Part Two. I

He lay like that for a very long time. Occasionally he seemed to wake up, and in those moments noticed that night had come long ago, yet it did not occur to him to get up. Finally he noticed light, as if it were already daytime. He was lying on his back on the sofa, still stupefied from his recent oblivion. Terrible, desperate screams came to him sharply from the street—which, by the way, he heard under his window every night between two and three o’clock. They were what wakened him now. “Ah! So the drunks are coming out of the taverns,” he thought, “it’s past two.” And suddenly he jumped up as if someone had torn him from the sofa. “What! Past two already!” He sat down on the sofa and—remembered everything! Suddenly, in an instant, he remembered everything!

At first he thought he would lose his mind. A terrible chill seized him; but the chill was also caused by a fever that had begun long ago in his sleep. Now, however, he was suddenly stricken with such shivering that his teeth almost flew out and everything in him came loose. He opened the door and began to listen: the whole house was fast asleep. He looked with amazement at himself and everything in the room around him, unable to understand how, when he came back yesterday, he could forget to put the door on the hook, and throw himself on the sofa not only without undressing but even still wearing his hat: it had rolled off and was lying right there on the floor near his pillow. “If anyone had come in, what would he have thought? That I’m drunk, but…” He dashed to the window. There was light enough, and he hurriedly began looking himself all over, from head to foot, all his clothes: were there any traces? But that was no way to do it. Chilled and shivering, he began taking everything off and examining it all again more thoroughly. He turned everything over and over, to the last thread and scrap, and, not trusting himself, repeated the examination three times. But there seemed to be nothing, no traces, except in one place, where the cuff of his trousers was frayed and hung down like a fringe; there were thick traces of caked blood on this fringe. He seized a big clasp knife and cut the fringe off. There seemed to be nothing else. Suddenly he remembered that the purse and the things he had taken from the old woman’s trunk were still in his pockets! Until now he had not even thought of taking them out and hiding them! He had not even remembered about them while he was examining his clothes! What was wrong with him? He rushed at once, took them out, and threw them on the table. Having taken everything out, and even reversed the pockets to make sure nothing was left, he carried the whole pile into a corner. There, in the very corner, low down, the wallpaper was coming away and was torn in one place: he at once began stuffing everything into this hole behind the paper. “It all fits! Everything, out of sight, and the purse, too!” he thought joyfully, straightening up and staring dumbly at the hole in the corner, which bulged more than ever. Suddenly he shook all over with horror: “My God,” he whispered in despair, “what’s wrong with me? Do you call that hidden? Is that any way to hide things?”

True, he had not been counting on things; he thought there would only be money and therefore did not prepare a place ahead of time. “But now, why was I rejoicing now? Is that any way to hide things? Reason truly is abandoning me!” Exhausted, he sat down on the sofa and was seized at once by an unbearable shivering. Mechanically, he pulled at his former student’s greatcoat, warm but now almost in rags, which was lying next to him on a chair, covered himself with it, and once more sleep and delirium took hold of him. He sank into oblivion.

Not more than five minutes later he jumped up again, and immediately, in a frenzy, rushed again to his clothes. “How could I have fallen asleep again, when nothing has been done! That’s it, that’s it—the loop under the armhole—I haven’t removed it yet! I forgot! Such a thing, such evidence, and I forgot!” He pulled the loop off and quickly began tearing it into pieces, stuffing them under the pillow among his linen. “Pieces of torn cloth will never arouse suspicion; no, probably not, probably not!” he repeated, standing in the middle of the room, and with painfully strained attention he began looking around again, on the floor and everywhere, to see if he had forgotten anything else. The conviction that everything, even memory, even simple reasoning-power was abandoning him, began to torment him unbearably. “What, can it be starting already, can the reckoning come so soon? See, see— there it is!” Indeed, the shreds of fringe he had cut off his trousers were simply lying on the floor, in the middle of the room, for the first comer to see! “What can be wrong with me!” he cried out again, like a lost man.

Here a strange thought came into his head: perhaps all his clothes were covered with blood, perhaps there were stains all over them, and he simply did not see, did not notice them, because his reason was failing, going to pieces…his mind darkening…Suddenly he remembered that there was also blood on the purse. “Bah! So then there must be blood inside the pocket as well, because the purse was still wet when I put it in my pocket!” He instantly turned the pocket out and, sure enough, there were traces, stains on the lining. “So reason hasn’t deserted me altogether, so there’s still some understanding and memory left, since I suddenly remembered and figured it out myself!” he thought triumphantly, taking a deep and joyful breath. “It was just feverish weakness, a momentary delirium.” And he tore the whole lining out of the left pocket of his trousers. At that moment a ray of sunlight fell on his left boot: there, where his sock peeped out of the boot, marks seemed to have appeared. He kicked the boot off: “Marks, indeed! The whole toe of the sock is soaked with blood.” So he must have carelessly stepped into that pool… “But what to do with it now? Where am I to put the sock, the fringe, the pocket?”

He raked it all up with his hand and stood in the middle of the room. “Into the stove? But they’ll start rummaging in the stove first of all. Burn them? But what with? I don’t even have any matches. No, better go out somewhere and throw it all away. Yes, better throw it all away!” he kept repeating, sitting down again on the sofa, “and right now, this minute, without delay! … ” But instead, his head lay back on the pillow again; the unbearable chill again turned him to ice; again he pulled the greatcoat over him. And for a long time, for several hours, he kept imagining in fits and starts that it was “time to go, now, somewhere, without delay, and throw it all away, out of sight, quickly, quickly!” He tried several times to rise from the sofa, he wanted to get up but no longer could. Finally he was awakened by a loud knocking at the door.

“Open up! Are you alive in there? He just goes on snoring!” Nastasya shouted, banging on the door with her fist. “He just lies there snoring, day in and day out, like a dog! A dog, that’s what he is! Open up, will you? It’s past ten!”

“Maybe he’s not home!” a male voice said.

“Bah! That’s the caretaker’s voice…What does he want?” He jumped and sat up on the sofa. His heart was pounding so hard that it even hurt.

“And who put it on the hook, then?” Nastasya objected. “See, he’s locking himself in now! Are you afraid you’ll get stolen, or what? Open the door, noodle, wake up!”

“What do they want? Why the caretaker? It’s all been found out. Do I resist, or open? Ah, who gives a . . .”

He bent forward, reached out, and lifted the hook.

His whole room was of a size that made it possible to lift the hook without getting out of bed.

True enough, the caretaker and Nastasya were standing there.

Nastasya looked him over somehow strangely. He gave the caretaker a defiant and desperate look. The latter handed him a gray paper, folded in two and sealed with bottle wax.

“A summons, from the station,” he pronounced, giving him the paper.

“What station?”

“The police, I mean; they’re calling you in to the station. What other station…”

“The police! … What for? . . .”

“How should I know? They want you, so go.” He looked at him intently, glanced around, and turned to leave.

“So you really got sick?” observed Nastasya, who had not taken her eyes off him. The caretaker also turned back for a moment. “He’s had a fever since yesterday,” she added.

He made no reply and held the paper in his hands without unsealing it.

“Don’t get up, then,” Nastasya continued, moved to pity and seeing that he was lowering his feet from the sofa. “Don’t go, if you’re sick; there’s no fire. What’s that in your hand?”

He looked: in his right hand were the cut-off pieces of fringe, the sock, and the scraps of the torn-out pocket. He had slept with them like that. Thinking about it afterwards, he recalled that even half-awakening in his fever, he would clutch them tightly in his hand and fall asleep again that way.

“Look, he’s collected some rags and he sleeps with them like a treasure…” And Nastasya dissolved in her morbidly nervous laughter. He instantly shoved it all under the greatcoat and fixed her with a piercing look. Though at the moment he could understand very little in any full sense, he still felt that a man would not be treated that way if he were about to be arrested. “But…the police?”

“Have some tea. Would you like some? I’ll bring it; I’ve got some left . . .”

“No…I’ll go, I’ll go now,” he muttered, getting to his feet.

“But you won’t even make it down the stairs.”

“I’ll go . . .”

“Suit yourself.”

She left after the caretaker. He immediately rushed to the light to examine the sock and the fringe. “There are stains, but not very noticeable; it’s all dirty, rubbed off, discolored by now. No one would see anything unless they knew beforehand. So Nastasya couldn’t have noticed anything from where she was, thank God!” Then he tremblingly unsealed the summons and began to read; he spent a long time reading it and finally understood. It was an ordinary summons from the local police to come to the chief’s office that day at half past nine.

“But this is unheard of. I’ve never had any personal dealings with the police! And why precisely today?” he thought, in tormenting bewilderment. “Lord, get it over with!” He fell on his knees to pray, but burst out laughing instead—not at praying, but at himself. He began hurriedly to dress. “If I’m to perish, let me perish, I don’t care! Must put that sock on!” he suddenly thought. “It will rub away even more in the dust and the marks will disappear.” But as soon as he put it on, he immediately pulled it off again with loathing and horror. He pulled it off, but, realizing that he had no other, he picked it up and put it on again—and again burst out laughing. “It’s all conventional, all relative, all just a matter of form,” he thought fleetingly, with only a small part of his mind, while his whole body trembled. “There, I put it on! I did finally put it on!” But his laughter immediately gave way to despair. “No, I’m not strong enough . . .” the thought came to him.

His legs were trembling. “From fear,” he muttered to himself. His head was spinning and throbbing from high fever. “It’s a ruse! They want to lure me there by a ruse and suddenly throw me off with everything,” he continued to himself, walking out to the stairs. “The worst of it is that I’m almost delirious…I might blurt out some foolishness . . .”

On the stairs he remembered that he was leaving the things as they were, in the hole behind the wallpaper. “And there may be a search right now, while I’m out,” he remembered and stopped. But such despair and, if one may put it so, such cynicism of perdition suddenly possessed him that he waved his hand and went on.

“Only get it over with! . . .”

Again it was unbearably hot out; not a drop of rain had fallen for all those days. Again dust, brick, lime; again the stench from the shops and taverns; again drunks all the time, Finnish peddlers, half-dilapidated cabbies. The sun flashed brightly in his eyes, so that it hurt him to look, and he became quite dizzy—the usual sensation of a man in a fever who suddenly steps outside on a bright, sunny day.

Coming to the turn onto yesterday V street, he peered down it with tormenting anxiety, at that house…and immediately looked away.

“If they ask, maybe I’ll tell them,” he thought, approaching the station.

The station was less than a quarter of a mile from his house. It had just been moved into new quarters, on the fourth floor of a different building. He had been in the former quarters once, briefly, but very long ago. Passing under the gateway, he saw a stairway to the right, with a peasant coming down it carrying a book. “Must be a caretaker; so the station must be there,” and on that surmise he started up the stairs. He did not want to ask anyone about anything.

“I’ll walk in, fall on my knees, and tell them everything . . .” he thought, going up to the fourth floor.

The stairway was narrow, steep, and all covered with swill. The doors to the kitchens of all the apartments, on all four floors, opened onto the stairs and stood open most of the day. This made it terribly stifling. Up and down the stairs went caretakers with books under their arms, messengers, and various people of both sexes—visitors. The door of the office itself was also wide open. He went in and stopped in the anteroom. Here a number of peasants were standing and waiting. And here, too, it was extremely stifling; moreover, from the newly painted rooms a nauseating odor of fresh, not quite cured paint, made with rancid oil, assailed his nostrils. After waiting a little while, he made the decision to move on, into the next room. All the rooms were tiny and low. A terrible impatience drew him farther and farther. No one took any notice of him. In the second room some scriveners were sitting and writing; they were dressed only slightly better than he was—a strange assortment of people by the look of it. He turned to one of them.

“What do you want?”

He showed him the summons from the office.

“You’re a student?” the man asked, glancing at the summons.

“A former student.”

The scrivener looked him over, though without any curiosity. He was a somehow especially disheveled man, with a fixed idea in his eyes.

“I won’t get anything out of this one,” Raskolnikov thought, “it’s all the same to him.”

“Go in there, to the clerk,” said the scrivener, jabbing his finger forward, pointing to the very last room.

He entered that room (the fourth one down); it was small and chock-full of the public—people whose clothes were somewhat cleaner than in the other rooms. Among the visitors were two ladies. One of them was in mourning, humbly dressed, and sat across the table from the clerk, writing something to his dictation. The other, an extremely plump and conspicuous woman, with reddish-purple blotches, all too magnificently dressed, and with a brooch the size of a saucer on her bosom, stood to one side waiting for something. Raskolnikov handed his summons to the clerk. He gave it a passing glance, said “Wait,” and continued to occupy himself with the mourning lady.

He breathed more freely. “Must be for something else!” Gradually he began to take heart; with all his might he exhorted himself to take heart and pull himself together.

“Some foolishness, some most trifling indiscretion, and I can give myself away completely! Hm…too bad it’s so airless here,” he added, “stifling…My head is spinning even more…my mind, too . . .”

He felt a terrible disorder within himself. He was afraid of losing his control. He tried to bang on to something, to think at least of something, some completely unrelated thing, but could not manage to do it. The clerk, however, interested him greatly: he kept hoping to read something in his face, to pry into him. This was a very young man, about twenty-two years old, with a dark and mobile physiognomy which looked older than its years, fashionably and foppishly dressed, his hair parted behind, all combed and pomaded, with many rings and signet-rings on his white, brush-scrubbed fingers, and gold chains on his waistcoat. He even spoke a few words of French, and quite satisfactorily, with a foreigner who was there.

“Why don’t you sit down, Louisa Ivanovna,” he said in passing to the bedizened reddish-purple lady, who remained standing as if she did not dare to sit down, though there was a chair beside her.

“Ich danke,[1] she said, and quietly, with a silken rustling, lowered herself onto the chair. Her light-blue dress with white lace trimming expanded around the chair like a balloon and filled almost half the office. There was a reek of perfume. But the lady was obviously abashed that she was taking up half the space and that she reeked so much of perfume, and her smile, though cowardly and insolent at once, was also obviously uneasy.

The mourning lady finally finished and started to get up. Suddenly there was some noise and an officer came in, quite dashingly and somehow with a special swing of the shoulders at each step, tossed his cockaded cap on the table, and sat himself down in an armchair. The magnificent lady simply leaped from her seat as soon as she saw him, and began curtsying to him with some special sort of rapture; but the officer did not pay the slightest attention to her, and she now did not dare to sit down again in his presence. He was a lieutenant, the police chief’s assistant, with reddish moustaches sticking out horizontally on both sides, and with extremely small features, which, incidentally, expressed nothing in particular apart from a certain insolence. He gave a sidelong and somewhat indignant glance at Raskolnikov: his costume really was too wretched, and yet, despite such humiliation, his bearing was not in keeping with his costume; Raskolnikov, from lack of prudence, looked at him too directly and steadily, so that he even became offended.

“What do you want?” he shouted, probably surprised that such a ragamuffin did not even think of effacing himself before the lightning of his gaze.

“I was summoned…by a notice . . .” Raskolnikov managed to reply.

“It’s that case to do with the recovery of money, from him, the student, “ the clerk spoke hurriedly, tearing himself away from his papers. “Here, sir!” and he flipped the register over for Raskolnikov, pointing to a place in it. “Read this!”

“Money? What money?” Raskolnikov thought. “But…then it surely can’t be that!” And he gave a joyful start. He suddenly felt terribly, inexpressibly light. Everything fell from his shoulders.

“And what time does it say you should come, my very dear sir?” the lieutenant shouted, getting more and more insulted for some unknown reason. “It says you should come at nine, and it’s already past eleven!”

“It was brought to me only a quarter of an hour ago,” Raskolnikov replied loudly, over his shoulder, becoming suddenly and unexpectedly angry himself, and even finding a certain pleasure in it. “It’s enough that I came at all, sick with fever as I am.”

“Kindly do not shout!”

“I’m not shouting, I’m speaking quite evenly; it’s you who are shouting at me; but I am a student and I will not allow anyone to shout at me.”

The assistant flared up so violently that for the first moment he was even unable to say anything articulate, and only some sort of spluttering flew out of his mouth. He leaped from his seat.

“Kindly be still! You are in an official place. No r-r-rudeness, sir!”

“But you, too, are in an official place,” Raskolnikov cried, “and you are not only shouting but also smoking a cigarette, and thereby being disrespectful towards all of us!” Having said this, Raskolnikov felt an inexpressible delight.

The clerk was looking at them with a smile. The fiery lieutenant was visibly taken aback.

“That is none of your business, sir!” he finally yelled, in a somehow unnaturally loud voice. “You will kindly give the response that is demanded of you. Show him, Alexander Grigorievich. There are complaints against you! You owe money! Just look at this bright young falcon!”

But Raskolnikov was no longer listening and greedily took hold of the paper, hastening to find the answer. He read it over once, then twice, and did not understand.

“What is this?” he asked the clerk.

“It is a request for the recovery of money owed by you on a promissory note. You must either pay it, including all expenses, fines, and so forth, or give a written response stating when you will be able to pay, and at the same time sign an obligation not to leave the capital before payment is made and not to sell or conceal your property. And the creditor is free to sell your property, and to take action against you in accordance with the law.”

“But I…don’t owe anyone anything!”

“That is not our business. Our office has received for recovery a promissory note in the amount of one hundred and fifteen roubles, overdue and legally protested, which you gave to the widow of the collegiate assessor Zarnitsyn nine months ago, and which was given by her in payment to the court councillor Chebarov, for which reason we have invited you here to respond.”

“But she’s my landlady!”

“So what if she is your landlady?”

The clerk looked at him with a condescending smile of regret and, at the same time, of a certain triumph, as at a novice who has just come under fire for the first time: “Well,” he seemed to be saying, “how do you feel now?” But what did he care, what did he care now about a promissory note and its recovery! Was it worth the least anxiety now, even the least attention? He stood, read, listened, replied, even asked questions himself, but all mechanically. The triumph of self-preservation, the rescue from overwhelming danger—that was what filled his entire being at the moment, with no foresight, no analysis, no future riddling and unriddling, no doubts or questions. It was a moment of complete, spontaneous, purely animal joy. But at that same moment something like thunder and lightning broke out in the office. The lieutenant, still all shaken by disrespect, all aflame, and apparently wishing to shore up his wounded pride, fell with all his thunderbolts upon the unfortunate “magnificent lady,” who, ever since he walked in, had been looking at him with the most stupid smile.

“And you, you so-and-so,” he suddenly shouted at the top of his lungs (the mourning lady had already gone out), “what went on at your place last night? Eh? More of your disgrace and debauchery, for the whole street to hear? More fighting and drinking? Are you longing for the penitentiary? Didn’t I tell you, didn’t I warn you ten times that you wouldn’t get away the eleventh? And you do it again and again, you so-and-so, you!”

The paper simply dropped from Raskolnikov’s hands, and he gazed wildly at the magnificent lady who had just been given such an unceremonious trimming; however, he quickly realized what it was all about and even began to enjoy the whole story very much. He listened with pleasure, so much so that he even wanted to laugh, laugh, laugh…All his nerves were twitching.

“Ilya Petrovich!” the clerk began solicitously, but stopped and bided his time, because the boiling lieutenant could be held back only by main force—he knew it from his own experience.

As for the magnificent lady, at first the thunder and lightning set her all atremble; but, strangely, the stronger and more numerous the curses, the more amiable she looked, and the more charming was the smile she turned on the terrible lieutenant. She kept shifting her feet and curtsying all the time, waiting impatiently until she got the chance to put a word in, and she finally did get it.

“I did not haff any noise und fighting, Mr. Kapitàn,” she suddenly started to patter, like peas spilling in a pan, in brisk Russian, but with a strong German accent, “und it vas not, it vas not any shcandal, but he came trunken, und I vill tell it all, Mr. Kapitàn, und it is not my fault… mine is a noble house, Mr. Kapitàn, und a noble behavior, Mr. Kapitàn, und I alvays, alvays didn’t vant any shcandal. But he is coming completely trunken, und then again is asking for three more pottles, und then he raised one of his foots und begint to play the fortepian mit his foot, und this is not nice at all in a noble house, und he ganz broke the fortepian, und he had no maniers, no maniers at all, und I tell him so. Und he took the pottle und begint to push everyone from behind mit the pottle. Und here I run und call the caretaker, und Karl comes, und he bitten Karl in the eye, und he hitten Henriette in the eye, too, und me he shlapped five times on the cheek. Und this is so indelicate in a noble house, Mr. Kapitân, und I am yelling. Und he opened the vindow on the canal und shtarted sqvealing out the vindow like a little pig; und it is a disgrace. Und mit all his might he is sqvealing out the vindow to the street like a little pig; und vat a disgrace it is! Fui, fui, fui! Und Karl pulled him avay from the vindow by his frock coat, und here, it’s true, Mr. Kapitân, he tore sein Rock. Und then he shouted that Mann muss pay him fifteen roubles fine. Und I myself, Mr. Kapitân, paid him five roubles for sein Rock. Und this is not a noble guest, Mr. Kapitàn, und he did all sorts of shcandal. I vill gedruckt a big satire on you, he says, because I can write anything about you in all the newspapers.”

“So he’s one of those writers?”

“Yes, Mr. Kapitân, und he is such an unnoble guest, Mr. Kapitân, ven in a noble house…”

“So, so, so! Enough! I’ve told you before, I’ve told you over and over . . .”

“Ilya Petrovich!” the clerk said again, significantly. The lieutenant quickly glanced at him; the clerk nodded slightly.

“… So, my most esteemed Laviza Ivanovna, here is my final word for you, and, believe me, it is final,” the lieutenant continued. “If there is one more scandal in your noble house, I will send you in person to zugunder,[2] to use a high-class expression. Do you hear me? So a writer, a littérateur, took five roubles for his coattail in a ‘noble house’? That’s writers for you!” He cast a contemptuous glance at Raskolnikov. “There was a similar story in a tavern two days ago: one of them had dinner and then didn’t want to pay for it—’or else I’ll put you into a satire,’ he said. Another one, on a steamboat last week, denounced a respectable family, a state councillor, his wife and daughter, in the foulest language. And another got himself kicked out of a pastry shop the other day. That’s how they are, these writers, littérateurs, students, town criers…pah! Off with you! I’ll stop by your place myself…so watch out! Do you hear?”

Louisa Ivanovna, with hurried amiability, began curtsying in all directions, and backed towards the door still curtsying; but in the doorway she bumped backwards into a fine officer with a fresh, open face and magnificent, bushy blond side-whiskers. This was the chief of police, Nikodim Fomich himself. Louisa Ivanovna hastily curtsied almost to the floor and, skipping with quick, small steps, flew out of the office.

“More blasts, more thunder and lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes!” Nikodim Fomich pleasantly and amicably addressed Ilya Petrovich. “His heart has been stirred up again, he’s boiling again! I heard it way downstairs.”

“‘Twas nothing!” Ilya Petrovich uttered with gentlemanly nonchalance (not even “nothing” but somehow “ ‘Twa-as na-a-awthing”), going to another table with some papers, and jerking his shoulders spectacularly with each step—a step here, a shoulder there. “Look, sir, if you please: mister writer here, or student, rather—a former one, that is—owes money and doesn’t pay it, has given out all sorts of promissory notes, won’t vacate his apartment, there are constant complaints about him, and he is so good as to start an altercation with me for smoking a cigarette in his presence! He’s s-s-scoundrelly enough himself, and look at him, if you please, sir: here he is in all his attractiveness!”

“Come, come, my friend, poverty is no vice! We know you’re like gunpowder, unable to bear an offense. You must have gotten offended with him for some reason and couldn’t help saying something,” Nikodim Fomich went on, amiably addressing Raskolnikov, “but you mustn’t do that: he is a mo-o-st no-o-oble man, I must tell you, but gunpowder, gunpowder! He flares up, he boils up, he burns up—and that’s it! All gone! And what’s left is his heart of gold! In our regiment he was known as ‘Lieutenant Gunpowder’…”

“And what a r-r-regiment it was!” exclaimed Ilya Petrovich, quite content to be so pleasantly tickled, but still sulking.

Raskolnikov suddenly wanted to say something extraordinarily pleasant to them all.

“I beg your pardon, Captain,” he began quite casually, suddenly addressing Nikodim Fomich, “but you must also understand my position…I am even ready to ask his forgiveness if for my part I was in any way disrespectful. I am a poor and sick student, weighed down” (that was how he said it: weighed down ) “by poverty. I am a former student because I cannot support myself now, but I will be getting some money…I have a mother and a sister in ——y province . . .

They will send it, and I…will pay. My landlady is a kind woman, but she is so angry because I lost my lessons and haven’t paid her for four months that she won’t even send up my dinner…And I absolutely do not understand what this promissory note is! She’s now demanding that I pay, but how can I? Judge for yourself! . . .”

“But that is not our business . . .” the clerk observed again.

“Allow me, allow me, I completely agree with you, but allow me to explain,” Raskolnikov picked up again, still addressing himself not to the clerk but to Nikodim Fomich, but trying as hard as he could to address Ilya Petrovich as well, though he stubbornly pretended to be burrowing in his papers and contemptuously ignored him, “allow me, too, for my part, to explain that I have been living with her for about three years now, ever since I came from the province, and earlier…earlier… but then, why shouldn’t I confess it, at the very beginning I made a promise that I would marry her daughter, a verbal promise, a completely free one…This girl was…however, I even liked her…though I wasn’t in love…youth, in a word—that is, I mean to say that the landlady gave me considerable credit then, and my way of life was somewhat…I was quite thoughtless . . .”

“Such intimacies are hardly required of you, my dear sir, and we have no time for them,” Ilya Petrovich interrupted rudely and triumphantly, but Raskolnikov hotly cut him off, though it had suddenly become very difficult for him to speak.

“But allow me, do allow me to tell everything, more or less…how things went and…in my turn…though it’s unnecessary, I agree— but a year ago this girl died of typhus, and I stayed on as a tenant like before, and when the landlady moved to her present apartment, she told me…and in a friendly way…that she had complete trust in me and all…but wouldn’t I like to give her this promissory note for a hundred and fifteen roubles, which was the total amount I owed her. Allow me, sir: she precisely said that once I’d given her this paper, she would let me have as much more credit as I wanted, and that she, for her part, would never, ever—these were her own words—make use of this paper before I myself paid her…And now, when I’ve lost my lessons and have nothing to eat, she applies for recovery…What can I say?”

“All these touching details, my dear sir, are of no concern to us,” Ilya Petrovich insolently cut in. “You must make a response and a commitment, and as for your happening to be in love, and all these other tragic points, we could not care less about them.”

“Now that’s…cruel of you…really . . .” Nikodim Fomich muttered, and he, too, sat down at the table and started signing things. He felt somehow ashamed.

“Write,” the clerk said to Raskolnikov.

“Write what?” he asked, somehow with particular rudeness.

“I’ll dictate to you.”

Raskolnikov fancied that after his confession the clerk had become more casual and contemptuous with him, but—strangely—he suddenly felt decidedly indifferent to anyone’s possible opinion, and this change occurred somehow in a moment, an instant. If he had only cared to reflect a little, he would of course have been surprised that he could have spoken with them as he had a minute before, and even thrust his feelings upon them. And where had these feelings come from? On the contrary, if the room were now suddenly filled not with policemen but with his foremost friends, even then, he thought, he would be unable to find a single human word for them, so empty had his heart suddenly become. A dark sensation of tormenting, infinite solitude and estrangement suddenly rose to consciousness in his soul. It was not the abjectness of his heart’s outpourings before Ilya Petrovich, nor the abjectness of the lieutenant’s triumph over him, that suddenly so overturned his heart. Oh, what did he care now about his own meanness, about all these vanities, lieutenants, German women, proceedings, offices, and so on and so forth! Even if he had been sentenced to be burned at that moment, he would not have stirred, and would probably not have listened very attentively to the sentence. What was taking place in him was totally unfamiliar, new, sudden, never before experienced. Not that he understood it, but he sensed clearly, with all the power of sensation, that it was no longer possible for him to address these people in the police station, not only with heartfelt effusions, as he had just done, but in any way at all, and had they been his own brothers and sisters, and not police lieutenants, there would still have been no point in his addressing them, in whatever circumstances of life. Never until that minute had he experienced such a strange and terrible sensation. And most tormenting of all was that it was more a sensation than an awareness, an idea; a spontaneous sensation, the most tormenting of any he had yet experienced in his life.

The clerk began dictating to him the customary formal response for such occasions—that is, I cannot pay, I promise to pay by such-and-such a date (some day), I will not leave town, I will neither sell nor give away my property, and so on.

“You can’t even write, you’re barely able to hold the pen,” the clerk observed, studying Raskolnikov with curiosity. “Are you sick?”

“Yes…dizzy…go on!”

“That’s all. Sign it.”

The clerk took the paper from him and busied himself with others.

Raskolnikov gave back the pen, but instead of getting up and leaving, he put both elbows on the table and pressed his head with his hands. It was as if a nail were being driven into his skull. A strange thought suddenly came to him: to get up now, go over to Nikodim Fomich, and tell him all about yesterday, down to the last detail, then go to his apartment with them and show them the things in the corner, in the hole. The urge was so strong that he had already risen from his seat to carry it out. “Shouldn’t I at least think it over for a moment?” raced through his head. “No, better do it without thinking, just to get it off my back!” But suddenly he stopped, rooted to the spot: Nikodim Fomich was talking heatedly with Ilya Petrovich, and he caught some of the words.

“It’s impossible; they’ll both be released! First of all, everything’s against it; just consider, why would they call the caretaker if it was their doing? To give themselves away, or what? Out of cunning? No, that would be much too cunning! And, finally, both caretakers and the tradeswoman saw the student Pestryakov just by the gate, the very moment he came in: he was walking with three friends and parted with them just by the gate, and he asked the caretakers about lodgings while his friends were still with him. Now, would such a man ask about lodgings if he had come there with such an intention? As for Koch, he spent half an hour with the silversmith downstairs before he went to the old woman’s, and left him to go upstairs at exactly a quarter to eight. Think, now . . .”

“But, excuse me, how did they end up with this contradiction: they assure us that they knocked and the door was locked, but when they came back with the caretaker three minutes later, it turned out that the door was not locked.”

“That’s just it: the murderer must have been there inside and put the door on the hook; and he would certainly have been caught there if Koch hadn’t been fool enough to go for the caretaker himself. And it was precisely during that interval that he managed to get down the stairs and somehow slip past them. Koch keeps crossing himself with both hands: ‘If I’d stayed there,’ he says, ‘he would have jumped out and killed me with an axe.’ He wants to have a Russian molieben served, heh, heh! . . .”[3]

“And no one even saw the murderer?”

“But how could they, really? That house is like Noah’s ark,” observed the clerk, who was listening in from where he sat.

“The case is clear, quite clear!” Nikodim Fomich repeated hotly.

“No, the case is very unclear,” Ilya Petrovich clinched.

Raskolnikov picked up his hat and made for the door, but he did not reach it . . .

When he came to his senses he saw that he was sitting in a chair, that some man was supporting him from the right, that another man was standing on his left holding a yellow glass filled with yellow water, and that Nikodim Fomich was standing in front of him, looking at him intently. He got up from the chair.

“What, are you ill?” Nikodim Fomich asked rather curtly.

“He could hardly hold the pen to sign his name,” the clerk observed, sitting down in his place and going back to his papers.

“And how long have you been ill?” Ilya Petrovich called out from where he sat, also sorting through his papers. He, too, had of course looked at the sick man when he fainted, but stepped away at once when he came to.

“Since yesterday . . .” Raskolnikov muttered in reply.

“And did you go out yesterday?”

“Yes.”

“Though you were ill?”

“Though I was ill.”

“At what time?”

“After seven in the evening.”

“And where, may I ask?”

“Down the street.”

“Plain and simple.”

Raskolnikov answered curtly, abruptly; he was white as a sheet and refused to lower his dark, feverish eyes before the gaze of Ilya Petrovich.

“He can barely stand on his feet, and you . . .” Nikodim Fomich began.

“Not-at-all!” Ilya Petrovich pronounced somehow specially. Nikodim Fomich was about to add something, but, having glanced at the clerk, who was also looking very intently at him, he fell silent. Everyone suddenly fell silent. It was strange.

“Very well, sir,” Ilya Petrovich concluded, “we are not keeping you.”

Raskolnikov walked out. After his exit an animated conversation began, which he could still hear, the questioning voice of Nikodim Fomich rising above the others…In the street he recovered completely.

“A search, a search, an immediate search!” he repeated to himself, hurrying to get home. “The villains! They suspect me!” His former fear again came over him entirely, from head to foot.

 

[1] “Thank you” (German). Louisa Ivanovna’s speech further on, like Mrs. Lip-pewechsel’s later in the novel, is full of German words and Germanisms; these will not be glossed in our notes.

[2] The Russian word tsugunder, used in the phrase “to send [someone] to tsu-gunder, ” is a borrowing from German of much-disputed etymology. The phrase means generally “to arrest” or “to deal with.” Ilya Petrovich obviously uses it for its Germanic ring, and we have altered the spelling accordingly.

[3] A molieben (vaolyehhen) is an Orthodox prayer service for a special occasion, commemoration, or thanksgiving. Koch is evidently of German origin, therefore most likely not Orthodox, which is why Nikodim Fomich is so struck.

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