He was not completely unconscious, however, all the time he was ill; he was in a feverish state, sometimes delirious, sometimes half conscious. He remembered a great deal afterwards. Sometimes it seemed as though there were a number of people round him; they wanted to take him away somewhere, there was a great deal of squabbling and discussing about him. Then he would be alone in the room; they had all gone away afraid of him, and only now and then opened the door a crack to look at him; they threatened him, plotted something together, laughed, and mocked at him. He remembered Nastasya often at his bedside; he distinguished another person, too, whom he seemed to know very well, though he could not remember who he was, and this fretted him, even made him cry. Sometimes he fancied he had been lying there a month; at other times it all seemed part of the same day. But of _that_--of _that_ he had no recollection, and yet every minute he felt that he had forgotten something he ought to remember. He worried and tormented himself trying to remember, moaned, flew into a rage, or sank into awful, intolerable terror. Then he struggled to get up, would have run away, but someone always prevented him by force, and he sank back into impotence and forgetfulness. At last he returned to complete consciousness.
It happened at ten o'clock in the morning. On fine days the sun shone into the room at that hour, throwing a streak of light on the right wall and the corner near the door. Nastasya was standing beside him with another person, a complete stranger, who was looking at him very inquisitively. He was a young man with a beard, wearing a full, short-waisted coat, and looked like a messenger. The landlady was peeping in at the half-opened door. Raskolnikov sat up.
"Who is this, Nastasya?" he asked, pointing to the young man.
"I say, he's himself again!" she said.
"He is himself," echoed the man.
Concluding that he had returned to his senses, the landlady closed the door and disappeared. She was always shy and dreaded conversations or discussions. She was a woman of forty, not at all bad-looking, fat and buxom, with black eyes and eyebrows, good-natured from fatness and laziness, and absurdly bashful.
"Who... are you?" he went on, addressing the man. But at that moment the door was flung open, and, stooping a little, as he was so tall, Razumihin came in.
"What a cabin it is!" he cried. "I am always knocking my head. You call this a lodging! So you are conscious, brother? I've just heard the news from Pashenka."
"He has just come to," said Nastasya.
"Just come to," echoed the man again, with a smile.
"And who are you?" Razumihin asked, suddenly addressing him. "My name is Vrazumihin, at your service; not Razumihin, as I am always called, but Vrazumihin, a student and gentleman; and he is my friend. And who are you?"
"I am the messenger from our office, from the merchant Shelopaev, and I've come on business."
"Please sit down." Razumihin seated himself on the other side of the table. "It's a good thing you've come to, brother," he went on to Raskolnikov. "For the last four days you have scarcely eaten or drunk anything. We had to give you tea in spoonfuls. I brought Zossimov to see you twice. You remember Zossimov? He examined you carefully and said at once it was nothing serious--something seemed to have gone to your head. Some nervous nonsense, the result of bad feeding, he says you have not had enough beer and radish, but it's nothing much, it will pass and you will be all right. Zossimov is a first-rate fellow! He is making quite a name. Come, I won't keep you," he said, addressing the man again. "Will you explain what you want? You must know, Rodya, this is the second time they have sent from the office; but it was another man last time, and I talked to him. Who was it came before?"
"That was the day before yesterday, I venture to say, if you please, sir. That was Alexey Semyonovitch; he is in our office, too."
"He was more intelligent than you, don't you think so?"
"Yes, indeed, sir, he is of more weight than I am."
"Quite so; go on."
"At your mamma's request, through Afanasy Ivanovitch Vahrushin, of whom I presume you have heard more than once, a remittance is sent to you from our office," the man began, addressing Raskolnikov. "If you are in an intelligible condition, I've thirty-five roubles to remit to you, as Semyon Semyonovitch has received from Afanasy Ivanovitch at your mamma's request instructions to that effect, as on previous occasions. Do you know him, sir?"
"Yes, I remember... Vahrushin," Raskolnikov said dreamily.
"You hear, he knows Vahrushin," cried Razumihin. "He is in 'an intelligible condition'! And I see you are an intelligent man too. Well, it's always pleasant to hear words of wisdom."
"That's the gentleman, Vahrushin, Afanasy Ivanovitch. And at the request of your mamma, who has sent you a remittance once before in the same manner through him, he did not refuse this time also, and sent instructions to Semyon Semyonovitch some days since to hand you thirty-five roubles in the hope of better to come."
"That 'hoping for better to come' is the best thing you've said, though 'your mamma' is not bad either. Come then, what do you say? Is he fully conscious, eh?"
"That's all right. If only he can sign this little paper."
"He can scrawl his name. Have you got the book?"
"Yes, here's the book."
"Give it to me. Here, Rodya, sit up. I'll hold you. Take the pen and scribble 'Raskolnikov' for him. For just now, brother, money is sweeter to us than treacle."
"I don't want it," said Raskolnikov, pushing away the pen.
"Not want it?"
"I won't sign it."
"How the devil can you do without signing it?"
"I don't want... the money."
"Don't want the money! Come, brother, that's nonsense, I bear witness. Don't trouble, please, it's only that he is on his travels again. But that's pretty common with him at all times though.... You are a man of judgment and we will take him in hand, that is, more simply, take his hand and he will sign it. Here."
"But I can come another time."
"No, no. Why should we trouble you? You are a man of judgment.... Now, Rodya, don't keep your visitor, you see he is waiting," and he made ready to hold Raskolnikov's hand in earnest.
"Stop, I'll do it alone," said the latter, taking the pen and signing his name.
The messenger took out the money and went away.
"Bravo! And now, brother, are you hungry?"
"Yes," answered Raskolnikov.
"Is there any soup?"
"Some of yesterday's," answered Nastasya, who was still standing there.
"With potatoes and rice in it?"
"I know it by heart. Bring soup and give us some tea."
Raskolnikov looked at all this with profound astonishment and a dull, unreasoning terror. He made up his mind to keep quiet and see what would happen. "I believe I am not wandering. I believe it's reality," he thought.
In a couple of minutes Nastasya returned with the soup, and announced that the tea would be ready directly. With the soup she brought two spoons, two plates, salt, pepper, mustard for the beef, and so on. The table was set as it had not been for a long time. The cloth was clean.
"It would not be amiss, Nastasya, if Praskovya Pavlovna were to send us up a couple of bottles of beer. We could empty them."
"Well, you are a cool hand," muttered Nastasya, and she departed to carry out his orders.
Raskolnikov still gazed wildly with strained attention. Meanwhile Razumihin sat down on the sofa beside him, as clumsily as a bear put his left arm round Raskolnikov's head, although he was able to sit up, and with his right hand gave him a spoonful of soup, blowing on it that it might not burn him. But the soup was only just warm. Raskolnikov swallowed one spoonful greedily, then a second, then a third. But after giving him a few more spoonfuls of soup, Razumihin suddenly stopped, and said that he must ask Zossimov whether he ought to have more.
Nastasya came in with two bottles of beer.
"And will you have tea?"
"Cut along, Nastasya, and bring some tea, for tea we may venture on without the faculty. But here is the beer!" He moved back to his chair, pulled the soup and meat in front of him, and began eating as though he had not touched food for three days.
"I must tell you, Rodya, I dine like this here every day now," he mumbled with his mouth full of beef, "and it's all Pashenka, your dear little landlady, who sees to that; she loves to do anything for me. I don't ask for it, but, of course, I don't object. And here's Nastasya with the tea. She is a quick girl. Nastasya, my dear, won't you have some beer?"
"Get along with your nonsense!"
"A cup of tea, then?"
"A cup of tea, maybe."
"Pour it out. Stay, I'll pour it out myself. Sit down."
He poured out two cups, left his dinner, and sat on the sofa again. As before, he put his left arm round the sick man's head, raised him up and gave him tea in spoonfuls, again blowing each spoonful steadily and earnestly, as though this process was the principal and most effective means towards his friend's recovery. Raskolnikov said nothing and made no resistance, though he felt quite strong enough to sit up on the sofa without support and could not merely have held a cup or a spoon, but even perhaps could have walked about. But from some queer, almost animal, cunning he conceived the idea of hiding his strength and lying low for a time, pretending if necessary not to be yet in full possession of his faculties, and meanwhile listening to find out what was going on. Yet he could not overcome his sense of repugnance. After sipping a dozen spoonfuls of tea, he suddenly released his head, pushed the spoon away capriciously, and sank back on the pillow. There were actually real pillows under his head now, down pillows in clean cases, he observed that, too, and took note of it.
"Pashenka must give us some raspberry jam to-day to make him some raspberry tea," said Razumihin, going back to his chair and attacking his soup and beer again.
"And where is she to get raspberries for you?" asked Nastasya, balancing a saucer on her five outspread fingers and sipping tea through a lump of sugar.
"She'll get it at the shop, my dear. You see, Rodya, all sorts of things have been happening while you have been laid up. When you decamped in that rascally way without leaving your address, I felt so angry that I resolved to find you out and punish you. I set to work that very day. How I ran about making inquiries for you! This lodging of yours I had forgotten, though I never remembered it, indeed, because I did not know it; and as for your old lodgings, I could only remember it was at the Five Corners, Harlamov's house. I kept trying to find that Harlamov's house, and afterwards it turned out that it was not Harlamov's, but Buch's. How one muddles up sound sometimes! So I lost my temper, and I went on the chance to the address bureau next day, and only fancy, in two minutes they looked you up! Your name is down there."
"I should think so; and yet a General Kobelev they could not find while I was there. Well, it's a long story. But as soon as I did land on this place, I soon got to know all your affairs--all, all, brother, I know everything; Nastasya here will tell you. I made the acquaintance of Nikodim Fomitch and Ilya Petrovitch, and the house-porter and Mr. Zametov, Alexandr Grigorievitch, the head clerk in the police office, and, last, but not least, of Pashenka; Nastasya here knows...."
"He's got round her," Nastasya murmured, smiling slyly.
"Why don't you put the sugar in your tea, Nastasya Nikiforovna?"
"You are a one!" Nastasya cried suddenly, going off into a giggle. "I am not Nikiforovna, but Petrovna," she added suddenly, recovering from her mirth.
"I'll make a note of it. Well, brother, to make a long story short, I was going in for a regular explosion here to uproot all malignant influences in the locality, but Pashenka won the day. I had not expected, brother, to find her so... prepossessing. Eh, what do you think?"
Raskolnikov did not speak, but he still kept his eyes fixed upon him, full of alarm.
"And all that could be wished, indeed, in every respect," Razumihin went on, not at all embarrassed by his silence.
"Ah, the sly dog!" Nastasya shrieked again. This conversation afforded her unspeakable delight.
"It's a pity, brother, that you did not set to work in the right way at first. You ought to have approached her differently. She is, so to speak, a most unaccountable character. But we will talk about her character later.... How could you let things come to such a pass that she gave up sending you your dinner? And that I O U? You must have been mad to sign an I O U. And that promise of marriage when her daughter, Natalya Yegorovna, was alive?... I know all about it! But I see that's a delicate matter and I am an ass; forgive me. But, talking of foolishness, do you know Praskovya Pavlovna is not nearly so foolish as you would think at first sight?"
"No," mumbled Raskolnikov, looking away, but feeling that it was better to keep up the conversation.
"She isn't, is she?" cried Razumihin, delighted to get an answer out of him. "But she is not very clever either, eh? She is essentially, essentially an unaccountable character! I am sometimes quite at a loss, I assure you.... She must be forty; she says she is thirty-six, and of course she has every right to say so. But I swear I judge her intellectually, simply from the metaphysical point of view; there is a sort of symbolism sprung up between us, a sort of algebra or what not! I don't understand it! Well, that's all nonsense. Only, seeing that you are not a student now and have lost your lessons and your clothes, and that through the young lady's death she has no need to treat you as a relation, she suddenly took fright; and as you hid in your den and dropped all your old relations with her, she planned to get rid of you. And she's been cherishing that design a long time, but was sorry to lose the I O U, for you assured her yourself that your mother would pay."
"It was base of me to say that.... My mother herself is almost a beggar... and I told a lie to keep my lodging... and be fed," Raskolnikov said loudly and distinctly.
"Yes, you did very sensibly. But the worst of it is that at that point Mr. Tchebarov turns up, a business man. Pashenka would never have thought of doing anything on her own account, she is too retiring; but the business man is by no means retiring, and first thing he puts the question, 'Is there any hope of realising the I O U?' Answer: there is, because he has a mother who would save her Rodya with her hundred and twenty-five roubles pension, if she has to starve herself; and a sister, too, who would go into bondage for his sake. That's what he was building upon.... Why do you start? I know all the ins and outs of your affairs now, my dear boy--it's not for nothing that you were so open with Pashenka when you were her prospective son-in-law, and I say all this as a friend.... But I tell you what it is; an honest and sensitive man is open; and a business man 'listens and goes on eating' you up. Well, then she gave the I O U by way of payment to this Tchebarov, and without hesitation he made a formal demand for payment. When I heard of all this I wanted to blow him up, too, to clear my conscience, but by that time harmony reigned between me and Pashenka, and I insisted on stopping the whole affair, engaging that you would pay. I went security for you, brother. Do you understand? We called Tchebarov, flung him ten roubles and got the I O U back from him, and here I have the honour of presenting it to you. She trusts your word now. Here, take it, you see I have torn it."
Razumihin put the note on the table. Raskolnikov looked at him and turned to the wall without uttering a word. Even Razumihin felt a twinge.
"I see, brother," he said a moment later, "that I have been playing the fool again. I thought I should amuse you with my chatter, and I believe I have only made you cross."
"Was it you I did not recognise when I was delirious?" Raskolnikov asked, after a moment's pause without turning his head.
"Yes, and you flew into a rage about it, especially when I brought Zametov one day."
"Zametov? The head clerk? What for?" Raskolnikov turned round quickly and fixed his eyes on Razumihin.
"What's the matter with you?... What are you upset about? He wanted to make your acquaintance because I talked to him a lot about you.... How could I have found out so much except from him? He is a capital fellow, brother, first-rate... in his own way, of course. Now we are friends--see each other almost every day. I have moved into this part, you know. I have only just moved. I've been with him to Luise Ivanovna once or twice.... Do you remember Luise, Luise Ivanovna?
"Did I say anything in delirium?"
"I should think so! You were beside yourself."
"What did I rave about?"
"What next? What did you rave about? What people do rave about.... Well, brother, now I must not lose time. To work." He got up from the table and took up his cap.
"What did I rave about?"
"How he keeps on! Are you afraid of having let out some secret? Don't worry yourself; you said nothing about a countess. But you said a lot about a bulldog, and about ear-rings and chains, and about Krestovsky Island, and some porter, and Nikodim Fomitch and Ilya Petrovitch, the assistant superintendent. And another thing that was of special interest to you was your own sock. You whined, 'Give me my sock.' Zametov hunted all about your room for your socks, and with his own scented, ring-bedecked fingers he gave you the rag. And only then were you comforted, and for the next twenty-four hours you held the wretched thing in your hand; we could not get it from you. It is most likely somewhere under your quilt at this moment. And then you asked so piteously for fringe for your trousers. We tried to find out what sort of fringe, but we could not make it out. Now to business! Here are thirty-five roubles; I take ten of them, and shall give you an account of them in an hour or two. I will let Zossimov know at the same time, though he ought to have been here long ago, for it is nearly twelve. And you, Nastasya, look in pretty often while I am away, to see whether he wants a drink or anything else. And I will tell Pashenka what is wanted myself. Good-bye!"
"He calls her Pashenka! Ah, he's a deep one!" said Nastasya as he went out; then she opened the door and stood listening, but could not resist running downstairs after him. She was very eager to hear what he would say to the landlady. She was evidently quite fascinated by Razumihin.
No sooner had she left the room than the sick man flung off the bedclothes and leapt out of bed like a madman. With burning, twitching impatience he had waited for them to be gone so that he might set to work. But to what work? Now, as though to spite him, it eluded him.
"Good God, only tell me one thing: do they know of it yet or not? What if they know it and are only pretending, mocking me while I am laid up, and then they will come in and tell me that it's been discovered long ago and that they have only... What am I to do now? That's what I've forgotten, as though on purpose; forgotten it all at once, I remembered a minute ago."
He stood in the middle of the room and gazed in miserable bewilderment about him; he walked to the door, opened it, listened; but that was not what he wanted. Suddenly, as though recalling something, he rushed to the corner where there was a hole under the paper, began examining it, put his hand into the hole, fumbled--but that was not it. He went to the stove, opened it and began rummaging in the ashes; the frayed edges of his trousers and the rags cut off his pocket were lying there just as he had thrown them. No one had looked, then! Then he remembered the sock about which Razumihin had just been telling him. Yes, there it lay on the sofa under the quilt, but it was so covered with dust and grime that Zametov could not have seen anything on it.
"Bah, Zametov! The police office! And why am I sent for to the police office? Where's the notice? Bah! I am mixing it up; that was then. I looked at my sock then, too, but now... now I have been ill. But what did Zametov come for? Why did Razumihin bring him?" he muttered, helplessly sitting on the sofa again. "What does it mean? Am I still in delirium, or is it real? I believe it is real.... Ah, I remember; I must escape! Make haste to escape. Yes, I must, I must escape! Yes... but where? And where are my clothes? I've no boots. They've taken them away! They've hidden them! I understand! Ah, here is my coat--they passed that over! And here is money on the table, thank God! And here's the I O U... I'll take the money and go and take another lodging. They won't find me!... Yes, but the address bureau? They'll find me, Razumihin will find me. Better escape altogether... far away... to America, and let them do their worst! And take the I O U... it would be of use there.... What else shall I take? They think I am ill! They don't know that I can walk, ha-ha-ha! I could see by their eyes that they know all about it! If only I could get downstairs! And what if they have set a watch there--policemen! What's this tea? Ah, and here is beer left, half a bottle, cold!"
He snatched up the bottle, which still contained a glassful of beer, and gulped it down with relish, as though quenching a flame in his breast. But in another minute the beer had gone to his head, and a faint and even pleasant shiver ran down his spine. He lay down and pulled the quilt over him. His sick and incoherent thoughts grew more and more disconnected, and soon a light, pleasant drowsiness came upon him. With a sense of comfort he nestled his head into the pillow, wrapped more closely about him the soft, wadded quilt which had replaced the old, ragged greatcoat, sighed softly and sank into a deep, sound, refreshing sleep.
He woke up, hearing someone come in. He opened his eyes and saw Razumihin standing in the doorway, uncertain whether to come in or not. Raskolnikov sat up quickly on the sofa and gazed at him, as though trying to recall something.
"Ah, you are not asleep! Here I am! Nastasya, bring in the parcel!" Razumihin shouted down the stairs. "You shall have the account directly."
"What time is it?" asked Raskolnikov, looking round uneasily.
"Yes, you had a fine sleep, brother, it's almost evening, it will be six o'clock directly. You have slept more than six hours."
"Good heavens! Have I?"
"And why not? It will do you good. What's the hurry? A tryst, is it? We've all time before us. I've been waiting for the last three hours for you; I've been up twice and found you asleep. I've called on Zossimov twice; not at home, only fancy! But no matter, he will turn up. And I've been out on my own business, too. You know I've been moving to-day, moving with my uncle. I have an uncle living with me now. But that's no matter, to business. Give me the parcel, Nastasya. We will open it directly. And how do you feel now, brother?"
"I am quite well, I am not ill. Razumihin, have you been here long?"
"I tell you I've been waiting for the last three hours."
"How do you mean?"
"How long have you been coming here?"
"Why I told you all about it this morning. Don't you remember?"
Raskolnikov pondered. The morning seemed like a dream to him. He could not remember alone, and looked inquiringly at Razumihin.
"Hm!" said the latter, "he has forgotten. I fancied then that you were not quite yourself. Now you are better for your sleep.... You really look much better. First-rate! Well, to business. Look here, my dear boy."
He began untying the bundle, which evidently interested him.
"Believe me, brother, this is something specially near my heart. For we must make a man of you. Let's begin from the top. Do you see this cap?" he said, taking out of the bundle a fairly good though cheap and ordinary cap. "Let me try it on."
"Presently, afterwards," said Raskolnikov, waving it off pettishly.
"Come, Rodya, my boy, don't oppose it, afterwards will be too late; and I shan't sleep all night, for I bought it by guess, without measure. Just right!" he cried triumphantly, fitting it on, "just your size! A proper head-covering is the first thing in dress and a recommendation in its own way. Tolstyakov, a friend of mine, is always obliged to take off his pudding basin when he goes into any public place where other people wear their hats or caps. People think he does it from slavish politeness, but it's simply because he is ashamed of his bird's nest; he is such a boastful fellow! Look, Nastasya, here are two specimens of headgear: this Palmerston"--he took from the corner Raskolnikov's old, battered hat, which for some unknown reason, he called a Palmerston--"or this jewel! Guess the price, Rodya, what do you suppose I paid for it, Nastasya!" he said, turning to her, seeing that Raskolnikov did not speak.
"Twenty copecks, no more, I dare say," answered Nastasya.
"Twenty copecks, silly!" he cried, offended. "Why, nowadays you would cost more than that--eighty copecks! And that only because it has been worn. And it's bought on condition that when's it's worn out, they will give you another next year. Yes, on my word! Well, now let us pass to the United States of America, as they called them at school. I assure you I am proud of these breeches," and he exhibited to Raskolnikov a pair of light, summer trousers of grey woollen material. "No holes, no spots, and quite respectable, although a little worn; and a waistcoat to match, quite in the fashion. And its being worn really is an improvement, it's softer, smoother.... You see, Rodya, to my thinking, the great thing for getting on in the world is always to keep to the seasons; if you don't insist on having asparagus in January, you keep your money in your purse; and it's the same with this purchase. It's summer now, so I've been buying summer things--warmer materials will be wanted for autumn, so you will have to throw these away in any case... especially as they will be done for by then from their own lack of coherence if not your higher standard of luxury. Come, price them! What do you say? Two roubles twenty-five copecks! And remember the condition: if you wear these out, you will have another suit for nothing! They only do business on that system at Fedyaev's; if you've bought a thing once, you are satisfied for life, for you will never go there again of your own free will. Now for the boots. What do you say? You see that they are a bit worn, but they'll last a couple of months, for it's foreign work and foreign leather; the secretary of the English Embassy sold them last week--he had only worn them six days, but he was very short of cash. Price--a rouble and a half. A bargain?"
"But perhaps they won't fit," observed Nastasya.
"Not fit? Just look!" and he pulled out of his pocket Raskolnikov's old, broken boot, stiffly coated with dry mud. "I did not go empty-handed--they took the size from this monster. We all did our best. And as to your linen, your landlady has seen to that. Here, to begin with are three shirts, hempen but with a fashionable front.... Well now then, eighty copecks the cap, two roubles twenty-five copecks the suit--together three roubles five copecks--a rouble and a half for the boots--for, you see, they are very good--and that makes four roubles fifty-five copecks; five roubles for the underclothes--they were bought in the lo--which makes exactly nine roubles fifty-five copecks. Forty-five copecks change in coppers. Will you take it? And so, Rodya, you are set up with a complete new rig-out, for your overcoat will serve, and even has a style of its own. That comes from getting one's clothes from Sharmer's! As for your socks and other things, I leave them to you; we've twenty-five roubles left. And as for Pashenka and paying for your lodging, don't you worry. I tell you she'll trust you for anything. And now, brother, let me change your linen, for I daresay you will throw off your illness with your shirt."
"Let me be! I don't want to!" Raskolnikov waved him off. He had listened with disgust to Razumihin's efforts to be playful about his purchases.
"Come, brother, don't tell me I've been trudging around for nothing," Razumihin insisted. "Nastasya, don't be bashful, but help me--that's it," and in spite of Raskolnikov's resistance he changed his linen. The latter sank back on the pillows and for a minute or two said nothing.
"It will be long before I get rid of them," he thought. "What money was all that bought with?" he asked at last, gazing at the wall.
"Money? Why, your own, what the messenger brought from Vahrushin, your mother sent it. Have you forgotten that, too?"
"I remember now," said Raskolnikov after a long, sullen silence. Razumihin looked at him, frowning and uneasy.
The door opened and a tall, stout man whose appearance seemed familiar to Raskolnikov came in.
Zossimov was a tall, fat man with a puffy, colourless, clean-shaven face and straight flaxen hair. He wore spectacles, and a big gold ring on his fat finger. He was twenty-seven. He had on a light grey fashionable loose coat, light summer trousers, and everything about him loose, fashionable and spick and span; his linen was irreproachable, his watch-chain was massive. In manner he was slow and, as it were, nonchalant, and at the same time studiously free and easy; he made efforts to conceal his self-importance, but it was apparent at every instant. All his acquaintances found him tedious, but said he was clever at his work.
"I've been to you twice to-day, brother. You see, he's come to himself," cried Razumihin.
"I see, I see; and how do we feel now, eh?" said Zossimov to Raskolnikov, watching him carefully and, sitting down at the foot of the sofa, he settled himself as comfortably as he could.
"He is still depressed," Razumihin went on. "We've just changed his linen and he almost cried."
"That's very natural; you might have put it off if he did not wish it.... His pulse is first-rate. Is your head still aching, eh?"
"I am well, I am perfectly well!" Raskolnikov declared positively and irritably. He raised himself on the sofa and looked at them with glittering eyes, but sank back on to the pillow at once and turned to the wall. Zossimov watched him intently.
"Very good.... Going on all right," he said lazily. "Has he eaten anything?"
They told him, and asked what he might have.
"He may have anything... soup, tea... mushrooms and cucumbers, of course, you must not give him; he'd better not have meat either, and... but no need to tell you that!" Razumihin and he looked at each other. "No more medicine or anything. I'll look at him again to-morrow. Perhaps, to-day even... but never mind..."
"To-morrow evening I shall take him for a walk," said Razumihin. "We are going to the Yusupov garden and then to the Palais de Crystal."
"I would not disturb him to-morrow at all, but I don't know... a little, maybe... but we'll see."
"Ach, what a nuisance! I've got a house-warming party to-night; it's only a step from here. Couldn't he come? He could lie on the sofa. You are coming?" Razumihin said to Zossimov. "Don't forget, you promised."
"All right, only rather later. What are you going to do?"
"Oh, nothing--tea, vodka, herrings. There will be a pie... just our friends."
"All neighbours here, almost all new friends, except my old uncle, and he is new too--he only arrived in Petersburg yesterday to see to some business of his. We meet once in five years."
"What is he?"
"He's been stagnating all his life as a district postmaster; gets a little pension. He is sixty-five--not worth talking about.... But I am fond of him. Porfiry Petrovitch, the head of the Investigation Department here... But you know him."
"Is he a relation of yours, too?"
"A very distant one. But why are you scowling? Because you quarrelled once, won't you come then?"
"I don't care a damn for him."
"So much the better. Well, there will be some students, a teacher, a government clerk, a musician, an officer and Zametov."
"Do tell me, please, what you or he"--Zossimov nodded at Raskolnikov--"can have in common with this Zametov?"
"Oh, you particular gentleman! Principles! You are worked by principles, as it were by springs; you won't venture to turn round on your own account. If a man is a nice fellow, that's the only principle I go upon. Zametov is a delightful person."
"Though he does take bribes."
"Well, he does! and what of it? I don't care if he does take bribes," Razumihin cried with unnatural irritability. "I don't praise him for taking bribes. I only say he is a nice man in his own way! But if one looks at men in all ways--are there many good ones left? Why, I am sure I shouldn't be worth a baked onion myself... perhaps with you thrown in."
"That's too little; I'd give two for you."
"And I wouldn't give more than one for you. No more of your jokes! Zametov is no more than a boy. I can pull his hair and one must draw him not repel him. You'll never improve a man by repelling him, especially a boy. One has to be twice as careful with a boy. Oh, you progressive dullards! You don't understand. You harm yourselves running another man down.... But if you want to know, we really have something in common."
"I should like to know what."
"Why, it's all about a house-painter.... We are getting him out of a mess! Though indeed there's nothing to fear now. The matter is absolutely self-evident. We only put on steam."
"Why, haven't I told you about it? I only told you the beginning then about the murder of the old pawnbroker-woman. Well, the painter is mixed up in it..."
"Oh, I heard about that murder before and was rather interested in it... partly... for one reason.... I read about it in the papers, too...."
"Lizaveta was murdered, too," Nastasya blurted out, suddenly addressing Raskolnikov. She remained in the room all the time, standing by the door listening.
"Lizaveta," murmured Raskolnikov hardly audibly.
"Lizaveta, who sold old clothes. Didn't you know her? She used to come here. She mended a shirt for you, too."
Raskolnikov turned to the wall where in the dirty, yellow paper he picked out one clumsy, white flower with brown lines on it and began examining how many petals there were in it, how many scallops in the petals and how many lines on them. He felt his arms and legs as lifeless as though they had been cut off. He did not attempt to move, but stared obstinately at the flower.
"But what about the painter?" Zossimov interrupted Nastasya's chatter with marked displeasure. She sighed and was silent.
"Why, he was accused of the murder," Razumihin went on hotly.
"Was there evidence against him then?"
"Evidence, indeed! Evidence that was no evidence, and that's what we have to prove. It was just as they pitched on those fellows, Koch and Pestryakov, at first. Foo! how stupidly it's all done, it makes one sick, though it's not one's business! Pestryakov may be coming to-night.... By the way, Rodya, you've heard about the business already; it happened before you were ill, the day before you fainted at the police office while they were talking about it."
Zossimov looked curiously at Raskolnikov. He did not stir.
"But I say, Razumihin, I wonder at you. What a busybody you are!" Zossimov observed.
"Maybe I am, but we will get him off anyway," shouted Razumihin, bringing his fist down on the table. "What's the most offensive is not their lying--one can always forgive lying--lying is a delightful thing, for it leads to truth--what is offensive is that they lie and worship their own lying.... I respect Porfiry, but... What threw them out at first? The door was locked, and when they came back with the porter it was open. So it followed that Koch and Pestryakov were the murderers--that was their logic!"
"But don't excite yourself; they simply detained them, they could not help that.... And, by the way, I've met that man Koch. He used to buy unredeemed pledges from the old woman? Eh?"
"Yes, he is a swindler. He buys up bad debts, too. He makes a profession of it. But enough of him! Do you know what makes me angry? It's their sickening rotten, petrified routine.... And this case might be the means of introducing a new method. One can show from the psychological data alone how to get on the track of the real man. 'We have facts,' they say. But facts are not everything--at least half the business lies in how you interpret them!"
"Can you interpret them, then?"
"Anyway, one can't hold one's tongue when one has a feeling, a tangible feeling, that one might be a help if only.... Eh! Do you know the details of the case?"
"I am waiting to hear about the painter."
"Oh, yes! Well, here's the story. Early on the third day after the murder, when they were still dandling Koch and Pestryakov--though they accounted for every step they took and it was as plain as a pikestaff-an unexpected fact turned up. A peasant called Dushkin, who keeps a dram-shop facing the house, brought to the police office a jeweller's case containing some gold ear-rings, and told a long rigamarole. 'The day before yesterday, just after eight o'clock'--mark the day and the hour!--'a journeyman house-painter, Nikolay, who had been in to see me already that day, brought me this box of gold ear-rings and stones, and asked me to give him two roubles for them. When I asked him where he got them, he said that he picked them up in the street. I did not ask him anything more.' I am telling you Dushkin's story. 'I gave him a note'--a rouble that is--'for I thought if he did not pawn it with me he would with another. It would all come to the same thing--he'd spend it on drink, so the thing had better be with me. The further you hide it the quicker you will find it, and if anything turns up, if I hear any rumours, I'll take it to the police.' Of course, that's all taradiddle; he lies like a horse, for I know this Dushkin, he is a pawnbroker and a receiver of stolen goods, and he did not cheat Nikolay out of a thirty-rouble trinket in order to give it to the police. He was simply afraid. But no matter, to return to Dushkin's story. 'I've known this peasant, Nikolay Dementyev, from a child; he comes from the same province and district of Zara�sk, we are both Ryazan men. And though Nikolay is not a drunkard, he drinks, and I knew he had a job in that house, painting work with Dmitri, who comes from the same village, too. As soon as he got the rouble he changed it, had a couple of glasses, took his change and went out. But I did not see Dmitri with him then. And the next day I heard that someone had murdered Alyona Ivanovna and her sister, Lizaveta Ivanovna, with an axe. I knew them, and I felt suspicious about the ear-rings at once, for I knew the murdered woman lent money on pledges. I went to the house, and began to make careful inquiries without saying a word to anyone. First of all I asked, "Is Nikolay here?" Dmitri told me that Nikolay had gone off on the spree; he had come home at daybreak drunk, stayed in the house about ten minutes, and went out again. Dmitri didn't see him again and is finishing the job alone. And their job is on the same staircase as the murder, on the second floor. When I heard all that I did not say a word to anyone'--that's Dushkin's tale--'but I found out what I could about the murder, and went home feeling as suspicious as ever. And at eight o'clock this morning'--that was the third day, you understand--'I saw Nikolay coming in, not sober, though not to say very drunk--he could understand what was said to him. He sat down on the bench and did not speak. There was only one stranger in the bar and a man I knew asleep on a bench and our two boys. "Have you seen Dmitri?" said I. "No, I haven't," said he. "And you've not been here either?" "Not since the day before yesterday," said he. "And where did you sleep last night?" "In Peski, with the Kolomensky men." "And where did you get those ear-rings?" I asked. "I found them in the street," and the way he said it was a bit queer; he did not look at me. "Did you hear what happened that very evening, at that very hour, on that same staircase?" said I. "No," said he, "I had not heard," and all the while he was listening, his eyes were staring out of his head and he turned as white as chalk. I told him all about it and he took his hat and began getting up. I wanted to keep him. "Wait a bit, Nikolay," said I, "won't you have a drink?" And I signed to the boy to hold the door, and I came out from behind the bar; but he darted out and down the street to the turning at a run. I have not seen him since. Then my doubts were at an end--it was his doing, as clear as could be....'"
"I should think so," said Zossimov.
"Wait! Hear the end. Of course they sought high and low for Nikolay; they detained Dushkin and searched his house; Dmitri, too, was arrested; the Kolomensky men also were turned inside out. And the day before yesterday they arrested Nikolay in a tavern at the end of the town. He had gone there, taken the silver cross off his neck and asked for a dram for it. They gave it to him. A few minutes afterwards the woman went to the cowshed, and through a crack in the wall she saw in the stable adjoining he had made a noose of his sash from the beam, stood on a block of wood, and was trying to put his neck in the noose. The woman screeched her hardest; people ran in. 'So that's what you are up to!' 'Take me,' he says, 'to such-and-such a police officer; I'll confess everything.' Well, they took him to that police station--that is here--with a suitable escort. So they asked him this and that, how old he is, 'twenty-two,' and so on. At the question, 'When you were working with Dmitri, didn't you see anyone on the staircase at such-and-such a time?'--answer: 'To be sure folks may have gone up and down, but I did not notice them.' 'And didn't you hear anything, any noise, and so on?' 'We heard nothing special.' 'And did you hear, Nikolay, that on the same day Widow So-and-so and her sister were murdered and robbed?' 'I never knew a thing about it. The first I heard of it was from Afanasy Pavlovitch the day before yesterday.' 'And where did you find the ear-rings?' 'I found them on the pavement.' 'Why didn't you go to work with Dmitri the other day?' 'Because I was drinking.' 'And where were you drinking?' 'Oh, in such-and-such a place.' 'Why did you run away from Dushkin's?' 'Because I was awfully frightened.' 'What were you frightened of?' 'That I should be accused.' 'How could you be frightened, if you felt free from guilt?' Now, Zossimov, you may not believe me, that question was put literally in those words. I know it for a fact, it was repeated to me exactly! What do you say to that?"
"Well, anyway, there's the evidence."
"I am not talking of the evidence now, I am talking about that question, of their own idea of themselves. Well, so they squeezed and squeezed him and he confessed: 'I did not find it in the street, but in the flat where I was painting with Dmitri.' 'And how was that?' 'Why, Dmitri and I were painting there all day, and we were just getting ready to go, and Dmitri took a brush and painted my face, and he ran off and I after him. I ran after him, shouting my hardest, and at the bottom of the stairs I ran right against the porter and some gentlemen--and how many gentlemen were there I don't remember. And the porter swore at me, and the other porter swore, too, and the porter's wife came out, and swore at us, too; and a gentleman came into the entry with a lady, and he swore at us, too, for Dmitri and I lay right across the way. I got hold of Dmitri's hair and knocked him down and began beating him. And Dmitri, too, caught me by the hair and began beating me. But we did it all not for temper but in a friendly way, for sport. And then Dmitri escaped and ran into the street, and I ran after him; but I did not catch him, and went back to the flat alone; I had to clear up my things. I began putting them together, expecting Dmitri to come, and there in the passage, in the corner by the door, I stepped on the box. I saw it lying there wrapped up in paper. I took off the paper, saw some little hooks, undid them, and in the box were the ear-rings....'"
"Behind the door? Lying behind the door? Behind the door?" Raskolnikov cried suddenly, staring with a blank look of terror at Razumihin, and he slowly sat up on the sofa, leaning on his hand.
"Yes... why? What's the matter? What's wrong?" Razumihin, too, got up from his seat.
"Nothing," Raskolnikov answered faintly, turning to the wall. All were silent for a while.
"He must have waked from a dream," Razumihin said at last, looking inquiringly at Zossimov. The latter slightly shook his head.
"Well, go on," said Zossimov. "What next?"
"What next? As soon as he saw the ear-rings, forgetting Dmitri and everything, he took up his cap and ran to Dushkin and, as we know, got a rouble from him. He told a lie saying he found them in the street, and went off drinking. He keeps repeating his old story about the murder: 'I know nothing of it, never heard of it till the day before yesterday.' 'And why didn't you come to the police till now?' 'I was frightened.' 'And why did you try to hang yourself?' 'From anxiety.' 'What anxiety?' 'That I should be accused of it.' Well, that's the whole story. And now what do you suppose they deduced from that?"
"Why, there's no supposing. There's a clue, such as it is, a fact. You wouldn't have your painter set free?"
"Now they've simply taken him for the murderer. They haven't a shadow of doubt."
"That's nonsense. You are excited. But what about the ear-rings? You must admit that, if on the very same day and hour ear-rings from the old woman's box have come into Nikolay's hands, they must have come there somehow. That's a good deal in such a case."
"How did they get there? How did they get there?" cried Razumihin. "How can you, a doctor, whose duty it is to study man and who has more opportunity than anyone else for studying human nature--how can you fail to see the character of the man in the whole story? Don't you see at once that the answers he has given in the examination are the holy truth? They came into his hand precisely as he has told us--he stepped on the box and picked it up."
"The holy truth! But didn't he own himself that he told a lie at first?"
"Listen to me, listen attentively. The porter and Koch and Pestryakov and the other porter and the wife of the first porter and the woman who was sitting in the porter's lodge and the man Kryukov, who had just got out of a cab at that minute and went in at the entry with a lady on his arm, that is eight or ten witnesses, agree that Nikolay had Dmitri on the ground, was lying on him beating him, while Dmitri hung on to his hair, beating him, too. They lay right across the way, blocking the thoroughfare. They were sworn at on all sides while they 'like children' (the very words of the witnesses) were falling over one another, squealing, fighting and laughing with the funniest faces, and, chasing one another like children, they ran into the street. Now take careful note. The bodies upstairs were warm, you understand, warm when they found them! If they, or Nikolay alone, had murdered them and broken open the boxes, or simply taken part in the robbery, allow me to ask you one question: do their state of mind, their squeals and giggles and childish scuffling at the gate fit in with axes, bloodshed, fiendish cunning, robbery? They'd just killed them, not five or ten minutes before, for the bodies were still warm, and at once, leaving the flat open, knowing that people would go there at once, flinging away their booty, they rolled about like children, laughing and attracting general attention. And there are a dozen witnesses to swear to that!"
"Of course it is strange! It's impossible, indeed, but..."
"No, brother, no _buts_. And if the ear-rings being found in Nikolay's hands at the very day and hour of the murder constitutes an important piece of circumstantial evidence against him--although the explanation given by him accounts for it, and therefore it does not tell seriously against him--one must take into consideration the facts which prove him innocent, especially as they are facts that _cannot be denied_. And do you suppose, from the character of our legal system, that they will accept, or that they are in a position to accept, this fact--resting simply on a psychological impossibility--as irrefutable and conclusively breaking down the circumstantial evidence for the prosecution? No, they won't accept it, they certainly won't, because they found the jewel-case and the man tried to hang himself, 'which he could not have done if he hadn't felt guilty.' That's the point, that's what excites me, you must understand!"
"Oh, I see you are excited! Wait a bit. I forgot to ask you; what proof is there that the box came from the old woman?"
"That's been proved," said Razumihin with apparent reluctance, frowning. "Koch recognised the jewel-case and gave the name of the owner, who proved conclusively that it was his."
"That's bad. Now another point. Did anyone see Nikolay at the time that Koch and Pestryakov were going upstairs at first, and is there no evidence about that?"
"Nobody did see him," Razumihin answered with vexation. "That's the worst of it. Even Koch and Pestryakov did not notice them on their way upstairs, though, indeed, their evidence could not have been worth much. They said they saw the flat was open, and that there must be work going on in it, but they took no special notice and could not remember whether there actually were men at work in it."
"Hm!... So the only evidence for the defence is that they were beating one another and laughing. That constitutes a strong presumption, but... How do you explain the facts yourself?"
"How do I explain them? What is there to explain? It's clear. At any rate, the direction in which explanation is to be sought is clear, and the jewel-case points to it. The real murderer dropped those ear-rings. The murderer was upstairs, locked in, when Koch and Pestryakov knocked at the door. Koch, like an ass, did not stay at the door; so the murderer popped out and ran down, too; for he had no other way of escape. He hid from Koch, Pestryakov and the porter in the flat when Nikolay and Dmitri had just run out of it. He stopped there while the porter and others were going upstairs, waited till they were out of hearing, and then went calmly downstairs at the very minute when Dmitri and Nikolay ran out into the street and there was no one in the entry; possibly he was seen, but not noticed. There are lots of people going in and out. He must have dropped the ear-rings out of his pocket when he stood behind the door, and did not notice he dropped them, because he had other things to think of. The jewel-case is a conclusive proof that he did stand there.... That's how I explain it."
"Too clever! No, my boy, you're too clever. That beats everything."
"But, why, why?"
"Why, because everything fits too well... it's too melodramatic."
"A-ach!" Razumihin was exclaiming, but at that moment the door opened and a personage came in who was a stranger to all present.