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> CHAPTER V

Raskolnikov walked after him.

"What's this?" cried Svidriga´lov turning round, "I thought I
said . . ."

"It means that I am not going to lose sight of you now."

"What?"

Both stood still and gazed at one another, as though measuring their
strength.

"From all your half tipsy stories," Raskolnikov observed harshly, "I
am /positive/ that you have not given up your designs on my sister,
but are pursuing them more actively than ever. I have learnt that my
sister received a letter this morning. You have hardly been able to
sit still all this time. . . . You may have unearthed a wife on the
way, but that means nothing. I should like to make certain myself."

Raskolnikov could hardly have said himself what he wanted and of what
he wished to make certain.

"Upon my word! I'll call the police!"

"Call away!"

Again they stood for a minute facing each other. At last
Svidriga´lov's face changed. Having satisfied himself that Raskolnikov
was not frightened at his threat, he assumed a mirthful and friendly
air.

"What a fellow! I purposely refrained from referring to your affair,
though I am devoured by curiosity. It's a fantastic affair. I've put
it off till another time, but you're enough to rouse the dead. . . .
Well, let us go, only I warn you beforehand I am only going home for a
moment, to get some money; then I shall lock up the flat, take a cab
and go to spend the evening at the Islands. Now, now are you going to
follow me?"

"I'm coming to your lodgings, not to see you but Sofya Semyonovna, to
say I'm sorry not to have been at the funeral."

"That's as you like, but Sofya Semyonovna is not at home. She has
taken the three children to an old lady of high rank, the patroness of
some orphan asylums, whom I used to know years ago. I charmed the old
lady by depositing a sum of money with her to provide for the three
children of Katerina Ivanovna and subscribing to the institution as
well. I told her too the story of Sofya Semyonovna in full detail,
suppressing nothing. It produced an indescribable effect on her.
That's why Sofya Semyonovna has been invited to call to-day at the X.
Hotel where the lady is staying for the time."

"No matter, I'll come all the same."

"As you like, it's nothing to me, but I won't come with you; here we
are at home. By the way, I am convinced that you regard me with
suspicion just because I have shown such delicacy and have not so far
troubled you with questions . . . you understand? It struck you as
extraordinary; I don't mind betting it's that. Well, it teaches one to
show delicacy!"

"And to listen at doors!"

"Ah, that's it, is it?" laughed Svidriga´lov. "Yes, I should have been
surprised if you had let that pass after all that has happened. Ha-ha!
Though I did understand something of the pranks you had been up to and
were telling Sofya Semyonovna about, what was the meaning of it?
Perhaps I am quite behind the times and can't understand. For
goodness' sake, explain it, my dear boy. Expound the latest theories!"

"You couldn't have heard anything. You're making it all up!"

"But I'm not talking about that (though I did hear something). No, I'm
talking of the way you keep sighing and groaning now. The Schiller in
you is in revolt every moment, and now you tell me not to listen at
doors. If that's how you feel, go and inform the police that you had
this mischance: you made a little mistake in your theory. But if you
are convinced that one mustn't listen at doors, but one may murder old
women at one's pleasure, you'd better be off to America and make
haste. Run, young man! There may still be time. I'm speaking
sincerely. Haven't you the money? I'll give you the fare."

"I'm not thinking of that at all," Raskolnikov interrupted with
disgust.

"I understand (but don't put yourself out, don't discuss it if you
don't want to). I understand the questions you are worrying over--
moral ones, aren't they? Duties of citizen and man? Lay them all
aside. They are nothing to you now, ha-ha! You'll say you are still a
man and a citizen. If so you ought not to have got into this coil.
It's no use taking up a job you are not fit for. Well, you'd better
shoot yourself, or don't you want to?"

"You seem trying to enrage me, to make me leave you."

"What a queer fellow! But here we are. Welcome to the staircase. You
see, that's the way to Sofya Semyonovna. Look, there is no one at
home. Don't you believe me? Ask Kapernaumov. She leaves the key with
him. Here is Madame de Kapernaumov herself. Hey, what? She is rather
deaf. Has she gone out? Where? Did you hear? She is not in and won't
be till late in the evening probably. Well, come to my room; you
wanted to come and see me, didn't you? Here we are. Madame Resslich's
not at home. She is a woman who is always busy, an excellent woman I
assure you. . . . She might have been of use to you if you had been a
little more sensible. Now, see! I take this five-per-cent bond out of
the bureau--see what a lot I've got of them still--this one will be
turned into cash to-day. I mustn't waste any more time. The bureau is
locked, the flat is locked, and here we are again on the stairs. Shall
we take a cab? I'm going to the Islands. Would you like a lift? I'll
take this carriage. Ah, you refuse? You are tired of it! Come for a
drive! I believe it will come on to rain. Never mind, we'll put down
the hood. . . ."

Svidriga´lov was already in the carriage. Raskolnikov decided that his
suspicions were at least for that moment unjust. Without answering a
word he turned and walked back towards the Hay Market. If he had only
turned round on his way he might have seen Svidriga´lov get out not a
hundred paces off, dismiss the cab and walk along the pavement. But he
had turned the corner and could see nothing. Intense disgust drew him
away from Svidriga´lov.

"To think that I could for one instant have looked for help from that
coarse brute, that depraved sensualist and blackguard!" he cried.

Raskolnikov's judgment was uttered too lightly and hastily: there was
something about Svidriga´lov which gave him a certain original, even a
mysterious character. As concerned his sister, Raskolnikov was
convinced that Svidriga´lov would not leave her in peace. But it was
too tiresome and unbearable to go on thinking and thinking about this.

When he was alone, he had not gone twenty paces before he sank, as
usual, into deep thought. On the bridge he stood by the railing and
began gazing at the water. And his sister was standing close by him.

He met her at the entrance to the bridge, but passed by without seeing
her. Dounia had never met him like this in the street before and was
struck with dismay. She stood still and did not know whether to call
to him or not. Suddenly she saw Svidriga´lov coming quickly from the
direction of the Hay Market.

He seemed to be approaching cautiously. He did not go on to the
bridge, but stood aside on the pavement, doing all he could to avoid
Raskolnikov's seeing him. He had observed Dounia for some time and had
been making signs to her. She fancied he was signalling to beg her not
to speak to her brother, but to come to him.

That was what Dounia did. She stole by her brother and went up to
Svidriga´lov.

"Let us make haste away," Svidriga´lov whispered to her, "I don't want
Rodion Romanovitch to know of our meeting. I must tell you I've been
sitting with him in the restaurant close by, where he looked me up and
I had great difficulty in getting rid of him. He has somehow heard of
my letter to you and suspects something. It wasn't you who told him,
of course, but if not you, who then?"

"Well, we've turned the corner now," Dounia interrupted, "and my
brother won't see us. I have to tell you that I am going no further
with you. Speak to me here. You can tell it all in the street."

"In the first place, I can't say it in the street; secondly, you must
hear Sofya Semyonovna too; and, thirdly, I will show you some papers.
. . . Oh well, if you won't agree to come with me, I shall refuse to
give any explanation and go away at once. But I beg you not to forget
that a very curious secret of your beloved brother's is entirely in my
keeping."

Dounia stood still, hesitating, and looked at Svidriga´lov with
searching eyes.

"What are you afraid of?" he observed quietly. "The town is not the
country. And even in the country you did me more harm than I did you."

"Have you prepared Sofya Semyonovna?"

"No, I have not said a word to her and am not quite certain whether
she is at home now. But most likely she is. She has buried her
stepmother to-day: she is not likely to go visiting on such a day. For
the time I don't want to speak to anyone about it and I half regret
having spoken to you. The slightest indiscretion is as bad as betrayal
in a thing like this. I live there in that house, we are coming to it.
That's the porter of our house--he knows me very well; you see, he's
bowing; he sees I'm coming with a lady and no doubt he has noticed
your face already and you will be glad of that if you are afraid of me
and suspicious. Excuse my putting things so coarsely. I haven't a flat
to myself; Sofya Semyonovna's room is next to mine--she lodges in the
next flat. The whole floor is let out in lodgings. Why are you
frightened like a child? Am I really so terrible?"

Svidriga´lov's lips were twisted in a condescending smile; but he was
in no smiling mood. His heart was throbbing and he could scarcely
breathe. He spoke rather loud to cover his growing excitement. But
Dounia did not notice this peculiar excitement, she was so irritated
by his remark that she was frightened of him like a child and that he
was so terrible to her.

"Though I know that you are not a man . . . of honour, I am not in the
least afraid of you. Lead the way," she said with apparent composure,
but her face was very pale.

Svidriga´lov stopped at Sonia's room.

"Allow me to inquire whether she is at home. . . . She is not. How
unfortunate! But I know she may come quite soon. If she's gone out, it
can only be to see a lady about the orphans. Their mother is dead.
. . . I've been meddling and making arrangements for them. If Sofya
Semyonovna does not come back in ten minutes, I will send her to you,
to-day if you like. This is my flat. These are my two rooms. Madame
Resslich, my landlady, has the next room. Now, look this way. I will
show you my chief piece of evidence: this door from my bedroom leads
into two perfectly empty rooms, which are to let. Here they are . . .
You must look into them with some attention."

Svidriga´lov occupied two fairly large furnished rooms. Dounia was
looking about her mistrustfully, but saw nothing special in the
furniture or position of the rooms. Yet there was something to
observe, for instance, that Svidriga´lov's flat was exactly between
two sets of almost uninhabited apartments. His rooms were not entered
directly from the passage, but through the landlady's two almost empty
rooms. Unlocking a door leading out of his bedroom, Svidriga´lov
showed Dounia the two empty rooms that were to let. Dounia stopped in
the doorway, not knowing what she was called to look upon, but
Svidriga´lov hastened to explain.

"Look here, at this second large room. Notice that door, it's locked.
By the door stands a chair, the only one in the two rooms. I brought
it from my rooms so as to listen more conveniently. Just the other
side of the door is Sofya Semyonovna's table; she sat there talking to
Rodion Romanovitch. And I sat here listening on two successive
evenings, for two hours each time--and of course I was able to learn
something, what do you think?"

"You listened?"

"Yes, I did. Now come back to my room; we can't sit down here."

He brought Avdotya Romanovna back into his sitting-room and offered
her a chair. He sat down at the opposite side of the table, at least
seven feet from her, but probably there was the same glow in his eyes
which had once frightened Dounia so much. She shuddered and once more
looked about her distrustfully. It was an involuntary gesture; she
evidently did not wish to betray her uneasiness. But the secluded
position of Svidriga´lov's lodging had suddenly struck her. She wanted
to ask whether his landlady at least were at home, but pride kept her
from asking. Moreover, she had another trouble in her heart
incomparably greater than fear for herself. She was in great distress.

"Here is your letter," she said, laying it on the table. "Can it be
true what you write? You hint at a crime committed, you say, by my
brother. You hint at it too clearly; you daren't deny it now. I must
tell you that I'd heard of this stupid story before you wrote and
don't believe a word of it. It's a disgusting and ridiculous
suspicion. I know the story and why and how it was invented. You can
have no proofs. You promised to prove it. Speak! But let me warn you
that I don't believe you! I don't believe you!"

Dounia said this, speaking hurriedly, and for an instant the colour
rushed to her face.

"If you didn't believe it, how could you risk coming alone to my
rooms? Why have you come? Simply from curiosity?"

"Don't torment me. Speak, speak!"

"There's no denying that you are a brave girl. Upon my word, I thought
you would have asked Mr. Razumihin to escort you here. But he was not
with you nor anywhere near. I was on the look-out. It's spirited of
you, it proves you wanted to spare Rodion Romanovitch. But everything
is divine in you. . . . About your brother, what am I to say to you?
You've just seen him yourself. What did you think of him?"

"Surely that's not the only thing you are building on?"

"No, not on that, but on his own words. He came here on two successive
evenings to see Sofya Semyonovna. I've shown you where they sat. He
made a full confession to her. He is a murderer. He killed an old
woman, a pawnbroker, with whom he had pawned things himself. He killed
her sister too, a pedlar woman called Lizaveta, who happened to come
in while he was murdering her sister. He killed them with an axe he
brought with him. He murdered them to rob them and he did rob them. He
took money and various things. . . . He told all this, word for word,
to Sofya Semyonovna, the only person who knows his secret. But she has
had no share by word or deed in the murder; she was as horrified at it
as you are now. Don't be anxious, she won't betray him."

"It cannot be," muttered Dounia, with white lips. She gasped for
breath. "It cannot be. There was not the slightest cause, no sort of
ground. . . . It's a lie, a lie!"

"He robbed her, that was the cause, he took money and things. It's
true that by his own admission he made no use of the money or things,
but hid them under a stone, where they are now. But that was because
he dared not make use of them."

"But how could he steal, rob? How could he dream of it?" cried Dounia,
and she jumped up from the chair. "Why, you know him, and you've seen
him, can he be a thief?"

She seemed to be imploring Svidriga´lov; she had entirely forgotten
her fear.

"There are thousands and millions of combinations and possibilities,
Avdotya Romanovna. A thief steals and knows he is a scoundrel, but
I've heard of a gentleman who broke open the mail. Who knows, very
likely he thought he was doing a gentlemanly thing! Of course I should
not have believed it myself if I'd been told of it as you have, but I
believe my own ears. He explained all the causes of it to Sofya
Semyonovna too, but she did not believe her ears at first, yet she
believed her own eyes at last."

"What . . . were the causes?"

"It's a long story, Avdotya Romanovna. Here's . . . how shall I tell
you?--A theory of a sort, the same one by which I for instance
consider that a single misdeed is permissible if the principal aim is
right, a solitary wrongdoing and hundreds of good deeds! It's galling
too, of course, for a young man of gifts and overweening pride to know
that if he had, for instance, a paltry three thousand, his whole
career, his whole future would be differently shaped and yet not to
have that three thousand. Add to that, nervous irritability from
hunger, from lodging in a hole, from rags, from a vivid sense of the
charm of his social position and his sister's and mother's position
too. Above all, vanity, pride and vanity, though goodness knows he may
have good qualities too. . . . I am not blaming him, please don't
think it; besides, it's not my business. A special little theory came
in too--a theory of a sort--dividing mankind, you see, into material
and superior persons, that is persons to whom the law does not apply
owing to their superiority, who make laws for the rest of mankind, the
material, that is. It's all right as a theory, /une thÚorie comme une
autre/. Napoleon attracted him tremendously, that is, what affected
him was that a great many men of genius have not hesitated at
wrongdoing, but have overstepped the law without thinking about it. He
seems to have fancied that he was a genius too--that is, he was
convinced of it for a time. He has suffered a great deal and is still
suffering from the idea that he could make a theory, but was incapable
of boldly overstepping the law, and so he is not a man of genius. And
that's humiliating for a young man of any pride, in our day
especially. . . ."

"But remorse? You deny him any moral feeling then? Is he like that?"

"Ah, Avdotya Romanovna, everything is in a muddle now; not that it was
ever in very good order. Russians in general are broad in their ideas,
Avdotya Romanovna, broad like their land and exceedingly disposed to
the fantastic, the chaotic. But it's a misfortune to be broad without
a special genius. Do you remember what a lot of talk we had together
on this subject, sitting in the evenings on the terrace after supper?
Why, you used to reproach me with breadth! Who knows, perhaps we were
talking at the very time when he was lying here thinking over his
plan. There are no sacred traditions amongst us, especially in the
educated class, Avdotya Romanovna. At the best someone will make them
up somehow for himself out of books or from some old chronicle. But
those are for the most part the learned and all old fogeys, so that it
would be almost ill-bred in a man of society. You know my opinions in
general, though. I never blame anyone. I do nothing at all, I
persevere in that. But we've talked of this more than once before. I
was so happy indeed as to interest you in my opinions. . . . You are
very pale, Avdotya Romanovna."

"I know his theory. I read that article of his about men to whom all
is permitted. Razumihin brought it to me."

"Mr. Razumihin? Your brother's article? In a magazine? Is there such
an article? I didn't know. It must be interesting. But where are you
going, Avdotya Romanovna?"

"I want to see Sofya Semyonovna," Dounia articulated faintly. "How do
I go to her? She has come in, perhaps. I must see her at once. Perhaps
she . . ."

Avdotya Romanovna could not finish. Her breath literally failed her.

"Sofya Semyonovna will not be back till night, at least I believe not.
She was to have been back at once, but if not, then she will not be in
till quite late."

"Ah, then you are lying! I see . . . you were lying . . . lying all
the time. . . . I don't believe you! I don't believe you!" cried
Dounia, completely losing her head.

Almost fainting, she sank on to a chair which Svidriga´lov made haste
to give her.

"Avdotya Romanovna, what is it? Control yourself! Here is some water.
Drink a little. . . ."

He sprinkled some water over her. Dounia shuddered and came to
herself.

"It has acted violently," Svidriga´lov muttered to himself, frowning.
"Avdotya Romanovna, calm yourself! Believe me, he has friends. We will
save him. Would you like me to take him abroad? I have money, I can
get a ticket in three days. And as for the murder, he will do all
sorts of good deeds yet, to atone for it. Calm yourself. He may become
a great man yet. Well, how are you? How do you feel?"

"Cruel man! To be able to jeer at it! Let me go . . ."

"Where are you going?"

"To him. Where is he? Do you know? Why is this door locked? We came in
at that door and now it is locked. When did you manage to lock it?"

"We couldn't be shouting all over the flat on such a subject. I am far
from jeering; it's simply that I'm sick of talking like this. But how
can you go in such a state? Do you want to betray him? You will drive
him to fury, and he will give himself up. Let me tell you, he is
already being watched; they are already on his track. You will simply
be giving him away. Wait a little: I saw him and was talking to him
just now. He can still be saved. Wait a bit, sit down; let us think it
over together. I asked you to come in order to discuss it alone with
you and to consider it thoroughly. But do sit down!"

"How can you save him? Can he really be saved?"

Dounia sat down. Svidriga´lov sat down beside her.

"It all depends on you, on you, on you alone," he begin with glowing
eyes, almost in a whisper and hardly able to utter the words for
emotion.

Dounia drew back from him in alarm. He too was trembling all over.

"You . . . one word from you, and he is saved. I . . . I'll save him.
I have money and friends. I'll send him away at once. I'll get a
passport, two passports, one for him and one for me. I have friends
. . . capable people. . . . If you like, I'll take a passport for you
. . . for your mother. . . . What do you want with Razumihin? I love
you too. . . . I love you beyond everything. . . . Let me kiss the hem
of your dress, let me, let me. . . . The very rustle of it is too much
for me. Tell me, 'do that,' and I'll do it. I'll do everything. I will
do the impossible. What you believe, I will believe. I'll do anything
--anything! Don't, don't look at me like that. Do you know that you
are killing me? . . ."

He was almost beginning to rave. . . . Something seemed suddenly to go
to his head. Dounia jumped up and rushed to the door.

"Open it! Open it!" she called, shaking the door. "Open it! Is there
no one there?"

Svidriga´lov got up and came to himself. His still trembling lips
slowly broke into an angry mocking smile.

"There is no one at home," he said quietly and emphatically. "The
landlady has gone out, and it's waste of time to shout like that. You
are only exciting yourself uselessly."

"Where is the key? Open the door at once, at once, base man!"

"I have lost the key and cannot find it."

"This is an outrage," cried Dounia, turning pale as death. She rushed
to the furthest corner, where she made haste to barricade herself with
a little table.

She did not scream, but she fixed her eyes on her tormentor and
watched every movement he made.

Svidriga´lov remained standing at the other end of the room facing
her. He was positively composed, at least in appearance, but his face
was pale as before. The mocking smile did not leave his face.

"You spoke of outrage just now, Avdotya Romanovna. In that case you
may be sure I've taken measures. Sofya Semyonovna is not at home. The
Kapernaumovs are far away--there are five locked rooms between. I am
at least twice as strong as you are and I have nothing to fear,
besides. For you could not complain afterwards. You surely would not
be willing actually to betray your brother? Besides, no one would
believe you. How should a girl have come alone to visit a solitary man
in his lodgings? So that even if you do sacrifice your brother, you
could prove nothing. It is very difficult to prove an assault, Avdotya
Romanovna."

"Scoundrel!" whispered Dounia indignantly.

"As you like, but observe I was only speaking by way of a general
proposition. It's my personal conviction that you are perfectly right
--violence is hateful. I only spoke to show you that you need have no
remorse even if . . . you were willing to save your brother of your
own accord, as I suggest to you. You would be simply submitting to
circumstances, to violence, in fact, if we must use that word. Think
about it. Your brother's and your mother's fate are in your hands. I
will be your slave . . . all my life . . . I will wait here."

Svidriga´lov sat down on the sofa about eight steps from Dounia. She
had not the slightest doubt now of his unbending determination.
Besides, she knew him. Suddenly she pulled out of her pocket a
revolver, cocked it and laid it in her hand on the table. Svidriga´lov
jumped up.

"Aha! So that's it, is it?" he cried, surprised but smiling
maliciously. "Well, that completely alters the aspect of affairs.
You've made things wonderfully easier for me, Avdotya Romanovna. But
where did you get the revolver? Was it Mr. Razumihin? Why, it's my
revolver, an old friend! And how I've hunted for it! The shooting
lessons I've given you in the country have not been thrown away."

"It's not your revolver, it belonged to Marfa Petrovna, whom you
killed, wretch! There was nothing of yours in her house. I took it
when I began to suspect what you were capable of. If you dare to
advance one step, I swear I'll kill you." She was frantic.

"But your brother? I ask from curiosity," said Svidriga´lov, still
standing where he was.

"Inform, if you want to! Don't stir! Don't come nearer! I'll shoot!
You poisoned your wife, I know; you are a murderer yourself!" She held
the revolver ready.

"Are you so positive I poisoned Marfa Petrovna?"

"You did! You hinted it yourself; you talked to me of poison. . . . I
know you went to get it . . . you had it in readiness. . . . It was
your doing. . . . It must have been your doing. . . . Scoundrel!"

"Even if that were true, it would have been for your sake . . . you
would have been the cause."

"You are lying! I hated you always, always. . . ."

"Oho, Avdotya Romanovna! You seem to have forgotten how you softened
to me in the heat of propaganda. I saw it in your eyes. Do you
remember that moonlight night, when the nightingale was singing?"

"That's a lie," there was a flash of fury in Dounia's eyes, "that's a
lie and a libel!"

"A lie? Well, if you like, it's a lie. I made it up. Women ought not
to be reminded of such things," he smiled. "I know you will shoot, you
pretty wild creature. Well, shoot away!"

Dounia raised the revolver, and deadly pale, gazed at him, measuring
the distance and awaiting the first movement on his part. Her lower
lip was white and quivering and her big black eyes flashed like fire.
He had never seen her so handsome. The fire glowing in her eyes at the
moment she raised the revolver seemed to kindle him and there was a
pang of anguish in his heart. He took a step forward and a shot rang
out. The bullet grazed his hair and flew into the wall behind. He
stood still and laughed softly.

"The wasp has stung me. She aimed straight at my head. What's this?
Blood?" he pulled out his handkerchief to wipe the blood, which flowed
in a thin stream down his right temple. The bullet seemed to have just
grazed the skin.

Dounia lowered the revolver and looked at Svidriga´lov not so much in
terror as in a sort of wild amazement. She seemed not to understand
what she was doing and what was going on.

"Well, you missed! Fire again, I'll wait," said Svidriga´lov softly,
still smiling, but gloomily. "If you go on like that, I shall have
time to seize you before you cock again."

Dounia started, quickly cocked the pistol and again raised it.

"Let me be," she cried in despair. "I swear I'll shoot again. I . . .
I'll kill you."

"Well . . . at three paces you can hardly help it. But if you don't
. . . then." His eyes flashed and he took two steps forward. Dounia
shot again: it missed fire.

"You haven't loaded it properly. Never mind, you have another charge
there. Get it ready, I'll wait."

He stood facing her, two paces away, waiting and gazing at her with
wild determination, with feverishly passionate, stubborn, set eyes.
Dounia saw that he would sooner die than let her go. "And . . . now,
of course she would kill him, at two paces!" Suddenly she flung away
the revolver.

"She's dropped it!" said Svidriga´lov with surprise, and he drew a
deep breath. A weight seemed to have rolled from his heart--perhaps
not only the fear of death; indeed he may scarcely have felt it at
that moment. It was the deliverance from another feeling, darker and
more bitter, which he could not himself have defined.

He went to Dounia and gently put his arm round her waist. She did not
resist, but, trembling like a leaf, looked at him with suppliant eyes.
He tried to say something, but his lips moved without being able to
utter a sound.

"Let me go," Dounia implored. Svidriga´lov shuddered. Her voice now
was quite different.

"Then you don't love me?" he asked softly. Dounia shook her head.

"And . . . and you can't? Never?" he whispered in despair.

"Never!"

There followed a moment of terrible, dumb struggle in the heart of
Svidriga´lov. He looked at her with an indescribable gaze. Suddenly he
withdrew his arm, turned quickly to the window and stood facing it.
Another moment passed.

"Here's the key."

He took it out of the left pocket of his coat and laid it on the table
behind him, without turning or looking at Dounia.

"Take it! Make haste!"

He looked stubbornly out of the window. Dounia went up to the table to
take the key.

"Make haste! Make haste!" repeated Svidriga´lov, still without turning
or moving. But there seemed a terrible significance in the tone of
that "make haste."

Dounia understood it, snatched up the key, flew to the door, unlocked
it quickly and rushed out of the room. A minute later, beside herself,
she ran out on to the canal bank in the direction of X. Bridge.

Svidriga´lov remained three minutes standing at the window. At last he
slowly turned, looked about him and passed his hand over his forehead.
A strange smile contorted his face, a pitiful, sad, weak smile, a
smile of despair. The blood, which was already getting dry, smeared
his hand. He looked angrily at it, then wetted a towel and washed his
temple. The revolver which Dounia had flung away lay near the door and
suddenly caught his eye. He picked it up and examined it. It was a
little pocket three-barrel revolver of old-fashioned construction.
There were still two charges and one capsule left in it. It could be
fired again. He thought a little, put the revolver in his pocket, took
his hat and went out.



Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Category:
General Fiction
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