Raskolnikov went straight to the house on the canal bank where Sonia lived. It was an old green house of three storeys. He found the porter and obtained from him vague directions as to the whereabouts of Kapernaumov, the tailor. Having found in the corner of the courtyard the entrance to the dark and narrow staircase, he mounted to the second floor and came out into a gallery that ran round the whole second storey over the yard. While he was wandering in the darkness, uncertain where to turn for Kapernaumovs door, a door opened three paces from him; he mechanically took hold of it.
Who is there? a womans voice asked uneasily.
Its I come to see you, answered Raskolnikov and he walked into the tiny entry.
On a broken chair stood a candle in a battered copper candlestick.
Its you! Good heavens! cried Sonia weakly, and she stood rooted to the spot.
Which is your room? This way? and Raskolnikov, trying not to look at her, hastened in.
A minute later Sonia, too, came in with the candle, set down the candlestick and, completely disconcerted, stood before him inexpressibly agitated and apparently frightened by his unexpected visit. The colour rushed suddenly to her pale face and tears came into her eyes She felt sick and ashamed and happy, too. Raskolnikov turned away quickly and sat on a chair by the table. He scanned the room in a rapid glance.
It was a large but exceedingly low-pitched room, the only one let by the Kapernaumovs, to whose rooms a closed door led in the wall on the left. In the opposite side on the right hand wall was another door, always kept locked. That led to the next flat, which formed a separate lodging. Sonias room looked like a barn; it was a very irregular quadrangle and this gave it a grotesque appearance. A wall with three windows looking out on to the canal ran aslant so that one corner formed a very acute angle, and it was difficult to see in it without very strong light. The other corner was disproportionately obtuse. There was scarcely any furniture in the big room: in the corner on the right was a bedstead, beside it, nearest the door, a chair. A plain, deal table covered by a blue cloth stood against the same wall, close to the door into the other flat. Two rush-bottom chairs stood by the table. On the opposite wall near the acute angle stood a small plain wooden chest of drawers looking, as it were, lost in a desert. That was all there was in the room. The yellow, scratched and shabby wall-paper was black in the corners. It must have been damp and full of fumes in the winter. There was every sign of poverty; even the bedstead had no curtain.
Sonia looked in silence at her visitor, who was so attentively and unceremoniously scrutinising her room, and even began at last to tremble with terror, as though she was standing before her judge and the arbiter of her destinies.
I am late. Its eleven, isnt it? he asked, still not lifting his eyes.
Yes, muttered Sonia, oh yes, it is, she added, hastily, as though in that lay her means of escape. My landladys clock has just struck I heard it myself.
Ive come to you for the last time, Raskolnikov went on gloomily, although this was the first time. I may perhaps not see you again
Are you going away?
I dont know to-morrow.
Then you are not coming to Katerina Ivanovna to-morrow? Sonias voice shook.
I dont know. I shall know to-morrow morning. Never mind that: Ive come to say one word.
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|