"But perhaps they won't fit," observed Nastasya.
"Not fit? Just look!" and he pulled out of his pocket Raskolnikov's old, broken boot, stiffly coated with dry mud. "I did not go empty-handed—they took the size from this monster. We all did our best. And as to your linen, your landlady has seen to that. Here, to begin with are three shirts, hempen but with a fashionable front.... Well now then, eighty copecks the cap, two roubles twenty-five copecks the suit—together three roubles five copecks—a rouble and a half for the boots—for, you see, they are very good—and that makes four roubles fifty-five copecks; five roubles for the underclothes—they were bought in the lo—which makes exactly nine roubles fifty-five copecks. Forty-five copecks change in coppers. Will you take it? And so, Rodya, you are set up with a complete new rig-out, for your overcoat will serve, and even has a style of its own. That comes from getting one's clothes from Sharmer's! As for your socks and other things, I leave them to you; we've twenty-five roubles left. And as for Pashenka and paying for your lodging, don't you worry. I tell you she'll trust you for anything. And now, brother, let me change your linen, for I daresay you will throw off your illness with your shirt."
"Let me be! I don't want to!" Raskolnikov waved him off. He had listened with disgust to Razumihin's efforts to be playful about his purchases.
"Come, brother, don't tell me I've been trudging around for nothing," Razumihin insisted. "Nastasya, don't be bashful, but help me—that's it," and in spite of Raskolnikov's resistance he changed his linen. The latter sank back on the pillows and for a minute or two said nothing.
"It will be long before I get rid of them," he thought. "What money was all that bought with?" he asked at last, gazing at the wall.
"Money? Why, your own, what the messenger brought from Vahrushin, your mother sent it. Have you forgotten that, too?"
"I remember now," said Raskolnikov after a long, sullen silence. Razumihin looked at him, frowning and uneasy.
The door opened and a tall, stout man whose appearance seemed familiar to Raskolnikov came in.
Zossimov was a tall, fat man with a puffy, colourless, clean-shaven face and straight flaxen hair. He wore spectacles, and a big gold ring on his fat finger. He was twenty-seven. He had on a light grey fashionable loose coat, light summer trousers, and everything about him loose, fashionable and spick and span; his linen was irreproachable, his watch-chain was massive. In manner he was slow and, as it were, nonchalant, and at the same time studiously free and easy; he made efforts to conceal his self-importance, but it was apparent at every instant. All his acquaintances found him tedious, but said he was clever at his work.
"I've been to you twice to-day, brother. You see, he's come to himself," cried Razumihin.
"I see, I see; and how do we feel now, eh?" said Zossimov to Raskolnikov, watching him carefully and, sitting down at the foot of the sofa, he settled himself as comfortably as he could.
"He is still depressed," Razumihin went on. "We've just changed his linen and he almost cried."
"That's very natural; you might have put it off if he did not wish it.... His pulse is first-rate. Is your head still aching, eh?"
"I am well, I am perfectly well!" Raskolnikov declared positively and irritably. He raised himself on the sofa and looked at them with glittering eyes, but sank back on to the pillow at once and turned to the wall. Zossimov watched him intently.
"Very good.... Going on all right," he said lazily. "Has he eaten anything?"
They told him, and asked what he might have.
"He may have anything... soup, tea... mushrooms and cucumbers, of course, you must not give him; he'd better not have meat either, and... but no need to tell you that!" Razumihin and he looked at each other. "No more medicine or anything. I'll look at him again to-morrow. Perhaps, to-day even... but never mind..."
"To-morrow evening I shall take him for a walk," said Razumihin. "We are going to the Yusupov garden and then to the Palais de Crystal."
"I would not disturb him to-morrow at all, but I don't know... a little, maybe... but we'll see."
"Ach, what a nuisance! I've got a house-warming party to-night; it's only a step from here. Couldn't he come? He could lie on the sofa. You are coming?" Razumihin said to Zossimov. "Don't forget, you promised."
"All right, only rather later. What are you going to do?"
"Oh, nothing—tea, vodka, herrings. There will be a pie... just our friends."
"All neighbours here, almost all new friends, except my old uncle, and he is new too—he only arrived in Petersburg yesterday to see to some business of his. We meet once in five years."
"What is he?"
"He's been stagnating all his life as a district postmaster; gets a little pension. He is sixty-five—not worth talking about.... But I am fond of him. Porfiry Petrovitch, the head of the Investigation Department here... But you know him."
"Is he a relation of yours, too?"
"A very distant one. But why are you scowling? Because you quarrelled once, won't you come then?"
"I don't care a damn for him."
"So much the better. Well, there will be some students, a teacher, a government clerk, a musician, an officer and Zametov."
"Do tell me, please, what you or he"—Zossimov nodded at Raskolnikov—"can have in common with this Zametov?"
"Oh, you particular gentleman! Principles! You are worked by principles, as it were by springs; you won't venture to turn round on your own account. If a man is a nice fellow, that's the only principle I go upon. Zametov is a delightful person."
"Though he does take bribes."
"Well, he does! and what of it? I don't care if he does take bribes," Razumihin cried with unnatural irritability. "I don't praise him for taking bribes. I only say he is a nice man in his own way! But if one looks at men in all ways—are there many good ones left? Why, I am sure I shouldn't be worth a baked onion myself... perhaps with you thrown in."
"That's too little; I'd give two for you."
"And I wouldn't give more than one for you. No more of your jokes! Zametov is no more than a boy. I can pull his hair and one must draw him not repel him. You'll never improve a man by repelling him, especially a boy. One has to be twice as careful with a boy. Oh, you progressive dullards! You don't understand. You harm yourselves running another man down.... But if you want to know, we really have something in common."
"I should like to know what."
"Why, it's all about a house-painter.... We are getting him out of a mess! Though indeed there's nothing to fear now. The matter is absolutely self-evident. We only put on steam."
"Why, haven't I told you about it? I only told you the beginning then about the murder of the old pawnbroker-woman. Well, the painter is mixed up in it..."
"Oh, I heard about that murder before and was rather interested in it... partly... for one reason.... I read about it in the papers, too...."
"Lizaveta was murdered, too," Nastasya blurted out, suddenly addressing Raskolnikov. She remained in the room all the time, standing by the door listening.
"Lizaveta," murmured Raskolnikov hardly audibly.
"Lizaveta, who sold old clothes. Didn't you know her? She used to come here. She mended a shirt for you, too."
Raskolnikov turned to the wall where in the dirty, yellow paper he picked out one clumsy, white flower with brown lines on it and began examining how many petals there were in it, how many scallops in the petals and how many lines on them. He felt his arms and legs as lifeless as though they had been cut off. He did not attempt to move, but stared obstinately at the flower.
"But what about the painter?" Zossimov interrupted Nastasya's chatter with marked displeasure. She sighed and was silent.
"Why, he was accused of the murder," Razumihin went on hotly.
"Was there evidence against him then?"
"Evidence, indeed! Evidence that was no evidence, and that's what we have to prove. It was just as they pitched on those fellows, Koch and Pestryakov, at first. Foo! how stupidly it's all done, it makes one sick, though it's not one's business! Pestryakov may be coming to-night.... By the way, Rodya, you've heard about the business already; it happened before you were ill, the day before you fainted at the police office while they were talking about it."
Zossimov looked curiously at Raskolnikov. He did not stir.
"But I say, Razumihin, I wonder at you. What a busybody you are!" Zossimov observed.
"Maybe I am, but we will get him off anyway," shouted Razumihin, bringing his fist down on the table. "What's the most offensive is not their lying—one can always forgive lying—lying is a delightful thing, for it leads to truth—what is offensive is that they lie and worship their own lying.... I respect Porfiry, but... What threw them out at first? The door was locked, and when they came back with the porter it was open. So it followed that Koch and Pestryakov were the murderers—that was their logic!"
"But don't excite yourself; they simply detained them, they could not help that.... And, by the way, I've met that man Koch. He used to buy unredeemed pledges from the old woman? Eh?"
"Yes, he is a swindler. He buys up bad debts, too. He makes a profession of it. But enough of him! Do you know what makes me angry? It's their sickening rotten, petrified routine.... And this case might be the means of introducing a new method. One can show from the psychological data alone how to get on the track of the real man. 'We have facts,' they say. But facts are not everything—at least half the business lies in how you interpret them!"
"Can you interpret them, then?"
"Anyway, one can't hold one's tongue when one has a feeling, a tangible feeling, that one might be a help if only.... Eh! Do you know the details of the case?"
"I am waiting to hear about the painter."
"Oh, yes! Well, here's the story. Early on the third day after the murder, when they were still dandling Koch and Pestryakov—though they accounted for every step they took and it was as plain as a pikestaff-an unexpected fact turned up. A peasant called Dushkin, who keeps a dram-shop facing the house, brought to the police office a jeweller's case containing some gold ear-rings, and told a long rigamarole. 'The day before yesterday, just after eight o'clock'—mark the day and the hour!—'a journeyman house-painter, Nikolay, who had been in to see me already that day, brought me this box of gold ear-rings and stones, and asked me to give him two roubles for them. When I asked him where he got them, he said that he picked them up in the street. I did not ask him anything more.' I am telling you Dushkin's story. 'I gave him a note'—a rouble that is—'for I thought if he did not pawn it with me he would with another. It would all come to the same thing—he'd spend it on drink, so the thing had better be with me. The further you hide it the quicker you will find it, and if anything turns up, if I hear any rumours, I'll take it to the police.' Of course, that's all taradiddle; he lies like a horse, for I know this Dushkin, he is a pawnbroker and a receiver of stolen goods, and he did not cheat Nikolay out of a thirty-rouble trinket in order to give it to the police. He was simply afraid. But no matter, to return to Dushkin's story. 'I've known this peasant, Nikolay Dementyev, from a child; he comes from the same province and district of Zaraisk, we are both Ryazan men. And though Nikolay is not a drunkard, he drinks, and I knew he had a job in that house, painting work with Dmitri, who comes from the same village, too. As soon as he got the rouble he changed it, had a couple of glasses, took his change and went out. But I did not see Dmitri with him then. And the next day I heard that someone had murdered Alyona Ivanovna and her sister, Lizaveta Ivanovna, with an axe. I knew them, and I felt suspicious about the ear-rings at once, for I knew the murdered woman lent money on pledges. I went to the house, and began to make careful inquiries without saying a word to anyone. First of all I asked, "Is Nikolay here?" Dmitri told me that Nikolay had gone off on the spree; he had come home at daybreak drunk, stayed in the house about ten minutes, and went out again. Dmitri didn't see him again and is finishing the job alone. And their job is on the same staircase as the murder, on the second floor. When I heard all that I did not say a word to anyone'—that's Dushkin's tale—'but I found out what I could about the murder, and went home feeling as suspicious as ever. And at eight o'clock this morning'—that was the third day, you understand—'I saw Nikolay coming in, not sober, though not to say very drunk—he could understand what was said to him. He sat down on the bench and did not speak. There was only one stranger in the bar and a man I knew asleep on a bench and our two boys. "Have you seen Dmitri?" said I. "No, I haven't," said he. "And you've not been here either?" "Not since the day before yesterday," said he. "And where did you sleep last night?" "In Peski, with the Kolomensky men." "And where did you get those ear-rings?" I asked. "I found them in the street," and the way he said it was a bit queer; he did not look at me. "Did you hear what happened that very evening, at that very hour, on that same staircase?" said I. "No," said he, "I had not heard," and all the while he was listening, his eyes were staring out of his head and he turned as white as chalk. I told him all about it and he took his hat and began getting up. I wanted to keep him. "Wait a bit, Nikolay," said I, "won't you have a drink?" And I signed to the boy to hold the door, and I came out from behind the bar; but he darted out and down the street to the turning at a run. I have not seen him since. Then my doubts were at an end—it was his doing, as clear as could be....'"
"I should think so," said Zossimov.
"Wait! Hear the end. Of course they sought high and low for Nikolay; they detained Dushkin and searched his house; Dmitri, too, was arrested; the Kolomensky men also were turned inside out. And the day before yesterday they arrested Nikolay in a tavern at the end of the town. He had gone there, taken the silver cross off his neck and asked for a dram for it. They gave it to him. A few minutes afterwards the woman went to the cowshed, and through a crack in the wall she saw in the stable adjoining he had made a noose of his sash from the beam, stood on a block of wood, and was trying to put his neck in the noose. The woman screeched her hardest; people ran in. 'So that's what you are up to!' 'Take me,' he says, 'to such-and-such a police officer; I'll confess everything.' Well, they took him to that police station—that is here—with a suitable escort. So they asked him this and that, how old he is, 'twenty-two,' and so on. At the question, 'When you were working with Dmitri, didn't you see anyone on the staircase at such-and-such a time?'—answer: 'To be sure folks may have gone up and down, but I did not notice them.' 'And didn't you hear anything, any noise, and so on?' 'We heard nothing special.' 'And did you hear, Nikolay, that on the same day Widow So-and-so and her sister were murdered and robbed?' 'I never knew a thing about it. The first I heard of it was from Afanasy Pavlovitch the day before yesterday.' 'And where did you find the ear-rings?' 'I found them on the pavement.' 'Why didn't you go to work with Dmitri the other day?' 'Because I was drinking.' 'And where were you drinking?' 'Oh, in such-and-such a place.' 'Why did you run away from Dushkin's?' 'Because I was awfully frightened.' 'What were you frightened of?' 'That I should be accused.' 'How could you be frightened, if you felt free from guilt?' Now, Zossimov, you may not believe me, that question was put literally in those words. I know it for a fact, it was repeated to me exactly! What do you say to that?"
"Well, anyway, there's the evidence."
"I am not talking of the evidence now, I am talking about that question, of their own idea of themselves. Well, so they squeezed and squeezed him and he confessed: 'I did not find it in the street, but in the flat where I was painting with Dmitri.' 'And how was that?' 'Why, Dmitri and I were painting there all day, and we were just getting ready to go, and Dmitri took a brush and painted my face, and he ran off and I after him. I ran after him, shouting my hardest, and at the bottom of the stairs I ran right against the porter and some gentlemen—and how many gentlemen were there I don't remember. And the porter swore at me, and the other porter swore, too, and the porter's wife came out, and swore at us, too; and a gentleman came into the entry with a lady, and he swore at us, too, for Dmitri and I lay right across the way. I got hold of Dmitri's hair and knocked him down and began beating him. And Dmitri, too, caught me by the hair and began beating me. But we did it all not for temper but in a friendly way, for sport. And then Dmitri escaped and ran into the street, and I ran after him; but I did not catch him, and went back to the flat alone; I had to clear up my things. I began putting them together, expecting Dmitri to come, and there in the passage, in the corner by the door, I stepped on the box. I saw it lying there wrapped up in paper. I took off the paper, saw some little hooks, undid them, and in the box were the ear-rings....'"
"Behind the door? Lying behind the door? Behind the door?" Raskolnikov cried suddenly, staring with a blank look of terror at Razumihin, and he slowly sat up on the sofa, leaning on his hand.
"Yes... why? What's the matter? What's wrong?" Razumihin, too, got up from his seat.
"Nothing," Raskolnikov answered faintly, turning to the wall. All were silent for a while.
"He must have waked from a dream," Razumihin said at last, looking inquiringly at Zossimov. The latter slightly shook his head.
"Well, go on," said Zossimov. "What next?"
"What next? As soon as he saw the ear-rings, forgetting Dmitri and everything, he took up his cap and ran to Dushkin and, as we know, got a rouble from him. He told a lie saying he found them in the street, and went off drinking. He keeps repeating his old story about the murder: 'I know nothing of it, never heard of it till the day before yesterday.' 'And why didn't you come to the police till now?' 'I was frightened.' 'And why did you try to hang yourself?' 'From anxiety.' 'What anxiety?' 'That I should be accused of it.' Well, that's the whole story. And now what do you suppose they deduced from that?"
"Why, there's no supposing. There's a clue, such as it is, a fact. You wouldn't have your painter set free?"
"Now they've simply taken him for the murderer. They haven't a shadow of doubt."
"That's nonsense. You are excited. But what about the ear-rings? You must admit that, if on the very same day and hour ear-rings from the old woman's box have come into Nikolay's hands, they must have come there somehow. That's a good deal in such a case."
"How did they get there? How did they get there?" cried Razumihin. "How can you, a doctor, whose duty it is to study man and who has more opportunity than anyone else for studying human nature—how can you fail to see the character of the man in the whole story? Don't you see at once that the answers he has given in the examination are the holy truth? They came into his hand precisely as he has told us—he stepped on the box and picked it up."
"The holy truth! But didn't he own himself that he told a lie at first?"
"Listen to me, listen attentively. The porter and Koch and Pestryakov and the other porter and the wife of the first porter and the woman who was sitting in the porter's lodge and the man Kryukov, who had just got out of a cab at that minute and went in at the entry with a lady on his arm, that is eight or ten witnesses, agree that Nikolay had Dmitri on the ground, was lying on him beating him, while Dmitri hung on to his hair, beating him, too. They lay right across the way, blocking the thoroughfare. They were sworn at on all sides while they 'like children' (the very words of the witnesses) were falling over one another, squealing, fighting and laughing with the funniest faces, and, chasing one another like children, they ran into the street. Now take careful note. The bodies upstairs were warm, you understand, warm when they found them! If they, or Nikolay alone, had murdered them and broken open the boxes, or simply taken part in the robbery, allow me to ask you one question: do their state of mind, their squeals and giggles and childish scuffling at the gate fit in with axes, bloodshed, fiendish cunning, robbery? They'd just killed them, not five or ten minutes before, for the bodies were still warm, and at once, leaving the flat open, knowing that people would go there at once, flinging away their booty, they rolled about like children, laughing and attracting general attention. And there are a dozen witnesses to swear to that!"
"Of course it is strange! It's impossible, indeed, but..."
"No, brother, no buts. And if the ear-rings being found in Nikolay's hands at the very day and hour of the murder constitutes an important piece of circumstantial evidence against him—although the explanation given by him accounts for it, and therefore it does not tell seriously against him—one must take into consideration the facts which prove him innocent, especially as they are facts that cannot be denied. And do you suppose, from the character of our legal system, that they will accept, or that they are in a position to accept, this fact—resting simply on a psychological impossibility—as irrefutable and conclusively breaking down the circumstantial evidence for the prosecution? No, they won't accept it, they certainly won't, because they found the jewel-case and the man tried to hang himself, 'which he could not have done if he hadn't felt guilty.' That's the point, that's what excites me, you must understand!"
"Oh, I see you are excited! Wait a bit. I forgot to ask you; what proof is there that the box came from the old woman?"
"That's been proved," said Razumihin with apparent reluctance, frowning. "Koch recognised the jewel-case and gave the name of the owner, who proved conclusively that it was his."
"That's bad. Now another point. Did anyone see Nikolay at the time that Koch and Pestryakov were going upstairs at first, and is there no evidence about that?"
"Nobody did see him," Razumihin answered with vexation. "That's the worst of it. Even Koch and Pestryakov did not notice them on their way upstairs, though, indeed, their evidence could not have been worth much. They said they saw the flat was open, and that there must be work going on in it, but they took no special notice and could not remember whether there actually were men at work in it."
"Hm!... So the only evidence for the defence is that they were beating one another and laughing. That constitutes a strong presumption, but... How do you explain the facts yourself?"
"How do I explain them? What is there to explain? It's clear. At any rate, the direction in which explanation is to be sought is clear, and the jewel-case points to it. The real murderer dropped those ear-rings. The murderer was upstairs, locked in, when Koch and Pestryakov knocked at the door. Koch, like an ass, did not stay at the door; so the murderer popped out and ran down, too; for he had no other way of escape. He hid from Koch, Pestryakov and the porter in the flat when Nikolay and Dmitri had just run out of it. He stopped there while the porter and others were going upstairs, waited till they were out of hearing, and then went calmly downstairs at the very minute when Dmitri and Nikolay ran out into the street and there was no one in the entry; possibly he was seen, but not noticed. There are lots of people going in and out. He must have dropped the ear-rings out of his pocket when he stood behind the door, and did not notice he dropped them, because he had other things to think of. The jewel-case is a conclusive proof that he did stand there.... That's how I explain it."
"Too clever! No, my boy, you're too clever. That beats everything."
"But, why, why?"
"Why, because everything fits too well... it's too melodramatic."
"A-ach!" Razumihin was exclaiming, but at that moment the door opened and a personage came in who was a stranger to all present.
This was a gentleman no longer young, of a stiff and portly appearance, and a cautious and sour countenance. He began by stopping short in the doorway, staring about him with offensive and undisguised astonishment, as though asking himself what sort of place he had come to. Mistrustfully and with an affectation of being alarmed and almost affronted, he scanned Raskolnikov's low and narrow "cabin." With the same amazement he stared at Raskolnikov, who lay undressed, dishevelled, unwashed, on his miserable dirty sofa, looking fixedly at him. Then with the same deliberation he scrutinised the uncouth, unkempt figure and unshaven face of Razumihin, who looked him boldly and inquiringly in the face without rising from his seat. A constrained silence lasted for a couple of minutes, and then, as might be expected, some scene-shifting took place. Reflecting, probably from certain fairly unmistakable signs, that he would get nothing in this "cabin" by attempting to overawe them, the gentleman softened somewhat, and civilly, though with some severity, emphasising every syllable of his question, addressed Zossimov:
"Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov, a student, or formerly a student?"
Zossimov made a slight movement, and would have answered, had not Razumihin anticipated him.
"Here he is lying on the sofa! What do you want?"
This familiar "what do you want" seemed to cut the ground from the feet of the pompous gentleman. He was turning to Razumihin, but checked himself in time and turned to Zossimov again.
"This is Raskolnikov," mumbled Zossimov, nodding towards him. Then he gave a prolonged yawn, opening his mouth as wide as possible. Then he lazily put his hand into his waistcoat-pocket, pulled out a huge gold watch in a round hunter's case, opened it, looked at it and as slowly and lazily proceeded to put it back.
Raskolnikov himself lay without speaking, on his back, gazing persistently, though without understanding, at the stranger. Now that his face was turned away from the strange flower on the paper, it was extremely pale and wore a look of anguish, as though he had just undergone an agonising operation or just been taken from the rack. But the new-comer gradually began to arouse his attention, then his wonder, then suspicion and even alarm. When Zossimov said "This is Raskolnikov" he jumped up quickly, sat on the sofa and with an almost defiant, but weak and breaking, voice articulated:
"Yes, I am Raskolnikov! What do you want?"
The visitor scrutinised him and pronounced impressively:
"Pyotr Petrovitch Luzhin. I believe I have reason to hope that my name is not wholly unknown to you?"
But Raskolnikov, who had expected something quite different, gazed blankly and dreamily at him, making no reply, as though he heard the name of Pyotr Petrovitch for the first time.
"Is it possible that you can up to the present have received no information?" asked Pyotr Petrovitch, somewhat disconcerted.
In reply Raskolnikov sank languidly back on the pillow, put his hands behind his head and gazed at the ceiling. A look of dismay came into Luzhin's face. Zossimov and Razumihin stared at him more inquisitively than ever, and at last he showed unmistakable signs of embarrassment.
"I had presumed and calculated," he faltered, "that a letter posted more than ten days, if not a fortnight ago..."
"I say, why are you standing in the doorway?" Razumihin interrupted suddenly. "If you've something to say, sit down. Nastasya and you are so crowded. Nastasya, make room. Here's a chair, thread your way in!"
He moved his chair back from the table, made a little space between the table and his knees, and waited in a rather cramped position for the visitor to "thread his way in." The minute was so chosen that it was impossible to refuse, and the visitor squeezed his way through, hurrying and stumbling. Reaching the chair, he sat down, looking suspiciously at Razumihin.
"No need to be nervous," the latter blurted out. "Rodya has been ill for the last five days and delirious for three, but now he is recovering and has got an appetite. This is his doctor, who has just had a look at him. I am a comrade of Rodya's, like him, formerly a student, and now I am nursing him; so don't you take any notice of us, but go on with your business."
"Thank you. But shall I not disturb the invalid by my presence and conversation?" Pyotr Petrovitch asked of Zossimov.
"N-no," mumbled Zossimov; "you may amuse him." He yawned again.
"He has been conscious a long time, since the morning," went on Razumihin, whose familiarity seemed so much like unaffected good-nature that Pyotr Petrovitch began to be more cheerful, partly, perhaps, because this shabby and impudent person had introduced himself as a student.
"Your mamma," began Luzhin.
"Hm!" Razumihin cleared his throat loudly. Luzhin looked at him inquiringly.
"That's all right, go on."
Luzhin shrugged his shoulders.
"Your mamma had commenced a letter to you while I was sojourning in her neighbourhood. On my arrival here I purposely allowed a few days to elapse before coming to see you, in order that I might be fully assured that you were in full possession of the tidings; but now, to my astonishment..."
"I know, I know!" Raskolnikov cried suddenly with impatient vexation. "So you are the fiance? I know, and that's enough!"
There was no doubt about Pyotr Petrovitch's being offended this time, but he said nothing. He made a violent effort to understand what it all meant. There was a moment's silence.
Meanwhile Raskolnikov, who had turned a little towards him when he answered, began suddenly staring at him again with marked curiosity, as though he had not had a good look at him yet, or as though something new had struck him; he rose from his pillow on purpose to stare at him. There certainly was something peculiar in Pyotr Petrovitch's whole appearance, something which seemed to justify the title of "fiance" so unceremoniously applied to him. In the first place, it was evident, far too much so indeed, that Pyotr Petrovitch had made eager use of his few days in the capital to get himself up and rig himself out in expectation of his betrothed—a perfectly innocent and permissible proceeding, indeed. Even his own, perhaps too complacent, consciousness of the agreeable improvement in his appearance might have been forgiven in such circumstances, seeing that Pyotr Petrovitch had taken up the role of fiance. All his clothes were fresh from the tailor's and were all right, except for being too new and too distinctly appropriate. Even the stylish new round hat had the same significance. Pyotr Petrovitch treated it too respectfully and held it too carefully in his hands. The exquisite pair of lavender gloves, real Louvain, told the same tale, if only from the fact of his not wearing them, but carrying them in his hand for show. Light and youthful colours predominated in Pyotr Petrovitch's attire. He wore a charming summer jacket of a fawn shade, light thin trousers, a waistcoat of the same, new and fine linen, a cravat of the lightest cambric with pink stripes on it, and the best of it was, this all suited Pyotr Petrovitch. His very fresh and even handsome face looked younger than his forty-five years at all times. His dark, mutton-chop whiskers made an agreeable setting on both sides, growing thickly upon his shining, clean-shaven chin. Even his hair, touched here and there with grey, though it had been combed and curled at a hairdresser's, did not give him a stupid appearance, as curled hair usually does, by inevitably suggesting a German on his wedding-day. If there really was something unpleasing and repulsive in his rather good-looking and imposing countenance, it was due to quite other causes. After scanning Mr. Luzhin unceremoniously, Raskolnikov smiled malignantly, sank back on the pillow and stared at the ceiling as before.
But Mr. Luzhin hardened his heart and seemed to determine to take no notice of their oddities.
"I feel the greatest regret at finding you in this situation," he began, again breaking the silence with an effort. "If I had been aware of your illness I should have come earlier. But you know what business is. I have, too, a very important legal affair in the Senate, not to mention other preoccupations which you may well conjecture. I am expecting your mamma and sister any minute."
Raskolnikov made a movement and seemed about to speak; his face showed some excitement. Pyotr Petrovitch paused, waited, but as nothing followed, he went on:
"... Any minute. I have found a lodging for them on their arrival."
"Where?" asked Raskolnikov weakly.
"Very near here, in Bakaleyev's house."
"That's in Voskresensky," put in Razumihin. "There are two storeys of rooms, let by a merchant called Yushin; I've been there."
"A disgusting place—filthy, stinking and, what's more, of doubtful character. Things have happened there, and there are all sorts of queer people living there. And I went there about a scandalous business. It's cheap, though..."
"I could not, of course, find out so much about it, for I am a stranger in Petersburg myself," Pyotr Petrovitch replied huffily. "However, the two rooms are exceedingly clean, and as it is for so short a time... I have already taken a permanent, that is, our future flat," he said, addressing Raskolnikov, "and I am having it done up. And meanwhile I am myself cramped for room in a lodging with my friend Andrey Semyonovitch Lebeziatnikov, in the flat of Madame Lippevechsel; it was he who told me of Bakaleyev's house, too..."
"Lebeziatnikov?" said Raskolnikov slowly, as if recalling something.
"Yes, Andrey Semyonovitch Lebeziatnikov, a clerk in the Ministry. Do you know him?"
"Yes... no," Raskolnikov answered.
"Excuse me, I fancied so from your inquiry. I was once his guardian.... A very nice young man and advanced. I like to meet young people: one learns new things from them." Luzhin looked round hopefully at them all.
"How do you mean?" asked Razumihin.
"In the most serious and essential matters," Pyotr Petrovitch replied, as though delighted at the question. "You see, it's ten years since I visited Petersburg. All the novelties, reforms, ideas have reached us in the provinces, but to see it all more clearly one must be in Petersburg. And it's my notion that you observe and learn most by watching the younger generation. And I confess I am delighted..."
"Your question is a wide one. I may be mistaken, but I fancy I find clearer views, more, so to say, criticism, more practicality..."
"That's true," Zossimov let drop.
"Nonsense! There's no practicality." Razumihin flew at him. "Practicality is a difficult thing to find; it does not drop down from heaven. And for the last two hundred years we have been divorced from all practical life. Ideas, if you like, are fermenting," he said to Pyotr Petrovitch, "and desire for good exists, though it's in a childish form, and honesty you may find, although there are crowds of brigands. Anyway, there's no practicality. Practicality goes well shod."
"I don't agree with you," Pyotr Petrovitch replied, with evident enjoyment. "Of course, people do get carried away and make mistakes, but one must have indulgence; those mistakes are merely evidence of enthusiasm for the cause and of abnormal external environment. If little has been done, the time has been but short; of means I will not speak. It's my personal view, if you care to know, that something has been accomplished already. New valuable ideas, new valuable works are circulating in the place of our old dreamy and romantic authors. Literature is taking a maturer form, many injurious prejudice have been rooted up and turned into ridicule.... In a word, we have cut ourselves off irrevocably from the past, and that, to my thinking, is a great thing..."
"He's learnt it by heart to show off!" Raskolnikov pronounced suddenly.
"What?" asked Pyotr Petrovitch, not catching his words; but he received no reply.
"That's all true," Zossimov hastened to interpose.
"Isn't it so?" Pyotr Petrovitch went on, glancing affably at Zossimov. "You must admit," he went on, addressing Razumihin with a shade of triumph and superciliousness—he almost added "young man"—"that there is an advance, or, as they say now, progress in the name of science and economic truth..."
"No, not a commonplace! Hitherto, for instance, if I were told, 'love thy neighbour,' what came of it?" Pyotr Petrovitch went on, perhaps with excessive haste. "It came to my tearing my coat in half to share with my neighbour and we both were left half naked. As a Russian proverb has it, 'Catch several hares and you won't catch one.' Science now tells us, love yourself before all men, for everything in the world rests on self-interest. You love yourself and manage your own affairs properly and your coat remains whole. Economic truth adds that the better private affairs are organised in society—the more whole coats, so to say—the firmer are its foundations and the better is the common welfare organised too. Therefore, in acquiring wealth solely and exclusively for myself, I am acquiring, so to speak, for all, and helping to bring to pass my neighbour's getting a little more than a torn coat; and that not from private, personal liberality, but as a consequence of the general advance. The idea is simple, but unhappily it has been a long time reaching us, being hindered by idealism and sentimentality. And yet it would seem to want very little wit to perceive it..."
"Excuse me, I've very little wit myself," Razumihin cut in sharply, "and so let us drop it. I began this discussion with an object, but I've grown so sick during the last three years of this chattering to amuse oneself, of this incessant flow of commonplaces, always the same, that, by Jove, I blush even when other people talk like that. You are in a hurry, no doubt, to exhibit your acquirements; and I don't blame you, that's quite pardonable. I only wanted to find out what sort of man you are, for so many unscrupulous people have got hold of the progressive cause of late and have so distorted in their own interests everything they touched, that the whole cause has been dragged in the mire. That's enough!"
"Excuse me, sir," said Luzhin, affronted, and speaking with excessive dignity. "Do you mean to suggest so unceremoniously that I too..."
"Oh, my dear sir... how could I?... Come, that's enough," Razumihin concluded, and he turned abruptly to Zossimov to continue their previous conversation.
Pyotr Petrovitch had the good sense to accept the disavowal. He made up his mind to take leave in another minute or two.
"I trust our acquaintance," he said, addressing Raskolnikov, "may, upon your recovery and in view of the circumstances of which you are aware, become closer... Above all, I hope for your return to health..."
Raskolnikov did not even turn his head. Pyotr Petrovitch began getting up from his chair.
"One of her customers must have killed her," Zossimov declared positively.
"Not a doubt of it," replied Razumihin. "Porfiry doesn't give his opinion, but is examining all who have left pledges with her there."
"Examining them?" Raskolnikov asked aloud.
"Yes. What then?"
"How does he get hold of them?" asked Zossimov.
"Koch has given the names of some of them, other names are on the wrappers of the pledges and some have come forward of themselves."
"It must have been a cunning and practised ruffian! The boldness of it! The coolness!"
"That's just what it wasn't!" interposed Razumihin. "That's what throws you all off the scent. But I maintain that he is not cunning, not practised, and probably this was his first crime! The supposition that it was a calculated crime and a cunning criminal doesn't work. Suppose him to have been inexperienced, and it's clear that it was only a chance that saved him—and chance may do anything. Why, he did not foresee obstacles, perhaps! And how did he set to work? He took jewels worth ten or twenty roubles, stuffing his pockets with them, ransacked the old woman's trunks, her rags—and they found fifteen hundred roubles, besides notes, in a box in the top drawer of the chest! He did not know how to rob; he could only murder. It was his first crime, I assure you, his first crime; he lost his head. And he got off more by luck than good counsel!"
"You are talking of the murder of the old pawnbroker, I believe?" Pyotr Petrovitch put in, addressing Zossimov. He was standing, hat and gloves in hand, but before departing he felt disposed to throw off a few more intellectual phrases. He was evidently anxious to make a favourable impression and his vanity overcame his prudence.
"Yes. You've heard of it?"
"Oh, yes, being in the neighbourhood."
"Do you know the details?"
"I can't say that; but another circumstance interests me in the case—the whole question, so to say. Not to speak of the fact that crime has been greatly on the increase among the lower classes during the last five years, not to speak of the cases of robbery and arson everywhere, what strikes me as the strangest thing is that in the higher classes, too, crime is increasing proportionately. In one place one hears of a student's robbing the mail on the high road; in another place people of good social position forge false banknotes; in Moscow of late a whole gang has been captured who used to forge lottery tickets, and one of the ringleaders was a lecturer in universal history; then our secretary abroad was murdered from some obscure motive of gain.... And if this old woman, the pawnbroker, has been murdered by someone of a higher class in society—for peasants don't pawn gold trinkets—how are we to explain this demoralisation of the civilised part of our society?"
"There are many economic changes," put in Zossimov.
"How are we to explain it?" Razumihin caught him up. "It might be explained by our inveterate impracticality."
"How do you mean?"
"What answer had your lecturer in Moscow to make to the question why he was forging notes? 'Everybody is getting rich one way or another, so I want to make haste to get rich too.' I don't remember the exact words, but the upshot was that he wants money for nothing, without waiting or working! We've grown used to having everything ready-made, to walking on crutches, to having our food chewed for us. Then the great hour struck,[*] and every man showed himself in his true colours."
[*] The emancipation of the serfs in 1861 is meant. —TRANSLATOR'S NOTE.
"But morality? And so to speak, principles..."
"But why do you worry about it?" Raskolnikov interposed suddenly. "It's in accordance with your theory!"
"In accordance with my theory?"
"Why, carry out logically the theory you were advocating just now, and it follows that people may be killed..."
"Upon my word!" cried Luzhin.
"No, that's not so," put in Zossimov.
Raskolnikov lay with a white face and twitching upper lip, breathing painfully.
"There's a measure in all things," Luzhin went on superciliously. "Economic ideas are not an incitement to murder, and one has but to suppose..."
"And is it true," Raskolnikov interposed once more suddenly, again in a voice quivering with fury and delight in insulting him, "is it true that you told your fiancee... within an hour of her acceptance, that what pleased you most... was that she was a beggar... because it was better to raise a wife from poverty, so that you may have complete control over her, and reproach her with your being her benefactor?"
"Upon my word," Luzhin cried wrathfully and irritably, crimson with confusion, "to distort my words in this way! Excuse me, allow me to assure you that the report which has reached you, or rather, let me say, has been conveyed to you, has no foundation in truth, and I... suspect who... in a word... this arrow... in a word, your mamma... She seemed to me in other things, with all her excellent qualities, of a somewhat high-flown and romantic way of thinking.... But I was a thousand miles from supposing that she would misunderstand and misrepresent things in so fanciful a way.... And indeed... indeed..."
"I tell you what," cried Raskolnikov, raising himself on his pillow and fixing his piercing, glittering eyes upon him, "I tell you what."
"What?" Luzhin stood still, waiting with a defiant and offended face. Silence lasted for some seconds.
"Why, if ever again... you dare to mention a single word... about my mother... I shall send you flying downstairs!"
"What's the matter with you?" cried Razumihin.
"So that's how it is?" Luzhin turned pale and bit his lip. "Let me tell you, sir," he began deliberately, doing his utmost to restrain himself but breathing hard, "at the first moment I saw you you were ill-disposed to me, but I remained here on purpose to find out more. I could forgive a great deal in a sick man and a connection, but you... never after this..."
"I am not ill," cried Raskolnikov.
"So much the worse..."
"Go to hell!"
But Luzhin was already leaving without finishing his speech, squeezing between the table and the chair; Razumihin got up this time to let him pass. Without glancing at anyone, and not even nodding to Zossimov, who had for some time been making signs to him to let the sick man alone, he went out, lifting his hat to the level of his shoulders to avoid crushing it as he stooped to go out of the door. And even the curve of his spine was expressive of the horrible insult he had received.
"How could you—how could you!" Razumihin said, shaking his head in perplexity.
"Let me alone—let me alone all of you!" Raskolnikov cried in a frenzy. "Will you ever leave off tormenting me? I am not afraid of you! I am not afraid of anyone, anyone now! Get away from me! I want to be alone, alone, alone!"
"Come along," said Zossimov, nodding to Razumihin.
"But we can't leave him like this!"
"Come along," Zossimov repeated insistently, and he went out. Razumihin thought a minute and ran to overtake him.
"It might be worse not to obey him," said Zossimov on the stairs. "He mustn't be irritated."
"What's the matter with him?"
"If only he could get some favourable shock, that's what would do it! At first he was better.... You know he has got something on his mind! Some fixed idea weighing on him.... I am very much afraid so; he must have!"
"Perhaps it's that gentleman, Pyotr Petrovitch. From his conversation I gather he is going to marry his sister, and that he had received a letter about it just before his illness...."
"Yes, confound the man! he may have upset the case altogether. But have you noticed, he takes no interest in anything, he does not respond to anything except one point on which he seems excited—that's the murder?"
"Yes, yes," Razumihin agreed, "I noticed that, too. He is interested, frightened. It gave him a shock on the day he was ill in the police office; he fainted."
"Tell me more about that this evening and I'll tell you something afterwards. He interests me very much! In half an hour I'll go and see him again.... There'll be no inflammation though."
"Thanks! And I'll wait with Pashenka meantime and will keep watch on him through Nastasya...."
Raskolnikov, left alone, looked with impatience and misery at Nastasya, but she still lingered.
"Won't you have some tea now?" she asked.
"Later! I am sleepy! Leave me."
He turned abruptly to the wall; Nastasya went out.
But as soon as she went out, he got up, latched the door, undid the parcel which Razumihin had brought in that evening and had tied up again and began dressing. Strange to say, he seemed immediately to have become perfectly calm; not a trace of his recent delirium nor of the panic fear that had haunted him of late. It was the first moment of a strange sudden calm. His movements were precise and definite; a firm purpose was evident in them. "To-day, to-day," he muttered to himself. He understood that he was still weak, but his intense spiritual concentration gave him strength and self-confidence. He hoped, moreover, that he would not fall down in the street. When he had dressed in entirely new clothes, he looked at the money lying on the table, and after a moment's thought put it in his pocket. It was twenty-five roubles. He took also all the copper change from the ten roubles spent by Razumihin on the clothes. Then he softly unlatched the door, went out, slipped downstairs and glanced in at the open kitchen door. Nastasya was standing with her back to him, blowing up the landlady's samovar. She heard nothing. Who would have dreamed of his going out, indeed? A minute later he was in the street.
It was nearly eight o'clock, the sun was setting. It was as stifling as before, but he eagerly drank in the stinking, dusty town air. His head felt rather dizzy; a sort of savage energy gleamed suddenly in his feverish eyes and his wasted, pale and yellow face. He did not know and did not think where he was going, he had one thought only: "that all this must be ended to-day, once for all, immediately; that he would not return home without it, because he would not go on living like that." How, with what to make an end? He had not an idea about it, he did not even want to think of it. He drove away thought; thought tortured him. All he knew, all he felt was that everything must be changed "one way or another," he repeated with desperate and immovable self-confidence and determination.
From old habit he took his usual walk in the direction of the Hay Market. A dark-haired young man with a barrel organ was standing in the road in front of a little general shop and was grinding out a very sentimental song. He was accompanying a girl of fifteen, who stood on the pavement in front of him. She was dressed up in a crinoline, a mantle and a straw hat with a flame-coloured feather in it, all very old and shabby. In a strong and rather agreeable voice, cracked and coarsened by street singing, she sang in hope of getting a copper from the shop. Raskolnikov joined two or three listeners, took out a five copeck piece and put it in the girl's hand. She broke off abruptly on a sentimental high note, shouted sharply to the organ grinder "Come on," and both moved on to the next shop.
"Do you like street music?" said Raskolnikov, addressing a middle-aged man standing idly by him. The man looked at him, startled and wondering.
"I love to hear singing to a street organ," said Raskolnikov, and his manner seemed strangely out of keeping with the subject—"I like it on cold, dark, damp autumn evenings—they must be damp—when all the passers-by have pale green, sickly faces, or better still when wet snow is falling straight down, when there's no wind—you know what I mean?—and the street lamps shine through it..."
"I don't know.... Excuse me..." muttered the stranger, frightened by the question and Raskolnikov's strange manner, and he crossed over to the other side of the street.
Raskolnikov walked straight on and came out at the corner of the Hay Market, where the huckster and his wife had talked with Lizaveta; but they were not there now. Recognising the place, he stopped, looked round and addressed a young fellow in a red shirt who stood gaping before a corn chandler's shop.
"Isn't there a man who keeps a booth with his wife at this corner?"
"All sorts of people keep booths here," answered the young man, glancing superciliously at Raskolnikov.
"What's his name?"
"What he was christened."
"Aren't you a Zaraisky man, too? Which province?"
The young man looked at Raskolnikov again.
"It's not a province, your excellency, but a district. Graciously forgive me, your excellency!"
"Is that a tavern at the top there?"
"Yes, it's an eating-house and there's a billiard-room and you'll find princesses there too.... La-la!"
Raskolnikov crossed the square. In that corner there was a dense crowd of peasants. He pushed his way into the thickest part of it, looking at the faces. He felt an unaccountable inclination to enter into conversation with people. But the peasants took no notice of him; they were all shouting in groups together. He stood and thought a little and took a turning to the right in the direction of V.
He had often crossed that little street which turns at an angle, leading from the market-place to Sadovy Street. Of late he had often felt drawn to wander about this district, when he felt depressed, that he might feel more so.
Now he walked along, thinking of nothing. At that point there is a great block of buildings, entirely let out in dram shops and eating-houses; women were continually running in and out, bare-headed and in their indoor clothes. Here and there they gathered in groups, on the pavement, especially about the entrances to various festive establishments in the lower storeys. From one of these a loud din, sounds of singing, the tinkling of a guitar and shouts of merriment, floated into the street. A crowd of women were thronging round the door; some were sitting on the steps, others on the pavement, others were standing talking. A drunken soldier, smoking a cigarette, was walking near them in the road, swearing; he seemed to be trying to find his way somewhere, but had forgotten where. One beggar was quarrelling with another, and a man dead drunk was lying right across the road. Raskolnikov joined the throng of women, who were talking in husky voices. They were bare-headed and wore cotton dresses and goatskin shoes. There were women of forty and some not more than seventeen; almost all had blackened eyes.
He felt strangely attracted by the singing and all the noise and uproar in the saloon below.... someone could be heard within dancing frantically, marking time with his heels to the sounds of the guitar and of a thin falsetto voice singing a jaunty air. He listened intently, gloomily and dreamily, bending down at the entrance and peeping inquisitively in from the pavement.
"Oh, my handsome soldier Don't beat me for nothing,"
trilled the thin voice of the singer. Raskolnikov felt a great desire to make out what he was singing, as though everything depended on that.
"Shall I go in?" he thought. "They are laughing. From drink. Shall I get drunk?"
"Won't you come in?" one of the women asked him. Her voice was still musical and less thick than the others, she was young and not repulsive—the only one of the group.
"Why, she's pretty," he said, drawing himself up and looking at her.
She smiled, much pleased at the compliment.
"You're very nice looking yourself," she said.
"Isn't he thin though!" observed another woman in a deep bass. "Have you just come out of a hospital?"
"They're all generals' daughters, it seems, but they have all snub noses," interposed a tipsy peasant with a sly smile on his face, wearing a loose coat. "See how jolly they are."
"Go along with you!"
"I'll go, sweetie!"
And he darted down into the saloon below. Raskolnikov moved on.
"I say, sir," the girl shouted after him.
"What is it?"
"I'll always be pleased to spend an hour with you, kind gentleman, but now I feel shy. Give me six copecks for a drink, there's a nice young man!"
Raskolnikov gave her what came first—fifteen copecks.
"Ah, what a good-natured gentleman!"
"What's your name?"
"Ask for Duclida."
"Well, that's too much," one of the women observed, shaking her head at Duclida. "I don't know how you can ask like that. I believe I should drop with shame...."
Raskolnikov looked curiously at the speaker. She was a pock-marked wench of thirty, covered with bruises, with her upper lip swollen. She made her criticism quietly and earnestly. "Where is it," thought Raskolnikov. "Where is it I've read that someone condemned to death says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he'd only room to stand, and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once! Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be!... How true it is! Good God, how true! Man is a vile creature!... And vile is he who calls him vile for that," he added a moment later.
He went into another street. "Bah, the Palais de Cristal! Razumihin was just talking of the Palais de Cristal. But what on earth was it I wanted? Yes, the newspapers.... Zossimov said he'd read it in the papers. Have you the papers?" he asked, going into a very spacious and positively clean restaurant, consisting of several rooms, which were, however, rather empty. Two or three people were drinking tea, and in a room further away were sitting four men drinking champagne. Raskolnikov fancied that Zametov was one of them, but he could not be sure at that distance. "What if it is?" he thought.
"Will you have vodka?" asked the waiter.
"Give me some tea and bring me the papers, the old ones for the last five days, and I'll give you something."
"Yes, sir, here's to-day's. No vodka?"
The old newspapers and the tea were brought. Raskolnikov sat down and began to look through them.
"Oh, damn... these are the items of intelligence. An accident on a staircase, spontaneous combustion of a shopkeeper from alcohol, a fire in Peski... a fire in the Petersburg quarter... another fire in the Petersburg quarter... and another fire in the Petersburg quarter.... Ah, here it is!" He found at last what he was seeking and began to read it. The lines danced before his eyes, but he read it all and began eagerly seeking later additions in the following numbers. His hands shook with nervous impatience as he turned the sheets. Suddenly someone sat down beside him at his table. He looked up, it was the head clerk Zametov, looking just the same, with the rings on his fingers and the watch-chain, with the curly, black hair, parted and pomaded, with the smart waistcoat, rather shabby coat and doubtful linen. He was in a good humour, at least he was smiling very gaily and good-humouredly. His dark face was rather flushed from the champagne he had drunk.
"What, you here?" he began in surprise, speaking as though he'd known him all his life. "Why, Razumihin told me only yesterday you were unconscious. How strange! And do you know I've been to see you?"
Raskolnikov knew he would come up to him. He laid aside the papers and turned to Zametov. There was a smile on his lips, and a new shade of irritable impatience was apparent in that smile.
"I know you have," he answered. "I've heard it. You looked for my sock.... And you know Razumihin has lost his heart to you? He says you've been with him to Luise Ivanovna's—you know, the woman you tried to befriend, for whom you winked to the Explosive Lieutenant and he would not understand. Do you remember? How could he fail to understand—it was quite clear, wasn't it?"
"What a hot head he is!"
"The explosive one?"
"No, your friend Razumihin."
"You must have a jolly life, Mr. Zametov; entrance free to the most agreeable places. Who's been pouring champagne into you just now?"
"We've just been... having a drink together.... You talk about pouring it into me!"
"By way of a fee! You profit by everything!" Raskolnikov laughed, "it's all right, my dear boy," he added, slapping Zametov on the shoulder. "I am not speaking from temper, but in a friendly way, for sport, as that workman of yours said when he was scuffling with Dmitri, in the case of the old woman...."
"How do you know about it?"
"Perhaps I know more about it than you do."
"How strange you are.... I am sure you are still very unwell. You oughtn't to have come out."
"Oh, do I seem strange to you?"
"Yes. What are you doing, reading the papers?"
"There's a lot about the fires."
"No, I am not reading about the fires." Here he looked mysteriously at Zametov; his lips were twisted again in a mocking smile. "No, I am not reading about the fires," he went on, winking at Zametov. "But confess now, my dear fellow, you're awfully anxious to know what I am reading about?"
"I am not in the least. Mayn't I ask a question? Why do you keep on...?"
"Listen, you are a man of culture and education?"
"I was in the sixth class at the gymnasium," said Zametov with some dignity.
"Sixth class! Ah, my cock-sparrow! With your parting and your rings—you are a gentleman of fortune. Foo! what a charming boy!" Here Raskolnikov broke into a nervous laugh right in Zametov's face. The latter drew back, more amazed than offended.
"Foo! how strange you are!" Zametov repeated very seriously. "I can't help thinking you are still delirious."
"I am delirious? You are fibbing, my cock-sparrow! So I am strange? You find me curious, do you?"
"Shall I tell you what I was reading about, what I was looking for? See what a lot of papers I've made them bring me. Suspicious, eh?"
"Well, what is it?"
"You prick up your ears?"
"How do you mean—'prick up my ears'?"
"I'll explain that afterwards, but now, my boy, I declare to you... no, better 'I confess'... No, that's not right either; 'I make a deposition and you take it.' I depose that I was reading, that I was looking and searching...." he screwed up his eyes and paused. "I was searching—and came here on purpose to do it—for news of the murder of the old pawnbroker woman," he articulated at last, almost in a whisper, bringing his face exceedingly close to the face of Zametov. Zametov looked at him steadily, without moving or drawing his face away. What struck Zametov afterwards as the strangest part of it all was that silence followed for exactly a minute, and that they gazed at one another all the while.
"What if you have been reading about it?" he cried at last, perplexed and impatient. "That's no business of mine! What of it?"
"The same old woman," Raskolnikov went on in the same whisper, not heeding Zametov's explanation, "about whom you were talking in the police-office, you remember, when I fainted. Well, do you understand now?"
"What do you mean? Understand... what?" Zametov brought out, almost alarmed.
Raskolnikov's set and earnest face was suddenly transformed, and he suddenly went off into the same nervous laugh as before, as though utterly unable to restrain himself. And in one flash he recalled with extraordinary vividness of sensation a moment in the recent past, that moment when he stood with the axe behind the door, while the latch trembled and the men outside swore and shook it, and he had a sudden desire to shout at them, to swear at them, to put out his tongue at them, to mock them, to laugh, and laugh, and laugh!
"You are either mad, or..." began Zametov, and he broke off, as though stunned by the idea that had suddenly flashed into his mind.
"Or? Or what? What? Come, tell me!"
"Nothing," said Zametov, getting angry, "it's all nonsense!"
Both were silent. After his sudden fit of laughter Raskolnikov became suddenly thoughtful and melancholy. He put his elbow on the table and leaned his head on his hand. He seemed to have completely forgotten Zametov. The silence lasted for some time.
"Why don't you drink your tea? It's getting cold," said Zametov.
"What! Tea? Oh, yes...." Raskolnikov sipped the glass, put a morsel of bread in his mouth and, suddenly looking at Zametov, seemed to remember everything and pulled himself together. At the same moment his face resumed its original mocking expression. He went on drinking tea.
"There have been a great many of these crimes lately," said Zametov. "Only the other day I read in the Moscow News that a whole gang of false coiners had been caught in Moscow. It was a regular society. They used to forge tickets!"
"Oh, but it was a long time ago! I read about it a month ago," Raskolnikov answered calmly. "So you consider them criminals?" he added, smiling.
"Of course they are criminals."
"They? They are children, simpletons, not criminals! Why, half a hundred people meeting for such an object—what an idea! Three would be too many, and then they want to have more faith in one another than in themselves! One has only to blab in his cups and it all collapses. Simpletons! They engaged untrustworthy people to change the notes—what a thing to trust to a casual stranger! Well, let us suppose that these simpletons succeed and each makes a million, and what follows for the rest of their lives? Each is dependent on the others for the rest of his life! Better hang oneself at once! And they did not know how to change the notes either; the man who changed the notes took five thousand roubles, and his hands trembled. He counted the first four thousand, but did not count the fifth thousand—he was in such a hurry to get the money into his pocket and run away. Of course he roused suspicion. And the whole thing came to a crash through one fool! Is it possible?"
"That his hands trembled?" observed Zametov, "yes, that's quite possible. That, I feel quite sure, is possible. Sometimes one can't stand things."
"Can't stand that?"
"Why, could you stand it then? No, I couldn't. For the sake of a hundred roubles to face such a terrible experience? To go with false notes into a bank where it's their business to spot that sort of thing! No, I should not have the face to do it. Would you?"
Raskolnikov had an intense desire again "to put his tongue out." Shivers kept running down his spine.
"I should do it quite differently," Raskolnikov began. "This is how I would change the notes: I'd count the first thousand three or four times backwards and forwards, looking at every note and then I'd set to the second thousand; I'd count that half-way through and then hold some fifty-rouble note to the light, then turn it, then hold it to the light again—to see whether it was a good one. 'I am afraid,' I would say, 'a relation of mine lost twenty-five roubles the other day through a false note,' and then I'd tell them the whole story. And after I began counting the third, 'No, excuse me,' I would say, 'I fancy I made a mistake in the seventh hundred in that second thousand, I am not sure.' And so I would give up the third thousand and go back to the second and so on to the end. And when I had finished, I'd pick out one from the fifth and one from the second thousand and take them again to the light and ask again, 'Change them, please,' and put the clerk into such a stew that he would not know how to get rid of me. When I'd finished and had gone out, I'd come back, 'No, excuse me,' and ask for some explanation. That's how I'd do it."
"Foo! what terrible things you say!" said Zametov, laughing. "But all that is only talk. I dare say when it came to deeds you'd make a slip. I believe that even a practised, desperate man cannot always reckon on himself, much less you and I. To take an example near home—that old woman murdered in our district. The murderer seems to have been a desperate fellow, he risked everything in open daylight, was saved by a miracle—but his hands shook, too. He did not succeed in robbing the place, he couldn't stand it. That was clear from the..."
Raskolnikov seemed offended.
"Clear? Why don't you catch him then?" he cried, maliciously gibing at Zametov.
"Well, they will catch him."
"Who? You? Do you suppose you could catch him? You've a tough job! A great point for you is whether a man is spending money or not. If he had no money and suddenly begins spending, he must be the man. So that any child can mislead you."
"The fact is they always do that, though," answered Zametov. "A man will commit a clever murder at the risk of his life and then at once he goes drinking in a tavern. They are caught spending money, they are not all as cunning as you are. You wouldn't go to a tavern, of course?"
Raskolnikov frowned and looked steadily at Zametov.
"You seem to enjoy the subject and would like to know how I should behave in that case, too?" he asked with displeasure.
"I should like to," Zametov answered firmly and seriously. Somewhat too much earnestness began to appear in his words and looks.
"All right then. This is how I should behave," Raskolnikov began, again bringing his face close to Zametov's, again staring at him and speaking in a whisper, so that the latter positively shuddered. "This is what I should have done. I should have taken the money and jewels, I should have walked out of there and have gone straight to some deserted place with fences round it and scarcely anyone to be seen, some kitchen garden or place of that sort. I should have looked out beforehand some stone weighing a hundredweight or more which had been lying in the corner from the time the house was built. I would lift that stone—there would sure to be a hollow under it, and I would put the jewels and money in that hole. Then I'd roll the stone back so that it would look as before, would press it down with my foot and walk away. And for a year or two, three maybe, I would not touch it. And, well, they could search! There'd be no trace."
"You are a madman," said Zametov, and for some reason he too spoke in a whisper, and moved away from Raskolnikov, whose eyes were glittering. He had turned fearfully pale and his upper lip was twitching and quivering. He bent down as close as possible to Zametov, and his lips began to move without uttering a word. This lasted for half a minute; he knew what he was doing, but could not restrain himself. The terrible word trembled on his lips, like the latch on that door; in another moment it will break out, in another moment he will let it go, he will speak out.
"And what if it was I who murdered the old woman and Lizaveta?" he said suddenly and—realised what he had done.
Zametov looked wildly at him and turned white as the tablecloth. His face wore a contorted smile.
"But is it possible?" he brought out faintly. Raskolnikov looked wrathfully at him.
"Own up that you believed it, yes, you did?"
"Not a bit of it, I believe it less than ever now," Zametov cried hastily.
"I've caught my cock-sparrow! So you did believe it before, if now you believe less than ever?"
"Not at all," cried Zametov, obviously embarrassed. "Have you been frightening me so as to lead up to this?"
"You don't believe it then? What were you talking about behind my back when I went out of the police-office? And why did the explosive lieutenant question me after I fainted? Hey, there," he shouted to the waiter, getting up and taking his cap, "how much?"
"Thirty copecks," the latter replied, running up.
"And there is twenty copecks for vodka. See what a lot of money!" he held out his shaking hand to Zametov with notes in it. "Red notes and blue, twenty-five roubles. Where did I get them? And where did my new clothes come from? You know I had not a copeck. You've cross-examined my landlady, I'll be bound.... Well, that's enough! Assez cause! Till we meet again!"
He went out, trembling all over from a sort of wild hysterical sensation, in which there was an element of insufferable rapture. Yet he was gloomy and terribly tired. His face was twisted as after a fit. His fatigue increased rapidly. Any shock, any irritating sensation stimulated and revived his energies at once, but his strength failed as quickly when the stimulus was removed.
Zametov, left alone, sat for a long time in the same place, plunged in thought. Raskolnikov had unwittingly worked a revolution in his brain on a certain point and had made up his mind for him conclusively.
"Ilya Petrovitch is a blockhead," he decided.
Raskolnikov had hardly opened the door of the restaurant when he stumbled against Razumihin on the steps. They did not see each other till they almost knocked against each other. For a moment they stood looking each other up and down. Razumihin was greatly astounded, then anger, real anger gleamed fiercely in his eyes.
"So here you are!" he shouted at the top of his voice—"you ran away from your bed! And here I've been looking for you under the sofa! We went up to the garret. I almost beat Nastasya on your account. And here he is after all. Rodya! What is the meaning of it? Tell me the whole truth! Confess! Do you hear?"
"It means that I'm sick to death of you all and I want to be alone," Raskolnikov answered calmly.
"Alone? When you are not able to walk, when your face is as white as a sheet and you are gasping for breath! Idiot!... What have you been doing in the Palais de Cristal? Own up at once!"
"Let me go!" said Raskolnikov and tried to pass him. This was too much for Razumihin; he gripped him firmly by the shoulder.
"Let you go? You dare tell me to let you go? Do you know what I'll do with you directly? I'll pick you up, tie you up in a bundle, carry you home under my arm and lock you up!"
"Listen, Razumihin," Raskolnikov began quietly, apparently calm—"can't you see that I don't want your benevolence? A strange desire you have to shower benefits on a man who... curses them, who feels them a burden in fact! Why did you seek me out at the beginning of my illness? Maybe I was very glad to die. Didn't I tell you plainly enough to-day that you were torturing me, that I was... sick of you! You seem to want to torture people! I assure you that all that is seriously hindering my recovery, because it's continually irritating me. You saw Zossimov went away just now to avoid irritating me. You leave me alone too, for goodness' sake! What right have you, indeed, to keep me by force? Don't you see that I am in possession of all my faculties now? How, how can I persuade you not to persecute me with your kindness? I may be ungrateful, I may be mean, only let me be, for God's sake, let me be! Let me be, let me be!"
He began calmly, gloating beforehand over the venomous phrases he was about to utter, but finished, panting for breath, in a frenzy, as he had been with Luzhin.
Razumihin stood a moment, thought and let his hand drop.
"Well, go to hell then," he said gently and thoughtfully. "Stay," he roared, as Raskolnikov was about to move. "Listen to me. Let me tell you, that you are all a set of babbling, posing idiots! If you've any little trouble you brood over it like a hen over an egg. And you are plagiarists even in that! There isn't a sign of independent life in you! You are made of spermaceti ointment and you've lymph in your veins instead of blood. I don't believe in anyone of you! In any circumstances the first thing for all of you is to be unlike a human being! Stop!" he cried with redoubled fury, noticing that Raskolnikov was again making a movement—"hear me out! You know I'm having a house-warming this evening, I dare say they've arrived by now, but I left my uncle there—I just ran in—to receive the guests. And if you weren't a fool, a common fool, a perfect fool, if you were an original instead of a translation... you see, Rodya, I recognise you're a clever fellow, but you're a fool!—and if you weren't a fool you'd come round to me this evening instead of wearing out your boots in the street! Since you have gone out, there's no help for it! I'd give you a snug easy chair, my landlady has one... a cup of tea, company.... Or you could lie on the sofa—any way you would be with us.... Zossimov will be there too. Will you come?"
"R-rubbish!" Razumihin shouted, out of patience. "How do you know? You can't answer for yourself! You don't know anything about it.... Thousands of times I've fought tooth and nail with people and run back to them afterwards.... One feels ashamed and goes back to a man! So remember, Potchinkov's house on the third storey...."
"Why, Mr. Razumihin, I do believe you'd let anybody beat you from sheer benevolence."
"Beat? Whom? Me? I'd twist his nose off at the mere idea! Potchinkov's house, 47, Babushkin's flat...."
"I shall not come, Razumihin." Raskolnikov turned and walked away.
"I bet you will," Razumihin shouted after him. "I refuse to know you if you don't! Stay, hey, is Zametov in there?"
"Did you see him?"
"Talked to him?"
"What about? Confound you, don't tell me then. Potchinkov's house, 47, Babushkin's flat, remember!"
Raskolnikov walked on and turned the corner into Sadovy Street. Razumihin looked after him thoughtfully. Then with a wave of his hand he went into the house but stopped short of the stairs.
"Confound it," he went on almost aloud. "He talked sensibly but yet... I am a fool! As if madmen didn't talk sensibly! And this was just what Zossimov seemed afraid of." He struck his finger on his forehead. "What if... how could I let him go off alone? He may drown himself.... Ach, what a blunder! I can't." And he ran back to overtake Raskolnikov, but there was no trace of him. With a curse he returned with rapid steps to the Palais de Cristal to question Zametov.
Raskolnikov walked straight to X—— Bridge, stood in the middle, and leaning both elbows on the rail stared into the distance. On parting with Razumihin, he felt so much weaker that he could scarcely reach this place. He longed to sit or lie down somewhere in the street. Bending over the water, he gazed mechanically at the last pink flush of the sunset, at the row of houses growing dark in the gathering twilight, at one distant attic window on the left bank, flashing as though on fire in the last rays of the setting sun, at the darkening water of the canal, and the water seemed to catch his attention. At last red circles flashed before his eyes, the houses seemed moving, the passers-by, the canal banks, the carriages, all danced before his eyes. Suddenly he started, saved again perhaps from swooning by an uncanny and hideous sight. He became aware of someone standing on the right side of him; he looked and saw a tall woman with a kerchief on her head, with a long, yellow, wasted face and red sunken eyes. She was looking straight at him, but obviously she saw nothing and recognised no one. Suddenly she leaned her right hand on the parapet, lifted her right leg over the railing, then her left and threw herself into the canal. The filthy water parted and swallowed up its victim for a moment, but an instant later the drowning woman floated to the surface, moving slowly with the current, her head and legs in the water, her skirt inflated like a balloon over her back.
"A woman drowning! A woman drowning!" shouted dozens of voices; people ran up, both banks were thronged with spectators, on the bridge people crowded about Raskolnikov, pressing up behind him.
"Mercy on it! it's our Afrosinya!" a woman cried tearfully close by. "Mercy! save her! kind people, pull her out!"
"A boat, a boat" was shouted in the crowd. But there was no need of a boat; a policeman ran down the steps to the canal, threw off his great coat and his boots and rushed into the water. It was easy to reach her: she floated within a couple of yards from the steps, he caught hold of her clothes with his right hand and with his left seized a pole which a comrade held out to him; the drowning woman was pulled out at once. They laid her on the granite pavement of the embankment. She soon recovered consciousness, raised her head, sat up and began sneezing and coughing, stupidly wiping her wet dress with her hands. She said nothing.
"She's drunk herself out of her senses," the same woman's voice wailed at her side. "Out of her senses. The other day she tried to hang herself, we cut her down. I ran out to the shop just now, left my little girl to look after her—and here she's in trouble again! A neighbour, gentleman, a neighbour, we live close by, the second house from the end, see yonder...."
The crowd broke up. The police still remained round the woman, someone mentioned the police station.... Raskolnikov looked on with a strange sensation of indifference and apathy. He felt disgusted. "No, that's loathsome... water... it's not good enough," he muttered to himself. "Nothing will come of it," he added, "no use to wait. What about the police office...? And why isn't Zametov at the police office? The police office is open till ten o'clock...." He turned his back to the railing and looked about him.
"Very well then!" he said resolutely; he moved from the bridge and walked in the direction of the police office. His heart felt hollow and empty. He did not want to think. Even his depression had passed, there was not a trace now of the energy with which he had set out "to make an end of it all." Complete apathy had succeeded to it.
"Well, it's a way out of it," he thought, walking slowly and listlessly along the canal bank. "Anyway I'll make an end, for I want to.... But is it a way out? What does it matter! There'll be the square yard of space—ha! But what an end! Is it really the end? Shall I tell them or not? Ah... damn! How tired I am! If I could find somewhere to sit or lie down soon! What I am most ashamed of is its being so stupid. But I don't care about that either! What idiotic ideas come into one's head."
To reach the police office he had to go straight forward and take the second turning to the left. It was only a few paces away. But at the first turning he stopped and, after a minute's thought, turned into a side street and went two streets out of his way, possibly without any object, or possibly to delay a minute and gain time. He walked, looking at the ground; suddenly someone seemed to whisper in his ear; he lifted his head and saw that he was standing at the very gate of the house. He had not passed it, he had not been near it since that evening. An overwhelming, unaccountable prompting drew him on. He went into the house, passed through the gateway, then into the first entrance on the right, and began mounting the familiar staircase to the fourth storey. The narrow, steep staircase was very dark. He stopped at each landing and looked round him with curiosity; on the first landing the framework of the window had been taken out. "That wasn't so then," he thought. Here was the flat on the second storey where Nikolay and Dmitri had been working. "It's shut up and the door newly painted. So it's to let." Then the third storey and the fourth. "Here!" He was perplexed to find the door of the flat wide open. There were men there, he could hear voices; he had not expected that. After brief hesitation he mounted the last stairs and went into the flat. It, too, was being done up; there were workmen in it. This seemed to amaze him; he somehow fancied that he would find everything as he left it, even perhaps the corpses in the same places on the floor. And now, bare walls, no furniture; it seemed strange. He walked to the window and sat down on the window-sill. There were two workmen, both young fellows, but one much younger than the other. They were papering the walls with a new white paper covered with lilac flowers, instead of the old, dirty, yellow one. Raskolnikov for some reason felt horribly annoyed by this. He looked at the new paper with dislike, as though he felt sorry to have it all so changed. The workmen had obviously stayed beyond their time and now they were hurriedly rolling up their paper and getting ready to go home. They took no notice of Raskolnikov's coming in; they were talking. Raskolnikov folded his arms and listened.
"She comes to me in the morning," said the elder to the younger, "very early, all dressed up. 'Why are you preening and prinking?' says I. 'I am ready to do anything to please you, Tit Vassilitch!' That's a way of going on! And she dressed up like a regular fashion book!"
"And what is a fashion book?" the younger one asked. He obviously regarded the other as an authority.
"A fashion book is a lot of pictures, coloured, and they come to the tailors here every Saturday, by post from abroad, to show folks how to dress, the male sex as well as the female. They're pictures. The gentlemen are generally wearing fur coats and for the ladies' fluffles, they're beyond anything you can fancy."
"There's nothing you can't find in Petersburg," the younger cried enthusiastically, "except father and mother, there's everything!"
"Except them, there's everything to be found, my boy," the elder declared sententiously.
Raskolnikov got up and walked into the other room where the strong box, the bed, and the chest of drawers had been; the room seemed to him very tiny without furniture in it. The paper was the same; the paper in the corner showed where the case of ikons had stood. He looked at it and went to the window. The elder workman looked at him askance.
"What do you want?" he asked suddenly.
Instead of answering Raskolnikov went into the passage and pulled the bell. The same bell, the same cracked note. He rang it a second and a third time; he listened and remembered. The hideous and agonisingly fearful sensation he had felt then began to come back more and more vividly. He shuddered at every ring and it gave him more and more satisfaction.
"Well, what do you want? Who are you?" the workman shouted, going out to him. Raskolnikov went inside again.
"I want to take a flat," he said. "I am looking round."
"It's not the time to look at rooms at night! and you ought to come up with the porter."
"The floors have been washed, will they be painted?" Raskolnikov went on. "Is there no blood?"
"Why, the old woman and her sister were murdered here. There was a perfect pool there."
"But who are you?" the workman cried, uneasy.
"Who am I?"
"You want to know? Come to the police station, I'll tell you."
The workmen looked at him in amazement.
"It's time for us to go, we are late. Come along, Alyoshka. We must lock up," said the elder workman.
"Very well, come along," said Raskolnikov indifferently, and going out first, he went slowly downstairs. "Hey, porter," he cried in the gateway.
At the entrance several people were standing, staring at the passers-by; the two porters, a peasant woman, a man in a long coat and a few others. Raskolnikov went straight up to them.
"What do you want?" asked one of the porters.
"Have you been to the police office?"
"I've just been there. What do you want?"
"Is it open?"
"Is the assistant there?"
"He was there for a time. What do you want?"
Raskolnikov made no reply, but stood beside them lost in thought.
"He's been to look at the flat," said the elder workman, coming forward.
"Where we are at work. 'Why have you washed away the blood?' says he. 'There has been a murder here,' says he, 'and I've come to take it.' And he began ringing at the bell, all but broke it. 'Come to the police station,' says he. 'I'll tell you everything there.' He wouldn't leave us."
The porter looked at Raskolnikov, frowning and perplexed.
"Who are you?" he shouted as impressively as he could.
"I am Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov, formerly a student, I live in Shil's house, not far from here, flat Number 14, ask the porter, he knows me." Raskolnikov said all this in a lazy, dreamy voice, not turning round, but looking intently into the darkening street.
"Why have you been to the flat?"
"To look at it."
"What is there to look at?"
"Take him straight to the police station," the man in the long coat jerked in abruptly.
Raskolnikov looked intently at him over his shoulder and said in the same slow, lazy tones:
"Yes, take him," the man went on more confidently. "Why was he going into that, what's in his mind, eh?"
"He's not drunk, but God knows what's the matter with him," muttered the workman.
"But what do you want?" the porter shouted again, beginning to get angry in earnest—"Why are you hanging about?"
"You funk the police station then?" said Raskolnikov jeeringly.
"How funk it? Why are you hanging about?"
"He's a rogue!" shouted the peasant woman.
"Why waste time talking to him?" cried the other porter, a huge peasant in a full open coat and with keys on his belt. "Get along! He is a rogue and no mistake. Get along!"
And seizing Raskolnikov by the shoulder he flung him into the street. He lurched forward, but recovered his footing, looked at the spectators in silence and walked away.
"Strange man!" observed the workman.
"There are strange folks about nowadays," said the woman.
"You should have taken him to the police station all the same," said the man in the long coat.
"Better have nothing to do with him," decided the big porter. "A regular rogue! Just what he wants, you may be sure, but once take him up, you won't get rid of him.... We know the sort!"
"Shall I go there or not?" thought Raskolnikov, standing in the middle of the thoroughfare at the cross-roads, and he looked about him, as though expecting from someone a decisive word. But no sound came, all was dead and silent like the stones on which he walked, dead to him, to him alone.... All at once at the end of the street, two hundred yards away, in the gathering dusk he saw a crowd and heard talk and shouts. In the middle of the crowd stood a carriage.... A light gleamed in the middle of the street. "What is it?" Raskolnikov turned to the right and went up to the crowd. He seemed to clutch at everything and smiled coldly when he recognised it, for he had fully made up his mind to go to the police station and knew that it would all soon be over.
An elegant carriage stood in the middle of the road with a pair of spirited grey horses; there was no one in it, and the coachman had got off his box and stood by; the horses were being held by the bridle.... A mass of people had gathered round, the police standing in front. One of them held a lighted lantern which he was turning on something lying close to the wheels. Everyone was talking, shouting, exclaiming; the coachman seemed at a loss and kept repeating:
"What a misfortune! Good Lord, what a misfortune!"
Raskolnikov pushed his way in as far as he could, and succeeded at last in seeing the object of the commotion and interest. On the ground a man who had been run over lay apparently unconscious, and covered with blood; he was very badly dressed, but not like a workman. Blood was flowing from his head and face; his face was crushed, mutilated and disfigured. He was evidently badly injured.
"Merciful heaven!" wailed the coachman, "what more could I do? If I'd been driving fast or had not shouted to him, but I was going quietly, not in a hurry. Everyone could see I was going along just like everybody else. A drunken man can't walk straight, we all know.... I saw him crossing the street, staggering and almost falling. I shouted again and a second and a third time, then I held the horses in, but he fell straight under their feet! Either he did it on purpose or he was very tipsy.... The horses are young and ready to take fright... they started, he screamed... that made them worse. That's how it happened!"
"That's just how it was," a voice in the crowd confirmed.
"He shouted, that's true, he shouted three times," another voice declared.
"Three times it was, we all heard it," shouted a third.
But the coachman was not very much distressed and frightened. It was evident that the carriage belonged to a rich and important person who was awaiting it somewhere; the police, of course, were in no little anxiety to avoid upsetting his arrangements. All they had to do was to take the injured man to the police station and the hospital. No one knew his name.
Meanwhile Raskolnikov had squeezed in and stooped closer over him. The lantern suddenly lighted up the unfortunate man's face. He recognised him.
"I know him! I know him!" he shouted, pushing to the front. "It's a government clerk retired from the service, Marmeladov. He lives close by in Kozel's house.... Make haste for a doctor! I will pay, see?" He pulled money out of his pocket and showed it to the policeman. He was in violent agitation.
The police were glad that they had found out who the man was. Raskolnikov gave his own name and address, and, as earnestly as if it had been his father, he besought the police to carry the unconscious Marmeladov to his lodging at once.
"Just here, three houses away," he said eagerly, "the house belongs to Kozel, a rich German. He was going home, no doubt drunk. I know him, he is a drunkard. He has a family there, a wife, children, he has one daughter.... It will take time to take him to the hospital, and there is sure to be a doctor in the house. I'll pay, I'll pay! At least he will be looked after at home... they will help him at once. But he'll die before you get him to the hospital." He managed to slip something unseen into the policeman's hand. But the thing was straightforward and legitimate, and in any case help was closer here. They raised the injured man; people volunteered to help.
Kozel's house was thirty yards away. Raskolnikov walked behind, carefully holding Marmeladov's head and showing the way.
"This way, this way! We must take him upstairs head foremost. Turn round! I'll pay, I'll make it worth your while," he muttered.
Katerina Ivanovna had just begun, as she always did at every free moment, walking to and fro in her little room from window to stove and back again, with her arms folded across her chest, talking to herself and coughing. Of late she had begun to talk more than ever to her eldest girl, Polenka, a child of ten, who, though there was much she did not understand, understood very well that her mother needed her, and so always watched her with her big clever eyes and strove her utmost to appear to understand. This time Polenka was undressing her little brother, who had been unwell all day and was going to bed. The boy was waiting for her to take off his shirt, which had to be washed at night. He was sitting straight and motionless on a chair, with a silent, serious face, with his legs stretched out straight before him—heels together and toes turned out.
He was listening to what his mother was saying to his sister, sitting perfectly still with pouting lips and wide-open eyes, just as all good little boys have to sit when they are undressed to go to bed. A little girl, still younger, dressed literally in rags, stood at the screen, waiting for her turn. The door on to the stairs was open to relieve them a little from the clouds of tobacco smoke which floated in from the other rooms and brought on long terrible fits of coughing in the poor, consumptive woman. Katerina Ivanovna seemed to have grown even thinner during that week and the hectic flush on her face was brighter than ever.
"You wouldn't believe, you can't imagine, Polenka," she said, walking about the room, "what a happy luxurious life we had in my papa's house and how this drunkard has brought me, and will bring you all, to ruin! Papa was a civil colonel and only a step from being a governor; so that everyone who came to see him said, 'We look upon you, Ivan Mihailovitch, as our governor!' When I... when..." she coughed violently, "oh, cursed life," she cried, clearing her throat and pressing her hands to her breast, "when I... when at the last ball... at the marshal's... Princess Bezzemelny saw me—who gave me the blessing when your father and I were married, Polenka—she asked at once 'Isn't that the pretty girl who danced the shawl dance at the breaking-up?' (You must mend that tear, you must take your needle and darn it as I showed you, or to-morrow—cough, cough, cough—he will make the hole bigger," she articulated with effort.) "Prince Schegolskoy, a kammerjunker, had just come from Petersburg then... he danced the mazurka with me and wanted to make me an offer next day; but I thanked him in flattering expressions and told him that my heart had long been another's. That other was your father, Polya; papa was fearfully angry.... Is the water ready? Give me the shirt, and the stockings! Lida," said she to the youngest one, "you must manage without your chemise to-night... and lay your stockings out with it... I'll wash them together.... How is it that drunken vagabond doesn't come in? He has worn his shirt till it looks like a dish-clout, he has torn it to rags! I'd do it all together, so as not to have to work two nights running! Oh, dear! (Cough, cough, cough, cough!) Again! What's this?" she cried, noticing a crowd in the passage and the men, who were pushing into her room, carrying a burden. "What is it? What are they bringing? Mercy on us!"
"Where are we to put him?" asked the policeman, looking round when Marmeladov, unconscious and covered with blood, had been carried in.
"On the sofa! Put him straight on the sofa, with his head this way," Raskolnikov showed him.
"Run over in the road! Drunk!" someone shouted in the passage.
Katerina Ivanovna stood, turning white and gasping for breath. The children were terrified. Little Lida screamed, rushed to Polenka and clutched at her, trembling all over.
Having laid Marmeladov down, Raskolnikov flew to Katerina Ivanovna.
"For God's sake be calm, don't be frightened!" he said, speaking quickly, "he was crossing the road and was run over by a carriage, don't be frightened, he will come to, I told them bring him here... I've been here already, you remember? He will come to; I'll pay!"
"He's done it this time!" Katerina Ivanovna cried despairingly and she rushed to her husband.
Raskolnikov noticed at once that she was not one of those women who swoon easily. She instantly placed under the luckless man's head a pillow, which no one had thought of and began undressing and examining him. She kept her head, forgetting herself, biting her trembling lips and stifling the screams which were ready to break from her.