Raskolnikov seemed offended.
"Clear? Why don't you catch him then?" he cried, maliciously gibing at Zametov.
"Well, they will catch him."
"Who? You? Do you suppose you could catch him? You've a tough job! A great point
for you is whether a man is spending money or not. If he had no money and suddenly
begins spending, he must be the man. So that any child can mislead you."
"The fact is they always do that, though," answered Zametov. "A man will commit
a clever murder at the risk of his life and then at once he goes drinking in a tavern.
They are caught spending money, they are not all as cunning as you are. You wouldn't
go to a tavern, of course?"
Raskolnikov frowned and looked steadily at Zametov.
"You seem to enjoy the subject and would like to know how I should behave in
that case, too?" he asked with displeasure.
"I should like to," Zametov answered firmly and seriously. Somewhat too much
earnestness began to appear in his words and looks.
"All right then. This is how I should behave," Raskolnikov began, again bringing
his face close to Zametov's, again staring at him and speaking in a whisper, so
that the latter positively shuddered. "This is what I should have done. I should
have taken the money and jewels, I should have walked out of there and have gone
straight to some deserted place with fences round it and scarcely any one to be
seen, some kitchen garden or place of that sort. I should have looked out beforehand
some stone weighing a hundredweight or more which had been lying in the corner from
the time the house was built. I would lift that stone– there would be sure to be
a hollow under it, and I would put the jewels and money in that hole. Then I'd roll
the stone back so that it would look as before, would press it down with my foot
and walk away. And for a year or two, three maybe, I would not touch it. And, well,
they could search! There'd be no trace."
"You are a madman," said Zametov, and for some reason he too spoke in a whisper,
and moved away from Raskolnikov, whose eyes were glittering. He had turned fearfully
pale and his upper lip was twitching and quivering. He bent down as close as possible
to Zametov, and his lips began to move without uttering a word. This lasted for
half a minute; he knew what he was doing, but could not restrain himself. The terrible
word trembled on his lips, like the latch on that door; in another moment it will
break out, in another moment he will let it go, he will speak out.
"And what if it was I who murdered the old woman and Lizaveta?" he said suddenly
and– realised what he had done.
Zametov looked wildly at him and turned white as the tablecloth. His face wore
a contorted smile.
"But is it possible?" he brought out faintly. Raskolnikov looked wrathfully at
"Own up that you believed it, yes, you did?"
"Not a bit of it, I believe it less than ever now," Zametov cried hastily.
"I've caught my cocksparrow! So you did believe it before, if now you believe
less than ever?"
"Not at all," cried Zametov, obviously embarrassed. "Have you been frightening
me so as to lead up to this?"
"You don't believe it then? What were you talking about behind my back when I
went out of the police office? And why did the Explosive Lieutenant question me
after I fainted? Hey, there," he shouted to the waiter, getting up and taking his
cap, "how much?"
"Thirty copecks," the latter replied, running up.
"And there is twenty copecks for vodka. See what a lot of money!" he held out
his shaking hand to Zametov with notes in it. "Red notes and blue, twenty-five roubles.
Where did I get them? And where did my new clothes come from? You know I had not
a copeck. You've cross-examined my landlady, I'll be bound…. Well, that's enough!
Assez cause! Till we meet again!"
He went out, trembling all over from a sort of wild hysterical sensation, in
which there was an element of insufferable rapture. Yet he was gloomy and terribly
tired. His face was twisted as after a fit. His fatigue increased rapidly. Any shock,
any irritating sensation stimulated and revived his energies at once, but his strength
failed as quickly when the stimulus was removed.
Zametov, left alone, sat for a long time in the same place, plunged in thought.
Raskolnikov had unwittingly worked a revolution in his brain on a certain point
and had made up his mind for him conclusively.
"Ilya Petrovitch is a blockhead," he decided.
Raskolnikov had hardly opened the door of the restaurant when he stumbled against
Razumihin on the steps. They did not see each other till they almost knocked against
each other. For a moment they stood looking each other up and down. Razumihin was
greatly astounded, then anger, real anger gleamed fiercely in his eyes.
"So here you are!" he shouted at the top of his voice– "you ran away from your
bed! And here I've been looking for you under the sofa! We went up to the garret.
I almost beat Nastasya on your account. And here he is after all. Rodya! What is
the meaning of it? Tell me the whole truth! Confess! Do you hear?"
"It means that I'm sick to death of you all and I want to be alone," Raskolnikov
"Alone? When you are not able to walk, when your face is as white as a sheet
and you are gasping for breath! Idiot!… What have you been doing in the Palais de
Crystal? Own up at once!"
"Let me go!" said Raskolnikov and tried to pass him. This was too much for Razumihin;
he gripped him firmly by the shoulder.
"Let you go? You dare tell me to let you go? Do you know what I'll do with you
directly? I'll pick you up, tie you up in a bundle, carry you home under my arm
and lock you up!"
"Listen, Razumihin," Raskolnikov began quietly, apparently calm– "can't you see
that I don't want your benevolence? A strange desire you have to shower benefits
on a man who… curses them, who feels them a burden in fact! Why did you seek me
out at the beginning of my illness? Maybe I was very glad to die. Didn't I tell
you plainly enough to-day that you were torturing me, that I was… sick of you! You
seem to want to torture people! I assure you that all that is seriously hindering
my recovery, because it's continually irritating me. You saw Zossimov went away
just now to avoid irritating me. You leave me alone too, for goodness' sake! What
right have you, indeed, to keep me by force? Don't you see that I am in possession
of all my faculties now? How, can I persuade you not to persecute me with your kindness?
I may be ungrateful, I may be mean, only let me be, for God's sake, let me be! Let
me be, let me be!"
He began calmly, gloating beforehand over the venomous phrases he was about to
utter, but finished, panting for breath, in a frenzy, as he had been with Luzhin.
Razumihin stood a moment, thought and let his hand drop.
"Well, go to hell then," he said gently and thoughtfully. "Stay," he roared,
as Raskolnikov was about to move. "Listen to me. Let me tell you, that you are all
a set of babbling, posing idiots! If you've any little trouble you brood over it
like a hen over an egg. And you are plagiarists even in that! There isn't a sign
of independent life in you! You are made of spermaceti ointment and you've lymph
in your veins instead of blood. I don't believe in any one of you! In any circumstances
the first thing for all of you is to be unlike a human being! Stop!" he cried with
redoubled fury, noticing that Raskolnikov was again making a movement– "hear me
out! You know I'm having a house-warming this evening, I dare say they've arrived
by now, but I left my uncle there– I just ran in– to receive the guests. And if
you weren't a fool, a common fool, a perfect fool, if you were an original instead
of a translation… you see, Rodya, I recognise you're a clever fellow, but you're
a fool!– and if you weren't a fool you'd come round to me this evening instead of
wearing out your boots in the street! Since you have gone out, there's no help for
it! I'd give you a snug easy chair, my landlady has one… a cup of tea, company….
Or you could lie on the sofa– any way you would be with us…. Zossimov will be there
too. Will you come?"
"R-rubbish!" Razumihin shouted, out of patience. "How do you know? You can't
answer for yourself! You don't know anything about it…. Thousands of times I've
fought tooth and nail with people and run back to them afterwards…. One feels ashamed
and goes back to a man! So remember, Potchinkov's house on the third storey…."
"Why, Mr. Razumihin, I do believe you'd let anybody beat you from sheer benevolence."
"Beat? Whom? Me? I'd twist his nose off at the mere idea! Potchinkov's house,
47, Babushkin's flat…."
"I shall not come, Razumihin." Raskolnikov turned and walked away.
"I bet you will," Razumihin shouted after him. "I refuse to know you if you don't!
Stay, hey, is Zametov in there?"
"Did you see him?"
"Talked to him?"
"What about? Confound you, don't tell me then. Potchinkov's house, 47, Babushkin's
Raskolnikov walked on and turned the corner into Sadovy Street. Razumihin looked
after him thoughtfully. Then with a wave of his hand he went into the house but
stopped short of the stairs.
"Confound it," he went on almost aloud. "He talked sensibly but yet… I am a fool!
As if madmen didn't talk sensibly! And this was just what Zossimov seemed afraid
of." He struck his finger on his forehead. "What if… how could I let him go off
alone? He may drown himself…. Ach, what a blunder! I can't." And he ran back to
overtake Raskolnikov, but there was no trace of him. With a curse he returned with
rapid steps to the Palais de Crystal to question Zametov.
Raskolnikov walked straight to X Bridge, stood in the middle, and leaning both
elbows on the rail stared into the distance. On parting with Razumihin, he felt
so much weaker that he could scarcely reach this place. He longed to sit or lie
down somewhere in the street. Bending over the water, he gazed mechanically at the
last pink flush of the sunset, at the row of houses growing dark in the gathering
twilight, at one distant attic window on the left bank, flashing as though on fire
in the last rays of the setting sun, at the darkening water of the canal, and the
water seemed to catch his attention. At last red circles flashed before his eyes,
the houses seemed moving, the passers-by, the canal banks, the carriages, all danced
before his eyes. Suddenly he started, saved again perhaps from swooning by an uncanny
and hideous sight. He became aware of some one standing on the right side of him;
he looked and saw a tall woman with a kerchief on her head, with a long, yellow,
wasted face and red sunken eyes. She was looking straight at him, but obviously
she saw nothing and recognized no one. Suddenly she leaned her right hand on the
parapet, lifted her right leg over the railing, then her left and threw herself
into the canal. The filthy water parted and swallowed up its victim for a moment,
but an instant later the drowning woman floated to the surface, moving slowly with
the current, her head and legs in the water, her skirt inflated like a balloon over
"A woman drowning! A woman drowning!" shouted dozens of voices; people ran up,
both banks were thronged with spectators, on the bridge people crowded about Raskolnikov,
pressing up behind him.
"Mercy on it! it's our Afrosinya!" a woman cried tearfully close by. "Mercy!
save her! kind people, pull her out!"
"A boat, a boat" was shouted in the crowd. But there was no need of a boat; a
policeman ran down the steps to the canal, threw off his great coat and his boots
and rushed into the water. It was easy to reach her; she floated within a couple
of yards from the steps, he caught hold of her clothes with his right hand and with
his left seized a pole which a comrade held out to him; the drowning woman was pulled
out at once. They laid her on the granite pavement of the embankment. She soon recovered
consciousness, raised her head, sat up and began sneezing and coughing, stupidly
wiping her wet dress with her hands. She said nothing.
"She's drunk herself out of her senses," the same woman's voice wailed at her
side. "Out of her senses. The other day she tried to hang herself, we cut her down.
I ran out to the shop just now, left my little girl to look after her– and here
she's in trouble again! A neighbour, gentleman neighbour, we live close by, the
second house from the end, see yonder…."
The crowd broke up. The police still remained round the woman, some one mentioned
the police station…. Raskolnikov looked on with a strange sensation of indifference
and apathy. He felt disgusted. "No, that's loathsome… water… it's not good enough,"
he muttered to himself. "Nothing will come of it," he added, "no use to wait. What
about the police office…? And why isn't Zametov at the police office? The police
office is open till ten o'clock…." He turned his back to the railing and looked
"Very well then!" he said resolutely; he moved from the bridge and walked in
the direction of the police office. His heart felt hollow and empty. He did not
want to think. Even his depression had passed, there was not a trace now of the
energy with which he had set out "to make an end of it all." Complete apathy had
succeeded to it.
"Well, it's a way out of it," he thought, walking slowly and listlessly along
the canal bank. "Anyway I'll make an end, for I want to…. But is it a way out? What
does it matter! There'll be the square yard of space– ha! But what an end! Is it
really the end? Shall I tell them or not? Ah… damn! How tired I am! If I could find
somewhere to sit or lie down soon! What I am most ashamed of is its being so stupid.
But I don't care about that either! What idiotic ideas come into one's head."