Katerina Ivanovna at once "set her down," saying that it was a lie to say she
wished her good, because only yesterday when her dead husband was lying on the table,
she had worried her about the lodgings. To this Amalia Ivanovna very appropriately
observed that she had invited those ladies, but "those ladies had not come, because
those ladies are ladies and cannot come to a lady who is not a lady." Katerina Ivanovna
at once pointed out to her, that as she was a slut she could not judge what made
one really a lady. Amalia Ivanovna at once declared that her "Vater aus Berlin was
a very, very important man, and both hands in pockets went, and always used to say:
poof! poof!" and she leapt up from the table to represent her father, sticking her
hands in her pockets, puffing her cheeks, and uttering vague sounds resembling "poof!
poof!" amid loud laughter from all the lodgers, who purposely encouraged Amalia
Ivanovna, hoping for a fight.
But this was too much for Katerina Ivanovna, and she at once declared, so that
all could hear, that Amalia Ivanovna probably never had a father, but was simply
a drunken Petersburg Finn, and had certainly once been a cook and probably something
worse. Amalia Ivanovna turned as red as a lobster and squealed that perhaps Katerina
Ivanovna never had a father, "but she had a vater aus Berlin and that he wore a
long coat and always said poof-poof-poof!"
Katerina Ivanovna observed contemptuously that all knew what her family was and
that on that very certificate of honour it was stated in print that her father was
a colonel, while Amalia Ivanovna's father– if she really had one– was probably some
Finnish milkman, but that probably she never had a father at all, since it was still
uncertain whether her name was Amalia Ivanovna or Amalia Ludwigovna.
At this Amalia Ivanovna, lashed to fury, struck the table with her fist, and
shrieked that she was Amalia Ivanovna, and not Ludwigovna, "that her Vater was named
Johann and that he was a burgomeister, and that Katerina Ivanovna's Vater was quite
never a burgomeister." Katerina Ivanovna rose from her chair, and with a stern and
apparently calm voice (though she was pale and her chest was heaving) observed that
"if she dared for one moment to set her contemptible wretch of a father on a level
with her papa, she, Katerina Ivanovna, would tear her cap off her head and trample
it under foot." Amalia Ivanovna ran about the room, shouting at the top of her voice,
that she was mistress of the house and that Katerina Ivanovna should leave the lodgings
that minute; then she rushed for some reason to collect the silver spoons from the
table. There was a great outcry and uproar, the children began crying. Sonia ran
to restrain Katerina Ivanovna, but when Amalia Ivanovna shouted something about
"the yellow ticket," Katerina Ivanovna pushed Sonia away, and rushed at the landlady
to carry out her threat.
At that minute the door opened, and Pyotr Petrovitch Luzhin appeared on the threshold.
He stood scanning the party with severe and vigilant eyes. Katerina Ivanovna rushed
to him. CHAPTERTHREE Chapter Three
"PYOTR PETROVITCH," she cried, "protect me… you at least! Make this foolish woman
understand that she can't behave like this to a lady in misfortune… that there is
a law for such things…. I'll go to the governor-general himself…. She shall answer
for it…. Remembering my father's hospitality protect these orphans."
"Allow me, madam…. Allow me." Pyotr Petrovitch waved her off. "Your papa, as
you are well aware, I had not the honour of knowing" (some one laughed aloud) "and
I do not intend to take part in your everlasting squabbles with Amalia Ivanovna….
I have come here to speak of my own affairs… and I want to have a word with your
stepdaughter, Sofya… Ivanovna, I think it is? Allow me to pass."
Pyotr Petrovitch, edging by her, went to the opposite corner where Sonia was.
Katerina Ivanovna remained standing where she was, as though thunderstruck. She
could not understand how Pyotr Petrovitch could deny having enjoyed her father's
hospitility. Though she had invented it herself, she believed in it firmly by this
time. She was struck too by the businesslike, dry and even contemptuously menacing
tone of Pyotr Petrovitch. All the clamour gradually died away at his entrance. Not
only was this "serious business man" strikingly incongruous with the rest of the
party, but it was evident, too, that he had come upon some matter of consequence,
that some exceptional cause must have brought him and that therefore something was
going to happen. Raskolnikov, standing beside Sonia, moved aside to let him pass;
Pyotr Petrovitch did not seem to notice him. A minute later Lebeziatnikov, too,
appeared in the doorway; he did not come in, but stood still, listening with marked
interest, almost wonder, and seemed for a time perplexed.
"Excuse me for possibly interrupting you, but it's a matter of some importance,"
Pyotr Petrovitch observed, addressing the company generally. "I am glad indeed to
find other persons present. Amalia Ivanovna, I humbly beg you as mistress of the
house to pay careful attention to what I have to say to Sofya Ivanovna. Sofya Ivanovna,"
he went on, addressing Sonia, who was very much surprised and already alarmed, "immediately
after your visit I found that a hundred-rouble note was missing from my table, in
the room of my friend Mr. Lebeziatnikov. If in any way whatever you know and will
tell us where it is now, I assure you on my word of honour and call all present
to witness that the matter shall end there. In the opposite case I shall be compelled
to have recourse to very serious measures and then… you must blame yourself."
Complete silence reigned in the room. Even the crying children were still. Sonia
stood deadly pale, staring at Luzhin and unable to say a word. She seemed not to
understand. Some seconds passed.
"Well, how is it to be then?" asked Luzhin, looking intently at her.
"I don't know…. I know nothing about it," Sonia articulated faintly at last.
"No, you know nothing?" Luzhin repeated and again he paused for some seconds.
"Think a moment, mademoiselle," he began severely, but still, as it were, admonishing
her. "Reflect, I am prepared to give you time for consideration. Kindly observe
this: if I were not so entirely convinced I should not, you may be sure, with my
experience venture to accuse you so directly. Seeing that for such direct accusation
before witnesses, if false or even mistaken, I should myself in a certain sense
be made responsible, I am aware of that. This morning I changed for my own purposes
several five per cent. securities for the sum of approximately three thousand roubles.
The account is noted down in my pocket-book. On my return home I proceeded to count
the money,– as Mr. Lebeziatnikov will bear witness– and after counting two thousand
three hundred roubles I put the rest in my pocket-book in my coat pocket. About
five hundred roubles remained on the table and among them three notes of a hundred
roubles each. At that moment you entered (at my invitation)– and all the time you
were present you were exceedingly embarrassed; so that three times you jumped up
in the middle of the conversation and tried to make off. Mr. Lebeziatnikov can bear
witness to this. You yourself, mademoiselle, probably will not refuse to confirm
my statement that I invited you through Mr. Lebeziatnikov, solely in order to discuss
with you the hopeless and destitute position of your relative, Katerina Ivanovna
(whose dinner I was unable to attend), and the advisability of getting up something
of the nature of a subscription, lottery or the like, for her benefit. You thanked
me and even shed tears. I describe all this as it took place, primarily to recall
it to your mind and secondly to show you that not the slightest detail has escaped
my recollection. Then I took a ten-rouble note from the table and handed it to you
by way of first instalment on my part for the benefit of your relative. Mr. Lebeziatnikov
saw all this. Then I accompanied you to the door,– you being still in the same state
of embarrassment– after which, being left alone with Mr. Lebeziatnikov I talked
to him for ten minutes,– then Mr. Lebeziatnikov went out and I returned to the table
with the money lying on it, intending to count it and to put it aside, as I proposed
doing before. To my surprise one hundred-rouble note had disappeared. Kindly consider
the position. Mr. Lebeziatnikov I cannot suspect. I am ashamed to allude to such
a supposition. I cannot have made a mistake in my reckoning, for the minute before
your entrance I had finished my accounts and found the total correct. You will admit
that recollecting your embarrassment, your eagerness to get away and the fact that
you kept your hands for some time on the table, and taking into consideration your
social position and the habits associated with it, I was, so to say, with horror
and positively against my will, compelled to entertain a suspicion– a cruel, but
justifiable suspicion! I will add further and repeat that in spite of my positive
conviction, I realise that I run a certain risk in making this accusation, but as
you see, I could not let it pass. I have taken action and I will tell you why: solely,
madam, solely, owing to your black ingratitude! Why! I invite you for the benefit
of your destitute relative, I present you with my donation of ten roubles and you,
on the spot, repay me for all that with such an action. It is too bad! You need
a lesson. Reflect! Moreover, like a true friend I beg you– and you could have no
better friend at this moment– think what you are doing, otherwise I shall be immovable!
Well, what do you say?"
"I have taken nothing," Sonia whispered in terror, "you gave me ten roubles,
here it is, take it."
Sonia pulled her handkerchief out of her pocket, untied a corner of it, took
out the ten rouble note and gave it to Luzhin.
"And the hundred roubles you do not confess to taking?" he insisted reproachfully,
not taking the note.
Sonia looked about her. All were looking at her with such awful, stern, ironical,
hostile eyes. She looked at Raskolnikov… he stood against the wall, with his arms
crossed, looking at her with glowing eyes.
"Good God!" broke from Sonia.
"Amalia Ivanovna, we shall have to send word to the police and therefore I humbly
beg you meanwhile to send for the house porter," Luzhin said softly and even kindly.
"Gott der barmherzige! I knew she was the thief," cried Amalia Ivanovna, throwing
up her hands.
"You knew it?" Luzhin caught her up, "then I suppose you had some reason before
this for thinking so. I beg you, worthy Amalia Ivanovna, to remember your words
which have been uttered before witnesses."
There was a buzz of loud conversation on all sides. All were in movement.
"What!" cried Katerina Ivanovna, suddenly realising the position, and she rushed
at Luzhin. "What! You accuse her of stealing? Sonia? Ah, the wretches, the wretches!"
And running to Sonia she flung her wasted arms round her and held her as in a
"Sonia! how dared you take ten roubles from him? Foolish girl! Give it to me!
Give me the ten roubles at once– here!
And snatching the note from Sonia, Katerina Ivanovna crumpled it up and flung
it straight into Luzhin's face. It hit him in the eye and fell on the ground. Amalia
Ivanovna hastened to pick it up. Pyotr Petrovitch lost his temper.
"Hold that mad woman!" he shouted.
At that moment several other persons, besides Lebeziatnikov, appeared in the
doorway, among them the two ladies.
"What! Mad? Am I mad? Idiot!" shrieked Katerina Ivanovna. "You are an idiot yourself,
pettifogging lawyer, base man! Sonia, Sonia take his money! Sonia a thief! Why,
she'd give away her last penny!" and Katerina Ivanovna broke into hysterical laughter.
"Did you ever see such an idiot?" she turned from side to side. "And you too?" she
suddenly saw the landlady, "and you too, sausage eater, you declare that she is
a thief, you trashy Prussian hen's leg in a crinoline! She hasn't been out of this
room: she came straight from you, you wretch, and sat down beside me, every one
saw her. She sat here, by Rodion Romanovitch. Search her! Since she's not left the
room, the money would have to be on her! Search her, search her! But if you don't
find it, then excuse me, my dear fellow, you'll answer for it! I'll go to our Sovereign,
to our Sovereign, to our gracious Tsar himself, and throw myself at his feet, to-day,
this minute! I am alone in the world! They would let me in! Do you think they wouldn't?
You're wrong, I will get in! I will get in! You reckoned on her meekness! You relied
upon that! But I am not so submissive, let me tell you! You've gone too far yourself.
Search her, search her!"
And Katerina Ivanovna in a frenzy shook Luzhin and dragged him towards Sonia.
"I am ready, I'll be responsible… but calm yourself, madam, calm yourself. I
see that you are not so submissive!… Well, well, but as to that…" Luzhin muttered,
"that ought to be before the police… though indeed there are witnesses enough as
it is…. I am ready…. But in any case it's difficult for a man… on account of her
sex…. But with the help of Amalia Ivanovna… though, of course, it's not the way
to do things…. How is it to be done?"
"As you will! Let any one who likes search her!" cried Katerina Ivanovna. "Sonia,
turn out your pockets! See. Look, monster, the pocket is empty, here was her handkerchief!
Here is the other pocket, look! D'you see, d'you see?"
And Katerina Ivanovna turned– or rather snatched– both pockets inside out. But
from the right pocket a piece of paper flew out and describing a parabola in the
air fell at Luzhin's feet. Every one saw it, several cried out. Pyotr Petrovitch
stooped down, picked up the paper in two fingers, lifted it where all could see
it and opened it. It was a hundred-rouble note folded in eight. Pyotr Petrovitch
held up the note showing it to every one.