what is perry's state of mind during the night of the killings and how does he try to get out of the crime?
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Perry tries to claim that it was Dick who was serious about the murders. At this point Perry describes the exchange that led to the eventual killing spree:
“He was holding the knife. I asked him for it, and I said, ‘All right, Dick. Here goes.’ But I didn’t mean it. I meant to call his bluff, make him argue me out of it, make him admit he was a phony and a coward. See, if was something between me and Dick. I knelt down beside Mr. Clutter, and the pain of kneeling . . . the shame. Disgust. . . . But I didn’t realize what I’d done till I heard the sound. Like somebody drowning. Screaming under the water” (244).