Thats in Gods hands, muttered Porfiry, with an unnatural smile.
As he walked through the office, Raskolnikov noticed that many people were looking at him. Among them he saw the two porters from the house, whom he had invited that night to the police station. They stood there waiting. But he was no sooner on the stairs than he heard the voice of Porfiry Petrovitch behind him. Turning round, he saw the latter running after him, out of breath.
One word, Rodion Romanovitch; as to all the rest, its in Gods hands, but as a matter of form there are some questions I shall have to ask you so we shall meet again, shant we?
And Porfiry stood still, facing him with a smile.
Shant we? he added again.
He seemed to want to say something more, but could not speak out.
You must forgive me, Porfiry Petrovitch, for what has just passed I lost my temper, began Raskolnikov, who had so far regained his courage that he felt irresistibly inclined to display his coolness.
Dont mention it, dont mention it, Porfiry replied, almost gleefully. I myself, too I have a wicked temper, I admit it! But we shall meet again. If its Gods will, we may see a great deal of one another.
And will get to know each other through and through? added Raskolnikov.
Yes; know each other through and through, assented Porfiry Petrovitch, and he screwed up his eyes, looking earnestly at Raskolnikov. Now youre going to a birthday party?
To a funeral.
Of course, the funeral! Take care of yourself, and get well.
I dont know what to wish you, said Raskolnikov, who had begun to descend the stairs, but looked back again. I should like to wish you success, but your office is such a comical one.
Why comical? Porfiry Petrovitch had turned to go, but he seemed to prick up his ears at this.
Why, how you must have been torturing and harassing that poor Nikolay psychologically, after your fashion, till he confessed! You must have been at him day and night, proving to him that he was the murderer, and now that he has confessed, youll begin vivisecting him again. You are lying, youll say. You are not the murderer! You cant be! Its not your own tale you are telling! You must admit its a comical business!
He-he-he! You noticed then that I said to Nikolay just now that it was not his own tale he was telling?
How could I help noticing it!
He-he! You are quick-witted. You notice everything! Youve really a playful mind! And you always fasten on the comic side he-he! They say that was the marked characteristic of Gogol, among the writers.
Yes, of Gogol.
Yes, of Gogol. I shall look forward to meeting you.
So shall I.
Raskolnikov walked straight home. He was so muddled and bewildered that on getting home he sat for a quarter of an hour on the sofa, trying to collect his thoughts. He did not attempt to think about
|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.|