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> CHAPTER VII

An elegant carriage stood in the middle of the road with a pair of
spirited grey horses; there was no one in it, and the coachman had got
off his box and stood by; the horses were being held by the bridle.
. . . A mass of people had gathered round, the police standing in
front. One of them held a lighted lantern which he was turning on
something lying close to the wheels. Everyone was talking, shouting,
exclaiming; the coachman seemed at a loss and kept repeating:

"What a misfortune! Good Lord, what a misfortune!"

Raskolnikov pushed his way in as far as he could, and succeeded at
last in seeing the object of the commotion and interest. On the ground
a man who had been run over lay apparently unconscious, and covered
with blood; he was very badly dressed, but not like a workman. Blood
was flowing from his head and face; his face was crushed, mutilated
and disfigured. He was evidently badly injured.

"Merciful heaven!" wailed the coachman, "what more could I do? If I'd
been driving fast or had not shouted to him, but I was going quietly,
not in a hurry. Everyone could see I was going along just like
everybody else. A drunken man can't walk straight, we all know. . . .
I saw him crossing the street, staggering and almost falling. I
shouted again and a second and a third time, then I held the horses
in, but he fell straight under their feet! Either he did it on purpose
or he was very tipsy. . . . The horses are young and ready to take
fright . . . they started, he screamed . . . that made them worse.
That's how it happened!"

"That's just how it was," a voice in the crowd confirmed.

"He shouted, that's true, he shouted three times," another voice
declared.

"Three times it was, we all heard it," shouted a third.

But the coachman was not very much distressed and frightened. It was
evident that the carriage belonged to a rich and important person who
was awaiting it somewhere; the police, of course, were in no little
anxiety to avoid upsetting his arrangements. All they had to do was to
take the injured man to the police station and the hospital. No one
knew his name.

Meanwhile Raskolnikov had squeezed in and stooped closer over him. The
lantern suddenly lighted up the unfortunate man's face. He recognised
him.

"I know him! I know him!" he shouted, pushing to the front. "It's a
government clerk retired from the service, Marmeladov. He lives close
by in Kozel's house. . . . Make haste for a doctor! I will pay, see?"
He pulled money out of his pocket and showed it to the policeman. He
was in violent agitation.

The police were glad that they had found out who the man was.
Raskolnikov gave his own name and address, and, as earnestly as if it
had been his father, he besought the police to carry the unconscious
Marmeladov to his lodging at once.

"Just here, three houses away," he said eagerly, "the house belongs to
Kozel, a rich German. He was going home, no doubt drunk. I know him,
he is a drunkard. He has a family there, a wife, children, he has one
daughter. . . . It will take time to take him to the hospital, and
there is sure to be a doctor in the house. I'll pay, I'll pay! At
least he will be looked after at home . . . they will help him at
once. But he'll die before you get him to the hospital." He managed to
slip something unseen into the policeman's hand. But the thing was
straightforward and legitimate, and in any case help was closer here.
They raised the injured man; people volunteered to help.

Kozel's house was thirty yards away. Raskolnikov walked behind,
carefully holding Marmeladov's head and showing the way.

"This way, this way! We must take him upstairs head foremost. Turn
round! I'll pay, I'll make it worth your while," he muttered.

Katerina Ivanovna had just begun, as she always did at every free
moment, walking to and fro in her little room from window to stove and
back again, with her arms folded across her chest, talking to herself
and coughing. Of late she had begun to talk more than ever to her
eldest girl, Polenka, a child of ten, who, though there was much she
did not understand, understood very well that her mother needed her,
and so always watched her with her big clever eyes and strove her
utmost to appear to understand. This time Polenka was undressing her
little brother, who had been unwell all day and was going to bed. The
boy was waiting for her to take off his shirt, which had to be washed
at night. He was sitting straight and motionless on a chair, with a
silent, serious face, with his legs stretched out straight before him
--heels together and toes turned out.

He was listening to what his mother was saying to his sister, sitting
perfectly still with pouting lips and wide-open eyes, just as all good
little boys have to sit when they are undressed to go to bed. A little
girl, still younger, dressed literally in rags, stood at the screen,
waiting for her turn. The door on to the stairs was open to relieve
them a little from the clouds of tobacco smoke which floated in from
the other rooms and brought on long terrible fits of coughing in the
poor, consumptive woman. Katerina Ivanovna seemed to have grown even
thinner during that week and the hectic flush on her face was brighter
than ever.

"You wouldn't believe, you can't imagine, Polenka," she said, walking
about the room, "what a happy luxurious life we had in my papa's house
and how this drunkard has brought me, and will bring you all, to ruin!
Papa was a civil colonel and only a step from being a governor; so
that everyone who came to see him said, 'We look upon you, Ivan
Mihailovitch, as our governor!' When I . . . when . . ." she coughed
violently, "oh, cursed life," she cried, clearing her throat and
pressing her hands to her breast, "when I . . . when at the last ball
. . . at the marshal's . . . Princess Bezzemelny saw me--who gave me
the blessing when your father and I were married, Polenka--she asked
at once 'Isn't that the pretty girl who danced the shawl dance at the
breaking-up?' (You must mend that tear, you must take your needle and
darn it as I showed you, or to-morrow--cough, cough, cough--he will
make the hole bigger," she articulated with effort.) "Prince
Schegolskoy, a kammerjunker, had just come from Petersburg then . . .
he danced the mazurka with me and wanted to make me an offer next day;
but I thanked him in flattering expressions and told him that my heart
had long been another's. That other was your father, Polya; papa was
fearfully angry. . . . Is the water ready? Give me the shirt, and the
stockings! Lida," said she to the youngest one, "you must manage
without your chemise to-night . . . and lay your stockings out with it
. . . I'll wash them together. . . . How is it that drunken vagabond
doesn't come in? He has worn his shirt till it looks like a dish-
clout, he has torn it to rags! I'd do it all together, so as not to
have to work two nights running! Oh, dear! (Cough, cough, cough,
cough!) Again! What's this?" she cried, noticing a crowd in the
passage and the men, who were pushing into her room, carrying a
burden. "What is it? What are they bringing? Mercy on us!"

"Where are we to put him?" asked the policeman, looking round when
Marmeladov, unconscious and covered with blood, had been carried in.

"On the sofa! Put him straight on the sofa, with his head this way,"
Raskolnikov showed him.

"Run over in the road! Drunk!" someone shouted in the passage.

Katerina Ivanovna stood, turning white and gasping for breath. The
children were terrified. Little Lida screamed, rushed to Polenka and
clutched at her, trembling all over.

Having laid Marmeladov down, Raskolnikov flew to Katerina Ivanovna.

"For God's sake be calm, don't be frightened!" he said, speaking
quickly, "he was crossing the road and was run over by a carriage,
don't be frightened, he will come to, I told them bring him here . . .
I've been here already, you remember? He will come to; I'll pay!"

"He's done it this time!" Katerina Ivanovna cried despairingly and she
rushed to her husband.

Raskolnikov noticed at once that she was not one of those women who
swoon easily. She instantly placed under the luckless man's head a
pillow, which no one had thought of and began undressing and examining
him. She kept her head, forgetting herself, biting her trembling lips
and stifling the screams which were ready to break from her.

Raskolnikov meanwhile induced someone to run for a doctor. There was
a doctor, it appeared, next door but one.

"I've sent for a doctor," he kept assuring Katerina Ivanovna, "don't
be uneasy, I'll pay. Haven't you water? . . . and give me a napkin or
a towel, anything, as quick as you can. . . . He is injured, but not
killed, believe me. . . . We shall see what the doctor says!"

Katerina Ivanovna ran to the window; there, on a broken chair in the
corner, a large earthenware basin full of water had been stood, in
readiness for washing her children's and husband's linen that night.
This washing was done by Katerina Ivanovna at night at least twice a
week, if not oftener. For the family had come to such a pass that they
were practically without change of linen, and Katerina Ivanovna could
not endure uncleanliness and, rather than see dirt in the house, she
preferred to wear herself out at night, working beyond her strength
when the rest were asleep, so as to get the wet linen hung on a line
and dry by the morning. She took up the basin of water at
Raskolnikov's request, but almost fell down with her burden. But the
latter had already succeeded in finding a towel, wetted it and began
washing the blood off Marmeladov's face.

Katerina Ivanovna stood by, breathing painfully and pressing her hands
to her breast. She was in need of attention herself. Raskolnikov began
to realise that he might have made a mistake in having the injured man
brought here. The policeman, too, stood in hesitation.

"Polenka," cried Katerina Ivanovna, "run to Sonia, make haste. If you
don't find her at home, leave word that her father has been run over
and that she is to come here at once . . . when she comes in. Run,
Polenka! there, put on the shawl."

"Run your fastest!" cried the little boy on the chair suddenly, after
which he relapsed into the same dumb rigidity, with round eyes, his
heels thrust forward and his toes spread out.

Meanwhile the room had become so full of people that you couldn't have
dropped a pin. The policemen left, all except one, who remained for a
time, trying to drive out the people who came in from the stairs.
Almost all Madame Lippevechsel's lodgers had streamed in from the
inner rooms of the flat; at first they were squeezed together in the
doorway, but afterwards they overflowed into the room. Katerina
Ivanovna flew into a fury.

"You might let him die in peace, at least," she shouted at the crowd,
"is it a spectacle for you to gape at? With cigarettes! (Cough, cough,
cough!) You might as well keep your hats on. . . . And there is one in
his hat! . . . Get away! You should respect the dead, at least!"

Her cough choked her--but her reproaches were not without result. They
evidently stood in some awe of Katerina Ivanovna. The lodgers, one
after another, squeezed back into the doorway with that strange inner
feeling of satisfaction which may be observed in the presence of a
sudden accident, even in those nearest and dearest to the victim, from
which no living man is exempt, even in spite of the sincerest sympathy
and compassion.

Voices outside were heard, however, speaking of the hospital and
saying that they'd no business to make a disturbance here.

"No business to die!" cried Katerina Ivanovna, and she was rushing to
the door to vent her wrath upon them, but in the doorway came face to
face with Madame Lippevechsel who had only just heard of the accident
and ran in to restore order. She was a particularly quarrelsome and
irresponsible German.

"Ah, my God!" she cried, clasping her hands, "your husband drunken
horses have trampled! To the hospital with him! I am the landlady!"

"Amalia Ludwigovna, I beg you to recollect what you are saying,"
Katerina Ivanovna began haughtily (she always took a haughty tone with
the landlady that she might "remember her place" and even now could
not deny herself this satisfaction). "Amalia Ludwigovna . . ."

"I have you once before told that you to call me Amalia Ludwigovna may
not dare; I am Amalia Ivanovna."

"You are not Amalia Ivanovna, but Amalia Ludwigovna, and as I am not
one of your despicable flatterers like Mr. Lebeziatnikov, who's
laughing behind the door at this moment (a laugh and a cry of 'they
are at it again' was in fact audible at the door) so I shall always
call you Amalia Ludwigovna, though I fail to understand why you
dislike that name. You can see for yourself what has happened to
Semyon Zaharovitch; he is dying. I beg you to close that door at once
and to admit no one. Let him at least die in peace! Or I warn you the
Governor-General, himself, shall be informed of your conduct
to-morrow. The prince knew me as a girl; he remembers Semyon
Zaharovitch well and has often been a benefactor to him. Everyone
knows that Semyon Zaharovitch had many friends and protectors, whom he
abandoned himself from an honourable pride, knowing his unhappy
weakness, but now (she pointed to Raskolnikov) a generous young man
has come to our assistance, who has wealth and connections and whom
Semyon Zaharovitch has known from a child. You may rest assured,
Amalia Ludwigovna . . ."

All this was uttered with extreme rapidity, getting quicker and
quicker, but a cough suddenly cut short Katerina Ivanovna's eloquence.
At that instant the dying man recovered consciousness and uttered a
groan; she ran to him. The injured man opened his eyes and without
recognition or understanding gazed at Raskolnikov who was bending over
him. He drew deep, slow, painful breaths; blood oozed at the corners
of his mouth and drops of perspiration came out on his forehead. Not
recognising Raskolnikov, he began looking round uneasily. Katerina
Ivanovna looked at him with a sad but stern face, and tears trickled
from her eyes.

"My God! His whole chest is crushed! How he is bleeding," she said in
despair. "We must take off his clothes. Turn a little, Semyon
Zaharovitch, if you can," she cried to him.

Marmeladov recognised her.

"A priest," he articulated huskily.

Katerina Ivanovna walked to the window, laid her head against the
window frame and exclaimed in despair:

"Oh, cursed life!"

"A priest," the dying man said again after a moment's silence.

"They've gone for him," Katerina Ivanovna shouted to him, he obeyed
her shout and was silent. With sad and timid eyes he looked for her;
she returned and stood by his pillow. He seemed a little easier but
not for long.

Soon his eyes rested on little Lida, his favourite, who was shaking in
the corner, as though she were in a fit, and staring at him with her
wondering childish eyes.

"A-ah," he signed towards her uneasily. He wanted to say something.

"What now?" cried Katerina Ivanovna.

"Barefoot, barefoot!" he muttered, indicating with frenzied eyes the
child's bare feet.

"Be silent," Katerina Ivanovna cried irritably, "you know why she is
barefooted."

"Thank God, the doctor," exclaimed Raskolnikov, relieved.

The doctor came in, a precise little old man, a German, looking about
him mistrustfully; he went up to the sick man, took his pulse,
carefully felt his head and with the help of Katerina Ivanovna he
unbuttoned the blood-stained shirt, and bared the injured man's chest.
It was gashed, crushed and fractured, several ribs on the right side
were broken. On the left side, just over the heart, was a large,
sinister-looking yellowish-black bruise--a cruel kick from the horse's
hoof. The doctor frowned. The policeman told him that he was caught in
the wheel and turned round with it for thirty yards on the road.

"It's wonderful that he has recovered consciousness," the doctor
whispered softly to Raskolnikov.

"What do you think of him?" he asked.

"He will die immediately."

"Is there really no hope?"

"Not the faintest! He is at the last gasp. . . . His head is badly
injured, too . . . Hm . . . I could bleed him if you like, but . . .
it would be useless. He is bound to die within the next five or ten
minutes."

"Better bleed him then."

"If you like. . . . But I warn you it will be perfectly useless."

At that moment other steps were heard; the crowd in the passage
parted, and the priest, a little, grey old man, appeared in the
doorway bearing the sacrament. A policeman had gone for him at the
time of the accident. The doctor changed places with him, exchanging
glances with him. Raskolnikov begged the doctor to remain a little
while. He shrugged his shoulders and remained.

All stepped back. The confession was soon over. The dying man probably
understood little; he could only utter indistinct broken sounds.
Katerina Ivanovna took little Lida, lifted the boy from the chair,
knelt down in the corner by the stove and made the children kneel in
front of her. The little girl was still trembling; but the boy,
kneeling on his little bare knees, lifted his hand rhythmically,
crossing himself with precision and bowed down, touching the floor
with his forehead, which seemed to afford him especial satisfaction.
Katerina Ivanovna bit her lips and held back her tears; she prayed,
too, now and then pulling straight the boy's shirt, and managed to
cover the girl's bare shoulders with a kerchief, which she took from
the chest without rising from her knees or ceasing to pray. Meanwhile
the door from the inner rooms was opened inquisitively again. In the
passage the crowd of spectators from all the flats on the staircase
grew denser and denser, but they did not venture beyond the threshold.
A single candle-end lighted up the scene.

At that moment Polenka forced her way through the crowd at the door.
She came in panting from running so fast, took off her kerchief,
looked for her mother, went up to her and said, "She's coming, I met
her in the street." Her mother made her kneel beside her.

Timidly and noiselessly a young girl made her way through the crowd,
and strange was her appearance in that room, in the midst of want,
rags, death and despair. She, too, was in rags, her attire was all of
the cheapest, but decked out in gutter finery of a special stamp,
unmistakably betraying its shameful purpose. Sonia stopped short in
the doorway and looked about her bewildered, unconscious of
everything. She forgot her fourth-hand, gaudy silk dress, so unseemly
here with its ridiculous long train, and her immense crinoline that
filled up the whole doorway, and her light-coloured shoes, and the
parasol she brought with her, though it was no use at night, and the
absurd round straw hat with its flaring flame-coloured feather. Under
this rakishly-tilted hat was a pale, frightened little face with lips
parted and eyes staring in terror. Sonia was a small thin girl of
eighteen with fair hair, rather pretty, with wonderful blue eyes. She
looked intently at the bed and the priest; she too was out of breath
with running. At last whispers, some words in the crowd probably,
reached her. She looked down and took a step forward into the room,
still keeping close to the door.

The service was over. Katerina Ivanovna went up to her husband again.
The priest stepped back and turned to say a few words of admonition
and consolation to Katerina Ivanovna on leaving.

"What am I to do with these?" she interrupted sharply and irritably,
pointing to the little ones.

"God is merciful; look to the Most High for succour," the priest
began.

"Ach! He is merciful, but not to us."

"That's a sin, a sin, madam," observed the priest, shaking his head.

"And isn't that a sin?" cried Katerina Ivanovna, pointing to the dying
man.

"Perhaps those who have involuntarily caused the accident will agree
to compensate you, at least for the loss of his earnings."

"You don't understand!" cried Katerina Ivanovna angrily waving her
hand. "And why should they compensate me? Why, he was drunk and threw
himself under the horses! What earnings? He brought us in nothing but
misery. He drank everything away, the drunkard! He robbed us to get
drink, he wasted their lives and mine for drink! And thank God he's
dying! One less to keep!"

"You must forgive in the hour of death, that's a sin, madam, such
feelings are a great sin."

Katerina Ivanovna was busy with the dying man; she was giving him
water, wiping the blood and sweat from his head, setting his pillow
straight, and had only turned now and then for a moment to address the
priest. Now she flew at him almost in a frenzy.

"Ah, father! That's words and only words! Forgive! If he'd not been
run over, he'd have come home to-day drunk and his only shirt dirty
and in rags and he'd have fallen asleep like a log, and I should have
been sousing and rinsing till daybreak, washing his rags and the
children's and then drying them by the window and as soon as it was
daylight I should have been darning them. That's how I spend my
nights! . . . What's the use of talking of forgiveness! I have
forgiven as it is!"

A terrible hollow cough interrupted her words. She put her
handkerchief to her lips and showed it to the priest, pressing her
other hand to her aching chest. The handkerchief was covered with
blood. The priest bowed his head and said nothing.

Marmeladov was in the last agony; he did not take his eyes off the
face of Katerina Ivanovna, who was bending over him again. He kept
trying to say something to her; he began moving his tongue with
difficulty and articulating indistinctly, but Katerina Ivanovna,
understanding that he wanted to ask her forgiveness, called
peremptorily to him:

"Be silent! No need! I know what you want to say!" And the sick man
was silent, but at the same instant his wandering eyes strayed to the
doorway and he saw Sonia.

Till then he had not noticed her: she was standing in the shadow in a
corner.

"Who's that? Who's that?" he said suddenly in a thick gasping voice,
in agitation, turning his eyes in horror towards the door where his
daughter was standing, and trying to sit up.

"Lie down! Lie do-own!" cried Katerina Ivanovna.

With unnatural strength he had succeeded in propping himself on his
elbow. He looked wildly and fixedly for some time on his daughter, as
though not recognising her. He had never seen her before in such
attire. Suddenly he recognised her, crushed and ashamed in her
humiliation and gaudy finery, meekly awaiting her turn to say good-bye
to her dying father. His face showed intense suffering.

"Sonia! Daughter! Forgive!" he cried, and he tried to hold out his
hand to her, but losing his balance, he fell off the sofa, face
downwards on the floor. They rushed to pick him up, they put him on
the sofa; but he was dying. Sonia with a faint cry ran up, embraced
him and remained so without moving. He died in her arms.

"He's got what he wanted," Katerina Ivanovna cried, seeing her
husband's dead body. "Well, what's to be done now? How am I to bury
him! What can I give them to-morrow to eat?"

Raskolnikov went up to Katerina Ivanovna.

"Katerina Ivanovna," he began, "last week your husband told me all his
life and circumstances. . . . Believe me, he spoke of you with
passionate reverence. From that evening, when I learnt how devoted he
was to you all and how he loved and respected you especially, Katerina
Ivanovna, in spite of his unfortunate weakness, from that evening we
became friends. . . . Allow me now . . . to do something . . . to
repay my debt to my dead friend. Here are twenty roubles, I think--and
if that can be of any assistance to you, then . . . I . . . in short,
I will come again, I will be sure to come again . . . I shall,
perhaps, come again to-morrow. . . . Good-bye!"

And he went quickly out of the room, squeezing his way through the
crowd to the stairs. But in the crowd he suddenly jostled against
Nikodim Fomitch, who had heard of the accident and had come to give
instructions in person. They had not met since the scene at the police
station, but Nikodim Fomitch knew him instantly.

"Ah, is that you?" he asked him.

"He's dead," answered Raskolnikov. "The doctor and the priest have
been, all as it should have been. Don't worry the poor woman too much,
she is in consumption as it is. Try and cheer her up, if possible
. . . you are a kind-hearted man, I know . . ." he added with a smile,
looking straight in his face.

"But you are spattered with blood," observed Nikodim Fomitch, noticing
in the lamplight some fresh stains on Raskolnikov's waistcoat.

"Yes . . . I'm covered with blood," Raskolnikov said with a peculiar
air; then he smiled, nodded and went downstairs.

He walked down slowly and deliberately, feverish but not conscious of
it, entirely absorbed in a new overwhelming sensation of life and
strength that surged up suddenly within him. This sensation might be
compared to that of a man condemned to death who has suddenly been
pardoned. Halfway down the staircase he was overtaken by the priest on
his way home; Raskolnikov let him pass, exchanging a silent greeting
with him. He was just descending the last steps when he heard rapid
footsteps behind him. someone overtook him; it was Polenka. She was
running after him, calling "Wait! wait!"

He turned round. She was at the bottom of the staircase and stopped
short a step above him. A dim light came in from the yard. Raskolnikov
could distinguish the child's thin but pretty little face, looking at
him with a bright childish smile. She had run after him with a message
which she was evidently glad to give.

"Tell me, what is your name? . . . and where do you live?" she said
hurriedly in a breathless voice.

He laid both hands on her shoulders and looked at her with a sort of
rapture. It was such a joy to him to look at her, he could not have
said why.

"Who sent you?"

"Sister Sonia sent me," answered the girl, smiling still more
brightly.

"I knew it was sister Sonia sent you."

"Mamma sent me, too . . . when sister Sonia was sending me, mamma came
up, too, and said 'Run fast, Polenka.'"

"Do you love sister Sonia?"

"I love her more than anyone," Polenka answered with a peculiar
earnestness, and her smile became graver.

"And will you love me?"

By way of answer he saw the little girl's face approaching him, her
full lips na´vely held out to kiss him. Suddenly her arms as thin as
sticks held him tightly, her head rested on his shoulder and the
little girl wept softly, pressing her face against him.

"I am sorry for father," she said a moment later, raising her tear-
stained face and brushing away the tears with her hands. "It's nothing
but misfortunes now," she added suddenly with that peculiarly sedate
air which children try hard to assume when they want to speak like
grown-up people.

"Did your father love you?"

"He loved Lida most," she went on very seriously without a smile,
exactly like grown-up people, "he loved her because she is little and
because she is ill, too. And he always used to bring her presents. But
he taught us to read and me grammar and scripture, too," she added
with dignity. "And mother never used to say anything, but we knew that
she liked it and father knew it, too. And mother wants to teach me
French, for it's time my education began."

"And do you know your prayers?"

"Of course, we do! We knew them long ago. I say my prayers to myself
as I am a big girl now, but Kolya and Lida say them aloud with mother.
First they repeat the 'Ave Maria' and then another prayer: 'Lord,
forgive and bless sister Sonia,' and then another, 'Lord, forgive and
bless our second father.' For our elder father is dead and this is
another one, but we do pray for the other as well."

"Polenka, my name is Rodion. Pray sometimes for me, too. 'And Thy
servant Rodion,' nothing more."

"I'll pray for you all the rest of my life," the little girl declared
hotly, and suddenly smiling again she rushed at him and hugged him
warmly once more.

Raskolnikov told her his name and address and promised to be sure to
come next day. The child went away quite enchanted with him. It was
past ten when he came out into the street. In five minutes he was
standing on the bridge at the spot where the woman had jumped in.

"Enough," he pronounced resolutely and triumphantly. "I've done with
fancies, imaginary terrors and phantoms! Life is real! haven't I lived
just now? My life has not yet died with that old woman! The Kingdom of
Heaven to her--and now enough, madam, leave me in peace! Now for the
reign of reason and light . . . and of will, and of strength . . . and
now we will see! We will try our strength!" he added defiantly, as
though challenging some power of darkness. "And I was ready to consent
to live in a square of space!

"I am very weak at this moment, but . . . I believe my illness is all
over. I knew it would be over when I went out. By the way,
Potchinkov's house is only a few steps away. I certainly must go to
Razumihin even if it were not close by . . . let him win his bet! Let
us give him some satisfaction, too--no matter! Strength, strength is
what one wants, you can get nothing without it, and strength must be
won by strength--that's what they don't know," he added proudly and
self-confidently and he walked with flagging footsteps from the
bridge. Pride and self-confidence grew continually stronger in him; he
was becoming a different man every moment. What was it had happened to
work this revolution in him? He did not know himself; like a man
catching at a straw, he suddenly felt that he, too, 'could live, that
there was still life for him, that his life had not died with the old
woman.' Perhaps he was in too great a hurry with his conclusions, but
he did not think of that.

"But I did ask her to remember 'Thy servant Rodion' in her prayers,"
the idea struck him. "Well, that was . . . in case of emergency," he
added and laughed himself at his boyish sally. He was in the best of
spirits.

He easily found Razumihin; the new lodger was already known at
Potchinkov's and the porter at once showed him the way. Half-way
upstairs he could hear the noise and animated conversation of a big
gathering of people. The door was wide open on the stairs; he could
hear exclamations and discussion. Razumihin's room was fairly large;
the company consisted of fifteen people. Raskolnikov stopped in the
entry, where two of the landlady's servants were busy behind a screen
with two samovars, bottles, plates and dishes of pie and savouries,
brought up from the landlady's kitchen. Raskolnikov sent in for
Razumihin. He ran out delighted. At the first glance it was apparent
that he had had a great deal to drink and, though no amount of liquor
made Razumihin quite drunk, this time he was perceptibly affected by
it.

"Listen," Raskolnikov hastened to say, "I've only just come to tell
you you've won your bet and that no one really knows what may not
happen to him. I can't come in; I am so weak that I shall fall down
directly. And so good evening and good-bye! Come and see me
to-morrow."

"Do you know what? I'll see you home. If you say you're weak yourself,
you must . . ."

"And your visitors? Who is the curly-headed one who has just peeped
out?"

"He? Goodness only knows! Some friend of uncle's, I expect, or perhaps
he has come without being invited . . . I'll leave uncle with them, he
is an invaluable person, pity I can't introduce you to him now. But
confound them all now! They won't notice me, and I need a little fresh
air, for you've come just in the nick of time--another two minutes and
I should have come to blows! They are talking such a lot of wild stuff
. . . you simply can't imagine what men will say! Though why shouldn't
you imagine? Don't we talk nonsense ourselves? And let them . . .
that's the way to learn not to! . . . Wait a minute, I'll fetch
Zossimov."

Zossimov pounced upon Raskolnikov almost greedily; he showed a special
interest in him; soon his face brightened.

"You must go to bed at once," he pronounced, examining the patient as
far as he could, "and take something for the night. Will you take it?
I got it ready some time ago . . . a powder."

"Two, if you like," answered Raskolnikov. The powder was taken at
once.

"It's a good thing you are taking him home," observed Zossimov to
Razumihin--"we shall see how he is to-morrow, to-day he's not at all
amiss--a considerable change since the afternoon. Live and
learn . . ."

"Do you know what Zossimov whispered to me when we were coming out?"
Razumihin blurted out, as soon as they were in the street. "I won't
tell you everything, brother, because they are such fools. Zossimov
told me to talk freely to you on the way and get you to talk freely to
me, and afterwards I am to tell him about it, for he's got a notion in
his head that you are . . . mad or close on it. Only fancy! In the
first place, you've three times the brains he has; in the second, if
you are not mad, you needn't care a hang that he has got such a wild
idea; and thirdly, that piece of beef whose specialty is surgery has
gone mad on mental diseases, and what's brought him to this conclusion
about you was your conversation to-day with Zametov."

"Zametov told you all about it?"

"Yes, and he did well. Now I understand what it all means and so does
Zametov. . . . Well, the fact is, Rodya . . . the point is . . . I am
a little drunk now. . . . But that's . . . no matter . . . the point
is that this idea . . . you understand? was just being hatched in
their brains . . . you understand? That is, no one ventured to say it
aloud, because the idea is too absurd and especially since the arrest
of that painter, that bubble's burst and gone for ever. But why are
they such fools? I gave Zametov a bit of a thrashing at the time--
that's between ourselves, brother; please don't let out a hint that
you know of it; I've noticed he is a ticklish subject; it was at Luise
Ivanovna's. But to-day, to-day it's all cleared up. That Ilya
Petrovitch is at the bottom of it! He took advantage of your fainting
at the police station, but he is ashamed of it himself now; I know
that . . ."

Raskolnikov listened greedily. Razumihin was drunk enough to talk too
freely.

"I fainted then because it was so close and the smell of paint," said
Raskolnikov.

"No need to explain that! And it wasn't the paint only: the fever had
been coming on for a month; Zossimov testifies to that! But how
crushed that boy is now, you wouldn't believe! 'I am not worth his
little finger,' he says. Yours, he means. He has good feelings at
times, brother. But the lesson, the lesson you gave him to-day in the
Palais de Cristal, that was too good for anything! You frightened him
at first, you know, he nearly went into convulsions! You almost
convinced him again of the truth of all that hideous nonsense, and
then you suddenly--put out your tongue at him: 'There now, what do you
make of it?' It was perfect! He is crushed, annihilated now! It was
masterly, by Jove, it's what they deserve! Ah, that I wasn't there! He
was hoping to see you awfully. Porfiry, too, wants to make your
acquaintance . . ."

"Ah! . . . he too . . . but why did they put me down as mad?"

"Oh, not mad. I must have said too much, brother. . . . What struck
him, you see, was that only that subject seemed to interest you; now
it's clear why it did interest you; knowing all the circumstances
. . . and how that irritated you and worked in with your illness . . .
I am a little drunk, brother, only, confound him, he has some idea of
his own . . . I tell you, he's mad on mental diseases. But don't you
mind him . . ."

For half a minute both were silent.

"Listen, Razumihin," began Raskolnikov, "I want to tell you plainly:
I've just been at a death-bed, a clerk who died . . . I gave them all
my money . . . and besides I've just been kissed by someone who, if I
had killed anyone, would just the same . . . in fact I saw someone
else there . . . with a flame-coloured feather . . . but I am talking
nonsense; I am very weak, support me . . . we shall be at the stairs
directly . . ."

"What's the matter? What's the matter with you?" Razumihin asked
anxiously.

"I am a little giddy, but that's not the point, I am so sad, so sad
. . . like a woman. Look, what's that? Look, look!"

"What is it?"

"Don't you see? A light in my room, you see? Through the crack . . ."

They were already at the foot of the last flight of stairs, at the
level of the landlady's door, and they could, as a fact, see from
below that there was a light in Raskolnikov's garret.

"Queer! Nastasya, perhaps," observed Razumihin.

"She is never in my room at this time and she must be in bed long ago,
but . . . I don't care! Good-bye!"

"What do you mean? I am coming with you, we'll come in together!"

"I know we are going in together, but I want to shake hands here and
say good-bye to you here. So give me your hand, good-bye!"

"What's the matter with you, Rodya?"

"Nothing . . . come along . . . you shall be witness."

They began mounting the stairs, and the idea struck Razumihin that
perhaps Zossimov might be right after all. "Ah, I've upset him with my
chatter!" he muttered to himself.

When they reached the door they heard voices in the room.

"What is it?" cried Razumihin. Raskolnikov was the first to open the
door; he flung it wide and stood still in the doorway, dumbfoundered.

His mother and sister were sitting on his sofa and had been waiting an
hour and a half for him. Why had he never expected, never thought of
them, though the news that they had started, were on their way and
would arrive immediately, had been repeated to him only that day? They
had spent that hour and a half plying Nastasya with questions. She was
standing before them and had told them everything by now. They were
beside themselves with alarm when they heard of his "running away"
to-day, ill and, as they understood from her story, delirious! "Good
Heavens, what had become of him?" Both had been weeping, both had been
in anguish for that hour and a half.

A cry of joy, of ecstasy, greeted Raskolnikov's entrance. Both rushed
to him. But he stood like one dead; a sudden intolerable sensation
struck him like a thunderbolt. He did not lift his arms to embrace
them, he could not. His mother and sister clasped him in their arms,
kissed him, laughed and cried. He took a step, tottered and fell to
the ground, fainting.

Anxiety, cries of horror, moans . . . Razumihin who was standing in
the doorway flew into the room, seized the sick man in his strong arms
and in a moment had him on the sofa.

"It's nothing, nothing!" he cried to the mother and sister--"it's only
a faint, a mere trifle! Only just now the doctor said he was much
better, that he is perfectly well! Water! See, he is coming to
himself, he is all right again!"

And seizing Dounia by the arm so that he almost dislocated it, he made
her bend down to see that "he is all right again." The mother and
sister looked on him with emotion and gratitude, as their Providence.
They had heard already from Nastasya all that had been done for their
Rodya during his illness, by this "very competent young man," as
Pulcheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikov called him that evening in
conversation with Dounia.



Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Category:
General Fiction
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