“If he is still at home,” he added. “Damn it all! If one can’t control one’s patients, how is one to cure them? Do you know whether he will go to them, or whether they are coming here?”

“They are coming, I think,” said Razumihin, understanding the object of the question, “and they will discuss their family affairs, no doubt. I’ll be off. You, as the doctor, have more right to be here than I.”

“But I am not a father confessor; I shall come and go away; I’ve plenty to do besides looking after them.”

“One thing worries me,” interposed Razumihin, frowning. “On the way home I talked a lot of drunken nonsense to him … all sorts of things … and amongst them that you were afraid that he … might become insane.”

“You told the ladies so, too.”

“I know it was stupid! You may beat me if you like! Did you think so seriously?”

“That’s nonsense, I tell you, how could I think it seriously? You, yourself, described him as a monomaniac when you fetched me to him … and we added fuel to the fire yesterday, you did, that is, with your story about the painter; it was a nice conversation, when he was, perhaps, mad on that very point! If only I’d known what happened then at the police station and that some wretch … had insulted him with this suspicion! Hm … I would not have allowed that conversation yesterday. These monomaniacs will make a mountain out of a mole-hill … and see their fancies as solid realities. … As far as I remember, it was Zametov’s story that cleared up half the mystery, to my mind. Why, I know one case in which a hypochondriac, a man of forty, cut the throat of a little boy of eight, because he couldn’t endure the jokes he made every day at table! And in this case his rags, the insolent police officer, the fever and this suspicion! All that working upon a man half frantic with hypochondria, and with his morbid exceptional vanity! That may well have been the starting-point of illness. Well, bother it all! … And, by the way, that Zametov certainly is a nice fellow, but hm … he shouldn’t have told all that last night. He is an awful chatterbox!”

“But whom did he tell it to? You and me?”

“And Porfiry.”

“What does that matter?”

“And, by the way, have you any influence on them, his mother and sister? Tell them to be more careful with him to-day. …”

“They’ll get on all right!” Razumihin answered reluctantly.

“Why is he so set against this Luzhin? A man with money and she doesn’t seem to dislike him … and they haven’t a farthing, I suppose? eh?”

“But what business is it of yours?” Razumihin cried with annoyance. “How can I tell whether they’ve a farthing? Ask them yourself and perhaps you’ll find out. …”

“Foo! what an ass you are sometimes! Last night’s wine has not gone off yet. … Good-bye; thank your Praskovya Pavlovna from me for my night’s lodging. She locked herself in, made no reply to my bonjour through the door; she was up at seven o’clock, the samovar was taken into her from the kitchen. I was not vouchsafed a personal interview. …”

At nine o’clock precisely Razumihin reached the lodgings at Bakaleyev’s house. Both ladies were waiting for him with nervous impatience. They had risen at seven o’clock or earlier. He entered looking as black as night, bowed awkwardly and was at once furious with himself for it. He had reckoned without his host: Pulcheria Alexandrovna fairly rushed at him, seized him by both hands and was almost kissing them. He glanced timidly at Avdotya Romanovna, but her proud countenance wore at that moment an

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