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> CHAPTER III

"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
perplexed.

"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
movement.

"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
Sonia.

"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
face.

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
Petrovitch.

"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
Lebeziatnikov.

"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
pass!"

"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
fortnight!"

"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.



Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Category:
General Fiction
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