The door was as before opened a tiny crack, and again two sharp and suspicious eyes stared at him out of the darkness. Then Raskolnikov lost his head and nearly made a great mistake.
Fearing the old woman would be frightened by their being alone, and not hoping that the sight of him would disarm her suspicions, he took hold of the door and drew it towards him to prevent the old woman from attempting to shut it again. Seeing this she did not pull the door back, but she did not let go the handle so that he almost dragged her out with it on to the stairs. Seeing that she was standing in the doorway not allowing him to pass, he advanced straight upon her. She stepped back in alarm, tried to say something, but seemed unable to speak and stared with open eyes at him.
Good evening, Alyona Ivanovna, he began, trying to speak easily, but his voice would not obey him, it broke and shook. I have come I have brought something but wed better come in to the light.
And leaving her, he passed straight into the room uninvited. The old woman ran after him; her tongue was unloosed.
Good heavens! What it is? Who is it? What do you want?
Why, Alyona Ivanovna, you know me Raskolnikov here, I brought you the pledge I promised the other day And he held out the pledge.
The old woman glanced for a moment at the pledge, but at once stared in the eyes of her uninvited visitor. She looked intently, maliciously and mistrustfully. A minute passed; he even fancied something like a sneer in her eyes, as though she had already guessed everything. He felt that he was losing his head, that he was almost frightened, so frightened that if she were to look like that and not say a word for another half minute, he thought he would have run away from her.
Why do you look at me as though you did not know me? he said suddenly, also with malice. Take it if you like, if not Ill go elsewhere, I am in a hurry.
He had not even thought of saying this, but it was suddenly said of itself. The old woman recovered herself, and her visitors resolute tone evidently restored her confidence.
But why, my good sir, all of a minute. What is it? she asked, looking at the pledge.
The silver cigarette case; I spoke of it last time, you know.
She held out her hand.
But how pale you are, to be sure and your hands are trembling too? Have you been bathing, or what?
Fever, he answered abruptly. You cant help getting pale if youve nothing to eat, he added, with difficulty articulating the words.
His strength was failing him again. But his answer sounded like the truth; the old woman took the pledge.
What is it? she asked once more, scanning Raskolnikov intently, and weighing the pledge in her hand.
A thing cigarette case. Silver. Look at it.
It does not seem somehow like silver. How he has wrapped it up!
Trying to untie the string and turning to the window, to the light (all her windows were shut, in spite of the stifling heat), she left him altogether for some seconds and stood with her back to him. He unbuttoned his coat and freed the axe from the noose, but did not yet take it out altogether, simply holding it in his right hand under the coat. His hands were fearfully weak, he felt them every moment growing more
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