Part Three. IV

At that moment the door opened quietly, and a girl came into the room, looking timidly around. Everyone turned to her with surprise and curiosity. Raskolnikov did not recognize her at first. It was Sofya Semyonovna Marmeladov. He had seen her for the first time the day before, but at such a moment, under such circumstances, and in such attire that his memory retained the image of quite a different person. Here, now, was a modestly and even poorly dressed girl, still very young, looking almost like a little girl, with a modest and decent manner and a bright but as if somewhat intimidated face. She was wearing a very simple, everyday dress and an old hat no longer in fashion, though she still carried yesterday’s parasol. Suddenly seeing a room full of people, she became not so much confused as quite lost, timid as a little child, and even made a move to go out again.

“Ah…it’s you?” Raskolnikov said, greatly surprised, and he suddenly became embarrassed himself.

It occurred to him at once that his mother and sister had already heard fleetingly, in Luzhin’s letter, of a certain girl of “notorious” behavior. He had just been protesting against Luzhin’s slander and stated that it was the first time he had seen the girl, and suddenly she herself walked in. He also recalled that he had not protested in the least against the expression “of notorious behavior.” All this flitted vaguely and instantly through his head. But, looking more attentively, he suddenly saw that this humiliated being was already so humiliated that he suddenly felt pity for her. And when she made a move to run away in fear—it was as if something turned over inside him.

“I was not at all expecting you,” he hurried, stopping her with his eyes. “Be so good as to sit down. You must have come from Katerina Ivanovna. Excuse me, not here; sit over there . . .”

When Sonya entered, Razumikhin, who had been sitting just by the door on one of Raskolnikov’s three chairs, rose to let her in. At first Raskolnikov had shown her to the end of the sofa where Zossimov had been sitting, but recalling that this sofa was too familiar a place, that it served him as a bed, he hastily directed her to Razumikhin’s chair.

“And you sit here,” he said to Razumikhin, putting him on the end where Zossimov had been sitting.

Sonya sat down, all but trembling with fear, and glanced timidly at the two ladies. One could see that she herself did not know how she could possibly have sat down next to them. She became so frightened when she realized it that she suddenly stood up again and in complete embarrassment addressed Raskolnikov.

“I…I…have come just for a moment, excuse me for disturbing you,” she began, faltering. “Katerina Ivanovna sent me, she had no one else…And Katerina Ivanovna told me to beg you please to come to the funeral service tomorrow, in the morning…to the liturgy…at the Mitrofanievsky Cemetery, and to stay afterwards for a meal…with us…with her…To do her the honor…She told me to ask you.”[1]

Sonya faltered and fell silent.

“I will certainly try…certainly,” Raskolnikov answered, also standing up, and also faltering and not finishing…”Be so good as to sit down,” he said suddenly, “I must speak with you. Please— but perhaps you’re in a hurry—be so good as to give me two minutes . . .”

And he moved the chair for her. Sonya sat down again and again quickly gave the two ladies a timid, lost glance, and suddenly looked down.

Raskolnikov’s pale face became flushed; he cringed all over, as it were; his eyes lit up.

“Mama,” he said, firmly and insistently, “this is Sofya Semyonovna Marmeladov, the daughter of that most unfortunate Mr. Marmeladov who was run over before my eyes yesterday, and about whom I have already spoken with you…”

Pulcheria Alexandrovna looked at Sonya and slightly narrowed her eyes. In spite of her confusion before Rodya’s insistent and challenging look, she simply could not deny herself that pleasure. Dunechka stared seriously and fixedly straight in the poor girl’s face and gazed at her in perplexity. Hearing the introduction, Sonya tried to raise her eyes, but became even more embarrassed than before.

“I wanted to ask you,” Raskolnikov hastened to address her, “how things worked out with you today. Did you have any trouble?… With the police, for instance?”

“No, sir, everything went all right… It’s only too clear what caused his death; we weren’t troubled; except that the neighbors are angry.”

“Why?”

“That the body’s been there so long…it’s hot now; there’s a smell…so today, around vespers, they’ll carry it over to the cemetery, to the chapel, till tomorrow. Katerina Ivanovna was against it at first, but now she sees herself that it’s impossible . . .”

“Today, then?”

“She begs you to do us the honor of attending the funeral service in church tomorrow, and of coming to her afterwards for a memorial meal.”

“She’s preparing a meal?”

“Yes, sir, a light one; she told me to thank you very much for your help yesterday…without you we’d have nothing for the funeral.” And her lips and chin suddenly quivered, but she collected herself and overcame her emotion by quickly looking down again.

As they spoke, Raskolnikov studied her closely. She had a thin little face, quite thin and pale, and rather irregular, somehow sharp, with a sharp little nose and chin. She could not even have been called pretty, but her blue eyes were so clear, and when they were animated, the expression of her face became so kind and simple-hearted, that one involuntarily felt drawn to her. There was, besides, a special, characteristic feature of her face and of her whole figure: despite her eighteen years, she looked almost like a little girl, much younger than her age, almost quite a child, and this sometimes even appeared comically in some of her movements.

“But can Katerina Ivanovna manage on such small means, and even plan to have a meal? . . .” Raskolnikov asked, determined to continue the conversation.

“But the coffin will be a simple one, sir…it will all be simple, so it won’t cost much…Katerina Ivanovna and I calculated everything so as to have something left for the meal…and Katerina Ivanovna wants very much to have it. One can’t really…it’s a consolation to her…that’s how she is, you know . . .”

“I understand, I understand…certainly…Why are you staring at my room? Mama here also says it’s like a coffin.”

“You gave us all you had yesterday!” Sonechka suddenly said in reply, in a sort of intense and quick whisper, again looking down. Her lips and chin quivered again. She had been struck much earlier by the poverty of Raskolnikov’s furnishings, and now these words somehow escaped her of themselves. Silence ensued. Dunechka’s eyes somehow brightened, and Pulcheria Alexandrovna even looked affably at Sonya.

“Rodya,” she said, getting up, “we shall be dining together, of course. Dunechka, come…And you, Rodya, ought to go for a little walk, and then rest, lie down a bit, and afterwards come soon…I’m afraid we may have tired you…”

“Yes, yes, I’ll come,” he said, getting up and beginning to hurry…”I have some business, however . . .”

“You don’t mean you’ll dine separately!” Razumikhin exclaimed, looking at Raskolnikov in surprise. “What’s got into you?”

“Yes, yes, I’ll come, of course, of course…And you stay for a minute. You don’t need him now, mama? Or am I perhaps taking him from you?”

“Oh, no, no! And you, Dmitri Prokofych, will you be so kind as to join us for dinner?”

“Please do,” Dunya asked.

Razumikhin bowed, beaming all over. For a moment everyone suddenly became somehow strangely abashed.

“Good-bye, Rodya—I mean, for now; I don’t like saying ‘good-bye.’ Good-bye, Nastasya…ah, I’ve said it again! . . .”

Pulcheria Alexandrovna was going to bow to Sonechka, but it somehow did not come off, and she hastened from the room.

But Avdotya Romanovna was waiting her turn, as it were, and, following her mother past Sonya, gave her an attentive, polite, and full bow. Sonechka became embarrassed and bowed somehow hastily and fearfully; a sort of pained feeling even showed in her face, as if Avdotya Romanovna’s politeness and attention were burdensome and tormenting to her.

“Dunya, good-bye!” Raskolnikov called out from the doorway, “give me your hand!”

“But I did; don’t you remember?” Dunya answered, turning to him tenderly and awkwardly.

“Well, then give it to me again!”

And he squeezed her fingers tightly. Dunechka smiled at him, blushed, quickly pulled her hand back, and went after her mother, all happy herself for some reason.

“Well, that’s nice!” he said to Sonya, coming back into the room and looking at her brightly. “May the Lord grant rest to the dead, but the living have still got to live! Right? Right? Isn’t that right?”

Sonya looked at his suddenly brightened face even with surprise; for a few moments he gazed at her silently and fixedly: the whole story her deceased father had told him about her swept suddenly through his memory …

“Lord, Dunechka!” Pulcheria Alexandrovna began to say, as soon as they came out to the street, “I really almost feel glad we’ve left; it’s somehow easier. Now, would I have thought yesterday on the train that I could ever be glad of that!”

“I tell you again, mama, he’s still very ill. Don’t you see? Maybe it was suffering over us that upset him. One must be tolerant; then so much, so much can be forgiven.”

“But you were not very tolerant!” Pulcheria Alexandrovna interrupted at once, hotly and jealously. “You know, Dunya, I was looking at the two of you, and you’re the perfect picture of him, not so much in looks as in soul: you’re both melancholic, both sullen and hot-tempered, both arrogant, and both magnanimous…Is it possible that he’s an egoist, Dunechka? Eh?…When I think what may happen tonight at our place, my heart just sinks!”

“Don’t worry, mama, what must be, will be.”

“But, Dunechka, only think of the position we’re in now! What if Pyotr Petrovich retracts?” poor Pulcheria Alexandrovna suddenly let out incautiously.

“What would he be worth after that!” Dunechka answered curtly and contemptuously.

“We did well to leave now,” Pulcheria Alexandrovna hastened to interrupt. “He was hurrying somewhere on business; let him go out for a walk, get some air…his room is awfully stuffy…but where can one get any air here? It’s the same outside as in a closed room. Lord, what a city! … Wait, look out, you’ll be crushed, they’re carrying something! Goodness, it’s a piano…how they all push! … I’m also very afraid of this girl . . .”

“What girl, mama?”

“Why, this Sofya Semyonovna who was there just now…”

“What about her?”

“I just have a certain presentiment, Dunya. Well, believe it or not, as soon as she walked in, at that very moment I thought to myself: here is where the main thing lies . . .”

“Nothing’s lying there at all!” Dunya exclaimed in vexation. “You and your presentiments, mother! He’s only known her since yesterday, and he didn’t recognize her today when she came in.”

“Well, you’ll see! … She disturbs me; but you’ll see, you will! And I got so scared: she looked at me, just looked, with such eyes, I could hardly sit still—remember, when he began introducing her? And it’s strange: Pyotr Petrovich writes such things about her, and then he introduces her to us, to you of all people! It means he cares for her!”

“What does it matter what he writes! People talked and wrote about us, too, don’t forget! And I’m sure she’s…wonderful, and that this is all nonsense!”

“God be with her!”

“And Pyotr Petrovich is a worthless gossip,” Dunechka suddenly snapped.

Pulcheria Alexandrovna simply wilted. The conversation ceased.

“Listen, here’s this business I have with you . . .” Raskolnikov said, drawing Razumikhin over to the window . . .

“I’ll tell Katerina Ivanovna that you’ll come, then . . .” Sonya hurried, bowing as she prepared to leave.

“One moment, Sofya Semyonovna; we have no secrets; you are not in our way…I’d like to say a couple of more words to you…Listen,” he suddenly turned to Razumikhin, as if breaking off without finishing the sentence, “you do know this…what’s his name! … Porfiry Petrovich?”

“Of course I do! My relative. What about it?” Razumikhin added with a sort of burst of curiosity.

“He’s now in charge of…this case…well, this murder…the one you were talking about yesterday?”

“Yes…so?” Razumikhin suddenly goggled his eyes.

“He’s been questioning the pawners, and I also pawned some things there—junk, really—but it’s my sister’s ring, which she gave me as a keepsake when I was coming here, and also my father’s silver watch. Worth five or six roubles in all, but I care about them, as mementos. So what shall I do now? I don’t want the things to be lost, especially the watch. I was trembling just now for fear mother would ask to see it when we started talking about Dunechka’s watch. It’s the only thing left of my father’s. She’ll be sick if it’s lost! Women! So what shall I do, tell me! I know I should report it to the police! But wouldn’t it be better to go to Porfiry himself, eh? What do you think? To be done with it sooner? Mama will still ask before dinner, you’ll see!”

“Certainly not to the police, but to Porfiry—by all means!” Razumikhin cried in some unusual excitement. “I can’t tell you how glad I am! But why wait? Let’s go now, it’s two steps away, we’re sure to find him there.”

“Why not…let’s go . . .”

“And he’ll be very, very, very, very glad to meet you! I’ve told him a lot about you at various times…And yesterday, too. Let’s go! … So you knew the old woman! Well, there! … It’s all turned out quite mag-ni-fi-cently! … Ah, yes…Sofya Ivanovna . . .”

“Sofya Semyonovna,” Raskolnikov corrected him. “Sofya Semyonovna, this is my friend Razumikhin, and a good man he is . . .”

“If you have to go now . . .” Sonya tried to begin, without so much as looking at Razumikhin, and becoming even more abashed as a result.

“Let’s go, then!” Raskolnikov decided. “I’ll call on you today, Sofya Semyonovna, only tell me, where do you live?”

It was not that he was confused, but as if he were hurrying and avoiding her eyes. Sonya gave him her address and blushed. They went out together.

“Don’t you lock the door?” Razumikhin asked, coming down the stairs behind them.

“Never! … Though I’ve been meaning to buy a lock for two years now,” he added casually. “Happy are those who have nothing to lock up?” he turned to Sonya, laughing.

Outside, they stopped in the gateway.

“Are you going to the right, Sofya Semyonovna? By the way, how did you find me?” he asked, as if wishing to tell her something quite different. He kept wanting to look into her quiet, clear eyes, but somehow kept being unable to . . .

“But you gave Polechka your address yesterday.”

“Polya? Ah, yes…Polechka! That…little one…is she your sister? So I gave her my address?”

“You mean you’ve forgotten?”

“No…I remember . . .”

“And I also heard about you before, from my late father…Only I didn’t know your last name then, and he didn’t know it himself…And I came just now…and since I learned your last name yesterday…I asked today, ‘Where does Mr. Raskolnikov live?’…I didn’t know you were also subletting a room…Good-bye, sir…I’ll tell Katerina Ivanovna . . .”

She was terribly glad to get away at last; she walked looking down, hurrying, the sooner to be out of their sight, the sooner somehow to get through those twenty steps until she could turn the corner to the right and be alone at last, and then walk along, hurrying, not looking at anyone, not noticing anything, but thinking, remembering, pondering every word said, every circumstance. Never, never had she felt anything like this. A whole new world had descended vaguely and mysteriously into her soul. She suddenly remembered that Raskolnikov himself wanted to call on her that day, perhaps that same morning, perhaps at once!

“Only not today, please, not today!” she murmured with a sinking heart, as if pleading with someone, like a frightened child. “Lord! To me…in that room…he’ll see…oh, Lord!”

And, of course, at that moment she could not have noticed the gentleman, unknown to her, who was keeping a close eye on her and following on her heels. He had been following her ever since she walked out the gate. When the three of them—she, Razumikhin, and Raskolnikov—stopped for a couple of words on the sidewalk, this passer-by, stepping around them, seemed suddenly to give a start, accidentally catching Sonya’s words: “and I asked, where does Mr. Raskolnikov live?” He had looked quickly but attentively at all three of them, especially at Raskolnikov, whom Sonya was addressing; then he looked at the house and made a note of it. All this was done in a moment, as he walked, and the passer-by, trying not to let it show, went farther on, slowing his pace as if he were waiting. He was waiting for Sonya; he had seen that they were saying good-bye and that Sonya was about to go home.

“But where does she live? I’ve seen that face somewhere,” he thought, remembering Sonya’s face…”I must find out.”

Coming to the corner, he crossed to the other side of the street, looked back, and saw that Sonya was already following after him, in the same direction, noticing nothing. Coming to the corner, she also turned down the same street. He followed her on the opposite sidewalk, without taking his eyes off her; after going some fifty steps, he crossed back to Sonya’s side of the street, caught up with her, and kept on walking five steps behind her.

He was a man of about fifty, of above average height, portly, with broad and steep shoulders that gave him a stooping look. He was stylishly and comfortably dressed, and had the air of an imposing gentleman. He was carrying a beautiful cane with which he tapped the sidewalk at every step, and on his hands he wore a fresh pair of gloves. His broad face with its high cheekbones was quite pleasant, and he had a fresh, non-Petersburg complexion. His hair, still very thick, was quite blond, with perhaps only a touch of gray, and his broad, thick spade beard was even lighter than the hair on his head. His eyes were blue and had a cold, intent, and thoughtful look; his lips were scarlet. In general, he was an exceedingly well-preserved man, who seemed much younger than his years.

When Sonya came out to the canal, the two of them were alone on the sidewalk. Observing her, he had been able to notice how pensive and distracted she was. When she reached her house, Sonya turned in at the gate; he followed her, seeming somewhat surprised. Going into the courtyard, she turned to the right, towards the corner, where the stairway to her apartment was. “Hah!” the unknown gentleman muttered, and he started up the stairs behind her. Only then did Sonya notice him. She went up to the third floor, turned down the hallway, and rang at number nine, where the words kapernaumov, tailor were written on the door in chalk. “Hah!” the stranger repeated again, surprised at the strange coincidence, and rang at number eight next door. The two doors were about six paces apart.

“You live at Kapernaumov’s!” he said, looking at Sonya and laughing. “He altered my waistcoat for me yesterday. And I’m staying here, next door to you, with Madame Resslich, Gertrude Karlovna. The way things do happen!”

Sonya looked at him attentively.

“We’re neighbors,” he went on, somehow especially cheerfully. “It’s only my third day in the city. Well, good-bye for now.”

Sonya did not answer; the door was opened and she slipped into her room. She felt ashamed for some reason, and seemed to have grown timid . . .

On the way to see Porfiry, Razumikhin was in an especially excited state.

“This is nice, brother,” he repeated several times. “I’m glad, I’m so glad!”

“What are you so glad about?” Raskolnikov thought to himself.

“I didn’t even know you also pawned things with the old woman. And . .. and…was it long ago? I mean, did you go to her long ago?”

(“What a naive fool!”)

“When was it? …” Raskolnikov paused, recollecting. “I went there, I think, about three days before her death. However, I’m not going to redeem the things now,” he picked up, with a sort of hasty and special concern about the things, “I’m down to my last silver rouble again…thanks to that cursed delirium yesterday! … ”

He mentioned the delirium with special significance.

“Ah, yes, yes, yes,” Razumikhin hastily yessed him, who knows about what. “That’s why you were struck…partly…that time…and, you know, you also kept saying something about rings and chains in your delirium! … Ah, yes, yes…It’s clear, it’s all clear now.”

(“So! The idea really spread around among them! Here’s a man who would go to the cross for me, yet he’s so glad it’s become clear why I talked about rings in my delirium! It really got settled in them all! . . .”)

“And will we find him in?” he asked aloud.

“We will, we will,” Razumikhin hurried. “He’s a nice fellow, brother, you’ll see! He’s a bit awkward—not to say he’s not a man of the world, but I mean he’s awkward in another sense. He’s an intelligent type, intelligent, not stupid at all, only he has some peculiar way of thinking…Mistrustful, a skeptic, a cynic…he likes hoodwinking people, or not hoodwinking them but pulling their leg…Well, and then it’s the old material method…But he knows his job, he really does…Last year he ran down a case involving a murder where almost all the traces were lost! He wants very, very, very much to make your acquaintance!”

“But why so much?”

“I mean, not that…you see, recently, when you were sick, I happened to talk about you a lot and quite often…So, he listened…and when he learned that you were studying law and couldn’t finish your studies because of your circumstances, he said, ‘What a pity!’ So, I concluded…I mean, not just that, but all of it together; yesterday Zamyotov…You see, Rodya, I blabbed something to you yesterday while I was drunk, as we were walking home…so you see, brother, I’m afraid you may exaggerate . . .”

“What is it? That I’m supposed to be mad? But maybe it’s true.”

He grinned tensely.

“Yes…yes…I mean, no! Pah! Anyway, everything I was saying (and about other things, too) was all nonsense, on account of drink.”

“But why are you apologizing! I’m so sick of all this!” Raskolnikov cried with exaggerated irritation. He was partly pretending, however.

“I know, I know, I understand. Believe me, I understand. It’s shameful even to speak of . . .”

“If it’s shameful, don’t speak!”

They both fell silent. Razumikhin was more than delighted, and Raskolnikov realized this with loathing. He was also troubled by what Razumikhin had just said about Porfiry.

“I’ll have to sing Lazarus for him, too,” he thought,[2]turning pale, and with his heart pounding, “and sing it naturally. Most natural would be to sing nothing. Eagerly to sing nothing. No, eagerly would be unnatural again…Well, how things turn out there…we shall see…presently…Is it good that I’m going, or not good? A moth flying into the candle-flame. My heart is pounding—that’s not good! . . .”

“In this gray house,” said Razumikhin.

(“Most important is whether or not Porfiry knows I was in that witch’s apartment yesterday…and asked about the blood. I must find that out at once, from the very first step, the moment I walk in, by the look on his face; o-ther-wise…I’ll find out, if it’s the end of me!”)

“You know what?” he suddenly turned to Razumikhin with an impish smile. “I’ve noticed that you’ve been in a state of some unusual excitement today, brother, ever since this morning. True?”

“Excitement? None whatsoever.” Razumikhin cringed.

“No, really, brother, it’s quite noticeable. You sat on the chair today as you never do, somehow on the edge of it, and kept jerking spasmodically. Kept jumping up for no apparent reason. You’d be angry, and then suddenly for some reason your mug would turn as sweet as a lollipop. You even blushed; especially when you were invited to dinner, you blushed terribly.”

“Nothing of the kind! Lies! … What are you talking about?”

“But why are you dodging like a schoolboy! Pah, the devil, he’s blushing again!”

“What a swine you are, though!”

“But why are you embarrassed? Romeo! Wait, I’m going to tell on you today—ha, ha, ha! Mama will have a laugh…and so will someone else . . .”

“Listen, listen, listen, but this is serious, it’s…ah, the devil, I don’t know what it is!” Razumikhin became utterly muddled and went cold with terror. “What are you going to tell them? I, brother…pah, what a swine you are!”

“Just like a rose in springtime! And you have no idea how it becomes you; a six-and-a-half-foot Romeo! And so well scrubbed today; you even cleaned under your fingernails, eh? When did that ever happen before! And, by God, you’ve even pomaded yourself! Bend down!”

“Swine!!!”

Raskolnikov laughed so much that it seemed he could no longer control himself, and, thus laughing, they entered Porfiry Petrovich’s apartment. This was just what Raskolnikov wanted: from inside one could hear how they came in laughing and went on guffawing in the entryway.

“Not a word here, or I’ll…beat you to a pulp!” Razumikhin whispered furiously, seizing Raskolnikov by the shoulder.

 

[1] The Mitrofanievsky Cemetery, established in 1831 during a cholera epidemic, was considered a cemetery for the poor. A meal, called a “memorial meal” (pominki in Russian), is traditionally served following a funeral.

[2] Refers to the beggar Lazarus in the Gospel parable (see Luke 16:19-31), who eats crumbs from the rich man’s table. Metaphorically, the common Russian saying “to sing Lazarus” means to complain of one’s fate. A song about the poor man Lazarus was often sung by blind beggars asking for alms.

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