"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
"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
"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
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
"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
"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, switching 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 in the pillow, wrapped more closely
about him the soft, wadded quilt which had replaced the old, ragged great-coat,
sighed softly and sank into a deep, sound, refreshing sleep.
He woke up, hearing some one 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 heaven! 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
"Presently, afterwards," said Raskolnikov, waving it of 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 bashful 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 conditions: 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?"