For half a minute both were silent.
"Listen, Razumihin," began Raskolnikov, "I want to tell you plainly: I've just been at a death-bed, a clerk who died . . . I gave them all my money . . . and besides I've just been kissed by someone who, if I had killed anyone, would just the same . . . in fact I saw someone else there . . . with a flame-coloured feather . . . but I am talking nonsense; I am very weak, support me . . . we shall be at the stairs directly . . . "
"What's the matter? What's the matter with you?" Razumihin asked anxiously.
"I am a little giddy, but that's not the point, I am so sad, so sad . . . like a woman. Look, what's that? Look, look!"
"What is it?"
"Don't you see? A light in my room, you see? Through the crack . . . "
They were already at the foot of the last flight of stairs, at the level of the landlady's door, and they could, as a fact, see from below that there was a light in Raskolnikov's garret.
"Queer! Nastasya, perhaps," observed Razumihin.
"She is never in my room at this time and she must be in bed long ago, but . . . I don't care! Good-bye!"
"What do you mean? I am coming with you, we'll come in together!"
"I know we are going in together, but I want to shake hands here and say good-bye to you here. So give me your hand, good-bye!"
"What's the matter with you, Rodya?"
"Nothing . . . come along . . . you shall be witness."
They began mounting the stairs, and the idea struck Razumihin that perhaps Zossimov might be right after all. "Ah, I've upset him with my chatter!" he muttered to himself.
When they reached the door they heard voices in the room.
"What is it?" cried Razumihin. Raskolnikov was the first to open the door; he flung it wide and stood still in the doorway, dumbfoundered.
His mother and sister were sitting on his sofa and had been waiting an hour and a half for him. Why had he never expected, never thought of them, though the news that they had started, were on their way and would arrive immediately, had been repeated to him only that day? They had spent that hour and a half plying Nastasya with questions. She was standing before them and had told them everything by now. They were beside themselves with alarm when they heard of his "running away" to-day, ill and, as they understood from her story, delirious! "Good Heavens, what had become of him?" Both had been weeping, both had been in anguish for that hour and a half.
A cry of joy, of ecstasy, greeted Raskolnikov's entrance. Both rushed to him. But he stood like one dead; a sudden intolerable sensation struck him like a thunderbolt. He did not lift his arms to embrace them, he could not. His mother and sister clasped him in their arms, kissed him, laughed and cried. He took a step, tottered and fell to the ground, fainting.
Anxiety, cries of horror, moans . . . Razumihin who was standing in the doorway flew into the room, seized the sick man in his strong arms and in a moment had him on the sofa.
"It's nothing, nothing!" he cried to the mother and sister — "it's only a faint, a mere trifle! Only just now the doctor said he was much better, that he is perfectly well! Water! See, he is coming to himself, he is all right again!"
And seizing Dounia by the arm so that he almost dislocated it, he made her bend down to see that "he is all right again." The mother and sister looked on him with emotion and gratitude, as their Providence. They had heard already from Nastasya all that had been done for their Rodya during his illness, by this "very competent young man," as Pulcheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikov called him that evening in conversation with Dounia.