Crime and Punishment By Fyodor Dostoevsky Part 3: Chapter 4

"Dounia, good-bye," called Raskolnikov, in the passage. "Give me your hand."

"Why, I did give it to you. Have you forgotten?" said Dounia, turning warmly and awkwardly to him.

"Never mind, give it to me again." And he squeezed her fingers warmly.

Dounia smiled, flushed, pulled her hand away, and went off quite happy.

"Come, that's capital," he said to Sonia, going back and looking brightly at her. "God give peace to the dead, the living have still to live. That is right, isn't it?"

Sonia looked surprised at the sudden brightness of his face. He looked at her for some moments in silence. The whole history of the dead father floated before his memory in those moments . . . .

"Heavens, Dounia," Pulcheria Alexandrovna began, as soon as they were in the street, "I really feel relieved myself at coming away — more at ease. How little did I think yesterday in the train that I could ever be glad of that."

"I tell you again, mother, he is still very ill. Don't you see it? Perhaps worrying about us upset him. We must be patient, and much, much can be forgiven."

"Well, you were not very patient!" Pulcheria Alexandrovna caught her up, hotly and jealously. "Do you know, Dounia, I was looking at you two. You are the very portrait of him, and not so much in face as in soul. You are both melancholy, both morose and hot-tempered, both haughty and both generous . . . . Surely he can't be an egoist, Dounia. Eh? When I think of what is in store for us this evening, my heart sinks!"

"Don't be uneasy, mother. What must be, will be."

"Dounia, only think what a position we are in! What if Pyotr Petrovitch breaks it off?" poor Pulcheria Alexandrovna blurted out, incautiously.

"He won't be worth much if he does," answered Dounia, sharply and contemptuously.

"We did well to come away," Pulcheria Alexandrovna hurriedly broke in. "He was in a hurry about some business or other. If he gets out and has a breath of air . . . it is fearfully close in his room . . . . But where is one to get a breath of air here? The very streets here feel like shut-up rooms. Good heavens! what a town! . . . stay . . . this side . . . they will crush you — carrying something. Why, it is a piano they have got, I declare . . . how they push! . . . I am very much afraid of that young woman, too."

"What young woman, mother?

"Why, that Sofya Semyonovna, who was there just now."


"I have a presentiment, Dounia. Well, you may believe it or not, but as soon as she came in, that very minute, I felt that she was the chief cause of the trouble . . . ."

"Nothing of the sort!" cried Dounia, in vexation. "What nonsense, with your presentiments, mother! He only made her acquaintance the evening before, and he did not know her when she came in."

"Well, you will see . . . . She worries me; but you will see, you will see! I was so frightened. She was gazing at me with those eyes. I could scarcely sit still in my chair when he began introducing her, do you remember? It seems so strange, but Pyotr Petrovitch writes like that about her, and he introduces her to us — to you! So he must think a great deal of her."

"People will write anything. We were talked about and written about, too. Have you forgotten? I am sure that she is a good girl, and that it is all nonsense."

"God grant it may be!"

"And Pyotr Petrovitch is a contemptible slanderer," Dounia snapped out, suddenly.

Pulcheria Alexandrovna was crushed; the conversation was not resumed.

"I will tell you what I want with you," said Raskolnikov, drawing Razumihin to the window.

"Then I will tell Katerina Ivanovna that you are coming," Sonia said hurriedly, preparing to depart.

"One minute, Sofya Semyonovna. We have no secrets. You are not in our way. I want to have another word or two with you. Listen!" he turned suddenly to Razumihin again. "You know that . . . what's his name . . . Porfiry Petrovitch?"

"I should think so! He is a relation. Why?" added the latter, with interest.

"Is not he managing that case . . . you know, about that murder? . . . You were speaking about it yesterday."

"Yes . . . well?" Razumihin's eyes opened wide.

"He was inquiring for people who had pawned things, and I have some pledges there, too — trifles — a ring my sister gave me as a keepsake when I left home, and my father's silver watch — they are only worth five or six roubles altogether . . . but I value them. So what am I to do now? I do not want to lose the things, especially the watch. I was quaking just now, for fear mother would ask to look at it, when we spoke of Dounia's watch. It is the only thing of father's left us. She would be ill if it were lost. You know what women are. So tell me what to do. I know I ought to have given notice at the police station, but would it not be better to go straight to Porfiry? Eh? What do you think? The matter might be settled more quickly. You see, mother may ask for it before dinner."

"Certainly not to the police station. Certainly to Porfiry," Razumihin shouted in extraordinary excitement. "Well, how glad I am. Let us go at once. It is a couple of steps. We shall be sure to find him."

"Very well, let us go."

"And he will be very, very glad to make your acquaintance. I have often talked to him of you at different times. I was speaking of you yesterday. Let us go. So you knew the old woman? So that's it! It is all turning out splendidly . . . . Oh, yes, Sofya Ivanovna . . . "

"Sofya Semyonovna," corrected Raskolnikov. "Sofya Semyonovna, this is my friend Razumihin, and he is a good man."

"If you have to go now," Sonia was beginning, not looking at Razumihin at all, and still more embarrassed.

"Let us go," decided Raskolnikov. "I will come to you to-day, Sofya Semyonovna. Only tell me where you live."

He was not exactly ill at ease, but seemed hurried, and avoided her eyes. Sonia gave her address, and flushed as she did so. They all went out together.

"Don't you lock up?" asked Razumihin, following him on to the stairs.

"Never," answered Raskolnikov. "I have been meaning to buy a lock for these two years. People are happy who have no need of locks," he said, laughing, to Sonia. They stood still in the gateway.

"Do you go to the right, Sofya Semyonovna? How did you find me, by the way?" he added, as though he wanted to say something quite different. He wanted to look at her soft clear eyes, but this was not easy.

"Why, you gave your address to Polenka yesterday."

"Polenka? Oh, yes; Polenka, that is the little girl. She is your sister? Did I give her the address?"

"Why, had you forgotten?"

"No, I remember."

"I had heard my father speak of you . . . only I did not know your name, and he did not know it. And now I came . . . and as I had learnt your name, I asked to-day, 'Where does Mr. Raskolnikov live?' I did not know you had only a room too . . . . Good-bye, I will tell Katerina Ivanovna."

She was extremely glad to escape at last; she went away looking down, hurrying to get out of sight as soon as possible, to walk the twenty steps to the turning on the right and to be at last alone, and then moving rapidly along, looking at no one, noticing nothing, to think, to remember, to meditate on every word, every detail. Never, never had she felt anything like this. Dimly and unconsciously a whole new world was opening before her. She remembered suddenly that Raskolnikov meant to come to her that day, perhaps at once!

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