "Are you ill?"
"Yes, I am giddy. Go on!"
"That's all. Sign it."
The head clerk took the paper, and turned to attend to others.
Raskolnikov gave back the pen; but instead of getting up and going away, he put his elbows on the table and pressed his head in his hands. He felt as if a nail were being driven into his skull. A strange idea suddenly occurred to him, to get up at once, to go up to Nikodim Fomitch, and tell him everything that had happened yesterday, and then to go with him to his lodgings and to show him the things in the hole in the corner. The impulse was so strong that he got up from his seat to carry it out. "Hadn't I better think a minute?" flashed through his mind. "No, better cast off the burden without thinking." But all at once he stood still, rooted to the spot. Nikodim Fomitch was talking eagerly with Ilya Petrovitch, and the words reached him:
"It's impossible, they'll both be released. To begin with, the whole story contradicts itself. Why should they have called the porter, if it had been their doing? To inform against themselves? Or as a blind? No, that would be too cunning! Besides, Pestryakov, the student, was seen at the gate by both the porters and a woman as he went in. He was walking with three friends, who left him only at the gate, and he asked the porters to direct him, in the presence of the friends. Now, would he have asked his way if he had been going with such an object? As for Koch, he spent half an hour at the silversmith's below, before he went up to the old woman and he left him at exactly a quarter to eight. Now just consider..."
"But excuse me, how do you explain this contradiction? They state themselves that they knocked and the door was locked; yet three minutes later when they went up with the porter, it turned out the door was unfastened."
"That's just it; the murderer must have been there and bolted himself in; and they'd have caught him for a certainty if Koch had not been an ass and gone to look for the porter too. He must have seized the interval to get downstairs and slip by them somehow. Koch keeps crossing himself and saying: 'If I had been there, he would have jumped out and killed me with his axe.' He is going to have a thanksgiving service—ha, ha!"
"And no one saw the murderer?"
"They might well not see him; the house is a regular Noah's Ark," said the head clerk, who was listening.
"It's clear, quite clear," Nikodim Fomitch repeated warmly.
"No, it is anything but clear," Ilya Petrovitch maintained.
Raskolnikov picked up his hat and walked towards the door, but he did not reach it....
When he recovered consciousness, he found himself sitting in a chair, supported by someone on the right side, while someone else was standing on the left, holding a yellowish glass filled with yellow water, and Nikodim Fomitch standing before him, looking intently at him. He got up from the chair.
"What's this? Are you ill?" Nikodim Fomitch asked, rather sharply.
"He could hardly hold his pen when he was signing," said the head clerk, settling back in his place, and taking up his work again.
"Have you been ill long?" cried Ilya Petrovitch from his place, where he, too, was looking through papers. He had, of course, come to look at the sick man when he fainted, but retired at once when he recovered.
"Since yesterday," muttered Raskolnikov in reply.
"Did you go out yesterday?"
"Though you were ill?"
"At what time?"
"And where did you go, my I ask?"
"Along the street."
"Short and clear."
Raskolnikov, white as a handkerchief, had answered sharply, jerkily, without dropping his black feverish eyes before Ilya Petrovitch's stare.
"He can scarcely stand upright. And you..." Nikodim Fomitch was beginning.
"No matter," Ilya Petrovitch pronounced rather peculiarly.
Nikodim Fomitch would have made some further protest, but glancing at the head clerk who was looking very hard at him, he did not speak. There was a sudden silence. It was strange.
"Very well, then," concluded Ilya Petrovitch, "we will not detain you."
Raskolnikov went out. He caught the sound of eager conversation on his departure, and above the rest rose the questioning voice of Nikodim Fomitch. In the street, his faintness passed off completely.
"A search—there will be a search at once," he repeated to himself, hurrying home. "The brutes! they suspect."
His former terror mastered him completely again.
"And what if there has been a search already? What if I find them in my room?"
But here was his room. Nothing and no one in it. No one had peeped in. Even Nastasya had not touched it. But heavens! how could he have left all those things in the hole?
He rushed to the corner, slipped his hand under the paper, pulled the things out and lined his pockets with them. There were eight articles in all: two little boxes with ear-rings or something of the sort, he hardly looked to see; then four small leather cases. There was a chain, too, merely wrapped in newspaper and something else in newspaper, that looked like a decoration.... He put them all in the different pockets of his overcoat, and the remaining pocket of his trousers, trying to conceal them as much as possible. He took the purse, too. Then he went out of his room, leaving the door open. He walked quickly and resolutely, and though he felt shattered, he had his senses about him. He was afraid of pursuit, he was afraid that in another half-hour, another quarter of an hour perhaps, instructions would be issued for his pursuit, and so at all costs, he must hide all traces before then. He must clear everything up while he still had some strength, some reasoning power left him.... Where was he to go?
That had long been settled: "Fling them into the canal, and all traces hidden in the water, the thing would be at an end." So he had decided in the night of his delirium when several times he had had the impulse to get up and go away, to make haste, and get rid of it all. But to get rid of it, turned out to be a very difficult task. He wandered along the bank of the Ekaterininsky Canal for half an hour or more and looked several times at the steps running down to the water, but he could not think of carrying out his plan; either rafts stood at the steps' edge, and women were washing clothes on them, or boats were moored there, and people were swarming everywhere. Moreover he could be seen and noticed from the banks on all sides; it would look suspicious for a man to go down on purpose, stop, and throw something into the water. And what if the boxes were to float instead of sinking? And of course they would. Even as it was, everyone he met seemed to stare and look round, as if they had nothing to do but to watch him. "Why is it, or can it be my fancy?" he thought.
At last the thought struck him that it might be better to go to the Neva. There were not so many people there, he would be less observed, and it would be more convenient in every way, above all it was further off. He wondered how he could have been wandering for a good half-hour, worried and anxious in this dangerous past without thinking of it before. And that half-hour he had lost over an irrational plan, simply because he had thought of it in delirium! He had become extremely absent and forgetful and he was aware of it. He certainly must make haste.
He walked towards the Neva along V—— Prospect, but on the way another idea struck him. "Why to the Neva? Would it not be better to go somewhere far off, to the Islands again, and there hide the things in some solitary place, in a wood or under a bush, and mark the spot perhaps?" And though he felt incapable of clear judgment, the idea seemed to him a sound one. But he was not destined to go there. For coming out of V—— Prospect towards the square, he saw on the left a passage leading between two blank walls to a courtyard. On the right hand, the blank unwhitewashed wall of a four-storied house stretched far into the court; on the left, a wooden hoarding ran parallel with it for twenty paces into the court, and then turned sharply to the left. Here was a deserted fenced-off place where rubbish of different sorts was lying. At the end of the court, the corner of a low, smutty, stone shed, apparently part of some workshop, peeped from behind the hoarding. It was probably a carriage builder's or carpenter's shed; the whole place from the entrance was black with coal dust. Here would be the place to throw it, he thought. Not seeing anyone in the yard, he slipped in, and at once saw near the gate a sink, such as is often put in yards where there are many workmen or cab-drivers; and on the hoarding above had been scribbled in chalk the time-honoured witticism, "Standing here strictly forbidden." This was all the better, for there would be nothing suspicious about his going in. "Here I could throw it all in a heap and get away!"
Looking round once more, with his hand already in his pocket, he noticed against the outer wall, between the entrance and the sink, a big unhewn stone, weighing perhaps sixty pounds. The other side of the wall was a street. He could hear passers-by, always numerous in that part, but he could not be seen from the entrance, unless someone came in from the street, which might well happen indeed, so there was need of haste.
He bent down over the stone, seized the top of it firmly in both hands, and using all his strength turned it over. Under the stone was a small hollow in the ground, and he immediately emptied his pocket into it. The purse lay at the top, and yet the hollow was not filled up. Then he seized the stone again and with one twist turned it back, so that it was in the same position again, though it stood a very little higher. But he scraped the earth about it and pressed it at the edges with his foot. Nothing could be noticed.
Then he went out, and turned into the square. Again an intense, almost unbearable joy overwhelmed him for an instant, as it had in the police-office. "I have buried my tracks! And who, who can think of looking under that stone? It has been lying there most likely ever since the house was built, and will lie as many years more. And if it were found, who would think of me? It is all over! No clue!" And he laughed. Yes, he remembered that he began laughing a thin, nervous noiseless laugh, and went on laughing all the time he was crossing the square. But when he reached the K—— Boulevard where two days before he had come upon that girl, his laughter suddenly ceased. Other ideas crept into his mind. He felt all at once that it would be loathsome to pass that seat on which after the girl was gone, he had sat and pondered, and that it would be hateful, too, to meet that whiskered policeman to whom he had given the twenty copecks: "Damn him!"
He walked, looking about him angrily and distractedly. All his ideas now seemed to be circling round some single point, and he felt that there really was such a point, and that now, now, he was left facing that point—and for the first time, indeed, during the last two months.
"Damn it all!" he thought suddenly, in a fit of ungovernable fury. "If it has begun, then it has begun. Hang the new life! Good Lord, how stupid it is!... And what lies I told to-day! How despicably I fawned upon that wretched Ilya Petrovitch! But that is all folly! What do I care for them all, and my fawning upon them! It is not that at all! It is not that at all!"
Suddenly he stopped; a new utterly unexpected and exceedingly simple question perplexed and bitterly confounded him.
"If it all has really been done deliberately and not idiotically, if I really had a certain and definite object, how is it I did not even glance into the purse and don't know what I had there, for which I have undergone these agonies, and have deliberately undertaken this base, filthy degrading business? And here I wanted at once to throw into the water the purse together with all the things which I had not seen either... how's that?"
Yes, that was so, that was all so. Yet he had known it all before, and it was not a new question for him, even when it was decided in the night without hesitation and consideration, as though so it must be, as though it could not possibly be otherwise.... Yes, he had known it all, and understood it all; it surely had all been settled even yesterday at the moment when he was bending over the box and pulling the jewel-cases out of it.... Yes, so it was.
"It is because I am very ill," he decided grimly at last, "I have been worrying and fretting myself, and I don't know what I am doing.... Yesterday and the day before yesterday and all this time I have been worrying myself.... I shall get well and I shall not worry.... But what if I don't get well at all? Good God, how sick I am of it all!"
He walked on without resting. He had a terrible longing for some distraction, but he did not know what to do, what to attempt. A new overwhelming sensation was gaining more and more mastery over him every moment; this was an immeasurable, almost physical, repulsion for everything surrounding him, an obstinate, malignant feeling of hatred. All who met him were loathsome to him—he loathed their faces, their movements, their gestures. If anyone had addressed him, he felt that he might have spat at him or bitten him....
He stopped suddenly, on coming out on the bank of the Little Neva, near the bridge to Vassilyevsky Ostrov. "Why, he lives here, in that house," he thought, "why, I have not come to Razumihin of my own accord! Here it's the same thing over again.... Very interesting to know, though; have I come on purpose or have I simply walked here by chance? Never mind, I said the day before yesterday that I would go and see him the day after; well, and so I will! Besides I really cannot go further now."
He went up to Razumihin's room on the fifth floor.
The latter was at home in his garret, busily writing at the moment, and he opened the door himself. It was four months since they had seen each other. Razumihin was sitting in a ragged dressing-gown, with slippers on his bare feet, unkempt, unshaven and unwashed. His face showed surprise.
"Is it you?" he cried. He looked his comrade up and down; then after a brief pause, he whistled. "As hard up as all that! Why, brother, you've cut me out!" he added, looking at Raskolnikov's rags. "Come sit down, you are tired, I'll be bound."
And when he had sunk down on the American leather sofa, which was in even worse condition than his own, Razumihin saw at once that his visitor was ill.
"Why, you are seriously ill, do you know that?" He began feeling his pulse. Raskolnikov pulled away his hand.
"Never mind," he said, "I have come for this: I have no lessons.... I wanted,... but I don't really want lessons...."
"But I say! You are delirious, you know!" Razumihin observed, watching him carefully.
"No, I am not."
Raskolnikov got up from the sofa. As he had mounted the stairs to Razumihin's, he had not realised that he would be meeting his friend face to face. Now, in a flash, he knew, that what he was least of all disposed for at that moment was to be face to face with anyone in the wide world. His spleen rose within him. He almost choked with rage at himself as soon as he crossed Razumihin's threshold.
"Good-bye," he said abruptly, and walked to the door.
"Stop, stop! You queer fish."
"I don't want to," said the other, again pulling away his hand.
"Then why the devil have you come? Are you mad, or what? Why, this is... almost insulting! I won't let you go like that."
"Well, then, I came to you because I know no one but you who could help... to begin... because you are kinder than anyone—cleverer, I mean, and can judge... and now I see that I want nothing. Do you hear? Nothing at all... no one's services... no one's sympathy. I am by myself... alone. Come, that's enough. Leave me alone."
"Stay a minute, you sweep! You are a perfect madman. As you like for all I care. I have no lessons, do you see, and I don't care about that, but there's a bookseller, Heruvimov—and he takes the place of a lesson. I would not exchange him for five lessons. He's doing publishing of a kind, and issuing natural science manuals and what a circulation they have! The very titles are worth the money! You always maintained that I was a fool, but by Jove, my boy, there are greater fools than I am! Now he is setting up for being advanced, not that he has an inkling of anything, but, of course, I encourage him. Here are two signatures of the German text—in my opinion, the crudest charlatanism; it discusses the question, 'Is woman a human being?' And, of course, triumphantly proves that she is. Heruvimov is going to bring out this work as a contribution to the woman question; I am translating it; he will expand these two and a half signatures into six, we shall make up a gorgeous title half a page long and bring it out at half a rouble. It will do! He pays me six roubles the signature, it works out to about fifteen roubles for the job, and I've had six already in advance. When we have finished this, we are going to begin a translation about whales, and then some of the dullest scandals out of the second part of Les Confessions we have marked for translation; somebody has told Heruvimov, that Rousseau was a kind of Radishchev. You may be sure I don't contradict him, hang him! Well, would you like to do the second signature of 'Is woman a human being?' If you would, take the German and pens and paper—all those are provided, and take three roubles; for as I have had six roubles in advance on the whole thing, three roubles come to you for your share. And when you have finished the signature there will be another three roubles for you. And please don't think I am doing you a service; quite the contrary, as soon as you came in, I saw how you could help me; to begin with, I am weak in spelling, and secondly, I am sometimes utterly adrift in German, so that I make it up as I go along for the most part. The only comfort is, that it's bound to be a change for the better. Though who can tell, maybe it's sometimes for the worse. Will you take it?"
Raskolnikov took the German sheets in silence, took the three roubles and without a word went out. Razumihin gazed after him in astonishment. But when Raskolnikov was in the next street, he turned back, mounted the stairs to Razumihin's again and laying on the table the German article and the three roubles, went out again, still without uttering a word.
"Are you raving, or what?" Razumihin shouted, roused to fury at last. "What farce is this? You'll drive me crazy too... what did you come to see me for, damn you?"
"I don't want... translation," muttered Raskolnikov from the stairs.
"Then what the devil do you want?" shouted Razumihin from above. Raskolnikov continued descending the staircase in silence.
"Hey, there! Where are you living?"
"Well, confound you then!"
But Raskolnikov was already stepping into the street. On the Nikolaevsky Bridge he was roused to full consciousness again by an unpleasant incident. A coachman, after shouting at him two or three times, gave him a violent lash on the back with his whip, for having almost fallen under his horses' hoofs. The lash so infuriated him that he dashed away to the railing (for some unknown reason he had been walking in the very middle of the bridge in the traffic). He angrily clenched and ground his teeth. He heard laughter, of course.
"Serves him right!"
"A pickpocket I dare say."
"Pretending to be drunk, for sure, and getting under the wheels on purpose; and you have to answer for him."
"It's a regular profession, that's what it is."
But while he stood at the railing, still looking angry and bewildered after the retreating carriage, and rubbing his back, he suddenly felt someone thrust money into his hand. He looked. It was an elderly woman in a kerchief and goatskin shoes, with a girl, probably her daughter wearing a hat, and carrying a green parasol.
"Take it, my good man, in Christ's name."
He took it and they passed on. It was a piece of twenty copecks. From his dress and appearance they might well have taken him for a beggar asking alms in the streets, and the gift of the twenty copecks he doubtless owed to the blow, which made them feel sorry for him.
He closed his hand on the twenty copecks, walked on for ten paces, and turned facing the Neva, looking towards the palace. The sky was without a cloud and the water was almost bright blue, which is so rare in the Neva. The cupola of the cathedral, which is seen at its best from the bridge about twenty paces from the chapel, glittered in the sunlight, and in the pure air every ornament on it could be clearly distinguished. The pain from the lash went off, and Raskolnikov forgot about it; one uneasy and not quite definite idea occupied him now completely. He stood still, and gazed long and intently into the distance; this spot was especially familiar to him. When he was attending the university, he had hundreds of times—generally on his way home—stood still on this spot, gazed at this truly magnificent spectacle and almost always marvelled at a vague and mysterious emotion it roused in him. It left him strangely cold; this gorgeous picture was for him blank and lifeless. He wondered every time at his sombre and enigmatic impression and, mistrusting himself, put off finding the explanation of it. He vividly recalled those old doubts and perplexities, and it seemed to him that it was no mere chance that he recalled them now. It struck him as strange and grotesque, that he should have stopped at the same spot as before, as though he actually imagined he could think the same thoughts, be interested in the same theories and pictures that had interested him... so short a time ago. He felt it almost amusing, and yet it wrung his heart. Deep down, hidden far away out of sight all that seemed to him now—all his old past, his old thoughts, his old problems and theories, his old impressions and that picture and himself and all, all.... He felt as though he were flying upwards, and everything were vanishing from his sight. Making an unconscious movement with his hand, he suddenly became aware of the piece of money in his fist. He opened his hand, stared at the coin, and with a sweep of his arm flung it into the water; then he turned and went home. It seemed to him, he had cut himself off from everyone and from everything at that moment.
Evening was coming on when he reached home, so that he must have been walking about six hours. How and where he came back he did not remember. Undressing, and quivering like an overdriven horse, he lay down on the sofa, drew his greatcoat over him, and at once sank into oblivion....
It was dusk when he was waked up by a fearful scream. Good God, what a scream! Such unnatural sounds, such howling, wailing, grinding, tears, blows and curses he had never heard.
He could never have imagined such brutality, such frenzy. In terror he sat up in bed, almost swooning with agony. But the fighting, wailing and cursing grew louder and louder. And then to his intense amazement he caught the voice of his landlady. She was howling, shrieking and wailing, rapidly, hurriedly, incoherently, so that he could not make out what she was talking about; she was beseeching, no doubt, not to be beaten, for she was being mercilessly beaten on the stairs. The voice of her assailant was so horrible from spite and rage that it was almost a croak; but he, too, was saying something, and just as quickly and indistinctly, hurrying and spluttering. All at once Raskolnikov trembled; he recognised the voice—it was the voice of Ilya Petrovitch. Ilya Petrovitch here and beating the landlady! He is kicking her, banging her head against the steps—that's clear, that can be told from the sounds, from the cries and the thuds. How is it, is the world topsy-turvy? He could hear people running in crowds from all the storeys and all the staircases; he heard voices, exclamations, knocking, doors banging. "But why, why, and how could it be?" he repeated, thinking seriously that he had gone mad. But no, he heard too distinctly! And they would come to him then next, "for no doubt... it's all about that... about yesterday.... Good God!" He would have fastened his door with the latch, but he could not lift his hand... besides, it would be useless. Terror gripped his heart like ice, tortured him and numbed him.... But at last all this uproar, after continuing about ten minutes, began gradually to subside. The landlady was moaning and groaning; Ilya Petrovitch was still uttering threats and curses.... But at last he, too, seemed to be silent, and now he could not be heard. "Can he have gone away? Good Lord!" Yes, and now the landlady is going too, still weeping and moaning... and then her door slammed.... Now the crowd was going from the stairs to their rooms, exclaiming, disputing, calling to one another, raising their voices to a shout, dropping them to a whisper. There must have been numbers of them—almost all the inmates of the block. "But, good God, how could it be! And why, why had he come here!"
Raskolnikov sank worn out on the sofa, but could not close his eyes. He lay for half an hour in such anguish, such an intolerable sensation of infinite terror as he had never experienced before. Suddenly a bright light flashed into his room. Nastasya came in with a candle and a plate of soup. Looking at him carefully and ascertaining that he was not asleep, she set the candle on the table and began to lay out what she had brought—bread, salt, a plate, a spoon.
"You've eaten nothing since yesterday, I warrant. You've been trudging about all day, and you're shaking with fever."
"Nastasya... what were they beating the landlady for?"
She looked intently at him.
"Who beat the landlady?"
"Just now... half an hour ago, Ilya Petrovitch, the assistant superintendent, on the stairs.... Why was he ill-treating her like that, and... why was he here?"
Nastasya scrutinised him, silent and frowning, and her scrutiny lasted a long time. He felt uneasy, even frightened at her searching eyes.
"Nastasya, why don't you speak?" he said timidly at last in a weak voice.
"It's the blood," she answered at last softly, as though speaking to herself.
"Blood? What blood?" he muttered, growing white and turning towards the wall.
Nastasya still looked at him without speaking.
"Nobody has been beating the landlady," she declared at last in a firm, resolute voice.
He gazed at her, hardly able to breathe.
"I heard it myself.... I was not asleep... I was sitting up," he said still more timidly. "I listened a long while. The assistant superintendent came.... Everyone ran out on to the stairs from all the flats."
"No one has been here. That's the blood crying in your ears. When there's no outlet for it and it gets clotted, you begin fancying things.... Will you eat something?"
He made no answer. Nastasya still stood over him, watching him.
"Give me something to drink... Nastasya."
She went downstairs and returned with a white earthenware jug of water. He remembered only swallowing one sip of the cold water and spilling some on his neck. Then followed forgetfulness.
He was not completely unconscious, however, all the time he was ill; he was in a feverish state, sometimes delirious, sometimes half conscious. He remembered a great deal afterwards. Sometimes it seemed as though there were a number of people round him; they wanted to take him away somewhere, there was a great deal of squabbling and discussing about him. Then he would be alone in the room; they had all gone away afraid of him, and only now and then opened the door a crack to look at him; they threatened him, plotted something together, laughed, and mocked at him. He remembered Nastasya often at his bedside; he distinguished another person, too, whom he seemed to know very well, though he could not remember who he was, and this fretted him, even made him cry. Sometimes he fancied he had been lying there a month; at other times it all seemed part of the same day. But of that—of that he had no recollection, and yet every minute he felt that he had forgotten something he ought to remember. He worried and tormented himself trying to remember, moaned, flew into a rage, or sank into awful, intolerable terror. Then he struggled to get up, would have run away, but someone always prevented him by force, and he sank back into impotence and forgetfulness. At last he returned to complete consciousness.
It happened at ten o'clock in the morning. On fine days the sun shone into the room at that hour, throwing a streak of light on the right wall and the corner near the door. Nastasya was standing beside him with another person, a complete stranger, who was looking at him very inquisitively. He was a young man with a beard, wearing a full, short-waisted coat, and looked like a messenger. The landlady was peeping in at the half-opened door. Raskolnikov sat up.
"Who is this, Nastasya?" he asked, pointing to the young man.
"I say, he's himself again!" she said.
"He is himself," echoed the man.
Concluding that he had returned to his senses, the landlady closed the door and disappeared. She was always shy and dreaded conversations or discussions. She was a woman of forty, not at all bad-looking, fat and buxom, with black eyes and eyebrows, good-natured from fatness and laziness, and absurdly bashful.
"Who... are you?" he went on, addressing the man. But at that moment the door was flung open, and, stooping a little, as he was so tall, Razumihin came in.
"What a cabin it is!" he cried. "I am always knocking my head. You call this a lodging! So you are conscious, brother? I've just heard the news from Pashenka."
"He has just come to," said Nastasya.
"Just come to," echoed the man again, with a smile.
"And who are you?" Razumihin asked, suddenly addressing him. "My name is Vrazumihin, at your service; not Razumihin, as I am always called, but Vrazumihin, a student and gentleman; and he is my friend. And who are you?"
"I am the messenger from our office, from the merchant Shelopaev, and I've come on business."
"Please sit down." Razumihin seated himself on the other side of the table. "It's a good thing you've come to, brother," he went on to Raskolnikov. "For the last four days you have scarcely eaten or drunk anything. We had to give you tea in spoonfuls. I brought Zossimov to see you twice. You remember Zossimov? He examined you carefully and said at once it was nothing serious—something seemed to have gone to your head. Some nervous nonsense, the result of bad feeding, he says you have not had enough beer and radish, but it's nothing much, it will pass and you will be all right. Zossimov is a first-rate fellow! He is making quite a name. Come, I won't keep you," he said, addressing the man again. "Will you explain what you want? You must know, Rodya, this is the second time they have sent from the office; but it was another man last time, and I talked to him. Who was it came before?"
"That was the day before yesterday, I venture to say, if you please, sir. That was Alexey Semyonovitch; he is in our office, too."
"He was more intelligent than you, don't you think so?"
"Yes, indeed, sir, he is of more weight than I am."
"Quite so; go on."
"At your mamma's request, through Afanasy Ivanovitch Vahrushin, of whom I presume you have heard more than once, a remittance is sent to you from our office," the man began, addressing Raskolnikov. "If you are in an intelligible condition, I've thirty-five roubles to remit to you, as Semyon Semyonovitch has received from Afanasy Ivanovitch at your mamma's request instructions to that effect, as on previous occasions. Do you know him, sir?"
"Yes, I remember... Vahrushin," Raskolnikov said dreamily.
"You hear, he knows Vahrushin," cried Razumihin. "He is in 'an intelligible condition'! And I see you are an intelligent man too. Well, it's always pleasant to hear words of wisdom."
"That's the gentleman, Vahrushin, Afanasy Ivanovitch. And at the request of your mamma, who has sent you a remittance once before in the same manner through him, he did not refuse this time also, and sent instructions to Semyon Semyonovitch some days since to hand you thirty-five roubles in the hope of better to come."
"That 'hoping for better to come' is the best thing you've said, though 'your mamma' is not bad either. Come then, what do you say? Is he fully conscious, eh?"
"That's all right. If only he can sign this little paper."
"He can scrawl his name. Have you got the book?"
"Yes, here's the book."
"Give it to me. Here, Rodya, sit up. I'll hold you. Take the pen and scribble 'Raskolnikov' for him. For just now, brother, money is sweeter to us than treacle."
"I don't want it," said Raskolnikov, pushing away the pen.
"Not want it?"
"I won't sign it."
"How the devil can you do without signing it?"
"I don't want... the money."
"Don't want the money! Come, brother, that's nonsense, I bear witness. Don't trouble, please, it's only that he is on his travels again. But that's pretty common with him at all times though.... You are a man of judgment and we will take him in hand, that is, more simply, take his hand and he will sign it. Here."
"But I can come another time."
"No, no. Why should we trouble you? You are a man of judgment.... Now, Rodya, don't keep your visitor, you see he is waiting," and he made ready to hold Raskolnikov's hand in earnest.
"Stop, I'll do it alone," said the latter, taking the pen and signing his name.
The messenger took out the money and went away.
"Bravo! And now, brother, are you hungry?"
"Yes," answered Raskolnikov.
"Is there any soup?"
"Some of yesterday's," answered Nastasya, who was still standing there.
"With potatoes and rice in it?"
"I know it by heart. Bring soup and give us some tea."
Raskolnikov looked at all this with profound astonishment and a dull, unreasoning terror. He made up his mind to keep quiet and see what would happen. "I believe I am not wandering. I believe it's reality," he thought.
In a couple of minutes Nastasya returned with the soup, and announced that the tea would be ready directly. With the soup she brought two spoons, two plates, salt, pepper, mustard for the beef, and so on. The table was set as it had not been for a long time. The cloth was clean.
"It would not be amiss, Nastasya, if Praskovya Pavlovna were to send us up a couple of bottles of beer. We could empty them."
"Well, you are a cool hand," muttered Nastasya, and she departed to carry out his orders.
Raskolnikov still gazed wildly with strained attention. Meanwhile Razumihin sat down on the sofa beside him, as clumsily as a bear put his left arm round Raskolnikov's head, although he was able to sit up, and with his right hand gave him a spoonful of soup, blowing on it that it might not burn him. But the soup was only just warm. Raskolnikov swallowed one spoonful greedily, then a second, then a third. But after giving him a few more spoonfuls of soup, Razumihin suddenly stopped, and said that he must ask Zossimov whether he ought to have more.
Nastasya came in with two bottles of beer.
"And will you have tea?"
"Cut along, Nastasya, and bring some tea, for tea we may venture on without the faculty. But here is the beer!" He moved back to his chair, pulled the soup and meat in front of him, and began eating as though he had not touched food for three days.
"I must tell you, Rodya, I dine like this here every day now," he mumbled with his mouth full of beef, "and it's all Pashenka, your dear little landlady, who sees to that; she loves to do anything for me. I don't ask for it, but, of course, I don't object. And here's Nastasya with the tea. She is a quick girl. Nastasya, my dear, won't you have some beer?"
"Get along with your nonsense!"
"A cup of tea, then?"
"A cup of tea, maybe."
"Pour it out. Stay, I'll pour it out myself. Sit down."
He poured out two cups, left his dinner, and sat on the sofa again. As before, he put his left arm round the sick man's head, raised him up and gave him tea in spoonfuls, again blowing each spoonful steadily and earnestly, as though this process was the principal and most effective means towards his friend's recovery. Raskolnikov said nothing and made no resistance, though he felt quite strong enough to sit up on the sofa without support and could not merely have held a cup or a spoon, but even perhaps could have walked about. But from some queer, almost animal, cunning he conceived the idea of hiding his strength and lying low for a time, pretending if necessary not to be yet in full possession of his faculties, and meanwhile listening to find out what was going on. Yet he could not overcome his sense of repugnance. After sipping a dozen spoonfuls of tea, he suddenly released his head, pushed the spoon away capriciously, and sank back on the pillow. There were actually real pillows under his head now, down pillows in clean cases, he observed that, too, and took note of it.
"Pashenka must give us some raspberry jam to-day to make him some raspberry tea," said Razumihin, going back to his chair and attacking his soup and beer again.
"And where is she to get raspberries for you?" asked Nastasya, balancing a saucer on her five outspread fingers and sipping tea through a lump of sugar.
"She'll get it at the shop, my dear. You see, Rodya, all sorts of things have been happening while you have been laid up. When you decamped in that rascally way without leaving your address, I felt so angry that I resolved to find you out and punish you. I set to work that very day. How I ran about making inquiries for you! This lodging of yours I had forgotten, though I never remembered it, indeed, because I did not know it; and as for your old lodgings, I could only remember it was at the Five Corners, Harlamov's house. I kept trying to find that Harlamov's house, and afterwards it turned out that it was not Harlamov's, but Buch's. How one muddles up sound sometimes! So I lost my temper, and I went on the chance to the address bureau next day, and only fancy, in two minutes they looked you up! Your name is down there."
"I should think so; and yet a General Kobelev they could not find while I was there. Well, it's a long story. But as soon as I did land on this place, I soon got to know all your affairs—all, all, brother, I know everything; Nastasya here will tell you. I made the acquaintance of Nikodim Fomitch and Ilya Petrovitch, and the house-porter and Mr. Zametov, Alexandr Grigorievitch, the head clerk in the police office, and, last, but not least, of Pashenka; Nastasya here knows...."
"He's got round her," Nastasya murmured, smiling slyly.
"Why don't you put the sugar in your tea, Nastasya Nikiforovna?"
"You are a one!" Nastasya cried suddenly, going off into a giggle. "I am not Nikiforovna, but Petrovna," she added suddenly, recovering from her mirth.
"I'll make a note of it. Well, brother, to make a long story short, I was going in for a regular explosion here to uproot all malignant influences in the locality, but Pashenka won the day. I had not expected, brother, to find her so... prepossessing. Eh, what do you think?"
Raskolnikov did not speak, but he still kept his eyes fixed upon him, full of alarm.
"And all that could be wished, indeed, in every respect," Razumihin went on, not at all embarrassed by his silence.
"Ah, the sly dog!" Nastasya shrieked again. This conversation afforded her unspeakable delight.
"It's a pity, brother, that you did not set to work in the right way at first. You ought to have approached her differently. She is, so to speak, a most unaccountable character. But we will talk about her character later.... How could you let things come to such a pass that she gave up sending you your dinner? And that I O U? You must have been mad to sign an I O U. And that promise of marriage when her daughter, Natalya Yegorovna, was alive?... I know all about it! But I see that's a delicate matter and I am an ass; forgive me. But, talking of foolishness, do you know Praskovya Pavlovna is not nearly so foolish as you would think at first sight?"
"No," mumbled Raskolnikov, looking away, but feeling that it was better to keep up the conversation.
"She isn't, is she?" cried Razumihin, delighted to get an answer out of him. "But she is not very clever either, eh? She is essentially, essentially an unaccountable character! I am sometimes quite at a loss, I assure you.... She must be forty; she says she is thirty-six, and of course she has every right to say so. But I swear I judge her intellectually, simply from the metaphysical point of view; there is a sort of symbolism sprung up between us, a sort of algebra or what not! I don't understand it! Well, that's all nonsense. Only, seeing that you are not a student now and have lost your lessons and your clothes, and that through the young lady's death she has no need to treat you as a relation, she suddenly took fright; and as you hid in your den and dropped all your old relations with her, she planned to get rid of you. And she's been cherishing that design a long time, but was sorry to lose the I O U, for you assured her yourself that your mother would pay."
"It was base of me to say that.... My mother herself is almost a beggar... and I told a lie to keep my lodging... and be fed," Raskolnikov said loudly and distinctly.
"Yes, you did very sensibly. But the worst of it is that at that point Mr. Tchebarov turns up, a business man. Pashenka would never have thought of doing anything on her own account, she is too retiring; but the business man is by no means retiring, and first thing he puts the question, 'Is there any hope of realising the I O U?' Answer: there is, because he has a mother who would save her Rodya with her hundred and twenty-five roubles pension, if she has to starve herself; and a sister, too, who would go into bondage for his sake. That's what he was building upon.... Why do you start? I know all the ins and outs of your affairs now, my dear boy—it's not for nothing that you were so open with Pashenka when you were her prospective son-in-law, and I say all this as a friend.... But I tell you what it is; an honest and sensitive man is open; and a business man 'listens and goes on eating' you up. Well, then she gave the I O U by way of payment to this Tchebarov, and without hesitation he made a formal demand for payment. When I heard of all this I wanted to blow him up, too, to clear my conscience, but by that time harmony reigned between me and Pashenka, and I insisted on stopping the whole affair, engaging that you would pay. I went security for you, brother. Do you understand? We called Tchebarov, flung him ten roubles and got the I O U back from him, and here I have the honour of presenting it to you. She trusts your word now. Here, take it, you see I have torn it."
Razumihin put the note on the table. Raskolnikov looked at him and turned to the wall without uttering a word. Even Razumihin felt a twinge.
"I see, brother," he said a moment later, "that I have been playing the fool again. I thought I should amuse you with my chatter, and I believe I have only made you cross."
"Was it you I did not recognise when I was delirious?" Raskolnikov asked, after a moment's pause without turning his head.
"Yes, and you flew into a rage about it, especially when I brought Zametov one day."
"Zametov? The head clerk? What for?" Raskolnikov turned round quickly and fixed his eyes on Razumihin.
"What's the matter with you?... What are you upset about? He wanted to make your acquaintance because I talked to him a lot about you.... How could I have found out so much except from him? He is a capital fellow, brother, first-rate... in his own way, of course. Now we are friends—see each other almost every day. I have moved into this part, you know. I have only just moved. I've been with him to Luise Ivanovna once or twice.... Do you remember Luise, Luise Ivanovna?
"Did I say anything in delirium?"
"I should think so! You were beside yourself."
"What did I rave about?"
"What next? What did you rave about? What people do rave about.... Well, brother, now I must not lose time. To work." He got up from the table and took up his cap.
"What did I rave about?"
"How he keeps on! Are you afraid of having let out some secret? Don't worry yourself; you said nothing about a countess. But you said a lot about a bulldog, and about ear-rings and chains, and about Krestovsky Island, and some porter, and Nikodim Fomitch and Ilya Petrovitch, the assistant superintendent. And another thing that was of special interest to you was your own sock. You whined, 'Give me my sock.' Zametov hunted all about your room for your socks, and with his own scented, ring-bedecked fingers he gave you the rag. And only then were you comforted, and for the next twenty-four hours you held the wretched thing in your hand; we could not get it from you. It is most likely somewhere under your quilt at this moment. And then you asked so piteously for fringe for your trousers. We tried to find out what sort of fringe, but we could not make it out. Now to business! Here are thirty-five roubles; I take ten of them, and shall give you an account of them in an hour or two. I will let Zossimov know at the same time, though he ought to have been here long ago, for it is nearly twelve. And you, Nastasya, look in pretty often while I am away, to see whether he wants a drink or anything else. And I will tell Pashenka what is wanted myself. Good-bye!"
"He calls her Pashenka! Ah, he's a deep one!" said Nastasya as he went out; then she opened the door and stood listening, but could not resist running downstairs after him. She was very eager to hear what he would say to the landlady. She was evidently quite fascinated by Razumihin.
No sooner had she left the room than the sick man flung off the bedclothes and leapt out of bed like a madman. With burning, twitching impatience he had waited for them to be gone so that he might set to work. But to what work? Now, as though to spite him, it eluded him.
"Good God, only tell me one thing: do they know of it yet or not? What if they know it and are only pretending, mocking me while I am laid up, and then they will come in and tell me that it's been discovered long ago and that they have only... What am I to do now? That's what I've forgotten, as though on purpose; forgotten it all at once, I remembered a minute ago."
He stood in the middle of the room and gazed in miserable bewilderment about him; he walked to the door, opened it, listened; but that was not what he wanted. Suddenly, as though recalling something, he rushed to the corner where there was a hole under the paper, began examining it, put his hand into the hole, fumbled—but that was not it. He went to the stove, opened it and began rummaging in the ashes; the frayed edges of his trousers and the rags cut off his pocket were lying there just as he had thrown them. No one had looked, then! Then he remembered the sock about which Razumihin had just been telling him. Yes, there it lay on the sofa under the quilt, but it was so covered with dust and grime that Zametov could not have seen anything on it.
"Bah, Zametov! The police office! And why am I sent for to the police office? Where's the notice? Bah! I am mixing it up; that was then. I looked at my sock then, too, but now... now I have been ill. But what did Zametov come for? Why did Razumihin bring him?" he muttered, helplessly sitting on the sofa again. "What does it mean? Am I still in delirium, or is it real? I believe it is real.... Ah, I remember; I must escape! Make haste to escape. Yes, I must, I must escape! Yes... but where? And where are my clothes? I've no boots. They've taken them away! They've hidden them! I understand! Ah, here is my coat—they passed that over! And here is money on the table, thank God! And here's the I O U... I'll take the money and go and take another lodging. They won't find me!... Yes, but the address bureau? They'll find me, Razumihin will find me. Better escape altogether... far away... to America, and let them do their worst! And take the I O U... it would be of use there.... What else shall I take? They think I am ill! They don't know that I can walk, ha-ha-ha! I could see by their eyes that they know all about it! If only I could get downstairs! And what if they have set a watch there—policemen! What's this tea? Ah, and here is beer left, half a bottle, cold!"
He snatched up the bottle, which still contained a glassful of beer, and gulped it down with relish, as though quenching a flame in his breast. But in another minute the beer had gone to his head, and a faint and even pleasant shiver ran down his spine. He lay down and pulled the quilt over him. His sick and incoherent thoughts grew more and more disconnected, and soon a light, pleasant drowsiness came upon him. With a sense of comfort he nestled his head into the pillow, wrapped more closely about him the soft, wadded quilt which had replaced the old, ragged greatcoat, sighed softly and sank into a deep, sound, refreshing sleep.
He woke up, hearing someone come in. He opened his eyes and saw Razumihin standing in the doorway, uncertain whether to come in or not. Raskolnikov sat up quickly on the sofa and gazed at him, as though trying to recall something.
"Ah, you are not asleep! Here I am! Nastasya, bring in the parcel!" Razumihin shouted down the stairs. "You shall have the account directly."
"What time is it?" asked Raskolnikov, looking round uneasily.
"Yes, you had a fine sleep, brother, it's almost evening, it will be six o'clock directly. You have slept more than six hours."
"Good heavens! Have I?"
"And why not? It will do you good. What's the hurry? A tryst, is it? We've all time before us. I've been waiting for the last three hours for you; I've been up twice and found you asleep. I've called on Zossimov twice; not at home, only fancy! But no matter, he will turn up. And I've been out on my own business, too. You know I've been moving to-day, moving with my uncle. I have an uncle living with me now. But that's no matter, to business. Give me the parcel, Nastasya. We will open it directly. And how do you feel now, brother?"
"I am quite well, I am not ill. Razumihin, have you been here long?"
"I tell you I've been waiting for the last three hours."
"How do you mean?"
"How long have you been coming here?"
"Why I told you all about it this morning. Don't you remember?"
Raskolnikov pondered. The morning seemed like a dream to him. He could not remember alone, and looked inquiringly at Razumihin.
"Hm!" said the latter, "he has forgotten. I fancied then that you were not quite yourself. Now you are better for your sleep.... You really look much better. First-rate! Well, to business. Look here, my dear boy."
He began untying the bundle, which evidently interested him.
"Believe me, brother, this is something specially near my heart. For we must make a man of you. Let's begin from the top. Do you see this cap?" he said, taking out of the bundle a fairly good though cheap and ordinary cap. "Let me try it on."
"Presently, afterwards," said Raskolnikov, waving it off pettishly.
"Come, Rodya, my boy, don't oppose it, afterwards will be too late; and I shan't sleep all night, for I bought it by guess, without measure. Just right!" he cried triumphantly, fitting it on, "just your size! A proper head-covering is the first thing in dress and a recommendation in its own way. Tolstyakov, a friend of mine, is always obliged to take off his pudding basin when he goes into any public place where other people wear their hats or caps. People think he does it from slavish politeness, but it's simply because he is ashamed of his bird's nest; he is such a boastful fellow! Look, Nastasya, here are two specimens of headgear: this Palmerston"—he took from the corner Raskolnikov's old, battered hat, which for some unknown reason, he called a Palmerston—"or this jewel! Guess the price, Rodya, what do you suppose I paid for it, Nastasya!" he said, turning to her, seeing that Raskolnikov did not speak.
"Twenty copecks, no more, I dare say," answered Nastasya.
"Twenty copecks, silly!" he cried, offended. "Why, nowadays you would cost more than that—eighty copecks! And that only because it has been worn. And it's bought on condition that when's it's worn out, they will give you another next year. Yes, on my word! Well, now let us pass to the United States of America, as they called them at school. I assure you I am proud of these breeches," and he exhibited to Raskolnikov a pair of light, summer trousers of grey woollen material. "No holes, no spots, and quite respectable, although a little worn; and a waistcoat to match, quite in the fashion. And its being worn really is an improvement, it's softer, smoother.... You see, Rodya, to my thinking, the great thing for getting on in the world is always to keep to the seasons; if you don't insist on having asparagus in January, you keep your money in your purse; and it's the same with this purchase. It's summer now, so I've been buying summer things—warmer materials will be wanted for autumn, so you will have to throw these away in any case... especially as they will be done for by then from their own lack of coherence if not your higher standard of luxury. Come, price them! What do you say? Two roubles twenty-five copecks! And remember the condition: if you wear these out, you will have another suit for nothing! They only do business on that system at Fedyaev's; if you've bought a thing once, you are satisfied for life, for you will never go there again of your own free will. Now for the boots. What do you say? You see that they are a bit worn, but they'll last a couple of months, for it's foreign work and foreign leather; the secretary of the English Embassy sold them last week—he had only worn them six days, but he was very short of cash. Price—a rouble and a half. A bargain?"