Part Five. III

“Pyotr petrovich!” she exclaimed, “you protect us at least! Bring home to this stupid creature that she dare not treat a noble lady in misfortune this way, that there are courts for such things…I’ll go to the governor-general himself…She’ll answer…Remember my father’s bread and salt; protect the orphans.”

“Excuse me, madam…Excuse me, excuse me, madam,” Pyotr Petrovich brushed her aside. “As you are aware, I did not have the honor of knowing your father…excuse me, madam!” (Someone guffawed loudly.) “And I have no intention of participating in your ceaseless strife with Amalia Ivanovna…I have come for my own purposes…and wish to speak at once with your stepdaughter, Sofya…Ivanovna…I believe? Allow me to pass, ma’am.”

And edging past Katerina Ivanovna, Pyotr Petrovich made his way to the opposite corner, where Sonya was.

Katerina Ivanovna simply stood there as if thunderstruck. She could not understand how Pyotr Petrovich could disavow her dear papa’s bread and salt. Having once invented this bread and salt, she now believed in it religiously. She was also struck by Pyotr Petrovich’s tone—businesslike, dry, even full of some contemptuous threat. And everyone else somehow gradually became hushed at his appearance. Besides the fact that this “businesslike and serious” man was so sharply out of harmony with the whole company, besides that, one could see that he had come for something important, that probably only some extraordinary reason could have drawn him into such company, and that, therefore, something was about to happen, there was going to be something. Raskolnikov, who was standing next to Sonya, stepped aside to let him pass; Pyotr Petrovich seemed to take no notice of him. A minute later, Lebezyatnikov also appeared on the threshold; he did not come into the room, but stood there with some special curiosity, almost astonishment; he listened carefully, but it seemed that for a long time there was something he could not understand.

“Excuse me for possibly interrupting you, but the matter is rather important,” Pyotr Petrovich remarked somehow generally, not addressing anyone in particular. “I’m even glad to have the public here. Amalia Ivanovna, I humbly ask you, in your quality as landlady, to pay attention to my forthcoming conversation with Sofya Ivanovna. Sofya Ivanovna,” he continued, turning directly to Sonya, who was extremely surprised and already frightened beforehand, “a state bank note belonging to me, in the amount of one hundred roubles, disappeared from my table in the room of my friend, Andrei Semyonovich Lebezyatnikov, immediately following your visit. If, in one way or another, you know and can point out to us its present whereabouts, I assure you on my word of honor, and I call all of you as witnesses, that the matter will end right here. Otherwise, I shall be forced to take quite serious measures, in which case…you will have only yourself to blame, miss!”

Complete silence fell over the room. Even the crying children became quiet. Sonya stood deathly pale, looking at Luzhin, unable to make any reply. It was as if she still did not understand. Several seconds passed.

“Well, miss, what is it to be?” Luzhin asked, looking at her fixedly.

“I don’t know…I don’t know anything . . .” Sonya finally said in a weak voice.

“No? You don’t know?” Luzhin asked again, and paused for another few seconds. “Think, mademoiselle,” he began sternly, but still as if admonishing her, “consider well; I am willing to give you more time for reflection. Kindly realize, mademoiselle, that if I were not so sure, then naturally, with my experience, I would not risk accusing you so directly; for I myself, in a certain sense, am answerable for such a direct and public accusation, if it is false, or even merely mistaken. I am aware of that. This morning, for my own purposes, I cashed several five percent notes for the nominal value of three thousand roubles. I have a record of the transaction in my wallet. On returning home—Andrei Semyonovich is my witness here—I began counting the money and, having counted out two thousand three hundred roubles, I put them away in my wallet, and put the wallet into the side pocket of my frock coat. There were about five hundred left on the table, in bank notes, among them three notes for a hundred roubles each. At that moment you arrived (summoned by me)—and all the while you were with me, you were extremely embarrassed, so that you even got up and for some reason hastened to leave three times in the middle of the conversation, though our conversation was not yet finished. Andrei Semyonovich can witness to all that. Probably, mademoiselle, you yourself will not refuse to state and corroborate that I summoned you, through Andrei Semyonovich, for the sole purpose of discussing with you the orphaned and helpless situation of your relative, Katerina Ivanovna (whom I have been unable to join for the memorial meal), and how useful it would be to organize something like a subscription, a lottery, or what have you, for her benefit. You thanked me and even shed a few tears (I am telling everything as it happened, first, to remind you of it, and second, to show you that not the slightest detail has erased itself from my memory). Then I took from the table a ten-rouble bank note and handed it to you, in my own name, for the sake of your relative’s interests and in view of a first contribution. Andrei Semyonovich saw all this. Then I accompanied you to the door—still with the same embarrassment on your part—after which, remaining alone with Andrei Semyonovich and talking with him for about ten minutes, Andrei Semyonovich left, and I turned again to the table with the money lying on it, intending to count it and set it aside, as I had meant to do earlier. To my surprise, from among the other hundred-rouble bills, one was missing. Now, kindly consider: I really can in no way suspect Andrei Semyonovich, miss; I’m even ashamed of the suggestion. That I made a mistake in counting is also not possible, because I had finished all my accounts a moment before you came, and found the result correct. You can only agree that, recalling your embarrassment, your haste to leave, and the fact that you kept your hands on the table for some time; considering, finally, your social position and its attendant habits, I was forced, with horror, so to speak, and even against my will, to arrive at a suspicion—a cruel one, of course, but—a justified one, miss! I will also add and repeat that, in spite of all my obvious certainty, I am aware that there is still some risk present for me in this accusation of mine. But, as you see, I did not take it idly; I rose up, and let me tell you why: solely, miss, solely on account of your blackest ingratitude! What? I invite you in the interests of your most destitute relative, I offer you a feasible donation of ten roubles, and right then and there you repay all that with such an act! No, miss, that is not nice! You must be taught a lesson, miss. Consider, then; moreover, I beg you as a true friend (for you could have no better friend at this moment) to come to your senses! Otherwise, I shall be implacable! Well then, miss?”

“I took nothing from you,” Sonya whispered in terror. “You gave me ten roubles—here, take it.” Sonya pulled a handkerchief from her pocket, found the knot, untied it, took out the ten-rouble bill, and held her hand out to Luzhin.

“And the other hundred roubles you simply do not admit?” he said reproachfully and insistently, without taking the bill.

Sonya looked around. They were all staring at her with such terrible, stern, mocking, hateful faces. She glanced at Raskolnikov…he was standing by the wall, arms folded, looking at her with fiery eyes.

“Oh, Lord!” escaped from Sonya.

“Amalia Ivanovna, we shall have to inform the police, and therefore I humbly ask you to send meanwhile for the caretaker,” Luzhin said softly and even tenderly.

“Gott der Barmberzige! [1] I just known she vas shtealing!” Amalia Ivanovna clasped her hands.

“You just knew?” Luzhin picked up. “Then you had at least some grounds for such conclusions before this. I beg you, most respected Amalia Ivanovna, to remember your words, which in any case have been spoken in front of witnesses.”

Loud talk suddenly arose on all sides. Everyone stirred.

“Wha-a-at!” Katerina Ivanovna suddenly cried, having come to her senses, and, as if tearing herself loose, she rushed at Luzhin. “What! You accuse her of stealing? Sonya? Ah, scoundrels, scoundrels!” And rushing to Sonya, she embraced her with her withered arms, as in a vise.

“Sonya! How dared you take ten roubles from him! Oh, foolish girl! Give it to me! Give me the ten roubles at once—there!”

And snatching the bill from Sonya, Katerina Ivanovna crumpled it in her hand, drew back, and hurled it violently straight into Luzhin’s face. The ball of paper hit him in the eye and bounced onto the floor. Amalia Ivanovna rushed to pick up the money. Pyotr Petrovich became angry.

“Restrain this madwoman!” he shouted.

At that moment several more faces appeared in the doorway beside Lebezyatnikov; the two visiting ladies were among those peeking in.

“What! Mad? Mad, am I? Fool!” shrieked Katerina Ivanovna. “You, you’re a fool, a pettifogger, a base man! Sonya, Sonya take his money? Sonya a thief? Why, she’d sooner give you money, fool!” And Katerina Ivanovna laughed hysterically. “Have you ever seen such a fool?” she was rushing in all directions, pointing out Luzhin to them all. “What! And you, too?” she noticed the landlady. “You’re in it, too, you sausage-maker! You, too, claim that she ‘vas shtealing,’ you vile Prussian chicken-leg in a crinoline! Ah, you! … you! But she hasn’t even left the room; as soon as she came from seeing you, you scoundrel, she sat down at once just beside Rodion Romanovich! … Search her! Since she hasn’t gone anywhere, it means the money must still be on her! Search, then, go ahead and search! Only if you don’t find anything, then, excuse me, my dear, but you’ll answer for it! To the sovereign, the sovereign, I’ll run to the merciful tsar himself, I’ll throw myself at his feet, now, today! I’m an orphan! They’ll let me in! You think they won’t let me in? Lies! I’ll get there! I will! Was it her meekness you were counting on? Were you hoping for that? But I’m perky enough myself, brother! You won’t pull it off! Search, then! Search, search, go ahead and search!”

And Katerina Ivanovna, in a frenzy, tugged at Luzhin, pulling him towards Sonya.

“I’m prepared to, and I’ll answer for it… but calm yourself, madam, calm yourself! I see only too well how perky you are! … But it…it…you see, ma’am,” Luzhin muttered, “the police ought to be present. . . though, anyway, there are more than enough witnesses as it is…I’m prepared to…But in any case it’s embarrassing for a man…by reason of his sex…If Amalia Ivanovna were to help…though, anyway, it’s not how things are done…You see, ma’am?”

“Anyone you like! Let anyone you like search her!” cried Katerina Ivanovna. “Sonya, turn your pockets out for them! There, there! Look, monster, this one’s empty, the handkerchief was in it, the pocket’s empty, see? Here, here’s the other one! See, see?”

And Katerina Ivanovna did not so much turn as yank the pockets inside out, one after the other. But from the second, the right-hand pocket, a piece of paper suddenly flew out and, describing a parabola in the air, fell at Luzhin’s feet. Everyone saw it; many cried out. Pyotr Petrovich bent down, picked up the paper from the floor with two fingers, held it aloft for everyone to see, and unfolded it. It was a hundred-rouble bill, folded in eight. Pyotr Petrovich made a circle with his hand, showing the bill all around.

“Thief! Out from the apartment! Politz! Politz!” screamed Amalia Ivanovna. “They should to Tsiberia be chased! Out!”

Exclamations came flying from all sides. Raskolnikov was silent, not taking his eyes off Sonya, but from time to time shifting them quickly to Luzhin. Sonya stood where she was, as if unconscious; she was almost not even surprised. Color suddenly rushed to her cheeks; she uttered a short cry and covered her face with her hands.

“No, it wasn’t me! I didn’t take it! I don’t know anything!” she cried in a heart-rending wail, and rushed to Katerina Ivanovna, who seized her and pressed her hard to herself, as if wishing to shield her from everyone with her own breast.

“Sonya! Sonya! I don’t believe them! You see I don’t believe them!” Katerina Ivanovna cried (in spite of all the obviousness), rocking her in her arms like a child, giving her countless kisses, catching her hands and simply devouring them with kisses. “As if you could take anything! What stupid people they all are! Oh, Lord! You’re stupid, stupid,” she cried, addressing them all, “you still don’t know what a heart she has, what a girl she is! As if she would take anything! Why, she’d strip off her last dress and sell it, and go barefoot, and give everything to you if you needed it—that’s how she is! She got a yellow pass because my children were perishing from hunger, she sold herself for us! …  Ah, husband, husband! Ah, my poor, dead husband! Do you see? Do you see? Here’s your memorial meal! Lord! But defend her! Why are you all standing there! Rodion Romanovich! Why don’t you take her part? Do you believe it, too? None of you is worth her little finger, none of you, none, none, none! Lord, defend us finally!”

The cries of the poor, consumptive, bereaved Katerina Ivanovna seemed to produce a strong effect on the public. There was so much pathos, so much suffering in her withered, consumptive face, contorted by pain, in her withered lips flecked with blood, in her hoarsely crying voice, in her sobbing, so much like a child’s, in her trusting, childlike, and at the same time desperate plea for defense, that they all seemed moved to pity the unfortunate woman. Pyotr Petrovich, at least, was immediately moved to pity.

“Madam! Madam!” he exclaimed in an imposing voice. “This fact does not concern you! No one would dare accuse you of any intent or complicity, the less so since you discovered it yourself by turning her pockets out: consequently you suspected nothing. I’m quite, quite prepared to show pity if poverty, so to speak, was also what drove Sofya Semyonovna to it, but why is it, mademoiselle, that you did not want to confess? Fear of disgrace? The first step? Or perhaps you felt at a loss? It’s understandable; it’s quite understandable…But, in any case, how could you get yourself into such qualities! Gentlemen!” he addressed everyone present, “gentlemen! Pitying and, so to speak, commiserating, I am perhaps ready to forgive, even now, in spite of the personal insults I have received. May this present shame serve you, mademoiselle, as a lesson for the future,” he turned to Sonya, “the rest I shall let pass, and so be it, I have done. Enough!”

Pyotr Petrovich gave Raskolnikov a sidelong look. Their glances met. Raskolnikov’s burning eyes were ready to reduce him to ashes. Katerina Ivanovna, meanwhile, seemed not even to be listening anymore; she was madly embracing and kissing Sonya. The children also took hold of Sonya from all sides with their little arms, and Polechka— though without quite understanding what was the matter—seemed all drowned in tears, choking back her sobs and hiding her pretty little face, swollen with weeping, on Sonya’s shoulder.

“How vile!” a loud voice suddenly came from the doorway.

Pyotr Petrovich quickly turned around.

“What vileness!” Lebezyatnikov repeated, staring him straight in the eye.

Pyotr Petrovich even seemed to give a start. Everyone noticed it. (They remembered it afterwards.) Lebezyatnikov took a step into the room.

“And you dare hold me up as a witness?” he said, approaching Pyotr Petrovich.

“What do you mean, Andrei Semyonovich? What are you talking about?” Luzhin muttered.

“I mean that you are…a slanderer, that is what my words mean!” Lebezyatnikov said hotly, giving him a stern look with his weak-sighted eyes. He was terribly angry. Raskolnikov simply fastened his eyes on him, as though catching and weighing every word. Again there was another silence. Pyotr Petrovich was even almost at a loss, especially for the first moment.

“If it’s me you are…” he began, stammering, “but what’s the matter with you? Have you lost your mind?”

“I haven’t lost my mind, and you are…a swindler! Ah, how vile of you! I kept listening, I kept listening on purpose, so as to understand it all, because, I must admit, even now it doesn’t seem quite logical…But what you did it for, I cannot understand.”

“But what have I done? Will you stop talking in these nonsensical riddles? Or maybe you’ve been drinking?”

“Maybe you drink, you vile man, but not me! I never even touch vodka, because it’s against my convictions! Imagine, he, he himself, with his own hands, gave that hundred-rouble bill to Sofya Semyo-novna—I saw it, I am a witness, I’ll swear an oath to it! He, he did it!” Lebezyatnikov repeated, addressing one and all.

“Are you cracked or what, you milksop!” Luzhin shrieked. “She herself, in person, right in front of you—she herself, here and now, in front of everyone, confirmed that she received nothing but ten roubles from me. How, in that case, could I have given it to her?”

“I saw it, I saw it!” Lebezyatnikov exclaimed and insisted. “And though it’s against my convictions, I’m ready to go this very minute and swear whatever oath you like in court, because I saw you slip it to her on the sly! Only, like a fool, I thought you were slipping it to her out of philanthropy! At the door, as you were saying good-bye to her, when she turned away and you were shaking her hand, with your other hand, your left hand, you put a piece of paper into her pocket on the sly. I saw it! I did!”

Luzhin went pale.

“What lies!” he exclaimed boldly. “And besides, how could you make out a piece of paper, when you were standing by the window? You imagined it…with your weak-sighted eyes. You’re raving!”

“No, I didn’t imagine it! I saw everything, everything, even though I was standing far away; and though it is indeed difficult to make out a piece of paper from the window—you’re right about that—in this particular case I knew for certain that it was precisely a hundred-rouble note, because when you went to give Sofya Semyonovna the ten-rouble bill—I saw this myself—you took a hundred-rouble note from the table at the same time (I saw it because I was standing up close then, and since a certain idea immediately occurred to me, I didn’t forget that you had the note in your hand). You folded it and kept it clutched in your hand all the time. Then I forgot about it for a while, but when you were getting up, you passed it from your right hand to your left and nearly dropped it; then I remembered again, because then the same idea came to me—namely, that you wanted to be philanthropic to her in secret from me. You can imagine how I began watching—and so I saw how you managed to slip it into her pocket. I saw it, I did, I’ll swear an oath to it!”

Lebezyatnikov was almost breathless. Various exclamations began coming from all sides, mostly indicating surprise, but some of the exclamations also took on a menacing tone. Everyone pressed towards Pyotr Petrovich. Katerina Ivanovna rushed to Lebezyatnikov.

“Andrei Semyonovich! I was mistaken about you! Defend her! You alone are on her side! She’s an orphan; God has sent you! Andrei Semyonovich, you dear, sweet man!”

And Katerina Ivanovna, almost unconscious of what she was doing, threw herself on her knees before him.

“Hogwash!” screamed Luzhin, enraged to the point of fury. “You’re pouring out hogwash, sir! ‘I forgot, I remembered, I forgot’— what is all that! You mean I slipped it to her on purpose? Why? With what aim? What do I have in common with this . . .”

“Why? That I myself don’t understand, but it’s certain that I’m telling a true fact! I’m so far from being mistaken—you loathsome, criminal man—that I remember precisely how a question occurred to me at once in this connection, precisely as I was thanking you and shaking your hand. Precisely why did you put it into her pocket on the sly? That is, precisely why on the sly? Could it be simply because you wanted to conceal it from me, knowing that I hold opposite convictions and negate private philanthropy, which cures nothing radically? And so I decided that you were indeed ashamed to give away such a chunk in front of me, and besides, I thought, maybe he wants to give her a surprise, to astonish her when she finds a full hundred roubles in her pocket. (Because some philanthropists like very much to smear their philanthropies around like that, I know.) Then I also thought you might want to test her—that is, to see if she’d come and thank you when she found it. Then, that you wanted to avoid her gratitude, and that—how does it go?—that the right hand, or whatever, shouldn’t know…something like that, in short[2]…Well, and so many other thoughts came to my mind then that I decided to think it all over later, but still considered it indelicate to reveal to you that I knew the secret. Again, however, still another question immediately came to my mind: that Sofya Semyonovna, for all I knew, might lose the money before she noticed it, which is why I decided to come here, to call her aside, and inform her that a hundred roubles had been put in her pocket. But on the way I stopped first to see the Kobylyatnikov ladies and give them The General Conclusion of the Positive Method, and especially to recommend an article by Piederit (and, incidentally, one by Wagner as well);[3] then I came here and found a whole scene going on! How, then, how could I have all these thoughts and arguments if I hadn’t actually seen you put the hundred roubles in her pocket?” When Andrei Semyonovich finished his verbose argument, with such a logical conclusion at the close of the speech, he was terribly tired and sweat was even running down his face. Alas, he did not know how to explain himself properly even in Russian (though he knew no other language), so that he somehow immediately became all exhausted, and even seemed to have grown thinner after his forensic exploit. Nevertheless, his speech produced an extraordinary effect. He had spoken with such ardor, with such conviction, that everyone seemed to believe him. Pyotr Perrovich felt things were going badly.

“What do I care if some foolish questions came into your head?” he cried out. “That is no proof, sir! You may have raved it all up in a dream, that’s all! And I tell you that you are lying, sir! Lying and slandering because of some grudge against me, and, namely, because you’re angry at my disagreeing with your freethinking and godless social proposals, that’s what, sir!”

But this dodge proved useless to Pyotr Petrovich. On the contrary, murmuring was heard on all sides.

“Ah, so you’re off on that track now!” cried Lebezyatnikov. “Lies! Call the police, and I’ll swear an oath to it! The one thing I can’t understand is why he risked such a base act! Oh, you vile, pathetic man!”

“I can explain why he risked such an act, and if need be I’ll swear an oath to it myself!” Raskolnikov spoke finally in a firm voice, stepping forward.

He appeared firm and calm. It somehow became clear to everyone at a glance that he really knew what it was all about and that the denouement had arrived.

“It’s all perfectly clear to me now,” Raskolnikov went on, addressing Lebezyatnikov directly. “From the very beginning of this scene, I suspected there was some nasty hoax in it; I began suspecting it on account of certain particular circumstances, known only to myself, which I will presently explain to everyone: they are the crux of the matter! And you, Andrei Semyonovich, with your invaluable evidence, have finally made it all clear to me. I ask all of you, all of you, to listen carefully: this gentleman” (he pointed to Luzhin) “recently became engaged to a certain girl—namely, to my sister, Avdotya Romanovna Raskolnikov. But, having come to Petersburg, at our first meeting, the day before yesterday, he quarreled with me, and I threw him out of my place, for which there are witnesses. The man is very angry…I was not aware the day before yesterday that he was staying in your room, Andrei Semyonovich, and that consequently, on the same day that we quarreled—the day before yesterday, that is—he was a witness to my giving some money, as a friend of the late Mr. Marmeladov, to his wife, Katerina Ivanovna, for the funeral. He immediately wrote a note to my mother and informed her that I had given all my money not to Katerina Ivanovna, but to Sofya Semyonovna, and along with that made references in the meanest terms about…about Sofya Semyonovna’s character—that is, he hinted at the character of my relations with Sofya Semyonovna. All this, you understand, with the aim of making me quarrel with my mother and sister, by suggesting to them that I was squandering their last money, which they had sent to help me, for ignoble purposes. Yesterday evening, before my mother and sister, and in his presence, I re-established the truth, proving that I had given the money to Katerina Ivanovna for the funeral, and not to Sofya Semyonovna, and that the day before yesterday I was not yet even acquainted with Sofya Semyonovna and had never set eyes on her. I also added that he, Pyotr Petrovich Luzhin, for all his virtues, was not worth the little finger of Sofya Semyonovna, of whom he spoke so badly. And to his question, whether I would sit Sofya Semyonovna next to my sister, I answered that I had already done so that same day. Angry that my mother and sister did not want to quarrel with me over his calumny, he became more unpardonably rude to them with every word. A final break ensued, and he was thrown out of the house. All this took place yesterday evening. Here I ask you to pay particular attention: suppose he now managed to prove that Sofya Semyonovna was a thief; then, first of all, he would prove to my sister and mother that he was almost right in his suspicions; that he was justly angry with me for putting my sister and Sofya Semyonovna on the same level; that in attacking me he was thereby also defending and protecting the honor of my sister, and his bride. In short, by means of all this he might even make me quarrel with my family again, and could certainly hope to win back their favor. I say nothing of his revenge on me personally, since he has reasons to suppose that Sofya Semyonovna’s honor and happiness are very dear to me. That was the whole of his calculation! That is how I understand this business! That is the reason for it, and there can be no other!”

Thus, or almost thus, Raskolnikov ended his speech, interrupted frequently by exclamations from the public, who listened, however, very attentively. But in spite of all the interruptions, he spoke sharply, calmly, precisely, clearly, firmly. His sharp voice, his convinced tone and stern face produced an extraordinary effect on everyone.

“Right, right, that’s right!” Lebezyatnikov confirmed delightedly.

“It must be right, because he precisely asked me, as soon as Sofya Semyonovna came to our room, whether you were here, whether I had seen you among Katerina Ivanovna’s guests. He called me over to the window for that, and asked me quietly. That means he wanted to be sure you were here! It’s right, it’s all right!”

Luzhin was silent and only smiled contemptuously. He was very pale, however. He seemed to be pondering how he might wriggle out of it. He would perhaps have been glad to drop it all and leave, but at the present moment that was almost impossible; it would have amounted to a direct admission that the accusations being hurled at him were true and that he had indeed slandered Sofya Semyonovna. Besides, the public, who were a bit drunk to begin with, were much too excited. The supply man, though he had not understood it all, shouted more than anyone, and suggested certain measures quite unpleasant for Luzhin. But there were some who were not drunk; people came and gathered from all the rooms. The three little Poles were all terribly angry, and ceaselessly shouted “Panie lajdak!” [4] at him, muttering some other Polish threats in addition. Sonya had listened with strained attention, but also as if not understanding it all, as if coming out of a swoon. She simply would not take her eyes from Raskolnikov, feeling that he was her whole defense. Katerina Ivanovna was breathing hoarsely and with difficulty, and seemed terribly exhausted. Amalia Ivanovna stood there most stupidly of all, her mouth hanging open, grasping nothing whatsoever. She saw only that Pyotr Petrovich had somehow been caught. Raskolnikov asked to speak again, but this time he was not given a chance to finish: everyone was shouting and crowding around Luzhin with threats and curses. Yet Pyotr Petrovich did not turn coward. Seeing that the case of Sonya’s accusation was utterly lost, he resorted to outright insolence.

“Excuse me, gentlemen, excuse me; don’t crowd, let me pass!” he said, making his way through the throng. “And kindly stop your threatening; I assure you nothing will come of it, you won’t do anything, I’m not to be intimidated, quite the opposite, gentlemen, it is you who will have to answer for using force to cover up a criminal case. The thief has been more than exposed, and I shall pursue it, sirs. The courts are not so blind…or drunk; they will not believe two notorious atheists, agitators, and freethinkers, accusing me out of personal vengeance, which they, in their foolishness, admit themselves…So, sirs, excuse me!”

“Be so good as to move out, and don’t leave a trace of yourself behind in my room! It’s all over between us! When I think how I turned myself inside out explaining things to him…for two whole weeks! . . .”

“But I told you myself that I was vacating today, Andrei Semyonovich, and it was you who were trying to keep me here; now I shall only add that you are a fool, sir. I hope you may find a cure for your wits, and your weak-sighted eyes. Excuse me, gentlemen!”

He pushed his way through; but the supply man did not want to let him off so easily, just with abuse: he snatched a glass from the table, hauled off, and hurled it at Pyotr Petrovich; but the glass flew straight at Amalia Ivanovna. She shrieked, and the supply man, who had lost his balance as he swung, went crashing to the floor under the table. Pyotr Petrovich returned to his room, and half an hour later was no longer in the house. Sonya, timid by nature, had known even before that it was easier to ruin her than anyone else, and that whoever wanted to could offend her almost with impunity. But even so, until that very moment she had always thought it somehow possible to avoid disaster—by prudence, meekness, submissiveness to one and all. The disillusionment was too much for her. She was capable, of course, of enduring everything, even this, with patience and almost without a murmur. But for the first moment it was too much for her. In spite of her triumph and vindication—when the initial fear and the initial stupor had passed, when she had grasped and understood everything clearly—the feeling of helplessness and offense painfully wrung her heart. She became hysterical. Finally, unable to bear it, she rushed out of the room and ran home. This was almost immediately after Luzhin left. Amalia Ivanovna, when she was hit by the glass, amid the loud laughter of all those present, also could no longer bear this hangover from someone else’s spree. With a shriek, she flung herself wildly at Katerina Ivanovna, whom she blamed for everything.

“Facate the apartment! At vonce! March!” And with these words she began seizing anything of Katerina Ivanovna’s she could lay her hands on and throwing it to the floor. Nearly dead to begin with, all but in a faint, breathless, pale, Katerina Ivanovna jumped up from the bed (on which she had fallen in exhaustion) and rushed at Amalia Ivanovna. But the struggle was too unequal; she was pushed away like a feather.

“What! As if that godless slander weren’t enough—this creature is at me, too! What! I’m driven from my apartment on the day of my husband’s funeral, after my bread and salt, thrown out into the street, with the orphans! But where can I go?” the poor woman screamed, sobbing and gasping. “Lord!” she suddenly cried, her eyes flashing, “is there really no justice? Who else are you going to protect if not us orphans? Ah, no, we shall see! There is justice and truth in the world, there is, I’ll find it! Just wait, you godless creature! Polechka, stay with the children; I’ll be right back! Wait for me, even in the street! We’ll see whether there’s truth in the world!”

And throwing over her head the same green flannel shawl that the late Marmeladov had mentioned in his story, Katerina Ivanovna pushed her way through the disorderly and drunken crowd of tenants who still crowded the room, and ran shouting and weeping out into the street—with the vague purpose of finding justice somewhere, at once, immediately, and whatever the cost. Terrified, Polechka hid with the children in the corner, on the trunk, where, embracing the two little ones and trembling all over, she began waiting for her mother’s return. Amalia Ivanovna rushed about the room, shrieked, wailed, flung everything she came upon to the floor, in a great rage. The tenants were all bawling without rhyme or reason—some finished saying whatever they could about the just-occurred incident; others quarreled and swore; still others began singing songs . . .

“And now it’s also time for me to go!” thought Raskolnikov. “Well, Sofya Semyonovna, we’ll see what you have to say now!”

And he set out for Sonya’s place.


[1] “Oh, merciful God!” (German).

[2] See Matthew 6:3: “But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth . . .”

[3] The General Conclusion of the Positive Method was a collection of articles on various scientific subjects, mainly physiology and psychology, translated from German into Russian and published in 1866. Piederit was a German medical writer; Adolf Wagner, a follower of Quételet, was a proponent of “moral statistics” (see Part One, note 33).

[4] “Sir, you are a scoundrel!” (Polish).


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