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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Part 9 out of 12

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increased the general mirth.

"What an imbecile! Look, look! Why was he brought? But as to Pyotr
Petrovitch, I always had confidence in him," Katerina Ivanovna
continued, "and, of course, he is not like . . ." with an extremely
stern face she addressed Amalia Ivanovna so sharply and loudly that
the latter was quite disconcerted, "not like your dressed up
draggletails whom my father would not have taken as cooks into his
kitchen, and my late husband would have done them honour if he had
invited them in the goodness of his heart."

"Yes, he was fond of drink, he was fond of it, he did drink!" cried
the commissariat clerk, gulping down his twelfth glass of vodka.

"My late husband certainly had that weakness, and everyone knows it,"
Katerina Ivanovna attacked him at once, "but he was a kind and
honourable man, who loved and respected his family. The worst of it
was his good nature made him trust all sorts of disreputable people,
and he drank with fellows who were not worth the sole of his shoe.
Would you believe it, Rodion Romanovitch, they found a gingerbread
cock in his pocket; he was dead drunk, but he did not forget the

"A cock? Did you say a cock?" shouted the commissariat clerk.

Katerina Ivanovna did not vouchsafe a reply. She sighed, lost in

"No doubt you think, like everyone, that I was too severe with him,"
she went on, addressing Raskolnikov. "But that's not so! He respected
me, he respected me very much! He was a kind-hearted man! And how
sorry I was for him sometimes! He would sit in a corner and look at
me, I used to feel so sorry for him, I used to want to be kind to him
and then would think to myself: 'Be kind to him and he will drink
again,' it was only by severity that you could keep him within

"Yes, he used to get his hair pulled pretty often," roared the
commissariat clerk again, swallowing another glass of vodka.

"Some fools would be the better for a good drubbing, as well as having
their hair pulled. I am not talking of my late husband now!" Katerina
Ivanovna snapped at him.

The flush on her cheeks grew more and more marked, her chest heaved.
In another minute she would have been ready to make a scene. Many of
the visitors were sniggering, evidently delighted. They began poking
the commissariat clerk and whispering something to him. They were
evidently trying to egg him on.

"Allow me to ask what are you alluding to," began the clerk, "that is
to say, whose . . . about whom . . . did you say just now . . . But I
don't care! That's nonsense! Widow! I forgive you. . . . Pass!"

And he took another drink of vodka.

Raskolnikov sat in silence, listening with disgust. He only ate from
politeness, just tasting the food that Katerina Ivanovna was
continually putting on his plate, to avoid hurting her feelings. He
watched Sonia intently. But Sonia became more and more anxious and
distressed; she, too, foresaw that the dinner would not end peaceably,
and saw with terror Katerina Ivanovna's growing irritation. She knew
that she, Sonia, was the chief reason for the 'genteel' ladies'
contemptuous treatment of Katerina Ivanovna's invitation. She had
heard from Amalia Ivanovna that the mother was positively offended at
the invitation and had asked the question: "How could she let her
daughter sit down beside /that young person/?" Sonia had a feeling
that Katerina Ivanovna had already heard this and an insult to Sonia
meant more to Katerina Ivanovna than an insult to herself, her
children, or her father, Sonia knew that Katerina Ivanovna would not
be satisfied now, "till she had shown those draggletails that they
were both . . ." To make matters worse someone passed Sonia, from the
other end of the table, a plate with two hearts pierced with an arrow,
cut out of black bread. Katerina Ivanovna flushed crimson and at once
said aloud across the table that the man who sent it was "a drunken

Amalia Ivanovna was foreseeing something amiss, and at the same time
deeply wounded by Katerina Ivanovna's haughtiness, and to restore the
good-humour of the company and raise herself in their esteem she
began, apropos of nothing, telling a story about an acquaintance of
hers "Karl from the chemist's," who was driving one night in a cab,
and that "the cabman wanted him to kill, and Karl very much begged him
not to kill, and wept and clasped hands, and frightened and from fear
pierced his heart." Though Katerina Ivanovna smiled, she observed at
once that Amalia Ivanovna ought not to tell anecdotes in Russian; the
latter was still more offended, and she retorted that her "/Vater aus
Berlin/ was a very important man, and always went with his hands in
pockets." Katerina Ivanovna could not restrain herself and laughed so
much that Amalia Ivanovna lost patience and could scarcely control

"Listen to the owl!" Katerina Ivanovna whispered at once, her good-
humour almost restored, "she meant to say he kept his hands in his
pockets, but she said he put his hands in people's pockets. (Cough-
cough.) And have you noticed, Rodion Romanovitch, that all these
Petersburg foreigners, the Germans especially, are all stupider than
we! Can you fancy anyone of us telling how 'Karl from the chemist's'
'pierced his heart from fear' and that the idiot, instead of punishing
the cabman, 'clasped his hands and wept, and much begged.' Ah, the
fool! And you know she fancies it's very touching and does not suspect
how stupid she is! To my thinking that drunken commissariat clerk is a
great deal cleverer, anyway one can see that he has addled his brains
with drink, but you know, these foreigners are always so well behaved
and serious. . . . Look how she sits glaring! She is angry, ha-ha!

Regaining her good-humour, Katerina Ivanovna began at once telling
Raskolnikov that when she had obtained her pension, she intended to
open a school for the daughters of gentlemen in her native town T----.
This was the first time she had spoken to him of the project, and she
launched out into the most alluring details. It suddenly appeared that
Katerina Ivanovna had in her hands the very certificate of honour of
which Marmeladov had spoken to Raskolnikov in the tavern, when he told
him that Katerina Ivanovna, his wife, had danced the shawl dance
before the governor and other great personages on leaving school. This
certificate of honour was obviously intended now to prove Katerina
Ivanovna's right to open a boarding-school; but she had armed herself
with it chiefly with the object of overwhelming "those two stuck-up
draggletails" if they came to the dinner, and proving incontestably
that Katerina Ivanovna was of the most noble, "she might even say
aristocratic family, a colonel's daughter and was far superior to
certain adventuresses who have been so much to the fore of late." The
certificate of honour immediately passed into the hands of the drunken
guests, and Katerina Ivanovna did not try to retain it, for it
actually contained the statement /en toutes lettres/, that her father
was of the rank of a major, and also a companion of an order, so that
she really was almost the daughter of a colonel.

Warming up, Katerina Ivanovna proceeded to enlarge on the peaceful and
happy life they would lead in T----, on the gymnasium teachers whom
she would engage to give lessons in her boarding-school, one a most
respectable old Frenchman, one Mangot, who had taught Katerina
Ivanovna herself in old days and was still living in T----, and would
no doubt teach in her school on moderate terms. Next she spoke of
Sonia who would go with her to T---- and help her in all her plans. At
this someone at the further end of the table gave a sudden guffaw.

Though Katerina Ivanovna tried to appear to be disdainfully unaware of
it, she raised her voice and began at once speaking with conviction of
Sonia's undoubted ability to assist her, of "her gentleness, patience,
devotion, generosity and good education," tapping Sonia on the cheek
and kissing her warmly twice. Sonia flushed crimson, and Katerina
Ivanovna suddenly burst into tears, immediately observing that she was
"nervous and silly, that she was too much upset, that it was time to
finish, and as the dinner was over, it was time to hand round the

At that moment, Amalia Ivanovna, deeply aggrieved at taking no part in
the conversation, and not being listened to, made one last effort, and
with secret misgivings ventured on an exceedingly deep and weighty
observation, that "in the future boarding-school she would have to pay
particular attention to /die Wsche/, and that there certainly must be
a good /dame/ to look after the linen, and secondly that the young
ladies must not novels at night read."

Katerina Ivanovna, who certainly was upset and very tired, as well as
heartily sick of the dinner, at once cut short Amalia Ivanovna, saying
"she knew nothing about it and was talking nonsense, that it was the
business of the laundry maid, and not of the directress of a high-
class boarding-school to look after /die Wsche/, and as for novel-
reading, that was simply rudeness, and she begged her to be silent."
Amalia Ivanovna fired up and getting angry observed that she only
"meant her good," and that "she had meant her very good," and that "it
was long since she had paid her /gold/ for the lodgings."

Katerina Ivanovna at once "set her down," saying that it was a lie to
say she wished her good, because only yesterday when her dead husband
was lying on the table, she had worried her about the lodgings. To
this Amalia Ivanovna very appropriately observed that she had invited
those ladies, but "those ladies had not come, because those ladies
/are/ ladies and cannot come to a lady who is not a lady." Katerina
Ivanovna at once pointed out to her, that as she was a slut she could
not judge what made one really a lady. Amalia Ivanovna at once
declared that her "/Vater aus Berlin/ was a very, very important man,
and both hands in pockets went, and always used to say: 'Poof! poof!'"
and she leapt up from the table to represent her father, sticking her
hands in her pockets, puffing her cheeks, and uttering vague sounds
resembling "poof! poof!" amid loud laughter from all the lodgers, who
purposely encouraged Amalia Ivanovna, hoping for a fight.

But this was too much for Katerina Ivanovna, and she at once declared,
so that all could hear, that Amalia Ivanovna probably never had a
father, but was simply a drunken Petersburg Finn, and had certainly
once been a cook and probably something worse. Amalia Ivanovna turned
as red as a lobster and squealed that perhaps Katerina Ivanovna never
had a father, "but she had a /Vater aus Berlin/ and that he wore a
long coat and always said poof-poof-poof!"

Katerina Ivanovna observed contemptuously that all knew what her
family was and that on that very certificate of honour it was stated
in print that her father was a colonel, while Amalia Ivanovna's
father--if she really had one--was probably some Finnish milkman, but
that probably she never had a father at all, since it was still
uncertain whether her name was Amalia Ivanovna or Amalia Ludwigovna.

At this Amalia Ivanovna, lashed to fury, struck the table with her
fist, and shrieked that she was Amalia Ivanovna, and not Ludwigovna,
"that her /Vater/ was named Johann and that he was a burgomeister, and
that Katerina Ivanovna's /Vater/ was quite never a burgomeister."
Katerina Ivanovna rose from her chair, and with a stern and apparently
calm voice (though she was pale and her chest was heaving) observed
that "if she dared for one moment to set her contemptible wretch of a
father on a level with her papa, she, Katerina Ivanovna, would tear
her cap off her head and trample it under foot." Amalia Ivanovna ran
about the room, shouting at the top of her voice, that she was
mistress of the house and that Katerina Ivanovna should leave the
lodgings that minute; then she rushed for some reason to collect the
silver spoons from the table. There was a great outcry and uproar, the
children began crying. Sonia ran to restrain Katerina Ivanovna, but
when Amalia Ivanovna shouted something about "the yellow ticket,"
Katerina Ivanovna pushed Sonia away, and rushed at the landlady to
carry out her threat.

At that minute the door opened, and Pyotr Petrovitch Luzhin appeared
on the threshold. He stood scanning the party with severe and vigilant
eyes. Katerina Ivanovna rushed to him.


"Pyotr Petrovitch," she cried, "protect me . . . you at least! Make
this foolish woman understand that she can't behave like this to a
lady in misfortune . . . that there is a law for such things. . . .
I'll go to the governor-general himself. . . . She shall answer for
it. . . . Remembering my father's hospitality protect these orphans."

"Allow me, madam. . . . Allow me." Pyotr Petrovitch waved her off.
"Your papa as you are well aware I had not the honour of knowing"
(someone laughed aloud) "and I do not intend to take part in your
everlasting squabbles with Amalia Ivanovna. . . . I have come here to
speak of my own affairs . . . and I want to have a word with your
stepdaughter, Sofya . . . Ivanovna, I think it is? Allow me to pass."

Pyotr Petrovitch, edging by her, went to the opposite corner where
Sonia was.

Katerina Ivanovna remained standing where she was, as though
thunderstruck. She could not understand how Pyotr Petrovitch could
deny having enjoyed her father's hospitility. Though she had invented
it herself, she believed in it firmly by this time. She was struck too
by the businesslike, dry and even contemptuous menacing tone of Pyotr
Petrovitch. All the clamour gradually died away at his entrance. Not
only was this "serious business man" strikingly incongruous with the
rest of the party, but it was evident, too, that he had come upon some
matter of consequence, that some exceptional cause must have brought
him and that therefore something was going to happen. Raskolnikov,
standing beside Sonia, moved aside to let him pass; Pyotr Petrovitch
did not seem to notice him. A minute later Lebeziatnikov, too,
appeared in the doorway; he did not come in, but stood still,
listening with marked interest, almost wonder, and seemed for a time

"Excuse me for possibly interrupting you, but it's a matter of some
importance," Pyotr Petrovitch observed, addressing the company
generally. "I am glad indeed to find other persons present. Amalia
Ivanovna, I humbly beg you as mistress of the house to pay careful
attention to what I have to say to Sofya Ivanovna. Sofya Ivanovna," he
went on, addressing Sonia, who was very much surprised and already
alarmed, "immediately after your visit I found that a hundred-rouble
note was missing from my table, in the room of my friend Mr.
Lebeziatnikov. If in any way whatever you know and will tell us where
it is now, I assure you on my word of honour and call all present to
witness that the matter shall end there. In the opposite case I shall
be compelled to have recourse to very serious measures and then . . .
you must blame yourself."

Complete silence reigned in the room. Even the crying children were
still. Sonia stood deadly pale, staring at Luzhin and unable to say a
word. She seemed not to understand. Some seconds passed.

"Well, how is it to be then?" asked Luzhin, looking intently at her.

"I don't know. . . . I know nothing about it," Sonia articulated
faintly at last.

"No, you know nothing?" Luzhin repeated and again he paused for some
seconds. "Think a moment, mademoiselle," he began severely, but still,
as it were, admonishing her. "Reflect, I am prepared to give you time
for consideration. Kindly observe this: if I were not so entirely
convinced I should not, you may be sure, with my experience venture to
accuse you so directly. Seeing that for such direct accusation before
witnesses, if false or even mistaken, I should myself in a certain
sense be made responsible, I am aware of that. This morning I changed
for my own purposes several five-per-cent securities for the sum of
approximately three thousand roubles. The account is noted down in my
pocket-book. On my return home I proceeded to count the money--as Mr.
Lebeziatnikov will bear witness--and after counting two thousand three
hundred roubles I put the rest in my pocket-book in my coat pocket.
About five hundred roubles remained on the table and among them three
notes of a hundred roubles each. At that moment you entered (at my
invitation)--and all the time you were present you were exceedingly
embarrassed; so that three times you jumped up in the middle of the
conversation and tried to make off. Mr. Lebeziatnikov can bear witness
to this. You yourself, mademoiselle, probably will not refuse to
confirm my statement that I invited you through Mr. Lebeziatnikov,
solely in order to discuss with you the hopeless and destitute
position of your relative, Katerina Ivanovna (whose dinner I was
unable to attend), and the advisability of getting up something of the
nature of a subscription, lottery or the like, for her benefit. You
thanked me and even shed tears. I describe all this as it took place,
primarily to recall it to your mind and secondly to show you that not
the slightest detail has escaped my recollection. Then I took a ten-
rouble note from the table and handed it to you by way of first
instalment on my part for the benefit of your relative. Mr.
Lebeziatnikov saw all this. Then I accompanied you to the door--you
being still in the same state of embarrassment--after which, being
left alone with Mr. Lebeziatnikov I talked to him for ten minutes--
then Mr. Lebeziatnikov went out and I returned to the table with the
money lying on it, intending to count it and to put it aside, as I
proposed doing before. To my surprise one hundred-rouble note had
disappeared. Kindly consider the position. Mr. Lebeziatnikov I cannot
suspect. I am ashamed to allude to such a supposition. I cannot have
made a mistake in my reckoning, for the minute before your entrance I
had finished my accounts and found the total correct. You will admit
that recollecting your embarrassment, your eagerness to get away and
the fact that you kept your hands for some time on the table, and
taking into consideration your social position and the habits
associated with it, I was, so to say, with horror and positively
against my will, /compelled/ to entertain a suspicion--a cruel, but
justifiable suspicion! I will add further and repeat that in spite of
my positive conviction, I realise that I run a certain risk in making
this accusation, but as you see, I could not let it pass. I have taken
action and I will tell you why: solely, madam, solely, owing to your
black ingratitude! Why! I invite you for the benefit of your destitute
relative, I present you with my donation of ten roubles and you, on
the spot, repay me for all that with such an action. It is too bad!
You need a lesson. Reflect! Moreover, like a true friend I beg you--
and you could have no better friend at this moment--think what you are
doing, otherwise I shall be immovable! Well, what do you say?"

"I have taken nothing," Sonia whispered in terror, "you gave me ten
roubles, here it is, take it."

Sonia pulled her handkerchief out of her pocket, untied a corner of
it, took out the ten-rouble note and gave it to Luzhin.

"And the hundred roubles you do not confess to taking?" he insisted
reproachfully, not taking the note.

Sonia looked about her. All were looking at her with such awful,
stern, ironical, hostile eyes. She looked at Raskolnikov . . . he
stood against the wall, with his arms crossed, looking at her with
glowing eyes.

"Good God!" broke from Sonia.

"Amalia Ivanovna, we shall have to send word to the police and
therefore I humbly beg you meanwhile to send for the house porter,"
Luzhin said softly and even kindly.

"/Gott der Barmherzige/! I knew she was the thief," cried Amalia
Ivanovna, throwing up her hands.

"You knew it?" Luzhin caught her up, "then I suppose you had some
reason before this for thinking so. I beg you, worthy Amalia Ivanovna,
to remember your words which have been uttered before witnesses."

There was a buzz of loud conversation on all sides. All were in

"What!" cried Katerina Ivanovna, suddenly realising the position, and
she rushed at Luzhin. "What! You accuse her of stealing? Sonia? Ah,
the wretches, the wretches!"

And running to Sonia she flung her wasted arms round her and held her
as in a vise.

"Sonia! how dared you take ten roubles from him? Foolish girl! Give it
to me! Give me the ten roubles at once--here!"

And snatching the note from Sonia, Katerina Ivanovna crumpled it up
and flung it straight into Luzhin's face. It hit him in the eye and
fell on the ground. Amalia Ivanovna hastened to pick it up. Pyotr
Petrovitch lost his temper.

"Hold that mad woman!" he shouted.

At that moment several other persons, besides Lebeziatnikov, appeared
in the doorway, among them the two ladies.

"What! Mad? Am I mad? Idiot!" shrieked Katerina Ivanovna. "You are an
idiot yourself, pettifogging lawyer, base man! Sonia, Sonia take his
money! Sonia a thief! Why, she'd give away her last penny!" and
Katerina Ivanovna broke into hysterical laughter. "Did you ever see
such an idiot?" she turned from side to side. "And you too?" she
suddenly saw the landlady, "and you too, sausage eater, you declare
that she is a thief, you trashy Prussian hen's leg in a crinoline! She
hasn't been out of this room: she came straight from you, you wretch,
and sat down beside me, everyone saw her. She sat here, by Rodion
Romanovitch. Search her! Since she's not left the room, the money
would have to be on her! Search her, search her! But if you don't find
it, then excuse me, my dear fellow, you'll answer for it! I'll go to
our Sovereign, to our Sovereign, to our gracious Tsar himself, and
throw myself at his feet, to-day, this minute! I am alone in the
world! They would let me in! Do you think they wouldn't? You're wrong,
I will get in! I will get in! You reckoned on her meekness! You relied
upon that! But I am not so submissive, let me tell you! You've gone
too far yourself. Search her, search her!"

And Katerina Ivanovna in a frenzy shook Luzhin and dragged him towards

"I am ready, I'll be responsible . . . but calm yourself, madam, calm
yourself. I see that you are not so submissive! . . . Well, well, but
as to that . . ." Luzhin muttered, "that ought to be before the police
. . . though indeed there are witnesses enough as it is. . . . I am
ready. . . . But in any case it's difficult for a man . . . on account
of her sex. . . . But with the help of Amalia Ivanovna . . . though,
of course, it's not the way to do things. . . . How is it to be done?"

"As you will! Let anyone who likes search her!" cried Katerina
Ivanovna. "Sonia, turn out your pockets! See! Look, monster, the
pocket is empty, here was her handkerchief! Here is the other pocket,
look! D'you see, d'you see?"

And Katerina Ivanovna turned--or rather snatched--both pockets inside
out. But from the right pocket a piece of paper flew out and
describing a parabola in the air fell at Luzhin's feet. Everyone saw
it, several cried out. Pyotr Petrovitch stooped down, picked up the
paper in two fingers, lifted it where all could see it and opened it.
It was a hundred-rouble note folded in eight. Pyotr Petrovitch held up
the note showing it to everyone.

"Thief! Out of my lodging. Police, police!" yelled Amalia Ivanovna.
"They must to Siberia be sent! Away!"

Exclamations arose on all sides. Raskolnikov was silent, keeping his
eyes fixed on Sonia, except for an occasional rapid glance at Luzhin.
Sonia stood still, as though unconscious. She was hardly able to feel
surprise. Suddenly the colour rushed to her cheeks; she uttered a cry
and hid her face in her hands.

"No, it wasn't I! I didn't take it! I know nothing about it," she
cried with a heartrending wail, and she ran to Katerina Ivanovna, who
clasped her tightly in her arms, as though she would shelter her from
all the world.

"Sonia! Sonia! I don't believe it! You see, I don't believe it!" she
cried in the face of the obvious fact, swaying her to and fro in her
arms like a baby, kissing her face continually, then snatching at her
hands and kissing them, too, "you took it! How stupid these people
are! Oh dear! You are fools, fools," she cried, addressing the whole
room, "you don't know, you don't know what a heart she has, what a
girl she is! She take it, she? She'd sell her last rag, she'd go
barefoot to help you if you needed it, that's what she is! She has the
yellow passport because my children were starving, she sold herself
for us! Ah, husband, husband! Do you see? Do you see? What a memorial
dinner for you! Merciful heavens! Defend her, why are you all standing
still? Rodion Romanovitch, why don't you stand up for her? Do you
believe it, too? You are not worth her little finger, all of you
together! Good God! Defend her now, at least!"

The wail of the poor, consumptive, helpless woman seemed to produce a
great effect on her audience. The agonised, wasted, consumptive face,
the parched blood-stained lips, the hoarse voice, the tears
unrestrained as a child's, the trustful, childish and yet despairing
prayer for help were so piteous that everyone seemed to feel for her.
Pyotr Petrovitch at any rate was at once moved to /compassion/.

"Madam, madam, this incident does not reflect upon you!" he cried
impressively, "no one would take upon himself to accuse you of being
an instigator or even an accomplice in it, especially as you have
proved her guilt by turning out her pockets, showing that you had no
previous idea of it. I am most ready, most ready to show compassion,
if poverty, so to speak, drove Sofya Semyonovna to it, but why did you
refuse to confess, mademoiselle? Were you afraid of the disgrace? The
first step? You lost your head, perhaps? One can quite understand it.
. . . But how could you have lowered yourself to such an action?
Gentlemen," he addressed the whole company, "gentlemen! Compassionate
and, so to say, commiserating these people, I am ready to overlook it
even now in spite of the personal insult lavished upon me! And may
this disgrace be a lesson to you for the future," he said, addressing
Sonia, "and I will carry the matter no further. Enough!"

Pyotr Petrovitch stole a glance at Raskolnikov. Their eyes met, and
the fire in Raskolnikov's seemed ready to reduce him to ashes.
Meanwhile Katerina Ivanovna apparently heard nothing. She was kissing
and hugging Sonia like a madwoman. The children, too, were embracing
Sonia on all sides, and Polenka--though she did not fully understand
what was wrong--was drowned in tears and shaking with sobs, as she hid
her pretty little face, swollen with weeping, on Sonia's shoulder.

"How vile!" a loud voice cried suddenly in the doorway.

Pyotr Petrovitch looked round quickly.

"What vileness!" Lebeziatnikov repeated, staring him straight in the

Pyotr Petrovitch gave a positive start--all noticed it and recalled it
afterwards. Lebeziatnikov strode into the room.

"And you dared to call me as witness?" he said, going up to Pyotr

"What do you mean? What are you talking about?" muttered Luzhin.

"I mean that you . . . are a slanderer, that's what my words mean!"
Lebeziatnikov said hotly, looking sternly at him with his short-
sighted eyes.

He was extremely angry. Raskolnikov gazed intently at him, as though
seizing and weighing each word. Again there was a silence. Pyotr
Petrovitch indeed seemed almost dumbfounded for the first moment.

"If you mean that for me, . . ." he began, stammering. "But what's the
matter with you? Are you out of your mind?"

"I'm in my mind, but you are a scoundrel! Ah, how vile! I have heard
everything. I kept waiting on purpose to understand it, for I must own
even now it is not quite logical. . . . What you have done it all for
I can't understand."

"Why, what have I done then? Give over talking in your nonsensical
riddles! Or maybe you are drunk!"

"You may be a drunkard, perhaps, vile man, but I am not! I never touch
vodka, for it's against my convictions. Would you believe it, he, he
himself, with his own hands gave Sofya Semyonovna that hundred-rouble
note--I saw it, I was a witness, I'll take my oath! He did it, he!"
repeated Lebeziatnikov, addressing all.

"Are you crazy, milksop?" squealed Luzhin. "She is herself before you
--she herself here declared just now before everyone that I gave her
only ten roubles. How could I have given it to her?"

"I saw it, I saw it," Lebeziatnikov repeated, "and though it is
against my principles, I am ready this very minute to take any oath
you like before the court, for I saw how you slipped it in her pocket.
Only like a fool I thought you did it out of kindness! When you were
saying good-bye to her at the door, while you held her hand in one
hand, with the other, the left, you slipped the note into her pocket.
I saw it, I saw it!"

Luzhin turned pale.

"What lies!" he cried impudently, "why, how could you, standing by the
window, see the note? You fancied it with your short-sighted eyes. You
are raving!"

"No, I didn't fancy it. And though I was standing some way off, I saw
it all. And though it certainly would be hard to distinguish a note
from the window--that's true--I knew for certain that it was a
hundred-rouble note, because, when you were going to give Sofya
Semyonovna ten roubles, you took up from the table a hundred-rouble
note (I saw it because I was standing near then, and an idea struck me
at once, so that I did not forget you had it in your hand). You folded
it and kept it in your hand all the time. I didn't think of it again
until, when you were getting up, you changed it from your right hand
to your left and nearly dropped it! I noticed it because the same idea
struck me again, that you meant to do her a kindness without my
seeing. You can fancy how I watched you and I saw how you succeeded in
slipping it into her pocket. I saw it, I saw it, I'll take my oath."

Lebeziatnikov was almost breathless. Exclamations arose on all hands
chiefly expressive of wonder, but some were menacing in tone. They all
crowded round Pyotr Petrovitch. Katerina Ivanovna flew to

"I was mistaken in you! Protect her! You are the only one to take her
part! She is an orphan. God has sent you!"

Katerina Ivanovna, hardly knowing what she was doing, sank on her
knees before him.

"A pack of nonsense!" yelled Luzhin, roused to fury, "it's all
nonsense you've been talking! 'An idea struck you, you didn't think,
you noticed'--what does it amount to? So I gave it to her on the sly
on purpose? What for? With what object? What have I to do with
this . . .?"

"What for? That's what I can't understand, but that what I am telling
you is the fact, that's certain! So far from my being mistaken, you
infamous criminal man, I remember how, on account of it, a question
occurred to me at once, just when I was thanking you and pressing your
hand. What made you put it secretly in her pocket? Why you did it
secretly, I mean? Could it be simply to conceal it from me, knowing
that my convictions are opposed to yours and that I do not approve of
private benevolence, which effects no radical cure? Well, I decided
that you really were ashamed of giving such a large sum before me.
Perhaps, too, I thought, he wants to give her a surprise, when she
finds a whole hundred-rouble note in her pocket. (For I know, some
benevolent people are very fond of decking out their charitable
actions in that way.) Then the idea struck me, too, that you wanted to
test her, to see whether, when she found it, she would come to thank
you. Then, too, that you wanted to avoid thanks and that, as the
saying is, your right hand should not know . . . something of that
sort, in fact. I thought of so many possibilities that I put off
considering it, but still thought it indelicate to show you that I
knew your secret. But another idea struck me again that Sofya
Semyonovna might easily lose the money before she noticed it, that was
why I decided to come in here to call her out of the room and to tell
her that you put a hundred roubles in her pocket. But on my way I went
first to Madame Kobilatnikov's to take them the 'General Treatise on
the Positive Method' and especially to recommend Piderit's article
(and also Wagner's); then I come on here and what a state of things I
find! Now could I, could I, have all these ideas and reflections if I
had not seen you put the hundred-rouble note in her pocket?"

When Lebeziatnikov finished his long-winded harangue with the logical
deduction at the end, he was quite tired, and the perspiration
streamed from his face. He could not, alas, even express himself
correctly in Russian, though he knew no other language, so that he was
quite exhausted, almost emaciated after this heroic exploit. But his
speech produced a powerful effect. He had spoken with such vehemence,
with such conviction that everyone obviously believed him. Pyotr
Petrovitch felt that things were going badly with him.

"What is it to do with me if silly ideas did occur to you?" he
shouted, "that's no evidence. You may have dreamt it, that's all! And
I tell you, you are lying, sir. You are lying and slandering from some
spite against me, simply from pique, because I did not agree with your
free-thinking, godless, social propositions!"

But this retort did not benefit Pyotr Petrovitch. Murmurs of
disapproval were heard on all sides.

"Ah, that's your line now, is it!" cried Lebeziatnikov, "that's
nonsense! Call the police and I'll take my oath! There's only one
thing I can't understand: what made him risk such a contemptible
action. Oh, pitiful, despicable man!"

"I can explain why he risked such an action, and if necessary, I, too,
will swear to it," Raskolnikov said at last in a firm voice, and he
stepped forward.

He appeared to be firm and composed. Everyone felt clearly, from the
very look of him that he really knew about it and that the mystery
would be solved.

"Now I can explain it all to myself," said Raskolnikov, addressing
Lebeziatnikov. "From the very beginning of the business, I suspected
that there was some scoundrelly intrigue at the bottom of it. I began
to suspect it from some special circumstances known to me only, which
I will explain at once to everyone: they account for everything. Your
valuable evidence has finally made everything clear to me. I beg all,
all to listen. This gentleman (he pointed to Luzhin) was recently
engaged to be married to a young lady--my sister, Avdotya Romanovna
Raskolnikov. But coming to Petersburg he quarrelled with me, the day
before yesterday, at our first meeting and I drove him out of my room
--I have two witnesses to prove it. He is a very spiteful man. . . .
The day before yesterday I did not know that he was staying here, in
your room, and that consequently on the very day we quarrelled--the
day before yesterday--he saw me give Katerina Ivanovna some money for
the funeral, as a friend of the late Mr. Marmeladov. He at once wrote
a note to my mother and informed her that I had given away all my
money, not to Katerina Ivanovna but to Sofya Semyonovna, and referred
in a most contemptible way to the . . . character of Sofya Semyonovna,
that is, hinted at the character of my attitude to Sofya Semyonovna.
All this you understand was with the object of dividing me from my
mother and sister, by insinuating that I was squandering on unworthy
objects the money which they had sent me and which was all they had.
Yesterday evening, before my mother and sister and in his presence, I
declared that I had given the money to Katerina Ivanovna for the
funeral and not to Sofya Semyonovna and that I had no acquaintance
with Sofya Semyonovna and had never seen her before, indeed. At the
same time I added that he, Pyotr Petrovitch Luzhin, with all his
virtues, was not worth Sofya Semyonovna's little finger, though he
spoke so ill of her. To his question--would I let Sofya Semyonovna sit
down beside my sister, I answered that I had already done so that day.
Irritated that my mother and sister were unwilling to quarrel with me
at his insinuations, he gradually began being unpardonably rude to
them. A final rupture took place and he was turned out of the house.
All this happened yesterday evening. Now I beg your special attention:
consider: if he had now succeeded in proving that Sofya Semyonovna was
a thief, he would have shown to my mother and sister that he was
almost right in his suspicions, that he had reason to be angry at my
putting my sister on a level with Sofya Semyonovna, that, in attacking
me, he was protecting and preserving the honour of my sister, his
betrothed. In fact he might even, through all this, have been able to
estrange me from my family, and no doubt he hoped to be restored to
favour with them; to say nothing of revenging himself on me
personally, for he has grounds for supposing that the honour and
happiness of Sofya Semyonovna are very precious to me. That was what
he was working for! That's how I understand it. That's the whole
reason for it and there can be no other!"

It was like this, or somewhat like this, that Raskolnikov wound up his
speech which was followed very attentively, though often interrupted
by exclamations from his audience. But in spite of interruptions he
spoke clearly, calmly, exactly, firmly. His decisive voice, his tone
of conviction and his stern face made a great impression on everyone.

"Yes, yes, that's it," Lebeziatnikov assented gleefully, "that must be
it, for he asked me, as soon as Sofya Semyonovna came into our room,
whether you were here, whether I had seen you among Katerina
Ivanovna's guests. He called me aside to the window and asked me in
secret. It was essential for him that you should be here! That's it,
that's it!"

Luzhin smiled contemptuously and did not speak. But he was very pale.
He seemed to be deliberating on some means of escape. Perhaps he would
have been glad to give up everything and get away, but at the moment
this was scarcely possible. It would have implied admitting the truth
of the accusations brought against him. Moreover, the company, which
had already been excited by drink, was now too much stirred to allow
it. The commissariat clerk, though indeed he had not grasped the whole
position, was shouting louder than anyone and was making some
suggestions very unpleasant to Luzhin. But not all those present were
drunk; lodgers came in from all the rooms. The three Poles were
tremendously excited and were continually shouting at him: "The /pan/
is a /lajdak/!" and muttering threats in Polish. Sonia had been
listening with strained attention, though she too seemed unable to
grasp it all; she seemed as though she had just returned to
consciousness. She did not take her eyes off Raskolnikov, feeling that
all her safety lay in him. Katerina Ivanovna breathed hard and
painfully and seemed fearfully exhausted. Amalia Ivanovna stood
looking more stupid than anyone, with her mouth wide open, unable to
make out what had happened. She only saw that Pyotr Petrovitch had
somehow come to grief.

Raskolnikov was attempting to speak again, but they did not let him.
Everyone was crowding round Luzhin with threats and shouts of abuse.
But Pyotr Petrovitch was not intimidated. Seeing that his accusation
of Sonia had completely failed, he had recourse to insolence:

"Allow me, gentlemen, allow me! Don't squeeze, let me pass!" he said,
making his way through the crowd. "And no threats, if you please! I
assure you it will be useless, you will gain nothing by it. On the
contrary, you'll have to answer, gentlemen, for violently obstructing
the course of justice. The thief has been more than unmasked, and I
shall prosecute. Our judges are not so blind and . . . not so drunk,
and will not believe the testimony of two notorious infidels,
agitators, and atheists, who accuse me from motives of personal
revenge which they are foolish enough to admit. . . . Yes, allow me to

"Don't let me find a trace of you in my room! Kindly leave at once,
and everything is at an end between us! When I think of the trouble
I've been taking, the way I've been expounding . . . all this

"I told you myself to-day that I was going, when you tried to keep me;
now I will simply add that you are a fool. I advise you to see a
doctor for your brains and your short sight. Let me pass, gentlemen!"

He forced his way through. But the commissariat clerk was unwilling to
let him off so easily: he picked up a glass from the table, brandished
it in the air and flung it at Pyotr Petrovitch; but the glass flew
straight at Amalia Ivanovna. She screamed, and the clerk,
overbalancing, fell heavily under the table. Pyotr Petrovitch made his
way to his room and half an hour later had left the house. Sonia,
timid by nature, had felt before that day that she could be ill-
treated more easily than anyone, and that she could be wronged with
impunity. Yet till that moment she had fancied that she might escape
misfortune by care, gentleness and submissiveness before everyone. Her
disappointment was too great. She could, of course, bear with patience
and almost without murmur anything, even this. But for the first
minute she felt it too bitter. In spite of her triumph and her
justification--when her first terror and stupefaction had passed and
she could understand it all clearly--the feeling of her helplessness
and of the wrong done to her made her heart throb with anguish and she
was overcome with hysterical weeping. At last, unable to bear any
more, she rushed out of the room and ran home, almost immediately
after Luzhin's departure. When amidst loud laughter the glass flew at
Amalia Ivanovna, it was more than the landlady could endure. With a
shriek she rushed like a fury at Katerina Ivanovna, considering her to
blame for everything.

"Out of my lodgings! At once! Quick march!"

And with these words she began snatching up everything she could lay
her hands on that belonged to Katerina Ivanovna, and throwing it on
the floor. Katerina Ivanovna, pale, almost fainting, and gasping for
breath, jumped up from the bed where she had sunk in exhaustion and
darted at Amalia Ivanovna. But the battle was too unequal: the
landlady waved her away like a feather.

"What! As though that godless calumny was not enough--this vile
creature attacks me! What! On the day of my husband's funeral I am
turned out of my lodging! After eating my bread and salt she turns me
into the street, with my orphans! Where am I to go?" wailed the poor
woman, sobbing and gasping. "Good God!" she cried with flashing eyes,
"is there no justice upon earth? Whom should you protect if not us
orphans? We shall see! There is law and justice on earth, there is, I
will find it! Wait a bit, godless creature! Polenka, stay with the
children, I'll come back. Wait for me, if you have to wait in the
street. We will see whether there is justice on earth!"

And throwing over her head that green shawl which Marmeladov had
mentioned to Raskolnikov, Katerina Ivanovna squeezed her way through
the disorderly and drunken crowd of lodgers who still filled the room,
and, wailing and tearful, she ran into the street--with a vague
intention of going at once somewhere to find justice. Polenka with the
two little ones in her arms crouched, terrified, on the trunk in the
corner of the room, where she waited trembling for her mother to come
back. Amalia Ivanovna raged about the room, shrieking, lamenting and
throwing everything she came across on the floor. The lodgers talked
incoherently, some commented to the best of their ability on what had
happened, others quarrelled and swore at one another, while others
struck up a song. . . .

"Now it's time for me to go," thought Raskolnikov. "Well, Sofya
Semyonovna, we shall see what you'll say now!"

And he set off in the direction of Sonia's lodgings.


Raskolnikov had been a vigorous and active champion of Sonia against
Luzhin, although he had such a load of horror and anguish in his own
heart. But having gone through so much in the morning, he found a sort
of relief in a change of sensations, apart from the strong personal
feeling which impelled him to defend Sonia. He was agitated too,
especially at some moments, by the thought of his approaching
interview with Sonia: he /had/ to tell her who had killed Lizaveta. He
knew the terrible suffering it would be to him and, as it were,
brushed away the thought of it. So when he cried as he left Katerina
Ivanovna's, "Well, Sofya Semyonovna, we shall see what you'll say
now!" he was still superficially excited, still vigorous and defiant
from his triumph over Luzhin. But, strange to say, by the time he
reached Sonia's lodging, he felt a sudden impotence and fear. He stood
still in hesitation at the door, asking himself the strange question:
"Must he tell her who killed Lizaveta?" It was a strange question
because he felt at the very time not only that he could not help
telling her, but also that he could not put off the telling. He did
not yet know why it must be so, he only /felt/ it, and the agonising
sense of his impotence before the inevitable almost crushed him. To
cut short his hesitation and suffering, he quickly opened the door and
looked at Sonia from the doorway. She was sitting with her elbows on
the table and her face in her hands, but seeing Raskolnikov she got up
at once and came to meet him as though she were expecting him.

"What would have become of me but for you?" she said quickly, meeting
him in the middle of the room.

Evidently she was in haste to say this to him. It was what she had
been waiting for.

Raskolnikov went to the table and sat down on the chair from which she
had only just risen. She stood facing him, two steps away, just as she
had done the day before.

"Well, Sonia?" he said, and felt that his voice was trembling, "it was
all due to 'your social position and the habits associated with it.'
Did you understand that just now?"

Her face showed her distress.

"Only don't talk to me as you did yesterday," she interrupted him.
"Please don't begin it. There is misery enough without that."

She made haste to smile, afraid that he might not like the reproach.

"I was silly to come away from there. What is happening there now? I
wanted to go back directly, but I kept thinking that . . . you would

He told her that Amalia Ivanovna was turning them out of their lodging
and that Katerina Ivanovna had run off somewhere "to seek justice."

"My God!" cried Sonia, "let's go at once. . . ."

And she snatched up her cape.

"It's everlastingly the same thing!" said Raskolnikov, irritably.
"You've no thought except for them! Stay a little with me."

"But . . . Katerina Ivanovna?"

"You won't lose Katerina Ivanovna, you may be sure, she'll come to you
herself since she has run out," he added peevishly. "If she doesn't
find you here, you'll be blamed for it. . . ."

Sonia sat down in painful suspense. Raskolnikov was silent, gazing at
the floor and deliberating.

"This time Luzhin did not want to prosecute you," he began, not
looking at Sonia, "but if he had wanted to, if it had suited his
plans, he would have sent you to prison if it had not been for
Lebeziatnikov and me. Ah?"

"Yes," she assented in a faint voice. "Yes," she repeated, preoccupied
and distressed.

"But I might easily not have been there. And it was quite an accident
Lebeziatnikov's turning up."

Sonia was silent.

"And if you'd gone to prison, what then? Do you remember what I said

Again she did not answer. He waited.

"I thought you would cry out again 'don't speak of it, leave off.'"
Raskolnikov gave a laugh, but rather a forced one. "What, silence
again?" he asked a minute later. "We must talk about something, you
know. It would be interesting for me to know how you would decide a
certain 'problem' as Lebeziatnikov would say." (He was beginning to
lose the thread.) "No, really, I am serious. Imagine, Sonia, that you
had known all Luzhin's intentions beforehand. Known, that is, for a
fact, that they would be the ruin of Katerina Ivanovna and the
children and yourself thrown in--since you don't count yourself for
anything--Polenka too . . . for she'll go the same way. Well, if
suddenly it all depended on your decision whether he or they should go
on living, that is whether Luzhin should go on living and doing wicked
things, or Katerina Ivanovna should die? How would you decide which of
them was to die? I ask you?"

Sonia looked uneasily at him. There was something peculiar in this
hesitating question, which seemed approaching something in a
roundabout way.

"I felt that you were going to ask some question like that," she said,
looking inquisitively at him.

"I dare say you did. But how is it to be answered?"

"Why do you ask about what could not happen?" said Sonia reluctantly.

"Then it would be better for Luzhin to go on living and doing wicked
things? You haven't dared to decide even that!"

"But I can't know the Divine Providence. . . . And why do you ask what
can't be answered? What's the use of such foolish questions? How could
it happen that it should depend on my decision--who has made me a
judge to decide who is to live and who is not to live?"

"Oh, if the Divine Providence is to be mixed up in it, there is no
doing anything," Raskolnikov grumbled morosely.

"You'd better say straight out what you want!" Sonia cried in
distress. "You are leading up to something again. . . . Can you have
come simply to torture me?"

She could not control herself and began crying bitterly. He looked at
her in gloomy misery. Five minutes passed.

"Of course you're right, Sonia," he said softly at last. He was
suddenly changed. His tone of assumed arrogance and helpless defiance
was gone. Even his voice was suddenly weak. "I told you yesterday that
I was not coming to ask forgiveness and almost the first thing I've
said is to ask forgiveness. . . . I said that about Luzhin and
Providence for my own sake. I was asking forgiveness, Sonia. . . ."

He tried to smile, but there was something helpless and incomplete in
his pale smile. He bowed his head and hid his face in his hands.

And suddenly a strange, surprising sensation of a sort of bitter
hatred for Sonia passed through his heart. As it were wondering and
frightened of this sensation, he raised his head and looked intently
at her; but he met her uneasy and painfully anxious eyes fixed on him;
there was love in them; his hatred vanished like a phantom. It was not
the real feeling; he had taken the one feeling for the other. It only
meant that /that/ minute had come.

He hid his face in his hands again and bowed his head. Suddenly he
turned pale, got up from his chair, looked at Sonia, and without
uttering a word sat down mechanically on her bed.

His sensations that moment were terribly like the moment when he had
stood over the old woman with the axe in his hand and felt that "he
must not lose another minute."

"What's the matter?" asked Sonia, dreadfully frightened.

He could not utter a word. This was not at all, not at all the way he
had intended to "tell" and he did not understand what was happening to
him now. She went up to him, softly, sat down on the bed beside him
and waited, not taking her eyes off him. Her heart throbbed and sank.
It was unendurable; he turned his deadly pale face to her. His lips
worked, helplessly struggling to utter something. A pang of terror
passed through Sonia's heart.

"What's the matter?" she repeated, drawing a little away from him.

"Nothing, Sonia, don't be frightened. . . . It's nonsense. It really
is nonsense, if you think of it," he muttered, like a man in delirium.
"Why have I come to torture you?" he added suddenly, looking at her.
"Why, really? I keep asking myself that question, Sonia. . . ."

He had perhaps been asking himself that question a quarter of an hour
before, but now he spoke helplessly, hardly knowing what he said and
feeling a continual tremor all over.

"Oh, how you are suffering!" she muttered in distress, looking
intently at him.

"It's all nonsense. . . . Listen, Sonia." He suddenly smiled, a pale
helpless smile for two seconds. "You remember what I meant to tell you

Sonia waited uneasily.

"I said as I went away that perhaps I was saying good-bye for ever,
but that if I came to-day I would tell you who . . . who killed

She began trembling all over.

"Well, here I've come to tell you."

"Then you really meant it yesterday?" she whispered with difficulty.
"How do you know?" she asked quickly, as though suddenly regaining her

Sonia's face grew paler and paler, and she breathed painfully.

"I know."

She paused a minute.

"Have they found him?" she asked timidly.


"Then how do you know about /it/?" she asked again, hardly audibly and
again after a minute's pause.

He turned to her and looked very intently at her.

"Guess," he said, with the same distorted helpless smile.

A shudder passed over her.

"But you . . . why do you frighten me like this?" she said, smiling
like a child.

"I must be a great friend of /his/ . . . since I know," Raskolnikov
went on, still gazing into her face, as though he could not turn his
eyes away. "He . . . did not mean to kill that Lizaveta . . . he . . .
killed her accidentally. . . . He meant to kill the old woman when she
was alone and he went there . . . and then Lizaveta came in . . . he
killed her too."

Another awful moment passed. Both still gazed at one another.

"You can't guess, then?" he asked suddenly, feeling as though he were
flinging himself down from a steeple.

"N-no . . ." whispered Sonia.

"Take a good look."

As soon as he had said this again, the same familiar sensation froze
his heart. He looked at her and all at once seemed to see in her face
the face of Lizaveta. He remembered clearly the expression in
Lizaveta's face, when he approached her with the axe and she stepped
back to the wall, putting out her hand, with childish terror in her
face, looking as little children do when they begin to be frightened
of something, looking intently and uneasily at what frightens them,
shrinking back and holding out their little hands on the point of
crying. Almost the same thing happened now to Sonia. With the same
helplessness and the same terror, she looked at him for a while and,
suddenly putting out her left hand, pressed her fingers faintly
against his breast and slowly began to get up from the bed, moving
further from him and keeping her eyes fixed even more immovably on
him. Her terror infected him. The same fear showed itself on his face.
In the same way he stared at her and almost with the same /childish/

"Have you guessed?" he whispered at last.

"Good God!" broke in an awful wail from her bosom.

She sank helplessly on the bed with her face in the pillows, but a
moment later she got up, moved quickly to him, seized both his hands
and, gripping them tight in her thin fingers, began looking into his
face again with the same intent stare. In this last desperate look she
tried to look into him and catch some last hope. But there was no
hope; there was no doubt remaining; it was all true! Later on, indeed,
when she recalled that moment, she thought it strange and wondered why
she had seen at once that there was no doubt. She could not have said,
for instance, that she had foreseen something of the sort--and yet
now, as soon as he told her, she suddenly fancied that she had really
foreseen this very thing.

"Stop, Sonia, enough! don't torture me," he begged her miserably.

It was not at all, not at all like this he had thought of telling her,
but this is how it happened.

She jumped up, seeming not to know what she was doing, and, wringing
her hands, walked into the middle of the room; but quickly went back
and sat down again beside him, her shoulder almost touching his. All
of a sudden she started as though she had been stabbed, uttered a cry
and fell on her knees before him, she did not know why.

"What have you done--what have you done to yourself?" she said in
despair, and, jumping up, she flung herself on his neck, threw her
arms round him, and held him tightly.

Raskolnikov drew back and looked at her with a mournful smile.

"You are a strange girl, Sonia--you kiss me and hug me when I tell you
about that. . . . You don't think what you are doing."

"There is no one--no one in the whole world now so unhappy as you!"
she cried in a frenzy, not hearing what he said, and she suddenly
broke into violent hysterical weeping.

A feeling long unfamiliar to him flooded his heart and softened it at
once. He did not struggle against it. Two tears started into his eyes
and hung on his eyelashes.

"Then you won't leave me, Sonia?" he said, looking at her almost with

"No, no, never, nowhere!" cried Sonia. "I will follow you, I will
follow you everywhere. Oh, my God! Oh, how miserable I am! . . . Why,
why didn't I know you before! Why didn't you come before? Oh, dear!"

"Here I have come."

"Yes, now! What's to be done now? . . . Together, together!" she
repeated as it were unconsciously, and she hugged him again. "I'll
follow you to Siberia!"

He recoiled at this, and the same hostile, almost haughty smile came
to his lips.

"Perhaps I don't want to go to Siberia yet, Sonia," he said.

Sonia looked at him quickly.

Again after her first passionate, agonising sympathy for the unhappy
man the terrible idea of the murder overwhelmed her. In his changed
tone she seemed to hear the murderer speaking. She looked at him
bewildered. She knew nothing as yet, why, how, with what object it had
been. Now all these questions rushed at once into her mind. And again
she could not believe it: "He, he is a murderer! Could it be true?"

"What's the meaning of it? Where am I?" she said in complete
bewilderment, as though still unable to recover herself. "How could
you, you, a man like you. . . . How could you bring yourself to it?
. . . What does it mean?"

"Oh, well--to plunder. Leave off, Sonia," he answered wearily, almost
with vexation.

Sonia stood as though struck dumb, but suddenly she cried:

"You were hungry! It was . . . to help your mother? Yes?"

"No, Sonia, no," he muttered, turning away and hanging his head. "I
was not so hungry. . . . I certainly did want to help my mother, but
. . . that's not the real thing either. . . . Don't torture me,

Sonia clasped her hands.

"Could it, could it all be true? Good God, what a truth! Who could
believe it? And how could you give away your last farthing and yet rob
and murder! Ah," she cried suddenly, "that money you gave Katerina
Ivanovna . . . that money. . . . Can that money . . ."

"No, Sonia," he broke in hurriedly, "that money was not it. Don't
worry yourself! That money my mother sent me and it came when I was
ill, the day I gave it to you. . . . Razumihin saw it . . . he
received it for me. . . . That money was mine--my own."

Sonia listened to him in bewilderment and did her utmost to

"And /that/ money. . . . I don't even know really whether there was
any money," he added softly, as though reflecting. "I took a purse off
her neck, made of chamois leather . . . a purse stuffed full of
something . . . but I didn't look in it; I suppose I hadn't time.
. . . And the things--chains and trinkets--I buried under a stone with
the purse next morning in a yard off the V---- Prospect. They are all
there now. . . . ."

Sonia strained every nerve to listen.

"Then why . . . why, you said you did it to rob, but you took
nothing?" she asked quickly, catching at a straw.

"I don't know. . . . I haven't yet decided whether to take that money
or not," he said, musing again; and, seeming to wake up with a start,
he gave a brief ironical smile. "Ach, what silly stuff I am talking,

The thought flashed through Sonia's mind, wasn't he mad? But she
dismissed it at once. "No, it was something else." She could make
nothing of it, nothing.

"Do you know, Sonia," he said suddenly with conviction, "let me tell
you: if I'd simply killed because I was hungry," laying stress on
every word and looking enigmatically but sincerely at her, "I should
be /happy/ now. You must believe that! What would it matter to you,"
he cried a moment later with a sort of despair, "what would it matter
to you if I were to confess that I did wrong? What do you gain by such
a stupid triumph over me? Ah, Sonia, was it for that I've come to you

Again Sonia tried to say something, but did not speak.

"I asked you to go with me yesterday because you are all I have left."

"Go where?" asked Sonia timidly.

"Not to steal and not to murder, don't be anxious," he smiled
bitterly. "We are so different. . . . And you know, Sonia, it's only
now, only this moment that I understand /where/ I asked you to go with
me yesterday! Yesterday when I said it I did not know where. I asked
you for one thing, I came to you for one thing--not to leave me. You
won't leave me, Sonia?"

She squeezed his hand.

"And why, why did I tell her? Why did I let her know?" he cried a
minute later in despair, looking with infinite anguish at her. "Here
you expect an explanation from me, Sonia; you are sitting and waiting
for it, I see that. But what can I tell you? You won't understand and
will only suffer misery . . . on my account! Well, you are crying and
embracing me again. Why do you do it? Because I couldn't bear my
burden and have come to throw it on another: you suffer too, and I
shall feel better! And can you love such a mean wretch?"

"But aren't you suffering, too?" cried Sonia.

Again a wave of the same feeling surged into his heart, and again for
an instant softened it.

"Sonia, I have a bad heart, take note of that. It may explain a great
deal. I have come because I am bad. There are men who wouldn't have
come. But I am a coward and . . . a mean wretch. But . . . never mind!
That's not the point. I must speak now, but I don't know how to

He paused and sank into thought.

"Ach, we are so different," he cried again, "we are not alike. And
why, why did I come? I shall never forgive myself that."

"No, no, it was a good thing you came," cried Sonia. "It's better I
should know, far better!"

He looked at her with anguish.

"What if it were really that?" he said, as though reaching a
conclusion. "Yes, that's what it was! I wanted to become a Napoleon,
that is why I killed her. . . . Do you understand now?"

"N-no," Sonia whispered navely and timidly. "Only speak, speak, I
shall understand, I shall understand /in myself/!" she kept begging

"You'll understand? Very well, we shall see!" He paused and was for
some time lost in meditation.

"It was like this: I asked myself one day this question--what if
Napoleon, for instance, had happened to be in my place, and if he had
not had Toulon nor Egypt nor the passage of Mont Blanc to begin his
career with, but instead of all those picturesque and monumental
things, there had simply been some ridiculous old hag, a pawnbroker,
who had to be murdered too to get money from her trunk (for his
career, you understand). Well, would he have brought himself to that
if there had been no other means? Wouldn't he have felt a pang at its
being so far from monumental and . . . and sinful, too? Well, I must
tell you that I worried myself fearfully over that 'question' so that
I was awfully ashamed when I guessed at last (all of a sudden,
somehow) that it would not have given him the least pang, that it
would not even have struck him that it was not monumental . . . that
he would not have seen that there was anything in it to pause over,
and that, if he had had no other way, he would have strangled her in a
minute without thinking about it! Well, I too . . . left off thinking
about it . . . murdered her, following his example. And that's exactly
how it was! Do you think it funny? Yes, Sonia, the funniest thing of
all is that perhaps that's just how it was."

Sonia did not think it at all funny.

"You had better tell me straight out . . . without examples," she
begged, still more timidly and scarcely audibly.

He turned to her, looked sadly at her and took her hands.

"You are right again, Sonia. Of course that's all nonsense, it's
almost all talk! You see, you know of course that my mother has
scarcely anything, my sister happened to have a good education and was
condemned to drudge as a governess. All their hopes were centered on
me. I was a student, but I couldn't keep myself at the university and
was forced for a time to leave it. Even if I had lingered on like
that, in ten or twelve years I might (with luck) hope to be some sort
of teacher or clerk with a salary of a thousand roubles" (he repeated
it as though it were a lesson) "and by that time my mother would be
worn out with grief and anxiety and I could not succeed in keeping her
in comfort while my sister . . . well, my sister might well have fared
worse! And it's a hard thing to pass everything by all one's life, to
turn one's back upon everything, to forget one's mother and decorously
accept the insults inflicted on one's sister. Why should one? When one
has buried them to burden oneself with others--wife and children--and
to leave them again without a farthing? So I resolved to gain
possession of the old woman's money and to use it for my first years
without worrying my mother, to keep myself at the university and for a
little while after leaving it--and to do this all on a broad, thorough
scale, so as to build up a completely new career and enter upon a new
life of independence. . . . Well . . . that's all. . . . Well, of
course in killing the old woman I did wrong. . . . Well, that's

He struggled to the end of his speech in exhaustion and let his head

"Oh, that's not it, that's not it," Sonia cried in distress. "How
could one . . . no, that's not right, not right."

"You see yourself that it's not right. But I've spoken truly, it's the

"As though that could be the truth! Good God!"

"I've only killed a louse, Sonia, a useless, loathsome, harmful

"A human being--a louse!"

"I too know it wasn't a louse," he answered, looking strangely at her.
"But I am talking nonsense, Sonia," he added. "I've been talking
nonsense a long time. . . . That's not it, you are right there. There
were quite, quite other causes for it! I haven't talked to anyone for
so long, Sonia. . . . My head aches dreadfully now."

His eyes shone with feverish brilliance. He was almost delirious; an
uneasy smile strayed on his lips. His terrible exhaustion could be
seen through his excitement. Sonia saw how he was suffering. She too
was growing dizzy. And he talked so strangely; it seemed somehow
comprehensible, but yet . . . "But how, how! Good God!" And she wrung
her hands in despair.

"No, Sonia, that's not it," he began again suddenly, raising his head,
as though a new and sudden train of thought had struck and as it were
roused him--"that's not it! Better . . . imagine--yes, it's certainly
better--imagine that I am vain, envious, malicious, base, vindictive
and . . . well, perhaps with a tendency to insanity. (Let's have it
all out at once! They've talked of madness already, I noticed.) I told
you just now I could not keep myself at the university. But do you
know that perhaps I might have done? My mother would have sent me what
I needed for the fees and I could have earned enough for clothes,
boots and food, no doubt. Lessons had turned up at half a rouble.
Razumihin works! But I turned sulky and wouldn't. (Yes, sulkiness,
that's the right word for it!) I sat in my room like a spider. You've
been in my den, you've seen it. . . . And do you know, Sonia, that low
ceilings and tiny rooms cramp the soul and the mind? Ah, how I hated
that garret! And yet I wouldn't go out of it! I wouldn't on purpose! I
didn't go out for days together, and I wouldn't work, I wouldn't even
eat, I just lay there doing nothing. If Nastasya brought me anything,
I ate it, if she didn't, I went all day without; I wouldn't ask, on
purpose, from sulkiness! At night I had no light, I lay in the dark
and I wouldn't earn money for candles. I ought to have studied, but I
sold my books; and the dust lies an inch thick on the notebooks on my
table. I preferred lying still and thinking. And I kept thinking.
. . . And I had dreams all the time, strange dreams of all sorts, no
need to describe! Only then I began to fancy that . . . No, that's not
it! Again I am telling you wrong! You see I kept asking myself then:
why am I so stupid that if others are stupid--and I know they are--yet
I won't be wiser? Then I saw, Sonia, that if one waits for everyone to
get wiser it will take too long. . . . Afterwards I understood that
that would never come to pass, that men won't change and that nobody
can alter it and that it's not worth wasting effort over it. Yes,
that's so. That's the law of their nature, Sonia, . . . that's so!
. . . And I know now, Sonia, that whoever is strong in mind and spirit
will have power over them. Anyone who is greatly daring is right in
their eyes. He who despises most things will be a lawgiver among them
and he who dares most of all will be most in the right! So it has been
till now and so it will always be. A man must be blind not to see it!"

Though Raskolnikov looked at Sonia as he said this, he no longer cared
whether she understood or not. The fever had complete hold of him; he
was in a sort of gloomy ecstasy (he certainly had been too long
without talking to anyone). Sonia felt that his gloomy creed had
become his faith and code.

"I divined then, Sonia," he went on eagerly, "that power is only
vouchsafed to the man who dares to stoop and pick it up. There is only
one thing, one thing needful: one has only to dare! Then for the first
time in my life an idea took shape in my mind which no one had ever
thought of before me, no one! I saw clear as daylight how strange it
is that not a single person living in this mad world has had the
daring to go straight for it all and send it flying to the devil! I
. . . I wanted /to have the daring/ . . . and I killed her. I only
wanted to have the daring, Sonia! That was the whole cause of it!"

"Oh hush, hush," cried Sonia, clasping her hands. "You turned away
from God and God has smitten you, has given you over to the devil!"

"Then Sonia, when I used to lie there in the dark and all this became
clear to me, was it a temptation of the devil, eh?"

"Hush, don't laugh, blasphemer! You don't understand, you don't
understand! Oh God! He won't understand!"

"Hush, Sonia! I am not laughing. I know myself that it was the devil
leading me. Hush, Sonia, hush!" he repeated with gloomy insistence. "I
know it all, I have thought it all over and over and whispered it all
over to myself, lying there in the dark. . . . I've argued it all over
with myself, every point of it, and I know it all, all! And how sick,
how sick I was then of going over it all! I have kept wanting to
forget it and make a new beginning, Sonia, and leave off thinking. And
you don't suppose that I went into it headlong like a fool? I went
into it like a wise man, and that was just my destruction. And you
mustn't suppose that I didn't know, for instance, that if I began to
question myself whether I had the right to gain power--I certainly
hadn't the right--or that if I asked myself whether a human being is a
louse it proved that it wasn't so for me, though it might be for a man
who would go straight to his goal without asking questions. . . . If I
worried myself all those days, wondering whether Napoleon would have
done it or not, I felt clearly of course that I wasn't Napoleon. I had
to endure all the agony of that battle of ideas, Sonia, and I longed
to throw it off: I wanted to murder without casuistry, to murder for
my own sake, for myself alone! I didn't want to lie about it even to
myself. It wasn't to help my mother I did the murder--that's nonsense
--I didn't do the murder to gain wealth and power and to become a
benefactor of mankind. Nonsense! I simply did it; I did the murder for
myself, for myself alone, and whether I became a benefactor to others,
or spent my life like a spider catching men in my web and sucking the
life out of men, I couldn't have cared at that moment. . . . And it
was not the money I wanted, Sonia, when I did it. It was not so much
the money I wanted, but something else. . . . I know it all now. . . .
Understand me! Perhaps I should never have committed a murder again. I
wanted to find out something else; it was something else led me on. I
wanted to find out then and quickly whether I was a louse like
everybody else or a man. Whether I can step over barriers or not,
whether I dare stoop to pick up or not, whether I am a trembling
creature or whether I have the /right/ . . ."

"To kill? Have the right to kill?" Sonia clasped her hands.

"Ach, Sonia!" he cried irritably and seemed about to make some retort,
but was contemptuously silent. "Don't interrupt me, Sonia. I want to
prove one thing only, that the devil led me on then and he has shown
me since that I had not the right to take that path, because I am just
such a louse as all the rest. He was mocking me and here I've come to
you now! Welcome your guest! If I were not a louse, should I have come
to you? Listen: when I went then to the old woman's I only went to
/try/. . . . You may be sure of that!"

"And you murdered her!"

"But how did I murder her? Is that how men do murders? Do men go to
commit a murder as I went then? I will tell you some day how I went!
Did I murder the old woman? I murdered myself, not her! I crushed
myself once for all, for ever. . . . But it was the devil that killed
that old woman, not I. Enough, enough, Sonia, enough! Let me be!" he
cried in a sudden spasm of agony, "let me be!"

He leaned his elbows on his knees and squeezed his head in his hands
as in a vise.

"What suffering!" A wail of anguish broke from Sonia.

"Well, what am I to do now?" he asked, suddenly raising his head and
looking at her with a face hideously distorted by despair.

"What are you to do?" she cried, jumping up, and her eyes that had
been full of tears suddenly began to shine. "Stand up!" (She seized
him by the shoulder, he got up, looking at her almost bewildered.) "Go
at once, this very minute, stand at the cross-roads, bow down, first
kiss the earth which you have defiled and then bow down to all the
world and say to all men aloud, 'I am a murderer!' Then God will send
you life again. Will you go, will you go?" she asked him, trembling
all over, snatching his two hands, squeezing them tight in hers and
gazing at him with eyes full of fire.

He was amazed at her sudden ecstasy.

"You mean Siberia, Sonia? I must give myself up?" he asked gloomily.

"Suffer and expiate your sin by it, that's what you must do."

"No! I am not going to them, Sonia!"

"But how will you go on living? What will you live for?" cried Sonia,
"how is it possible now? Why, how can you talk to your mother? (Oh,
what will become of them now?) But what am I saying? You have
abandoned your mother and your sister already. He has abandoned them
already! Oh, God!" she cried, "why, he knows it all himself. How, how
can he live by himself! What will become of you now?"

"Don't be a child, Sonia," he said softly. "What wrong have I done
them? Why should I go to them? What should I say to them? That's only
a phantom. . . . They destroy men by millions themselves and look on
it as a virtue. They are knaves and scoundrels, Sonia! I am not going
to them. And what should I say to them--that I murdered her, but did
not dare to take the money and hid it under a stone?" he added with a
bitter smile. "Why, they would laugh at me, and would call me a fool
for not getting it. A coward and a fool! They wouldn't understand and
they don't deserve to understand. Why should I go to them? I won't.
Don't be a child, Sonia. . . ."

"It will be too much for you to bear, too much!" she repeated, holding
out her hands in despairing supplication.

"Perhaps I've been unfair to myself," he observed gloomily, pondering,
"perhaps after all I am a man and not a louse and I've been in too
great a hurry to condemn myself. I'll make another fight for it."

A haughty smile appeared on his lips.

"What a burden to bear! And your whole life, your whole life!"

"I shall get used to it," he said grimly and thoughtfully. "Listen,"
he began a minute later, "stop crying, it's time to talk of the facts:
I've come to tell you that the police are after me, on my
track. . . ."

"Ach!" Sonia cried in terror.

"Well, why do you cry out? You want me to go to Siberia and now you
are frightened? But let me tell you: I shall not give myself up. I
shall make a struggle for it and they won't do anything to me. They've
no real evidence. Yesterday I was in great danger and believed I was
lost; but to-day things are going better. All the facts they know can
be explained two ways, that's to say I can turn their accusations to
my credit, do you understand? And I shall, for I've learnt my lesson.
But they will certainly arrest me. If it had not been for something
that happened, they would have done so to-day for certain; perhaps
even now they will arrest me to-day. . . . But that's no matter,
Sonia; they'll let me out again . . . for there isn't any real proof
against me, and there won't be, I give you my word for it. And they
can't convict a man on what they have against me. Enough. . . . I only
tell you that you may know. . . . I will try to manage somehow to put
it to my mother and sister so that they won't be frightened. . . . My
sister's future is secure, however, now, I believe . . . and my
mother's must be too. . . . Well, that's all. Be careful, though. Will
you come and see me in prison when I am there?"

"Oh, I will, I will."

They sat side by side, both mournful and dejected, as though they had
been cast up by the tempest alone on some deserted shore. He looked at
Sonia and felt how great was her love for him, and strange to say he
felt it suddenly burdensome and painful to be so loved. Yes, it was a
strange and awful sensation! On his way to see Sonia he had felt that
all his hopes rested on her; he expected to be rid of at least part of
his suffering, and now, when all her heart turned towards him, he
suddenly felt that he was immeasurably unhappier than before.

"Sonia," he said, "you'd better not come and see me when I am in

Sonia did not answer, she was crying. Several minutes passed.

"Have you a cross on you?" she asked, as though suddenly thinking of

He did not at first understand the question.

"No, of course not. Here, take this one, of cypress wood. I have
another, a copper one that belonged to Lizaveta. I changed with
Lizaveta: she gave me her cross and I gave her my little ikon. I will
wear Lizaveta's now and give you this. Take it . . . it's mine! It's
mine, you know," she begged him. "We will go to suffer together, and
together we will bear our cross!"

"Give it me," said Raskolnikov.

He did not want to hurt her feelings. But immediately he drew back the
hand he held out for the cross.

"Not now, Sonia. Better later," he added to comfort her.

"Yes, yes, better," she repeated with conviction, "when you go to meet
your suffering, then put it on. You will come to me, I'll put it on
you, we will pray and go together."

At that moment someone knocked three times at the door.

"Sofya Semyonovna, may I come in?" they heard in a very familiar and
polite voice.

Sonia rushed to the door in a fright. The flaxen head of Mr.
Lebeziatnikov appeared at the door.


Lebeziatnikov looked perturbed.

"I've come to you, Sofya Semyonovna," he began. "Excuse me . . . I
thought I should find you," he said, addressing Raskolnikov suddenly,
"that is, I didn't mean anything . . . of that sort . . . But I just
thought . . . Katerina Ivanovna has gone out of her mind," he blurted
out suddenly, turning from Raskolnikov to Sonia.

Sonia screamed.

"At least it seems so. But . . . we don't know what to do, you see!
She came back--she seems to have been turned out somewhere, perhaps
beaten. . . . So it seems at least, . . . She had run to your father's
former chief, she didn't find him at home: he was dining at some other
general's. . . . Only fancy, she rushed off there, to the other
general's, and, imagine, she was so persistent that she managed to get
the chief to see her, had him fetched out from dinner, it seems. You
can imagine what happened. She was turned out, of course; but,
according to her own story, she abused him and threw something at him.
One may well believe it. . . . How it is she wasn't taken up, I can't
understand! Now she is telling everyone, including Amalia Ivanovna;
but it's difficult to understand her, she is screaming and flinging
herself about. . . . Oh yes, she shouts that since everyone has
abandoned her, she will take the children and go into the street with
a barrel-organ, and the children will sing and dance, and she too, and
collect money, and will go every day under the general's window . . .
'to let everyone see well-born children, whose father was an official,
begging in the street.' She keeps beating the children and they are
all crying. She is teaching Lida to sing 'My Village,' the boy to
dance, Polenka the same. She is tearing up all the clothes, and making
them little caps like actors; she means to carry a tin basin and make
it tinkle, instead of music. . . . She won't listen to anything. . . .
Imagine the state of things! It's beyond anything!"

Lebeziatnikov would have gone on, but Sonia, who had heard him almost
breathless, snatched up her cloak and hat, and ran out of the room,
putting on her things as she went. Raskolnikov followed her and
Lebeziatnikov came after him.

"She has certainly gone mad!" he said to Raskolnikov, as they went out
into the street. "I didn't want to frighten Sofya Semyonovna, so I
said 'it seemed like it,' but there isn't a doubt of it. They say that
in consumption the tubercles sometimes occur in the brain; it's a pity
I know nothing of medicine. I did try to persuade her, but she
wouldn't listen."

"Did you talk to her about the tubercles?"

"Not precisely of the tubercles. Besides, she wouldn't have
understood! But what I say is, that if you convince a person logically
that he has nothing to cry about, he'll stop crying. That's clear. Is
it your conviction that he won't?"

"Life would be too easy if it were so," answered Raskolnikov.

"Excuse me, excuse me; of course it would be rather difficult for
Katerina Ivanovna to understand, but do you know that in Paris they
have been conducting serious experiments as to the possibility of
curing the insane, simply by logical argument? One professor there, a
scientific man of standing, lately dead, believed in the possibility
of such treatment. His idea was that there's nothing really wrong with
the physical organism of the insane, and that insanity is, so to say,
a logical mistake, an error of judgment, an incorrect view of things.
He gradually showed the madman his error and, would you believe it,
they say he was successful? But as he made use of douches too, how far
success was due to that treatment remains uncertain. . . . So it seems
at least."

Raskolnikov had long ceased to listen. Reaching the house where he
lived, he nodded to Lebeziatnikov and went in at the gate.
Lebeziatnikov woke up with a start, looked about him and hurried on.

Raskolnikov went into his little room and stood still in the middle of
it. Why had he come back here? He looked at the yellow and tattered
paper, at the dust, at his sofa. . . . From the yard came a loud
continuous knocking; someone seemed to be hammering . . . He went to
the window, rose on tiptoe and looked out into the yard for a long
time with an air of absorbed attention. But the yard was empty and he
could not see who was hammering. In the house on the left he saw some
open windows; on the window-sills were pots of sickly-looking
geraniums. Linen was hung out of the windows . . . He knew it all by
heart. He turned away and sat down on the sofa.

Never, never had he felt himself so fearfully alone!

Yes, he felt once more that he would perhaps come to hate Sonia, now
that he had made her more miserable.

"Why had he gone to her to beg for her tears? What need had he to
poison her life? Oh, the meanness of it!"

"I will remain alone," he said resolutely, "and she shall not come to
the prison!"

Five minutes later he raised his head with a strange smile. That was a
strange thought.

"Perhaps it really would be better in Siberia," he thought suddenly.

He could not have said how long he sat there with vague thoughts
surging through his mind. All at once the door opened and Dounia came
in. At first she stood still and looked at him from the doorway, just
as he had done at Sonia; then she came in and sat down in the same
place as yesterday, on the chair facing him. He looked silently and
almost vacantly at her.

"Don't be angry, brother; I've only come for one minute," said Dounia.

Her face looked thoughtful but not stern. Her eyes were bright and
soft. He saw that she too had come to him with love.

"Brother, now I know all, /all/. Dmitri Prokofitch has explained and
told me everything. They are worrying and persecuting you through a
stupid and contemptible suspicion. . . . Dmitri Prokofitch told me
that there is no danger, and that you are wrong in looking upon it
with such horror. I don't think so, and I fully understand how
indignant you must be, and that that indignation may have a permanent
effect on you. That's what I am afraid of. As for your cutting
yourself off from us, I don't judge you, I don't venture to judge you,
and forgive me for having blamed you for it. I feel that I too, if I
had so great a trouble, should keep away from everyone. I shall tell
mother nothing /of this/, but I shall talk about you continually and
shall tell her from you that you will come very soon. Don't worry
about her; /I/ will set her mind at rest; but don't you try her too
much--come once at least; remember that she is your mother. And now I
have come simply to say" (Dounia began to get up) "that if you should
need me or should need . . . all my life or anything . . . call me,
and I'll come. Good-bye!"

She turned abruptly and went towards the door.

"Dounia!" Raskolnikov stopped her and went towards her. "That
Razumihin, Dmitri Prokofitch, is a very good fellow."

Dounia flushed slightly.

"Well?" she asked, waiting a moment.

"He is competent, hardworking, honest and capable of real love. . . .
Good-bye, Dounia."

Dounia flushed crimson, then suddenly she took alarm.

"But what does it mean, brother? Are we really parting for ever that
you . . . give me such a parting message?"

"Never mind. . . . Good-bye."

He turned away, and walked to the window. She stood a moment, looked
at him uneasily, and went out troubled.

No, he was not cold to her. There was an instant (the very last one)
when he had longed to take her in his arms and /say good-bye/ to her,
and even /to tell/ her, but he had not dared even to touch her hand.

"Afterwards she may shudder when she remembers that I embraced her,
and will feel that I stole her kiss."

"And would /she/ stand that test?" he went on a few minutes later to
himself. "No, she wouldn't; girls like that can't stand things! They
never do."

And he thought of Sonia.

There was a breath of fresh air from the window. The daylight was
fading. He took up his cap and went out.

He could not, of course, and would not consider how ill he was. But
all this continual anxiety and agony of mind could not but affect him.
And if he were not lying in high fever it was perhaps just because
this continual inner strain helped to keep him on his legs and in
possession of his faculties. But this artificial excitement could not
last long.

He wandered aimlessly. The sun was setting. A special form of misery
had begun to oppress him of late. There was nothing poignant, nothing
acute about it; but there was a feeling of permanence, of eternity
about it; it brought a foretaste of hopeless years of this cold leaden
misery, a foretaste of an eternity "on a square yard of space."
Towards evening this sensation usually began to weigh on him more

"With this idiotic, purely physical weakness, depending on the sunset
or something, one can't help doing something stupid! You'll go to
Dounia, as well as to Sonia," he muttered bitterly.

He heard his name called. He looked round. Lebeziatnikov rushed up to

"Only fancy, I've been to your room looking for you. Only fancy, she's
carried out her plan, and taken away the children. Sofya Semyonovna
and I have had a job to find them. She is rapping on a frying-pan and
making the children dance. The children are crying. They keep stopping
at the cross-roads and in front of shops; there's a crowd of fools
running after them. Come along!"

"And Sonia?" Raskolnikov asked anxiously, hurrying after

"Simply frantic. That is, it's not Sofya Semyonovna's frantic, but
Katerina Ivanovna, though Sofya Semyonova's frantic too. But Katerina
Ivanovna is absolutely frantic. I tell you she is quite mad. They'll
be taken to the police. You can fancy what an effect that will have.
. . . They are on the canal bank, near the bridge now, not far from
Sofya Semyonovna's, quite close."

On the canal bank near the bridge and not two houses away from the one
where Sonia lodged, there was a crowd of people, consisting
principally of gutter children. The hoarse broken voice of Katerina
Ivanovna could be heard from the bridge, and it certainly was a
strange spectacle likely to attract a street crowd. Katerina Ivanovna
in her old dress with the green shawl, wearing a torn straw hat,
crushed in a hideous way on one side, was really frantic. She was
exhausted and breathless. Her wasted consumptive face looked more
suffering than ever, and indeed out of doors in the sunshine a
consumptive always looks worse than at home. But her excitement did
not flag, and every moment her irritation grew more intense. She
rushed at the children, shouted at them, coaxed them, told them before
the crowd how to dance and what to sing, began explaining to them why
it was necessary, and driven to desperation by their not
understanding, beat them. . . . Then she would make a rush at the
crowd; if she noticed any decently dressed person stopping to look,
she immediately appealed to him to see what these children "from a
genteel, one may say aristocratic, house" had been brought to. If she
heard laughter or jeering in the crowd, she would rush at once at the
scoffers and begin squabbling with them. Some people laughed, others
shook their heads, but everyone felt curious at the sight of the
madwoman with the frightened children. The frying-pan of which
Lebeziatnikov had spoken was not there, at least Raskolnikov did not
see it. But instead of rapping on the pan, Katerina Ivanovna began
clapping her wasted hands, when she made Lida and Kolya dance and
Polenka sing. She too joined in the singing, but broke down at the
second note with a fearful cough, which made her curse in despair and
even shed tears. What made her most furious was the weeping and terror
of Kolya and Lida. Some effort had been made to dress the children up
as street singers are dressed. The boy had on a turban made of
something red and white to look like a Turk. There had been no costume
for Lida; she simply had a red knitted cap, or rather a night cap that
had belonged to Marmeladov, decorated with a broken piece of white
ostrich feather, which had been Katerina Ivanovna's grandmother's and
had been preserved as a family possession. Polenka was in her everyday
dress; she looked in timid perplexity at her mother, and kept at her
side, hiding her tears. She dimly realised her mother's condition, and
looked uneasily about her. She was terribly frightened of the street
and the crowd. Sonia followed Katerina Ivanovna, weeping and
beseeching her to return home, but Katerina Ivanovna was not to be

"Leave off, Sonia, leave off," she shouted, speaking fast, panting and
coughing. "You don't know what you ask; you are like a child! I've
told you before that I am not coming back to that drunken German. Let
everyone, let all Petersburg see the children begging in the streets,
though their father was an honourable man who served all his life in
truth and fidelity, and one may say died in the service." (Katerina
Ivanovna had by now invented this fantastic story and thoroughly
believed it.) "Let that wretch of a general see it! And you are silly,
Sonia: what have we to eat? Tell me that. We have worried you enough,
I won't go on so! Ah, Rodion Romanovitch, is that you?" she cried,
seeing Raskolnikov and rushing up to him. "Explain to this silly girl,
please, that nothing better could be done! Even organ-grinders earn
their living, and everyone will see at once that we are different,
that we are an honourable and bereaved family reduced to beggary. And
that general will lose his post, you'll see! We shall perform under
his windows every day, and if the Tsar drives by, I'll fall on my
knees, put the children before me, show them to him, and say 'Defend
us father.' He is the father of the fatherless, he is merciful, he'll
protect us, you'll see, and that wretch of a general. . . . Lida,
/tenez vous droite/! Kolya, you'll dance again. Why are you
whimpering? Whimpering again! What are you afraid of, stupid?
Goodness, what am I to do with them, Rodion Romanovitch? If you only
knew how stupid they are! What's one to do with such children?"

And she, almost crying herself--which did not stop her uninterrupted,
rapid flow of talk--pointed to the crying children. Raskolnikov tried
to persuade her to go home, and even said, hoping to work on her
vanity, that it was unseemly for her to be wandering about the streets
like an organ-grinder, as she was intending to become the principal of
a boarding-school.

"A boarding-school, ha-ha-ha! A castle in the air," cried Katerina
Ivanovna, her laugh ending in a cough. "No, Rodion Romanovitch, that
dream is over! All have forsaken us! . . . And that general. . . . You
know, Rodion Romanovitch, I threw an inkpot at him--it happened to be
standing in the waiting-room by the paper where you sign your name. I
wrote my name, threw it at him and ran away. Oh, the scoundrels, the
scoundrels! But enough of them, now I'll provide for the children
myself, I won't bow down to anybody! She has had to bear enough for
us!" she pointed to Sonia. "Polenka, how much have you got? Show me!
What, only two farthings! Oh, the mean wretches! They give us nothing,
only run after us, putting their tongues out. There, what is that
blockhead laughing at?" (She pointed to a man in the crowd.) "It's all
because Kolya here is so stupid; I have such a bother with him. What
do you want, Polenka? Tell me in French, /parlez-moi franais/. Why,
I've taught you, you know some phrases. Else how are you to show that
you are of good family, well brought-up children, and not at all like
other organ-grinders? We aren't going to have a Punch and Judy show in
the street, but to sing a genteel song. . . . Ah, yes, . . . What are
we to sing? You keep putting me out, but we . . . you see, we are
standing here, Rodion Romanovitch, to find something to sing and get
money, something Kolya can dance to. . . . For, as you can fancy, our
performance is all impromptu. . . . We must talk it over and rehearse
it all thoroughly, and then we shall go to Nevsky, where there are far
more people of good society, and we shall be noticed at once. Lida
knows 'My Village' only, nothing but 'My Village,' and everyone sings
that. We must sing something far more genteel. . . . Well, have you
thought of anything, Polenka? If only you'd help your mother! My
memory's quite gone, or I should have thought of something. We really
can't sing 'An Hussar.' Ah, let us sing in French, 'Cinq sous,' I have
taught it you, I have taught it you. And as it is in French, people
will see at once that you are children of good family, and that will
be much more touching. . . . You might sing 'Marlborough s'en va-t-en
guerre,' for that's quite a child's song and is sung as a lullaby in
all the aristocratic houses.

"/Marlborough s'en va-t-en guerre
Ne sait quand reviendra/ . . ."

she began singing. "But no, better sing 'Cinq sous.' Now, Kolya, your
hands on your hips, make haste, and you, Lida, keep turning the other
way, and Polenka and I will sing and clap our hands!

"/Cinq sous, cinq sous
Pour monter notre menage."

(Cough-cough-cough!) "Set your dress straight, Polenka, it's slipped
down on your shoulders," she observed, panting from coughing. "Now
it's particularly necessary to behave nicely and genteelly, that all
may see that you are well-born children. I said at the time that the
bodice should be cut longer, and made of two widths. It was your
fault, Sonia, with your advice to make it shorter, and now you see the
child is quite deformed by it. . . . Why, you're all crying again!
What's the matter, stupids? Come, Kolya, begin. Make haste, make
haste! Oh, what an unbearable child!

"Cinq sous, cinq sous.

"A policeman again! What do you want?"

A policeman was indeed forcing his way through the crowd. But at that
moment a gentleman in civilian uniform and an overcoat--a solid-
looking official of about fifty with a decoration on his neck (which
delighted Katerina Ivanovna and had its effect on the policeman)--
approached and without a word handed her a green three-rouble note.
His face wore a look of genuine sympathy. Katerina Ivanovna took it
and gave him a polite, even ceremonious, bow.

"I thank you, honoured sir," she began loftily. "The causes that have
induced us (take the money, Polenka: you see there are generous and
honourable people who are ready to help a poor gentlewoman in
distress). You see, honoured sir, these orphans of good family--I
might even say of aristocratic connections--and that wretch of a
general sat eating grouse . . . and stamped at my disturbing him.
'Your excellency,' I said, 'protect the orphans, for you knew my late
husband, Semyon Zaharovitch, and on the very day of his death the
basest of scoundrels slandered his only daughter.' . . . That
policeman again! Protect me," she cried to the official. "Why is that
policeman edging up to me? We have only just run away from one of
them. What do you want, fool?"

"It's forbidden in the streets. You mustn't make a disturbance."

"It's you're making a disturbance. It's just the same as if I were
grinding an organ. What business is it of yours?"

"You have to get a licence for an organ, and you haven't got one, and
in that way you collect a crowd. Where do you lodge?"

"What, a license?" wailed Katerina Ivanovna. "I buried my husband
to-day. What need of a license?"

"Calm yourself, madam, calm yourself," began the official. "Come
along; I will escort you. . . . This is no place for you in the crowd.
You are ill."

"Honoured sir, honoured sir, you don't know," screamed Katerina
Ivanovna. "We are going to the Nevsky. . . . Sonia, Sonia! Where is
she? She is crying too! What's the matter with you all? Kolya, Lida,
where are you going?" she cried suddenly in alarm. "Oh, silly
children! Kolya, Lida, where are they off to? . . ."

Kolya and Lida, scared out of their wits by the crowd, and their
mother's mad pranks, suddenly seized each other by the hand, and ran
off at the sight of the policeman who wanted to take them away
somewhere. Weeping and wailing, poor Katerina Ivanovna ran after them.
She was a piteous and unseemly spectacle, as she ran, weeping and
panting for breath. Sonia and Polenka rushed after them.

"Bring them back, bring them back, Sonia! Oh stupid, ungrateful
children! . . . Polenka! catch them. . . . It's for your sakes
I . . ."

She stumbled as she ran and fell down.

"She's cut herself, she's bleeding! Oh, dear!" cried Sonia, bending
over her.

All ran up and crowded around. Raskolnikov and Lebeziatnikov were the
first at her side, the official too hastened up, and behind him the
policeman who muttered, "Bother!" with a gesture of impatience,
feeling that the job was going to be a troublesome one.

"Pass on! Pass on!" he said to the crowd that pressed forward.

"She's dying," someone shouted.

"She's gone out of her mind," said another.

"Lord have mercy upon us," said a woman, crossing herself. "Have they
caught the little girl and the boy? They're being brought back, the
elder one's got them. . . . Ah, the naughty imps!"

When they examined Katerina Ivanovna carefully, they saw that she had
not cut herself against a stone, as Sonia thought, but that the blood
that stained the pavement red was from her chest.

"I've seen that before," muttered the official to Raskolnikov and
Lebeziatnikov; "that's consumption; the blood flows and chokes the
patient. I saw the same thing with a relative of my own not long ago
. . . nearly a pint of blood, all in a minute. . . . What's to be done
though? She is dying."

"This way, this way, to my room!" Sonia implored. "I live here! . . .
See, that house, the second from here. . . . Come to me, make haste,"
she turned from one to the other. "Send for the doctor! Oh, dear!"

Thanks to the official's efforts, this plan was adopted, the policeman

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