At the word "madman," carelessly dropped by Zossimov in his chatter on his favourite subject, everyone frowned.
Raskolnikov sat seeming not to pay attention, plunged in thought with a strange smile on his pale lips. He was still meditating on something.
"Well, what about the man who was run over? I interrupted you!" Razumihin cried hastily.
"What?" Raskolnikov seemed to wake up. "Oh... I got spattered with blood helping to carry him to his lodging. By the way, mamma, I did an unpardonable thing yesterday. I was literally out of my mind. I gave away all the money you sent me... to his wife for the funeral. She's a widow now, in consumption, a poor creature... three little children, starving... nothing in the house... there's a daughter, too... perhaps you'd have given it yourself if you'd seen them. But I had no right to do it I admit, especially as I knew how you needed the money yourself. To help others one must have the right to do it, or else Crevez, chiens, si vous n'etes pas contents." He laughed, "That's right, isn't it, Dounia?"
"No, it's not," answered Dounia firmly.
"Bah! you, too, have ideals," he muttered, looking at her almost with hatred, and smiling sarcastically. "I ought to have considered that.... Well, that's praiseworthy, and it's better for you... and if you reach a line you won't overstep, you will be unhappy... and if you overstep it, maybe you will be still unhappier.... But all that's nonsense," he added irritably, vexed at being carried away. "I only meant to say that I beg your forgiveness, mother," he concluded, shortly and abruptly.
"That's enough, Rodya, I am sure that everything you do is very good," said his mother, delighted.
"Don't be too sure," he answered, twisting his mouth into a smile.
A silence followed. There was a certain constraint in all this conversation, and in the silence, and in the reconciliation, and in the forgiveness, and all were feeling it.
"It is as though they were afraid of me," Raskolnikov was thinking to himself, looking askance at his mother and sister. Pulcheria Alexandrovna was indeed growing more timid the longer she kept silent.
"Yet in their absence I seemed to love them so much," flashed through his mind.
"Do you know, Rodya, Marfa Petrovna is dead," Pulcheria Alexandrovna suddenly blurted out.
"What Marfa Petrovna?"
"Oh, mercy on us—Marfa Petrovna Svidrigailov. I wrote you so much about her."
"A-a-h! Yes, I remember.... So she's dead! Oh, really?" he roused himself suddenly, as if waking up. "What did she die of?"
"Only imagine, quite suddenly," Pulcheria Alexandrovna answered hurriedly, encouraged by his curiosity. "On the very day I was sending you that letter! Would you believe it, that awful man seems to have been the cause of her death. They say he beat her dreadfully."
"Why, were they on such bad terms?" he asked, addressing his sister.
"Not at all. Quite the contrary indeed. With her, he was always very patient, considerate even. In fact, all those seven years of their married life he gave way to her, too much so indeed, in many cases. All of a sudden he seems to have lost patience."
"Then he could not have been so awful if he controlled himself for seven years? You seem to be defending him, Dounia?"
"No, no, he's an awful man! I can imagine nothing more awful!" Dounia answered, almost with a shudder, knitting her brows, and sinking into thought.
"That had happened in the morning," Pulcheria Alexandrovna went on hurriedly. "And directly afterwards she ordered the horses to be harnessed to drive to the town immediately after dinner. She always used to drive to the town in such cases. She ate a very good dinner, I am told...."
"After the beating?"
"That was always her... habit; and immediately after dinner, so as not to be late in starting, she went to the bath-house.... You see, she was undergoing some treatment with baths. They have a cold spring there, and she used to bathe in it regularly every day, and no sooner had she got into the water when she suddenly had a stroke!"
"I should think so," said Zossimov.
"And did he beat her badly?"
"What does that matter!" put in Dounia.
"H'm! But I don't know why you want to tell us such gossip, mother," said Raskolnikov irritably, as it were in spite of himself.
"Ah, my dear, I don't know what to talk about," broke from Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
"Why, are you all afraid of me?" he asked, with a constrained smile.
"That's certainly true," said Dounia, looking directly and sternly at her brother. "Mother was crossing herself with terror as she came up the stairs."
His face worked, as though in convulsion.
"Ach, what are you saying, Dounia! Don't be angry, please, Rodya.... Why did you say that, Dounia?" Pulcheria Alexandrovna began, overwhelmed—"You see, coming here, I was dreaming all the way, in the train, how we should meet, how we should talk over everything together.... And I was so happy, I did not notice the journey! But what am I saying? I am happy now.... You should not, Dounia.... I am happy now—simply in seeing you, Rodya...."
"Hush, mother," he muttered in confusion, not looking at her, but pressing her hand. "We shall have time to speak freely of everything!"
As he said this, he was suddenly overwhelmed with confusion and turned pale. Again that awful sensation he had known of late passed with deadly chill over his soul. Again it became suddenly plain and perceptible to him that he had just told a fearful lie—that he would never now be able to speak freely of everything—that he would never again be able to speak of anything to anyone. The anguish of this thought was such that for a moment he almost forgot himself. He got up from his seat, and not looking at anyone walked towards the door.
"What are you about?" cried Razumihin, clutching him by the arm.
He sat down again, and began looking about him, in silence. They were all looking at him in perplexity.
"But what are you all so dull for?" he shouted, suddenly and quite unexpectedly. "Do say something! What's the use of sitting like this? Come, do speak. Let us talk.... We meet together and sit in silence.... Come, anything!"
"Thank God; I was afraid the same thing as yesterday was beginning again," said Pulcheria Alexandrovna, crossing herself.
"What is the matter, Rodya?" asked Avdotya Romanovna, distrustfully.
"Oh, nothing! I remembered something," he answered, and suddenly laughed.
"Well, if you remembered something; that's all right!... I was beginning to think..." muttered Zossimov, getting up from the sofa. "It is time for me to be off. I will look in again perhaps... if I can..." He made his bows, and went out.
"What an excellent man!" observed Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
"Yes, excellent, splendid, well-educated, intelligent," Raskolnikov began, suddenly speaking with surprising rapidity, and a liveliness he had not shown till then. "I can't remember where I met him before my illness.... I believe I have met him somewhere——... And this is a good man, too," he nodded at Razumihin. "Do you like him, Dounia?" he asked her; and suddenly, for some unknown reason, laughed.
"Very much," answered Dounia.
"Foo!—what a pig you are!" Razumihin protested, blushing in terrible confusion, and he got up from his chair. Pulcheria Alexandrovna smiled faintly, but Raskolnikov laughed aloud.
"Where are you off to?"
"I must go."
"You need not at all. Stay. Zossimov has gone, so you must. Don't go. What's the time? Is it twelve o'clock? What a pretty watch you have got, Dounia. But why are you all silent again? I do all the talking."
"It was a present from Marfa Petrovna," answered Dounia.
"And a very expensive one!" added Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
"A-ah! What a big one! Hardly like a lady's."
"I like that sort," said Dounia.
"So it is not a present from her fiance," thought Razumihin, and was unreasonably delighted.
"I thought it was Luzhin's present," observed Raskolnikov.
"No, he has not made Dounia any presents yet."
"A-ah! And do you remember, mother, I was in love and wanted to get married?" he said suddenly, looking at his mother, who was disconcerted by the sudden change of subject and the way he spoke of it.
"Oh, yes, my dear."
Pulcheria Alexandrovna exchanged glances with Dounia and Razumihin.
"H'm, yes. What shall I tell you? I don't remember much indeed. She was such a sickly girl," he went on, growing dreamy and looking down again. "Quite an invalid. She was fond of giving alms to the poor, and was always dreaming of a nunnery, and once she burst into tears when she began talking to me about it. Yes, yes, I remember. I remember very well. She was an ugly little thing. I really don't know what drew me to her then—I think it was because she was always ill. If she had been lame or hunchback, I believe I should have liked her better still," he smiled dreamily. "Yes, it was a sort of spring delirium."
"No, it was not only spring delirium," said Dounia, with warm feeling.
He fixed a strained intent look on his sister, but did not hear or did not understand her words. Then, completely lost in thought, he got up, went up to his mother, kissed her, went back to his place and sat down.
"You love her even now?" said Pulcheria Alexandrovna, touched.
"Her? Now? Oh, yes.... You ask about her? No... that's all now, as it were, in another world... and so long ago. And indeed everything happening here seems somehow far away." He looked attentively at them. "You, now... I seem to be looking at you from a thousand miles away... but, goodness knows why we are talking of that! And what's the use of asking about it?" he added with annoyance, and biting his nails, fell into dreamy silence again.
"What a wretched lodging you have, Rodya! It's like a tomb," said Pulcheria Alexandrovna, suddenly breaking the oppressive silence. "I am sure it's quite half through your lodging you have become so melancholy."
"My lodging," he answered, listlessly. "Yes, the lodging had a great deal to do with it.... I thought that, too.... If only you knew, though, what a strange thing you said just now, mother," he said, laughing strangely.
A little more, and their companionship, this mother and this sister, with him after three years' absence, this intimate tone of conversation, in face of the utter impossibility of really speaking about anything, would have been beyond his power of endurance. But there was one urgent matter which must be settled one way or the other that day—so he had decided when he woke. Now he was glad to remember it, as a means of escape.
"Listen, Dounia," he began, gravely and drily, "of course I beg your pardon for yesterday, but I consider it my duty to tell you again that I do not withdraw from my chief point. It is me or Luzhin. If I am a scoundrel, you must not be. One is enough. If you marry Luzhin, I cease at once to look on you as a sister."
"Rodya, Rodya! It is the same as yesterday again," Pulcheria Alexandrovna cried, mournfully. "And why do you call yourself a scoundrel? I can't bear it. You said the same yesterday."
"Brother," Dounia answered firmly and with the same dryness. "In all this there is a mistake on your part. I thought it over at night, and found out the mistake. It is all because you seem to fancy I am sacrificing myself to someone and for someone. That is not the case at all. I am simply marrying for my own sake, because things are hard for me. Though, of course, I shall be glad if I succeed in being useful to my family. But that is not the chief motive for my decision...."
"She is lying," he thought to himself, biting his nails vindictively. "Proud creature! She won't admit she wants to do it out of charity! Too haughty! Oh, base characters! They even love as though they hate.... Oh, how I... hate them all!"
"In fact," continued Dounia, "I am marrying Pyotr Petrovitch because of two evils I choose the less. I intend to do honestly all he expects of me, so I am not deceiving him.... Why did you smile just now?" She, too, flushed, and there was a gleam of anger in her eyes.
"All?" he asked, with a malignant grin.
"Within certain limits. Both the manner and form of Pyotr Petrovitch's courtship showed me at once what he wanted. He may, of course, think too well of himself, but I hope he esteems me, too.... Why are you laughing again?"
"And why are you blushing again? You are lying, sister. You are intentionally lying, simply from feminine obstinacy, simply to hold your own against me.... You cannot respect Luzhin. I have seen him and talked with him. So you are selling yourself for money, and so in any case you are acting basely, and I am glad at least that you can blush for it."
"It is not true. I am not lying," cried Dounia, losing her composure. "I would not marry him if I were not convinced that he esteems me and thinks highly of me. I would not marry him if I were not firmly convinced that I can respect him. Fortunately, I can have convincing proof of it this very day... and such a marriage is not a vileness, as you say! And even if you were right, if I really had determined on a vile action, is it not merciless on your part to speak to me like that? Why do you demand of me a heroism that perhaps you have not either? It is despotism; it is tyranny. If I ruin anyone, it is only myself.... I am not committing a murder. Why do you look at me like that? Why are you so pale? Rodya, darling, what's the matter?"
"Good heavens! You have made him faint," cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
"No, no, nonsense! It's nothing. A little giddiness—not fainting. You have fainting on the brain. H'm, yes, what was I saying? Oh, yes. In what way will you get convincing proof to-day that you can respect him, and that he... esteems you, as you said. I think you said to-day?"
"Mother, show Rodya Pyotr Petrovitch's letter," said Dounia.
With trembling hands, Pulcheria Alexandrovna gave him the letter. He took it with great interest, but, before opening it, he suddenly looked with a sort of wonder at Dounia.
"It is strange," he said, slowly, as though struck by a new idea. "What am I making such a fuss for? What is it all about? Marry whom you like!"
He said this as though to himself, but said it aloud, and looked for some time at his sister, as though puzzled. He opened the letter at last, still with the same look of strange wonder on his face. Then, slowly and attentively, he began reading, and read it through twice. Pulcheria Alexandrovna showed marked anxiety, and all indeed expected something particular.
"What surprises me," he began, after a short pause, handing the letter to his mother, but not addressing anyone in particular, "is that he is a business man, a lawyer, and his conversation is pretentious indeed, and yet he writes such an uneducated letter."
They all started. They had expected something quite different.
"But they all write like that, you know," Razumihin observed, abruptly.
"Have you read it?"
"We showed him, Rodya. We... consulted him just now," Pulcheria Alexandrovna began, embarrassed.
"That's just the jargon of the courts," Razumihin put in. "Legal documents are written like that to this day."
"Legal? Yes, it's just legal—business language—not so very uneducated, and not quite educated—business language!"
"Pyotr Petrovitch makes no secret of the fact that he had a cheap education, he is proud indeed of having made his own way," Avdotya Romanovna observed, somewhat offended by her brother's tone.
"Well, if he's proud of it, he has reason, I don't deny it. You seem to be offended, sister, at my making only such a frivolous criticism on the letter, and to think that I speak of such trifling matters on purpose to annoy you. It is quite the contrary, an observation apropos of the style occurred to me that is by no means irrelevant as things stand. There is one expression, 'blame yourselves' put in very significantly and plainly, and there is besides a threat that he will go away at once if I am present. That threat to go away is equivalent to a threat to abandon you both if you are disobedient, and to abandon you now after summoning you to Petersburg. Well, what do you think? Can one resent such an expression from Luzhin, as we should if he (he pointed to Razumihin) had written it, or Zossimov, or one of us?"
"N-no," answered Dounia, with more animation. "I saw clearly that it was too naively expressed, and that perhaps he simply has no skill in writing... that is a true criticism, brother. I did not expect, indeed..."
"It is expressed in legal style, and sounds coarser than perhaps he intended. But I must disillusion you a little. There is one expression in the letter, one slander about me, and rather a contemptible one. I gave the money last night to the widow, a woman in consumption, crushed with trouble, and not 'on the pretext of the funeral,' but simply to pay for the funeral, and not to the daughter—a young woman, as he writes, of notorious behaviour (whom I saw last night for the first time in my life)—but to the widow. In all this I see a too hasty desire to slander me and to raise dissension between us. It is expressed again in legal jargon, that is to say, with a too obvious display of the aim, and with a very naive eagerness. He is a man of intelligence, but to act sensibly, intelligence is not enough. It all shows the man and... I don't think he has a great esteem for you. I tell you this simply to warn you, because I sincerely wish for your good..."
Dounia did not reply. Her resolution had been taken. She was only awaiting the evening.
"Then what is your decision, Rodya?" asked Pulcheria Alexandrovna, who was more uneasy than ever at the sudden, new businesslike tone of his talk.
"You see Pyotr Petrovitch writes that you are not to be with us this evening, and that he will go away if you come. So will you... come?"
"That, of course, is not for me to decide, but for you first, if you are not offended by such a request; and secondly, by Dounia, if she, too, is not offended. I will do what you think best," he added, drily.
"Dounia has already decided, and I fully agree with her," Pulcheria Alexandrovna hastened to declare.
"I decided to ask you, Rodya, to urge you not to fail to be with us at this interview," said Dounia. "Will you come?"
"I will ask you, too, to be with us at eight o'clock," she said, addressing Razumihin. "Mother, I am inviting him, too."
"Quite right, Dounia. Well, since you have decided," added Pulcheria Alexandrovna, "so be it. I shall feel easier myself. I do not like concealment and deception. Better let us have the whole truth.... Pyotr Petrovitch may be angry or not, now!"
At that moment the door was softly opened, and a young girl walked into the room, looking timidly about her. Everyone turned towards her with surprise and curiosity. At first sight, Raskolnikov did not recognise her. It was Sofya Semyonovna Marmeladov. He had seen her yesterday for the first time, but at such a moment, in such surroundings and in such a dress, that his memory retained a very different image of her. Now she was a modestly and poorly-dressed young girl, very young, indeed, almost like a child, with a modest and refined manner, with a candid but somewhat frightened-looking face. She was wearing a very plain indoor dress, and had on a shabby old-fashioned hat, but she still carried a parasol. Unexpectedly finding the room full of people, she was not so much embarrassed as completely overwhelmed with shyness, like a little child. She was even about to retreat. "Oh... it's you!" said Raskolnikov, extremely astonished, and he, too, was confused. He at once recollected that his mother and sister knew through Luzhin's letter of "some young woman of notorious behaviour." He had only just been protesting against Luzhin's calumny and declaring that he had seen the girl last night for the first time, and suddenly she had walked in. He remembered, too, that he had not protested against the expression "of notorious behaviour." All this passed vaguely and fleetingly through his brain, but looking at her more intently, he saw that the humiliated creature was so humiliated that he felt suddenly sorry for her. When she made a movement to retreat in terror, it sent a pang to his heart.
"I did not expect you," he said, hurriedly, with a look that made her stop. "Please sit down. You come, no doubt, from Katerina Ivanovna. Allow me—not there. Sit here...."
At Sonia's entrance, Razumihin, who had been sitting on one of Raskolnikov's three chairs, close to the door, got up to allow her to enter. Raskolnikov had at first shown her the place on the sofa where Zossimov had been sitting, but feeling that the sofa which served him as a bed, was too familiar a place, he hurriedly motioned her to Razumihin's chair.
"You sit here," he said to Razumihin, putting him on the sofa.
Sonia sat down, almost shaking with terror, and looked timidly at the two ladies. It was evidently almost inconceivable to herself that she could sit down beside them. At the thought of it, she was so frightened that she hurriedly got up again, and in utter confusion addressed Raskolnikov.
"I... I... have come for one minute. Forgive me for disturbing you," she began falteringly. "I come from Katerina Ivanovna, and she had no one to send. Katerina Ivanovna told me to beg you... to be at the service... in the morning... at Mitrofanievsky... and then... to us... to her... to do her the honour... she told me to beg you..." Sonia stammered and ceased speaking.
"I will try, certainly, most certainly," answered Raskolnikov. He, too, stood up, and he, too, faltered and could not finish his sentence. "Please sit down," he said, suddenly. "I want to talk to you. You are perhaps in a hurry, but please, be so kind, spare me two minutes," and he drew up a chair for her.
Sonia sat down again, and again timidly she took a hurried, frightened look at the two ladies, and dropped her eyes. Raskolnikov's pale face flushed, a shudder passed over him, his eyes glowed.
"Mother," he said, firmly and insistently, "this is Sofya Semyonovna Marmeladov, the daughter of that unfortunate Mr. Marmeladov, who was run over yesterday before my eyes, and of whom I was just telling you."
Pulcheria Alexandrovna glanced at Sonia, and slightly screwed up her eyes. In spite of her embarrassment before Rodya's urgent and challenging look, she could not deny herself that satisfaction. Dounia gazed gravely and intently into the poor girl's face, and scrutinised her with perplexity. Sonia, hearing herself introduced, tried to raise her eyes again, but was more embarrassed than ever.
"I wanted to ask you," said Raskolnikov, hastily, "how things were arranged yesterday. You were not worried by the police, for instance?"
"No, that was all right... it was too evident, the cause of death... they did not worry us... only the lodgers are angry."
"At the body's remaining so long. You see it is hot now. So that, to-day, they will carry it to the cemetery, into the chapel, until to-morrow. At first Katerina Ivanovna was unwilling, but now she sees herself that it's necessary..."
"She begs you to do us the honour to be in the church to-morrow for the service, and then to be present at the funeral lunch."
"She is giving a funeral lunch?"
"Yes... just a little.... She told me to thank you very much for helping us yesterday. But for you, we should have had nothing for the funeral."
All at once her lips and chin began trembling, but, with an effort, she controlled herself, looking down again.
During the conversation, Raskolnikov watched her carefully. She had a thin, very thin, pale little face, rather irregular and angular, with a sharp little nose and chin. She could not have been called pretty, but her blue eyes were so clear, and when they lighted up, there was such a kindliness and simplicity in her expression that one could not help being attracted. Her face, and her whole figure indeed, had another peculiar characteristic. In spite of her eighteen years, she looked almost a little girl—almost a child. And in some of her gestures, this childishness seemed almost absurd.
"But has Katerina Ivanovna been able to manage with such small means? Does she even mean to have a funeral lunch?" Raskolnikov asked, persistently keeping up the conversation.
"The coffin will be plain, of course... and everything will be plain, so it won't cost much. Katerina Ivanovna and I have reckoned it all out, so that there will be enough left... and Katerina Ivanovna was very anxious it should be so. You know one can't... it's a comfort to her... she is like that, you know...."
"I understand, I understand... of course... why do you look at my room like that? My mother has just said it is like a tomb."
"You gave us everything yesterday," Sonia said suddenly, in reply, in a loud rapid whisper; and again she looked down in confusion. Her lips and chin were trembling once more. She had been struck at once by Raskolnikov's poor surroundings, and now these words broke out spontaneously. A silence followed. There was a light in Dounia's eyes, and even Pulcheria Alexandrovna looked kindly at Sonia.
"Rodya," she said, getting up, "we shall have dinner together, of course. Come, Dounia.... And you, Rodya, had better go for a little walk, and then rest and lie down before you come to see us.... I am afraid we have exhausted you...."
"Yes, yes, I'll come," he answered, getting up fussily. "But I have something to see to."
"But surely you will have dinner together?" cried Razumihin, looking in surprise at Raskolnikov. "What do you mean?"
"Yes, yes, I am coming... of course, of course! And you stay a minute. You do not want him just now, do you, mother? Or perhaps I am taking him from you?"
"Oh, no, no. And will you, Dmitri Prokofitch, do us the favour of dining with us?"
"Please do," added Dounia.
Razumihin bowed, positively radiant. For one moment, they were all strangely embarrassed.
"Good-bye, Rodya, that is till we meet. I do not like saying good-bye. Good-bye, Nastasya. Ah, I have said good-bye again."
Pulcheria Alexandrovna meant to greet Sonia, too; but it somehow failed to come off, and she went in a flutter out of the room.
But Avdotya Romanovna seemed to await her turn, and following her mother out, gave Sonia an attentive, courteous bow. Sonia, in confusion, gave a hurried, frightened curtsy. There was a look of poignant discomfort in her face, as though Avdotya Romanovna's courtesy and attention were oppressive and painful to her.
"Dounia, good-bye," called Raskolnikov, in the passage. "Give me your hand."
"Why, I did give it to you. Have you forgotten?" said Dounia, turning warmly and awkwardly to him.
"Never mind, give it to me again." And he squeezed her fingers warmly.
Dounia smiled, flushed, pulled her hand away, and went off quite happy.
"Come, that's capital," he said to Sonia, going back and looking brightly at her. "God give peace to the dead, the living have still to live. That is right, isn't it?"
Sonia looked surprised at the sudden brightness of his face. He looked at her for some moments in silence. The whole history of the dead father floated before his memory in those moments....
"Heavens, Dounia," Pulcheria Alexandrovna began, as soon as they were in the street, "I really feel relieved myself at coming away—more at ease. How little did I think yesterday in the train that I could ever be glad of that."
"I tell you again, mother, he is still very ill. Don't you see it? Perhaps worrying about us upset him. We must be patient, and much, much can be forgiven."
"Well, you were not very patient!" Pulcheria Alexandrovna caught her up, hotly and jealously. "Do you know, Dounia, I was looking at you two. You are the very portrait of him, and not so much in face as in soul. You are both melancholy, both morose and hot-tempered, both haughty and both generous.... Surely he can't be an egoist, Dounia. Eh? When I think of what is in store for us this evening, my heart sinks!"
"Don't be uneasy, mother. What must be, will be."
"Dounia, only think what a position we are in! What if Pyotr Petrovitch breaks it off?" poor Pulcheria Alexandrovna blurted out, incautiously.
"He won't be worth much if he does," answered Dounia, sharply and contemptuously.
"We did well to come away," Pulcheria Alexandrovna hurriedly broke in. "He was in a hurry about some business or other. If he gets out and has a breath of air... it is fearfully close in his room.... But where is one to get a breath of air here? The very streets here feel like shut-up rooms. Good heavens! what a town!... stay... this side... they will crush you—carrying something. Why, it is a piano they have got, I declare... how they push!... I am very much afraid of that young woman, too."
"What young woman, mother?
"Why, that Sofya Semyonovna, who was there just now."
"I have a presentiment, Dounia. Well, you may believe it or not, but as soon as she came in, that very minute, I felt that she was the chief cause of the trouble...."
"Nothing of the sort!" cried Dounia, in vexation. "What nonsense, with your presentiments, mother! He only made her acquaintance the evening before, and he did not know her when she came in."
"Well, you will see.... She worries me; but you will see, you will see! I was so frightened. She was gazing at me with those eyes. I could scarcely sit still in my chair when he began introducing her, do you remember? It seems so strange, but Pyotr Petrovitch writes like that about her, and he introduces her to us—to you! So he must think a great deal of her."
"People will write anything. We were talked about and written about, too. Have you forgotten? I am sure that she is a good girl, and that it is all nonsense."
"God grant it may be!"
"And Pyotr Petrovitch is a contemptible slanderer," Dounia snapped out, suddenly.
Pulcheria Alexandrovna was crushed; the conversation was not resumed.
"I will tell you what I want with you," said Raskolnikov, drawing Razumihin to the window.
"Then I will tell Katerina Ivanovna that you are coming," Sonia said hurriedly, preparing to depart.
"One minute, Sofya Semyonovna. We have no secrets. You are not in our way. I want to have another word or two with you. Listen!" he turned suddenly to Razumihin again. "You know that... what's his name... Porfiry Petrovitch?"
"I should think so! He is a relation. Why?" added the latter, with interest.
"Is not he managing that case... you know, about that murder?... You were speaking about it yesterday."
"Yes... well?" Razumihin's eyes opened wide.
"He was inquiring for people who had pawned things, and I have some pledges there, too—trifles—a ring my sister gave me as a keepsake when I left home, and my father's silver watch—they are only worth five or six roubles altogether... but I value them. So what am I to do now? I do not want to lose the things, especially the watch. I was quaking just now, for fear mother would ask to look at it, when we spoke of Dounia's watch. It is the only thing of father's left us. She would be ill if it were lost. You know what women are. So tell me what to do. I know I ought to have given notice at the police station, but would it not be better to go straight to Porfiry? Eh? What do you think? The matter might be settled more quickly. You see, mother may ask for it before dinner."
"Certainly not to the police station. Certainly to Porfiry," Razumihin shouted in extraordinary excitement. "Well, how glad I am. Let us go at once. It is a couple of steps. We shall be sure to find him."
"Very well, let us go."
"And he will be very, very glad to make your acquaintance. I have often talked to him of you at different times. I was speaking of you yesterday. Let us go. So you knew the old woman? So that's it! It is all turning out splendidly.... Oh, yes, Sofya Ivanovna..."
"Sofya Semyonovna," corrected Raskolnikov. "Sofya Semyonovna, this is my friend Razumihin, and he is a good man."
"If you have to go now," Sonia was beginning, not looking at Razumihin at all, and still more embarrassed.
"Let us go," decided Raskolnikov. "I will come to you to-day, Sofya Semyonovna. Only tell me where you live."
He was not exactly ill at ease, but seemed hurried, and avoided her eyes. Sonia gave her address, and flushed as she did so. They all went out together.
"Don't you lock up?" asked Razumihin, following him on to the stairs.
"Never," answered Raskolnikov. "I have been meaning to buy a lock for these two years. People are happy who have no need of locks," he said, laughing, to Sonia. They stood still in the gateway.
"Do you go to the right, Sofya Semyonovna? How did you find me, by the way?" he added, as though he wanted to say something quite different. He wanted to look at her soft clear eyes, but this was not easy.
"Why, you gave your address to Polenka yesterday."
"Polenka? Oh, yes; Polenka, that is the little girl. She is your sister? Did I give her the address?"
"Why, had you forgotten?"
"No, I remember."
"I had heard my father speak of you... only I did not know your name, and he did not know it. And now I came... and as I had learnt your name, I asked to-day, 'Where does Mr. Raskolnikov live?' I did not know you had only a room too.... Good-bye, I will tell Katerina Ivanovna."
She was extremely glad to escape at last; she went away looking down, hurrying to get out of sight as soon as possible, to walk the twenty steps to the turning on the right and to be at last alone, and then moving rapidly along, looking at no one, noticing nothing, to think, to remember, to meditate on every word, every detail. Never, never had she felt anything like this. Dimly and unconsciously a whole new world was opening before her. She remembered suddenly that Raskolnikov meant to come to her that day, perhaps at once!
"Only not to-day, please, not to-day!" she kept muttering with a sinking heart, as though entreating someone, like a frightened child. "Mercy! to me... to that room... he will see... oh, dear!"
She was not capable at that instant of noticing an unknown gentleman who was watching her and following at her heels. He had accompanied her from the gateway. At the moment when Razumihin, Raskolnikov, and she stood still at parting on the pavement, this gentleman, who was just passing, started on hearing Sonia's words: "and I asked where Mr. Raskolnikov lived?" He turned a rapid but attentive look upon all three, especially upon Raskolnikov, to whom Sonia was speaking; then looked back and noted the house. All this was done in an instant as he passed, and trying not to betray his interest, he walked on more slowly as though waiting for something. He was waiting for Sonia; he saw that they were parting, and that Sonia was going home.
"Home? Where? I've seen that face somewhere," he thought. "I must find out."
At the turning he crossed over, looked round, and saw Sonia coming the same way, noticing nothing. She turned the corner. He followed her on the other side. After about fifty paces he crossed over again, overtook her and kept two or three yards behind her.
He was a man about fifty, rather tall and thickly set, with broad high shoulders which made him look as though he stooped a little. He wore good and fashionable clothes, and looked like a gentleman of position. He carried a handsome cane, which he tapped on the pavement at each step; his gloves were spotless. He had a broad, rather pleasant face with high cheek-bones and a fresh colour, not often seen in Petersburg. His flaxen hair was still abundant, and only touched here and there with grey, and his thick square beard was even lighter than his hair. His eyes were blue and had a cold and thoughtful look; his lips were crimson. He was a remarkedly well-preserved man and looked much younger than his years.
When Sonia came out on the canal bank, they were the only two persons on the pavement. He observed her dreaminess and preoccupation. On reaching the house where she lodged, Sonia turned in at the gate; he followed her, seeming rather surprised. In the courtyard she turned to the right corner. "Bah!" muttered the unknown gentleman, and mounted the stairs behind her. Only then Sonia noticed him. She reached the third storey, turned down the passage, and rang at No. 9. On the door was inscribed in chalk, "Kapernaumov, Tailor." "Bah!" the stranger repeated again, wondering at the strange coincidence, and he rang next door, at No. 8. The doors were two or three yards apart.
"You lodge at Kapernaumov's," he said, looking at Sonia and laughing. "He altered a waistcoat for me yesterday. I am staying close here at Madame Resslich's. How odd!" Sonia looked at him attentively.
"We are neighbours," he went on gaily. "I only came to town the day before yesterday. Good-bye for the present."
Sonia made no reply; the door opened and she slipped in. She felt for some reason ashamed and uneasy.
On the way to Porfiry's, Razumihin was obviously excited.
"That's capital, brother," he repeated several times, "and I am glad! I am glad!"
"What are you glad about?" Raskolnikov thought to himself.
"I didn't know that you pledged things at the old woman's, too. And... was it long ago? I mean, was it long since you were there?"
"What a simple-hearted fool he is!"
"When was it?" Raskolnikov stopped still to recollect. "Two or three days before her death it must have been. But I am not going to redeem the things now," he put in with a sort of hurried and conspicuous solicitude about the things. "I've not more than a silver rouble left... after last night's accursed delirium!"
He laid special emphasis on the delirium.
"Yes, yes," Razumihin hastened to agree—with what was not clear. "Then that's why you... were stuck... partly... you know in your delirium you were continually mentioning some rings or chains! Yes, yes... that's clear, it's all clear now."
"Hullo! How that idea must have got about among them. Here this man will go to the stake for me, and I find him delighted at having it cleared up why I spoke of rings in my delirium! What a hold the idea must have on all of them!"
"Shall we find him?" he asked suddenly.
"Oh, yes," Razumihin answered quickly. "He is a nice fellow, you will see, brother. Rather clumsy, that is to say, he is a man of polished manners, but I mean clumsy in a different sense. He is an intelligent fellow, very much so indeed, but he has his own range of ideas.... He is incredulous, sceptical, cynical... he likes to impose on people, or rather to make fun of them. His is the old, circumstantial method.... But he understands his work... thoroughly.... Last year he cleared up a case of murder in which the police had hardly a clue. He is very, very anxious to make your acquaintance!"
"On what grounds is he so anxious?"
"Oh, it's not exactly... you see, since you've been ill I happen to have mentioned you several times.... So, when he heard about you... about your being a law student and not able to finish your studies, he said, 'What a pity!' And so I concluded... from everything together, not only that; yesterday Zametov... you know, Rodya, I talked some nonsense on the way home to you yesterday, when I was drunk... I am afraid, brother, of your exaggerating it, you see."
"What? That they think I am a madman? Maybe they are right," he said with a constrained smile.
"Yes, yes.... That is, pooh, no!... But all that I said (and there was something else too) it was all nonsense, drunken nonsense."
"But why are you apologising? I am so sick of it all!" Raskolnikov cried with exaggerated irritability. It was partly assumed, however.
"I know, I know, I understand. Believe me, I understand. One's ashamed to speak of it."
"If you are ashamed, then don't speak of it."
Both were silent. Razumihin was more than ecstatic and Raskolnikov perceived it with repulsion. He was alarmed, too, by what Razumihin had just said about Porfiry.
"I shall have to pull a long face with him too," he thought, with a beating heart, and he turned white, "and do it naturally, too. But the most natural thing would be to do nothing at all. Carefully do nothing at all! No, carefully would not be natural again.... Oh, well, we shall see how it turns out.... We shall see... directly. Is it a good thing to go or not? The butterfly flies to the light. My heart is beating, that's what's bad!"
"In this grey house," said Razumihin.
"The most important thing, does Porfiry know that I was at the old hag's flat yesterday... and asked about the blood? I must find that out instantly, as soon as I go in, find out from his face; otherwise... I'll find out, if it's my ruin."
"I say, brother," he said suddenly, addressing Razumihin, with a sly smile, "I have been noticing all day that you seem to be curiously excited. Isn't it so?"
"Excited? Not a bit of it," said Razumihin, stung to the quick.
"Yes, brother, I assure you it's noticeable. Why, you sat on your chair in a way you never do sit, on the edge somehow, and you seemed to be writhing all the time. You kept jumping up for nothing. One moment you were angry, and the next your face looked like a sweetmeat. You even blushed; especially when you were invited to dinner, you blushed awfully."
"Nothing of the sort, nonsense! What do you mean?"
"But why are you wriggling out of it, like a schoolboy? By Jove, there he's blushing again."
"What a pig you are!"
"But why are you so shamefaced about it? Romeo! Stay, I'll tell of you to-day. Ha-ha-ha! I'll make mother laugh, and someone else, too..."
"Listen, listen, listen, this is serious.... What next, you fiend!" Razumihin was utterly overwhelmed, turning cold with horror. "What will you tell them? Come, brother... foo! what a pig you are!"
"You are like a summer rose. And if only you knew how it suits you; a Romeo over six foot high! And how you've washed to-day—you cleaned your nails, I declare. Eh? That's something unheard of! Why, I do believe you've got pomatum on your hair! Bend down."
Raskolnikov laughed as though he could not restrain himself. So laughing, they entered Porfiry Petrovitch's flat. This is what Raskolnikov wanted: from within they could be heard laughing as they came in, still guffawing in the passage.
"Not a word here or I'll... brain you!" Razumihin whispered furiously, seizing Raskolnikov by the shoulder.
Raskolnikov was already entering the room. He came in looking as though he had the utmost difficulty not to burst out laughing again. Behind him Razumihin strode in gawky and awkward, shamefaced and red as a peony, with an utterly crestfallen and ferocious expression. His face and whole figure really were ridiculous at that moment and amply justified Raskolnikov's laughter. Raskolnikov, not waiting for an introduction, bowed to Porfiry Petrovitch, who stood in the middle of the room looking inquiringly at them. He held out his hand and shook hands, still apparently making desperate efforts to subdue his mirth and utter a few words to introduce himself. But he had no sooner succeeded in assuming a serious air and muttering something when he suddenly glanced again as though accidentally at Razumihin, and could no longer control himself: his stifled laughter broke out the more irresistibly the more he tried to restrain it. The extraordinary ferocity with which Razumihin received this "spontaneous" mirth gave the whole scene the appearance of most genuine fun and naturalness. Razumihin strengthened this impression as though on purpose.
"Fool! You fiend," he roared, waving his arm which at once struck a little round table with an empty tea-glass on it. Everything was sent flying and crashing.
"But why break chairs, gentlemen? You know it's a loss to the Crown," Porfiry Petrovitch quoted gaily.
Raskolnikov was still laughing, with his hand in Porfiry Petrovitch's, but anxious not to overdo it, awaited the right moment to put a natural end to it. Razumihin, completely put to confusion by upsetting the table and smashing the glass, gazed gloomily at the fragments, cursed and turned sharply to the window where he stood looking out with his back to the company with a fiercely scowling countenance, seeing nothing. Porfiry Petrovitch laughed and was ready to go on laughing, but obviously looked for explanations. Zametov had been sitting in the corner, but he rose at the visitors' entrance and was standing in expectation with a smile on his lips, though he looked with surprise and even it seemed incredulity at the whole scene and at Raskolnikov with a certain embarrassment. Zametov's unexpected presence struck Raskolnikov unpleasantly.
"I've got to think of that," he thought. "Excuse me, please," he began, affecting extreme embarrassment. "Raskolnikov."
"Not at all, very pleasant to see you... and how pleasantly you've come in.... Why, won't he even say good-morning?" Porfiry Petrovitch nodded at Razumihin.
"Upon my honour I don't know why he is in such a rage with me. I only told him as we came along that he was like Romeo... and proved it. And that was all, I think!"
"Pig!" ejaculated Razumihin, without turning round.
"There must have been very grave grounds for it, if he is so furious at the word," Porfiry laughed.
"Oh, you sharp lawyer!... Damn you all!" snapped Razumihin, and suddenly bursting out laughing himself, he went up to Porfiry with a more cheerful face as though nothing had happened. "That'll do! We are all fools. To come to business. This is my friend Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov; in the first place he has heard of you and wants to make your acquaintance, and secondly, he has a little matter of business with you. Bah! Zametov, what brought you here? Have you met before? Have you known each other long?"
"What does this mean?" thought Raskolnikov uneasily.
Zametov seemed taken aback, but not very much so.
"Why, it was at your rooms we met yesterday," he said easily.
"Then I have been spared the trouble. All last week he was begging me to introduce him to you. Porfiry and you have sniffed each other out without me. Where is your tobacco?"
Porfiry Petrovitch was wearing a dressing-gown, very clean linen, and trodden-down slippers. He was a man of about five and thirty, short, stout even to corpulence, and clean shaven. He wore his hair cut short and had a large round head, particularly prominent at the back. His soft, round, rather snub-nosed face was of a sickly yellowish colour, but had a vigorous and rather ironical expression. It would have been good-natured except for a look in the eyes, which shone with a watery, mawkish light under almost white, blinking eyelashes. The expression of those eyes was strangely out of keeping with his somewhat womanish figure, and gave it something far more serious than could be guessed at first sight.
As soon as Porfiry Petrovitch heard that his visitor had a little matter of business with him, he begged him to sit down on the sofa and sat down himself on the other end, waiting for him to explain his business, with that careful and over-serious attention which is at once oppressive and embarrassing, especially to a stranger, and especially if what you are discussing is in your opinion of far too little importance for such exceptional solemnity. But in brief and coherent phrases Raskolnikov explained his business clearly and exactly, and was so well satisfied with himself that he even succeeded in taking a good look at Porfiry. Porfiry Petrovitch did not once take his eyes off him. Razumihin, sitting opposite at the same table, listened warmly and impatiently, looking from one to the other every moment with rather excessive interest.
"Fool," Raskolnikov swore to himself.
"You have to give information to the police," Porfiry replied, with a most businesslike air, "that having learnt of this incident, that is of the murder, you beg to inform the lawyer in charge of the case that such and such things belong to you, and that you desire to redeem them... or... but they will write to you."
"That's just the point, that at the present moment," Raskolnikov tried his utmost to feign embarrassment, "I am not quite in funds... and even this trifling sum is beyond me... I only wanted, you see, for the present to declare that the things are mine, and that when I have money...."
"That's no matter," answered Porfiry Petrovitch, receiving his explanation of his pecuniary position coldly, "but you can, if you prefer, write straight to me, to say, that having been informed of the matter, and claiming such and such as your property, you beg..."
"On an ordinary sheet of paper?" Raskolnikov interrupted eagerly, again interested in the financial side of the question.
"Oh, the most ordinary," and suddenly Porfiry Petrovitch looked with obvious irony at him, screwing up his eyes and, as it were, winking at him. But perhaps it was Raskolnikov's fancy, for it all lasted but a moment. There was certainly something of the sort, Raskolnikov could have sworn he winked at him, goodness knows why.
"He knows," flashed through his mind like lightning.
"Forgive my troubling you about such trifles," he went on, a little disconcerted, "the things are only worth five roubles, but I prize them particularly for the sake of those from whom they came to me, and I must confess that I was alarmed when I heard..."
"That's why you were so much struck when I mentioned to Zossimov that Porfiry was inquiring for everyone who had pledges!" Razumihin put in with obvious intention.
This was really unbearable. Raskolnikov could not help glancing at him with a flash of vindictive anger in his black eyes, but immediately recollected himself.
"You seem to be jeering at me, brother?" he said to him, with a well-feigned irritability. "I dare say I do seem to you absurdly anxious about such trash; but you mustn't think me selfish or grasping for that, and these two things may be anything but trash in my eyes. I told you just now that the silver watch, though it's not worth a cent, is the only thing left us of my father's. You may laugh at me, but my mother is here," he turned suddenly to Porfiry, "and if she knew," he turned again hurriedly to Razumihin, carefully making his voice tremble, "that the watch was lost, she would be in despair! You know what women are!"
"Not a bit of it! I didn't mean that at all! Quite the contrary!" shouted Razumihin distressed.
"Was it right? Was it natural? Did I overdo it?" Raskolnikov asked himself in a tremor. "Why did I say that about women?"
"Oh, your mother is with you?" Porfiry Petrovitch inquired.
"When did she come?"
Porfiry paused as though reflecting.
"Your things would not in any case be lost," he went on calmly and coldly. "I have been expecting you here for some time."
And as though that was a matter of no importance, he carefully offered the ash-tray to Razumihin, who was ruthlessly scattering cigarette ash over the carpet. Raskolnikov shuddered, but Porfiry did not seem to be looking at him, and was still concerned with Razumihin's cigarette.
"What? Expecting him? Why, did you know that he had pledges there?" cried Razumihin.
Porfiry Petrovitch addressed himself to Raskolnikov.
"Your things, the ring and the watch, were wrapped up together, and on the paper your name was legibly written in pencil, together with the date on which you left them with her..."
"How observant you are!" Raskolnikov smiled awkwardly, doing his very utmost to look him straight in the face, but he failed, and suddenly added:
"I say that because I suppose there were a great many pledges... that it must be difficult to remember them all.... But you remember them all so clearly, and... and..."
"Stupid! Feeble!" he thought. "Why did I add that?"
"But we know all who had pledges, and you are the only one who hasn't come forward," Porfiry answered with hardly perceptible irony.
"I haven't been quite well."
"I heard that too. I heard, indeed, that you were in great distress about something. You look pale still."
"I am not pale at all.... No, I am quite well," Raskolnikov snapped out rudely and angrily, completely changing his tone. His anger was mounting, he could not repress it. "And in my anger I shall betray myself," flashed through his mind again. "Why are they torturing me?"
"Not quite well!" Razumihin caught him up. "What next! He was unconscious and delirious all yesterday. Would you believe, Porfiry, as soon as our backs were turned, he dressed, though he could hardly stand, and gave us the slip and went off on a spree somewhere till midnight, delirious all the time! Would you believe it! Extraordinary!"
"Really delirious? You don't say so!" Porfiry shook his head in a womanish way.
"Nonsense! Don't you believe it! But you don't believe it anyway," Raskolnikov let slip in his anger. But Porfiry Petrovitch did not seem to catch those strange words.
"But how could you have gone out if you hadn't been delirious?" Razumihin got hot suddenly. "What did you go out for? What was the object of it? And why on the sly? Were you in your senses when you did it? Now that all danger is over I can speak plainly."
"I was awfully sick of them yesterday." Raskolnikov addressed Porfiry suddenly with a smile of insolent defiance, "I ran away from them to take lodgings where they wouldn't find me, and took a lot of money with me. Mr. Zametov there saw it. I say, Mr. Zametov, was I sensible or delirious yesterday; settle our dispute."
He could have strangled Zametov at that moment, so hateful were his expression and his silence to him.
"In my opinion you talked sensibly and even artfully, but you were extremely irritable," Zametov pronounced dryly.
"And Nikodim Fomitch was telling me to-day," put in Porfiry Petrovitch, "that he met you very late last night in the lodging of a man who had been run over."
"And there," said Razumihin, "weren't you mad then? You gave your last penny to the widow for the funeral. If you wanted to help, give fifteen or twenty even, but keep three roubles for yourself at least, but he flung away all the twenty-five at once!"
"Maybe I found a treasure somewhere and you know nothing of it? So that's why I was liberal yesterday.... Mr. Zametov knows I've found a treasure! Excuse us, please, for disturbing you for half an hour with such trivialities," he said, turning to Porfiry Petrovitch, with trembling lips. "We are boring you, aren't we?"
"Oh no, quite the contrary, quite the contrary! If only you knew how you interest me! It's interesting to look on and listen... and I am really glad you have come forward at last."
"But you might give us some tea! My throat's dry," cried Razumihin.
"Capital idea! Perhaps we will all keep you company. Wouldn't you like... something more essential before tea?"
"Get along with you!"
Porfiry Petrovitch went out to order tea.
Raskolnikov's thoughts were in a whirl. He was in terrible exasperation.
"The worst of it is they don't disguise it; they don't care to stand on ceremony! And how if you didn't know me at all, did you come to talk to Nikodim Fomitch about me? So they don't care to hide that they are tracking me like a pack of dogs. They simply spit in my face." He was shaking with rage. "Come, strike me openly, don't play with me like a cat with a mouse. It's hardly civil, Porfiry Petrovitch, but perhaps I won't allow it! I shall get up and throw the whole truth in your ugly faces, and you'll see how I despise you." He could hardly breathe. "And what if it's only my fancy? What if I am mistaken, and through inexperience I get angry and don't keep up my nasty part? Perhaps it's all unintentional. All their phrases are the usual ones, but there is something about them.... It all might be said, but there is something. Why did he say bluntly, 'With her'? Why did Zametov add that I spoke artfully? Why do they speak in that tone? Yes, the tone.... Razumihin is sitting here, why does he see nothing? That innocent blockhead never does see anything! Feverish again! Did Porfiry wink at me just now? Of course it's nonsense! What could he wink for? Are they trying to upset my nerves or are they teasing me? Either it's ill fancy or they know! Even Zametov is rude.... Is Zametov rude? Zametov has changed his mind. I foresaw he would change his mind! He is at home here, while it's my first visit. Porfiry does not consider him a visitor; sits with his back to him. They're as thick as thieves, no doubt, over me! Not a doubt they were talking about me before we came. Do they know about the flat? If only they'd make haste! When I said that I ran away to take a flat he let it pass.... I put that in cleverly about a flat, it may be of use afterwards.... Delirious, indeed... ha-ha-ha! He knows all about last night! He didn't know of my mother's arrival! The hag had written the date on in pencil! You are wrong, you won't catch me! There are no facts... it's all supposition! You produce facts! The flat even isn't a fact but delirium. I know what to say to them.... Do they know about the flat? I won't go without finding out. What did I come for? But my being angry now, maybe is a fact! Fool, how irritable I am! Perhaps that's right; to play the invalid.... He is feeling me. He will try to catch me. Why did I come?"
All this flashed like lightning through his mind.
Porfiry Petrovitch returned quickly. He became suddenly more jovial.
"Your party yesterday, brother, has left my head rather.... And I am out of sorts altogether," he began in quite a different tone, laughing to Razumihin.
"Was it interesting? I left you yesterday at the most interesting point. Who got the best of it?"
"Oh, no one, of course. They got on to everlasting questions, floated off into space."
"Only fancy, Rodya, what we got on to yesterday. Whether there is such a thing as crime. I told you that we talked our heads off."
"What is there strange? It's an everyday social question," Raskolnikov answered casually.
"The question wasn't put quite like that," observed Porfiry.
"Not quite, that's true," Razumihin agreed at once, getting warm and hurried as usual. "Listen, Rodion, and tell us your opinion, I want to hear it. I was fighting tooth and nail with them and wanted you to help me. I told them you were coming.... It began with the socialist doctrine. You know their doctrine; crime is a protest against the abnormality of the social organisation and nothing more, and nothing more; no other causes admitted!..."
"You are wrong there," cried Porfiry Petrovitch; he was noticeably animated and kept laughing as he looked at Razumihin, which made him more excited than ever.
"Nothing is admitted," Razumihin interrupted with heat.
"I am not wrong. I'll show you their pamphlets. Everything with them is 'the influence of environment,' and nothing else. Their favourite phrase! From which it follows that, if society is normally organised, all crime will cease at once, since there will be nothing to protest against and all men will become righteous in one instant. Human nature is not taken into account, it is excluded, it's not supposed to exist! They don't recognise that humanity, developing by a historical living process, will become at last a normal society, but they believe that a social system that has come out of some mathematical brain is going to organise all humanity at once and make it just and sinless in an instant, quicker than any living process! That's why they instinctively dislike history, 'nothing but ugliness and stupidity in it,' and they explain it all as stupidity! That's why they so dislike the living process of life; they don't want a living soul! The living soul demands life, the soul won't obey the rules of mechanics, the soul is an object of suspicion, the soul is retrograde! But what they want though it smells of death and can be made of India-rubber, at least is not alive, has no will, is servile and won't revolt! And it comes in the end to their reducing everything to the building of walls and the planning of rooms and passages in a phalanstery! The phalanstery is ready, indeed, but your human nature is not ready for the phalanstery—it wants life, it hasn't completed its vital process, it's too soon for the graveyard! You can't skip over nature by logic. Logic presupposes three possibilities, but there are millions! Cut away a million, and reduce it all to the question of comfort! That's the easiest solution of the problem! It's seductively clear and you musn't think about it. That's the great thing, you mustn't think! The whole secret of life in two pages of print!"
"Now he is off, beating the drum! Catch hold of him, do!" laughed Porfiry. "Can you imagine," he turned to Raskolnikov, "six people holding forth like that last night, in one room, with punch as a preliminary! No, brother, you are wrong, environment accounts for a great deal in crime; I can assure you of that."
"Oh, I know it does, but just tell me: a man of forty violates a child of ten; was it environment drove him to it?"
"Well, strictly speaking, it did," Porfiry observed with noteworthy gravity; "a crime of that nature may be very well ascribed to the influence of environment."
Razumihin was almost in a frenzy. "Oh, if you like," he roared. "I'll prove to you that your white eyelashes may very well be ascribed to the Church of Ivan the Great's being two hundred and fifty feet high, and I will prove it clearly, exactly, progressively, and even with a Liberal tendency! I undertake to! Will you bet on it?"
"Done! Let's hear, please, how he will prove it!"
"He is always humbugging, confound him," cried Razumihin, jumping up and gesticulating. "What's the use of talking to you? He does all that on purpose; you don't know him, Rodion! He took their side yesterday, simply to make fools of them. And the things he said yesterday! And they were delighted! He can keep it up for a fortnight together. Last year he persuaded us that he was going into a monastery: he stuck to it for two months. Not long ago he took it into his head to declare he was going to get married, that he had everything ready for the wedding. He ordered new clothes indeed. We all began to congratulate him. There was no bride, nothing, all pure fantasy!"
"Ah, you are wrong! I got the clothes before. It was the new clothes in fact that made me think of taking you in."
"Are you such a good dissembler?" Raskolnikov asked carelessly.
"You wouldn't have supposed it, eh? Wait a bit, I shall take you in, too. Ha-ha-ha! No, I'll tell you the truth. All these questions about crime, environment, children, recall to my mind an article of yours which interested me at the time. 'On Crime'... or something of the sort, I forget the title, I read it with pleasure two months ago in the Periodical Review."
"My article? In the Periodical Review?" Raskolnikov asked in astonishment. "I certainly did write an article upon a book six months ago when I left the university, but I sent it to the Weekly Review."
"But it came out in the Periodical."
"And the Weekly Review ceased to exist, so that's why it wasn't printed at the time."
"That's true; but when it ceased to exist, the Weekly Review was amalgamated with the Periodical, and so your article appeared two months ago in the latter. Didn't you know?"
Raskolnikov had not known.
"Why, you might get some money out of them for the article! What a strange person you are! You lead such a solitary life that you know nothing of matters that concern you directly. It's a fact, I assure you."
"Bravo, Rodya! I knew nothing about it either!" cried Razumihin. "I'll run to-day to the reading-room and ask for the number. Two months ago? What was the date? It doesn't matter though, I will find it. Think of not telling us!"
"How did you find out that the article was mine? It's only signed with an initial."
"I only learnt it by chance, the other day. Through the editor; I know him.... I was very much interested."
"I analysed, if I remember, the psychology of a criminal before and after the crime."
"Yes, and you maintained that the perpetration of a crime is always accompanied by illness. Very, very original, but... it was not that part of your article that interested me so much, but an idea at the end of the article which I regret to say you merely suggested without working it out clearly. There is, if you recollect, a suggestion that there are certain persons who can... that is, not precisely are able to, but have a perfect right to commit breaches of morality and crimes, and that the law is not for them."
Raskolnikov smiled at the exaggerated and intentional distortion of his idea.
"What? What do you mean? A right to crime? But not because of the influence of environment?" Razumihin inquired with some alarm even.
"No, not exactly because of it," answered Porfiry. "In his article all men are divided into 'ordinary' and 'extraordinary.' Ordinary men have to live in submission, have no right to transgress the law, because, don't you see, they are ordinary. But extraordinary men have a right to commit any crime and to transgress the law in any way, just because they are extraordinary. That was your idea, if I am not mistaken?"
"What do you mean? That can't be right?" Razumihin muttered in bewilderment.
Raskolnikov smiled again. He saw the point at once, and knew where they wanted to drive him. He decided to take up the challenge.
"That wasn't quite my contention," he began simply and modestly. "Yet I admit that you have stated it almost correctly; perhaps, if you like, perfectly so." (It almost gave him pleasure to admit this.) "The only difference is that I don't contend that extraordinary people are always bound to commit breaches of morals, as you call it. In fact, I doubt whether such an argument could be published. I simply hinted that an 'extraordinary' man has the right... that is not an official right, but an inner right to decide in his own conscience to overstep... certain obstacles, and only in case it is essential for the practical fulfilment of his idea (sometimes, perhaps, of benefit to the whole of humanity). You say that my article isn't definite; I am ready to make it as clear as I can. Perhaps I am right in thinking you want me to; very well. I maintain that if the discoveries of Kepler and Newton could not have been made known except by sacrificing the lives of one, a dozen, a hundred, or more men, Newton would have had the right, would indeed have been in duty bound... to eliminate the dozen or the hundred men for the sake of making his discoveries known to the whole of humanity. But it does not follow from that that Newton had a right to murder people right and left and to steal every day in the market. Then, I remember, I maintain in my article that all... well, legislators and leaders of men, such as Lycurgus, Solon, Mahomet, Napoleon, and so on, were all without exception criminals, from the very fact that, making a new law, they transgressed the ancient one, handed down from their ancestors and held sacred by the people, and they did not stop short at bloodshed either, if that bloodshed—often of innocent persons fighting bravely in defence of ancient law—were of use to their cause. It's remarkable, in fact, that the majority, indeed, of these benefactors and leaders of humanity were guilty of terrible carnage. In short, I maintain that all great men or even men a little out of the common, that is to say capable of giving some new word, must from their very nature be criminals—more or less, of course. Otherwise it's hard for them to get out of the common rut; and to remain in the common rut is what they can't submit to, from their very nature again, and to my mind they ought not, indeed, to submit to it. You see that there is nothing particularly new in all that. The same thing has been printed and read a thousand times before. As for my division of people into ordinary and extraordinary, I acknowledge that it's somewhat arbitrary, but I don't insist upon exact numbers. I only believe in my leading idea that men are in general divided by a law of nature into two categories, inferior (ordinary), that is, so to say, material that serves only to reproduce its kind, and men who have the gift or the talent to utter a new word. There are, of course, innumerable sub-divisions, but the distinguishing features of both categories are fairly well marked. The first category, generally speaking, are men conservative in temperament and law-abiding; they live under control and love to be controlled. To my thinking it is their duty to be controlled, because that's their vocation, and there is nothing humiliating in it for them. The second category all transgress the law; they are destroyers or disposed to destruction according to their capacities. The crimes of these men are of course relative and varied; for the most part they seek in very varied ways the destruction of the present for the sake of the better. But if such a one is forced for the sake of his idea to step over a corpse or wade through blood, he can, I maintain, find within himself, in his conscience, a sanction for wading through blood—that depends on the idea and its dimensions, note that. It's only in that sense I speak of their right to crime in my article (you remember it began with the legal question). There's no need for such anxiety, however; the masses will scarcely ever admit this right, they punish them or hang them (more or less), and in doing so fulfil quite justly their conservative vocation. But the same masses set these criminals on a pedestal in the next generation and worship them (more or less). The first category is always the man of the present, the second the man of the future. The first preserve the world and people it, the second move the world and lead it to its goal. Each class has an equal right to exist. In fact, all have equal rights with me—and vive la guerre eternelle—till the New Jerusalem, of course!"
"Then you believe in the New Jerusalem, do you?"
"I do," Raskolnikov answered firmly; as he said these words and during the whole preceding tirade he kept his eyes on one spot on the carpet.
"And... and do you believe in God? Excuse my curiosity."
"I do," repeated Raskolnikov, raising his eyes to Porfiry.
"And... do you believe in Lazarus' rising from the dead?"
"I... I do. Why do you ask all this?"
"You believe it literally?"
"You don't say so.... I asked from curiosity. Excuse me. But let us go back to the question; they are not always executed. Some, on the contrary..."
"Triumph in their lifetime? Oh, yes, some attain their ends in this life, and then..."
"They begin executing other people?"
"If it's necessary; indeed, for the most part they do. Your remark is very witty."
"Thank you. But tell me this: how do you distinguish those extraordinary people from the ordinary ones? Are there signs at their birth? I feel there ought to be more exactitude, more external definition. Excuse the natural anxiety of a practical law-abiding citizen, but couldn't they adopt a special uniform, for instance, couldn't they wear something, be branded in some way? For you know if confusion arises and a member of one category imagines that he belongs to the other, begins to 'eliminate obstacles' as you so happily expressed it, then..."
"Oh, that very often happens! That remark is wittier than the other."
"No reason to; but take note that the mistake can only arise in the first category, that is among the ordinary people (as I perhaps unfortunately called them). In spite of their predisposition to obedience very many of them, through a playfulness of nature, sometimes vouchsafed even to the cow, like to imagine themselves advanced people, 'destroyers,' and to push themselves into the 'new movement,' and this quite sincerely. Meanwhile the really new people are very often unobserved by them, or even despised as reactionaries of grovelling tendencies. But I don't think there is any considerable danger here, and you really need not be uneasy for they never go very far. Of course, they might have a thrashing sometimes for letting their fancy run away with them and to teach them their place, but no more; in fact, even this isn't necessary as they castigate themselves, for they are very conscientious: some perform this service for one another and others chastise themselves with their own hands.... They will impose various public acts of penitence upon themselves with a beautiful and edifying effect; in fact you've nothing to be uneasy about.... It's a law of nature."
"Well, you have certainly set my mind more at rest on that score; but there's another thing worries me. Tell me, please, are there many people who have the right to kill others, these extraordinary people? I am ready to bow down to them, of course, but you must admit it's alarming if there are a great many of them, eh?"
"Oh, you needn't worry about that either," Raskolnikov went on in the same tone. "People with new ideas, people with the faintest capacity for saying something new, are extremely few in number, extraordinarily so in fact. One thing only is clear, that the appearance of all these grades and sub-divisions of men must follow with unfailing regularity some law of nature. That law, of course, is unknown at present, but I am convinced that it exists, and one day may become known. The vast mass of mankind is mere material, and only exists in order by some great effort, by some mysterious process, by means of some crossing of races and stocks, to bring into the world at last perhaps one man out of a thousand with a spark of independence. One in ten thousand perhaps—I speak roughly, approximately—is born with some independence, and with still greater independence one in a hundred thousand. The man of genius is one of millions, and the great geniuses, the crown of humanity, appear on earth perhaps one in many thousand millions. In fact I have not peeped into the retort in which all this takes place. But there certainly is and must be a definite law, it cannot be a matter of chance."
"Why, are you both joking?" Razumihin cried at last. "There you sit, making fun of one another. Are you serious, Rodya?"
Raskolnikov raised his pale and almost mournful face and made no reply. And the unconcealed, persistent, nervous, and discourteous sarcasm of Porfiry seemed strange to Razumihin beside that quiet and mournful face.
"Well, brother, if you are really serious... You are right, of course, in saying that it's not new, that it's like what we've read and heard a thousand times already; but what is really original in all this, and is exclusively your own, to my horror, is that you sanction bloodshed in the name of conscience, and, excuse my saying so, with such fanaticism.... That, I take it, is the point of your article. But that sanction of bloodshed by conscience is to my mind... more terrible than the official, legal sanction of bloodshed...."
"You are quite right, it is more terrible," Porfiry agreed.
"Yes, you must have exaggerated! There is some mistake, I shall read it. You can't think that! I shall read it."
"All that is not in the article, there's only a hint of it," said Raskolnikov.
"Yes, yes." Porfiry couldn't sit still. "Your attitude to crime is pretty clear to me now, but... excuse me for my impertinence (I am really ashamed to be worrying you like this), you see, you've removed my anxiety as to the two grades getting mixed, but... there are various practical possibilities that make me uneasy! What if some man or youth imagines that he is a Lycurgus or Mahomet—a future one of course—and suppose he begins to remove all obstacles.... He has some great enterprise before him and needs money for it... and tries to get it... do you see?"
Zametov gave a sudden guffaw in his corner. Raskolnikov did not even raise his eyes to him.
"I must admit," he went on calmly, "that such cases certainly must arise. The vain and foolish are particularly apt to fall into that snare; young people especially."
"Yes, you see. Well then?"
"What then?" Raskolnikov smiled in reply; "that's not my fault. So it is and so it always will be. He said just now (he nodded at Razumihin) that I sanction bloodshed. Society is too well protected by prisons, banishment, criminal investigators, penal servitude. There's no need to be uneasy. You have but to catch the thief."
"And what if we do catch him?"
"Then he gets what he deserves."
"You are certainly logical. But what of his conscience?"
"Why do you care about that?"
"Simply from humanity."
"If he has a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be his punishment—as well as the prison."
"But the real geniuses," asked Razumihin frowning, "those who have the right to murder? Oughtn't they to suffer at all even for the blood they've shed?"
"Why the word ought? It's not a matter of permission or prohibition. He will suffer if he is sorry for his victim. Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth," he added dreamily, not in the tone of the conversation.
He raised his eyes, looked earnestly at them all, smiled, and took his cap. He was too quiet by comparison with his manner at his entrance, and he felt this. Everyone got up.
"Well, you may abuse me, be angry with me if you like," Porfiry Petrovitch began again, "but I can't resist. Allow me one little question (I know I am troubling you). There is just one little notion I want to express, simply that I may not forget it."
"Very good, tell me your little notion," Raskolnikov stood waiting, pale and grave before him.
"Well, you see... I really don't know how to express it properly.... It's a playful, psychological idea.... When you were writing your article, surely you couldn't have helped, he-he! fancying yourself... just a little, an 'extraordinary' man, uttering a new word in your sense.... That's so, isn't it?"
"Quite possibly," Raskolnikov answered contemptuously.
Razumihin made a movement.
"And, if so, could you bring yourself in case of worldly difficulties and hardship or for some service to humanity—to overstep obstacles?... For instance, to rob and murder?"
And again he winked with his left eye, and laughed noiselessly just as before.
"If I did I certainly should not tell you," Raskolnikov answered with defiant and haughty contempt.
"No, I was only interested on account of your article, from a literary point of view..."
"Foo! how obvious and insolent that is!" Raskolnikov thought with repulsion.
"Allow me to observe," he answered dryly, "that I don't consider myself a Mahomet or a Napoleon, nor any personage of that kind, and not being one of them I cannot tell you how I should act."
"Oh, come, don't we all think ourselves Napoleons now in Russia?" Porfiry Petrovitch said with alarming familiarity.
Something peculiar betrayed itself in the very intonation of his voice.
"Perhaps it was one of these future Napoleons who did for Alyona Ivanovna last week?" Zametov blurted out from the corner.
Raskolnikov did not speak, but looked firmly and intently at Porfiry. Razumihin was scowling gloomily. He seemed before this to be noticing something. He looked angrily around. There was a minute of gloomy silence. Raskolnikov turned to go.
"Are you going already?" Porfiry said amiably, holding out his hand with excessive politeness. "Very, very glad of your acquaintance. As for your request, have no uneasiness, write just as I told you, or, better still, come to me there yourself in a day or two... to-morrow, indeed. I shall be there at eleven o'clock for certain. We'll arrange it all; we'll have a talk. As one of the last to be there, you might perhaps be able to tell us something," he added with a most good-natured expression.
"You want to cross-examine me officially in due form?" Raskolnikov asked sharply.
"Oh, why? That's not necessary for the present. You misunderstand me. I lose no opportunity, you see, and... I've talked with all who had pledges.... I obtained evidence from some of them, and you are the last.... Yes, by the way," he cried, seemingly suddenly delighted, "I just remember, what was I thinking of?" he turned to Razumihin, "you were talking my ears off about that Nikolay... of course, I know, I know very well," he turned to Raskolnikov, "that the fellow is innocent, but what is one to do? We had to trouble Dmitri too.... This is the point, this is all: when you went up the stairs it was past seven, wasn't it?"
"Yes," answered Raskolnikov, with an unpleasant sensation at the very moment he spoke that he need not have said it.
"Then when you went upstairs between seven and eight, didn't you see in a flat that stood open on a second storey, do you remember? two workmen or at least one of them? They were painting there, didn't you notice them? It's very, very important for them."
"Painters? No, I didn't see them," Raskolnikov answered slowly, as though ransacking his memory, while at the same instant he was racking every nerve, almost swooning with anxiety to conjecture as quickly as possible where the trap lay and not to overlook anything. "No, I didn't see them, and I don't think I noticed a flat like that open.... But on the fourth storey" (he had mastered the trap now and was triumphant) "I remember now that someone was moving out of the flat opposite Alyona Ivanovna's.... I remember... I remember it clearly. Some porters were carrying out a sofa and they squeezed me against the wall. But painters... no, I don't remember that there were any painters, and I don't think that there was a flat open anywhere, no, there wasn't."
"What do you mean?" Razumihin shouted suddenly, as though he had reflected and realised. "Why, it was on the day of the murder the painters were at work, and he was there three days before? What are you asking?"
"Foo! I have muddled it!" Porfiry slapped himself on the forehead. "Deuce take it! This business is turning my brain!" he addressed Raskolnikov somewhat apologetically. "It would be such a great thing for us to find out whether anyone had seen them between seven and eight at the flat, so I fancied you could perhaps have told us something.... I quite muddled it."
"Then you should be more careful," Razumihin observed grimly.
The last words were uttered in the passage. Porfiry Petrovitch saw them to the door with excessive politeness.
They went out into the street gloomy and sullen, and for some steps they did not say a word. Raskolnikov drew a deep breath.
"I don't believe it, I can't believe it!" repeated Razumihin, trying in perplexity to refute Raskolnikov's arguments.
They were by now approaching Bakaleyev's lodgings, where Pulcheria Alexandrovna and Dounia had been expecting them a long while. Razumihin kept stopping on the way in the heat of discussion, confused and excited by the very fact that they were for the first time speaking openly about it.
"Don't believe it, then!" answered Raskolnikov, with a cold, careless smile. "You were noticing nothing as usual, but I was weighing every word."
"You are suspicious. That is why you weighed their words... h'm... certainly, I agree, Porfiry's tone was rather strange, and still more that wretch Zametov!... You are right, there was something about him—but why? Why?"
"He has changed his mind since last night."
"Quite the contrary! If they had that brainless idea, they would do their utmost to hide it, and conceal their cards, so as to catch you afterwards.... But it was all impudent and careless."
"If they had had facts—I mean, real facts—or at least grounds for suspicion, then they would certainly have tried to hide their game, in the hope of getting more (they would have made a search long ago besides). But they have no facts, not one. It is all mirage—all ambiguous. Simply a floating idea. So they try to throw me out by impudence. And perhaps, he was irritated at having no facts, and blurted it out in his vexation—or perhaps he has some plan... he seems an intelligent man. Perhaps he wanted to frighten me by pretending to know. They have a psychology of their own, brother. But it is loathsome explaining it all. Stop!"
"And it's insulting, insulting! I understand you. But... since we have spoken openly now (and it is an excellent thing that we have at last—I am glad) I will own now frankly that I noticed it in them long ago, this idea. Of course the merest hint only—an insinuation—but why an insinuation even? How dare they? What foundation have they? If only you knew how furious I have been. Think only! Simply because a poor student, unhinged by poverty and hypochondria, on the eve of a severe delirious illness (note that), suspicious, vain, proud, who has not seen a soul to speak to for six months, in rags and in boots without soles, has to face some wretched policemen and put up with their insolence; and the unexpected debt thrust under his nose, the I.O.U. presented by Tchebarov, the new paint, thirty degrees Reaumur and a stifling atmosphere, a crowd of people, the talk about the murder of a person where he had been just before, and all that on an empty stomach—he might well have a fainting fit! And that, that is what they found it all on! Damn them! I understand how annoying it is, but in your place, Rodya, I would laugh at them, or better still, spit in their ugly faces, and spit a dozen times in all directions. I'd hit out in all directions, neatly too, and so I'd put an end to it. Damn them! Don't be downhearted. It's a shame!"
"He really has put it well, though," Raskolnikov thought.
"Damn them? But the cross-examination again, to-morrow?" he said with bitterness. "Must I really enter into explanations with them? I feel vexed as it is, that I condescended to speak to Zametov yesterday in the restaurant...."
"Damn it! I will go myself to Porfiry. I will squeeze it out of him, as one of the family: he must let me know the ins and outs of it all! And as for Zametov..."
"At last he sees through him!" thought Raskolnikov.
"Stay!" cried Razumihin, seizing him by the shoulder again. "Stay! you were wrong. I have thought it out. You are wrong! How was that a trap? You say that the question about the workmen was a trap. But if you had done that, could you have said you had seen them painting the flat... and the workmen? On the contrary, you would have seen nothing, even if you had seen it. Who would own it against himself?"
"If I had done that thing, I should certainly have said that I had seen the workmen and the flat," Raskolnikov answered, with reluctance and obvious disgust.
"But why speak against yourself?"
"Because only peasants, or the most inexperienced novices deny everything flatly at examinations. If a man is ever so little developed and experienced, he will certainly try to admit all the external facts that can't be avoided, but will seek other explanations of them, will introduce some special, unexpected turn, that will give them another significance and put them in another light. Porfiry might well reckon that I should be sure to answer so, and say I had seen them to give an air of truth, and then make some explanation."
"But he would have told you at once that the workmen could not have been there two days before, and that therefore you must have been there on the day of the murder at eight o'clock. And so he would have caught you over a detail."
"Yes, that is what he was reckoning on, that I should not have time to reflect, and should be in a hurry to make the most likely answer, and so would forget that the workmen could not have been there two days before."
"But how could you forget it?"
"Nothing easier. It is in just such stupid things clever people are most easily caught. The more cunning a man is, the less he suspects that he will be caught in a simple thing. The more cunning a man is, the simpler the trap he must be caught in. Porfiry is not such a fool as you think...."
"He is a knave then, if that is so!"
Raskolnikov could not help laughing. But at the very moment, he was struck by the strangeness of his own frankness, and the eagerness with which he had made this explanation, though he had kept up all the preceding conversation with gloomy repulsion, obviously with a motive, from necessity.
"I am getting a relish for certain aspects!" he thought to himself. But almost at the same instant he became suddenly uneasy, as though an unexpected and alarming idea had occurred to him. His uneasiness kept on increasing. They had just reached the entrance to Bakaleyev's.
"Go in alone!" said Raskolnikov suddenly. "I will be back directly."
"Where are you going? Why, we are just here."
"I can't help it.... I will come in half an hour. Tell them."
"Say what you like, I will come with you."
"You, too, want to torture me!" he screamed, with such bitter irritation, such despair in his eyes that Razumihin's hands dropped. He stood for some time on the steps, looking gloomily at Raskolnikov striding rapidly away in the direction of his lodging. At last, gritting his teeth and clenching his fist, he swore he would squeeze Porfiry like a lemon that very day, and went up the stairs to reassure Pulcheria Alexandrovna, who was by now alarmed at their long absence.
When Raskolnikov got home, his hair was soaked with sweat and he was breathing heavily. He went rapidly up the stairs, walked into his unlocked room and at once fastened the latch. Then in senseless terror he rushed to the corner, to that hole under the paper where he had put the things; put his hand in, and for some minutes felt carefully in the hole, in every crack and fold of the paper. Finding nothing, he got up and drew a deep breath. As he was reaching the steps of Bakaleyev's, he suddenly fancied that something, a chain, a stud or even a bit of paper in which they had been wrapped with the old woman's handwriting on it, might somehow have slipped out and been lost in some crack, and then might suddenly turn up as unexpected, conclusive evidence against him.
He stood as though lost in thought, and a strange, humiliated, half senseless smile strayed on his lips. He took his cap at last and went quietly out of the room. His ideas were all tangled. He went dreamily through the gateway.