vanished like a phantom. It was not the real feeling; he had taken the one feeling for the other. It only meant that that minute had come.
He hid his face in his hands again and bowed his head. Suddenly he turned pale, got up from his chair, looked at Sonia, and without uttering a word sat down mechanically on her bed.
His sensations that moment were terribly like the moment when he had stood over the old woman with the axe in his hand and felt that he must not lose another minute.
Whats the matter? asked Sonia, dreadfully frightened.
He could not utter a word. This was not at all, not at all the way he had intended to tell and he did not understand what was happening to him now. She went up to him, softly, sat down on the bed beside him and waited, not taking her eyes off him. Her heart throbbed and sank. It was unendurable; he turned his deadly pale face to her. His lips worked, helplessly struggling to utter something. A pang of terror passed through Sonias heart.
Whats the matter? she repeated, drawing a little away from him.
Nothing, Sonia, dont be frightened. Its nonsense. It really is nonsense, if you think of it, he muttered, like a man in delirium. Why have I come to torture you? he added suddenly, looking at her. Why, really? I keep asking myself that question, Sonia.
He had perhaps been asking himself that question a quarter of an hour before, but now he spoke helplessly, hardly knowing what he said and feeling a continual tremor all over.
Oh, how you are suffering! she muttered in distress, looking intently at him.
Its all nonsense. Listen, Sonia. He suddenly smiled, a pale helpless smile for two seconds. You remember what I meant to tell you yesterday?
Sonia waited uneasily.
I said as I went away that perhaps I was saying good-bye for ever, but that if I came to-day I would tell you who who killed Lizaveta.
She began trembling all over.
Well, here Ive come to tell you.
Then you really meant it yesterday? she whispered with difficulty. How do you know? she asked quickly, as though suddenly regaining her reason.
Sonias face grew paler and paler, and she breathed painfully.
She paused a minute.
Have they found him? she asked timidly.
Then how do you know about it? she asked again, hardly audibly and again after a minutes pause.
He turned to her and looked very intently at her.
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