Crime and Punishment By Fyodor Dostoevsky Part 6: Chapter 8

Raskolnikov started.

"Svidrigailov! Svidrigailov has shot himself!" he cried.

"What, do you know Svidrigailov?"

"Yes . . . I knew him . . . . He hadn't been here long."

"Yes, that's so. He had lost his wife, was a man of reckless habits and all of a sudden shot himself, and in such a shocking way . . . . He left in his notebook a few words: that he dies in full possession of his faculties and that no one is to blame for his death. He had money, they say. How did you come to know him?"

"I . . . was acquainted . . . my sister was governess in his family."

"Bah-bah-bah! Then no doubt you can tell us something about him. You had no suspicion?"

"I saw him yesterday . . . he . . . was drinking wine; I knew nothing."

Raskolnikov felt as though something had fallen on him and was stifling him.

"You've turned pale again. It's so stuffy here . . . "

"Yes, I must go," muttered Raskolnikov. "Excuse my troubling you . . . ."

"Oh, not at all, as often as you like. It's a pleasure to see you and I am glad to say so."

Ilya Petrovitch held out his hand.

"I only wanted . . . I came to see Zametov."

"I understand, I understand, and it's a pleasure to see you."

"I . . . am very glad . . . good-bye," Raskolnikov smiled.

He went out; he reeled, he was overtaken with giddiness and did not know what he was doing. He began going down the stairs, supporting himself with his right hand against the wall. He fancied that a porter pushed past him on his way upstairs to the police office, that a dog in the lower storey kept up a shrill barking and that a woman flung a rolling-pin at it and shouted. He went down and out into the yard. There, not far from the entrance, stood Sonia, pale and horror-stricken. She looked wildly at him. He stood still before her. There was a look of poignant agony, of despair, in her face. She clasped her hands. His lips worked in an ugly, meaningless smile. He stood still a minute, grinned and went back to the police office.

Ilya Petrovitch had sat down and was rummaging among some papers. Before him stood the same peasant who had pushed by on the stairs.

"Hulloa! Back again! have you left something behind? What's the matter?"

Raskolnikov, with white lips and staring eyes, came slowly nearer. He walked right to the table, leaned his hand on it, tried to say something, but could not; only incoherent sounds were audible.

"You are feeling ill, a chair! Here, sit down! Some water!"

Raskolnikov dropped on to a chair, but he kept his eyes fixed on the face of Ilya Petrovitch, which expressed unpleasant surprise. Both looked at one another for a minute and waited. Water was brought.

"It was I . . . " began Raskolnikov.

"Drink some water."

Raskolnikov refused the water with his hand, and softly and brokenly, but distinctly said:

"It was I killed the old pawnbroker woman and her sister Lizaveta with an axe and robbed them."

Ilya Petrovitch opened his mouth. People ran up on all sides.

Raskolnikov repeated his statement.

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