Raskolnikov was already entering the room. He came in looking as though he had the utmost difficulty not to burst out laughing again. Behind him Razumihin strode in gawky and awkward, shamefaced and red as a peony, with an utterly crestfallen and ferocious expression. His face and whole figure really were ridiculous at that moment and amply justified Raskolnikovs laughter. Raskolnikov, not waiting for an introduction, bowed to Porfiry Petrovitch, who stood in the middle of the room looking inquiringly at them. He held out his hand and shook hands, still apparently making desperate efforts to subdue his mirth and utter a few words to introduce himself. But he had no sooner succeeded in assuming a serious air and muttering something when he suddenly glanced again as though accidentally at Razumihin, and could no longer control himself: his stifled laughter broke out the more irresistibly the more he tried to restrain it. The extraordinary ferocity with which Razumihin received this spontaneous mirth gave the whole scene the appearance of most genuine fun and naturalness. Razumihin strengthened this impression as though on purpose.
Fool! You fiend, he roared, waving his arm which at once struck a little round table with an empty tea- glass on it. Everything was sent flying and crashing.
But why break chairs, gentlemen? You know its a loss to the Crown, Porfiry Petrovitch quoted gaily.
Raskolnikov was still laughing, with his hand in Porfiry Petrovitchs, but anxious not to overdo it, awaited the right moment to put a natural end to it. Razumihin, completely put to confusion by upsetting the table and smashing the glass, gazed gloomily at the fragments, cursed and turned sharply to the window where he stood looking out with his back to the company with a fiercely scowling countenance, seeing nothing. Porfiry Petrovitch laughed and was ready to go on laughing, but obviously looked for explanations. Zametov had been sitting in the corner, but he rose at the visitors entrance and was standing in expectation with a smile on his lips, though he looked with surprise and even it seemed incredulity at the whole scene and at Raskolnikov with a certain embarrassment. Zametovs unexpected presence struck Raskolnikov unpleasantly.
Ive got to think of that, he thought. Excuse me, please, he began, affecting extreme embarrassment. Raskolnikov.
Not at all, very pleasant to see you and how pleasantly youve come in. Why, wont he even say good- morning? Porfiry Petrovitch nodded at Razumihin.
Upon my honour I dont know why he is in such a rage with me. I only told him as we came along that he was like Romeo and proved it. And that was all, I think!
Pig! ejaculated Razumihin, without turning round.
There must have been very grave grounds for it, if he is so furious at the word, Porfiry laughed.
Oh, you sharp lawyer! Damn you all! snapped Razumihin, and suddenly bursting out laughing himself, he went up to Porfiry with a more cheerful face as though nothing had happened. Thatll do! We are all fools. To come to business. This is my friend Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov; in the first place he has heard of you and wants to make your acquaintance, and secondly, he has a little matter of business with you. Bah! Zametov, what brought you here? Have you met before? Have you known each other long?
What does this mean? thought Raskolnikov uneasily.
Zametov seemed taken aback, but not very much so.
Why, it was at your rooms we met yesterday, he said easily.
Then I have been spared the trouble. All last week he was begging me to introduce him to you. Porfiry and you have sniffed each other out without me. Where is your tobacco?
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