Fool she is and no mistake, just as I am. But why, if you are so clever, do you lie here like a sack and have nothing to show for it? One time you used to go out, you say, to teach children. But why is it you do nothing now?
I am doing Raskolnikov began sullenly and reluctantly.
What are you doing?
What sort of work?
I am thinking, he answered seriously after a pause.
Nastasya was overcome with a fit of laughter. She was given to laughter and when anything amused her, she laughed inaudibly, quivering and shaking all over till she felt ill.
And have you made much money by your thinking? she managed to articulate at last.
One cant go out to give lessons without boots. And Im sick of it.
Dont quarrel with your bread and butter.
They pay so little for lessons. Whats the use of a few coppers? he answered, reluctantly, as though replying to his own thought.
And you want to get a fortune all at once?
He looked at her strangely.
Yes, I want a fortune, he answered firmly, after a brief pause.
Dont be in such a hurry, you quite frighten me! Shall I get you the loaf or not?
As you please.
Ah, I forgot! A letter came for you yesterday when you were out.
A letter? for me! from whom?
I cant say. I gave three copecks of my own to the postman for it. Will you pay me back?
Then bring it to me, for Gods sake, bring it, cried Raskolnikov greatly excitedgood God!
A minute later the letter was brought him. That was it: from his mother, from the province of R. He turned pale when he took it. It was a long while since he had received a letter, but another feeling also suddenly stabbed his heart.
Nastasya, leave me alone, for goodness sake; here are your three copecks, but for goodness sake, make haste and go!
The letter was quivering in his hand; he did not want to open it in her presence; he wanted to be left alone with this letter. When Nastasya had gone out, he lifted it quickly to his lips and kissed it; then he gazed intently at the address, the small, sloping handwriting, so dear and familiar, of the mother who had once taught him to read and write. He delayed; he seemed almost afraid of something. At last he opened it; it was a thick heavy letter, weighing over two ounces, two large sheets of note paper were covered with very small handwriting.
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