expecting you. But you simply bowled Zametov over and … well, you see, it all lies in this—that this damnable psychology can be taken two ways! Well, I kept expecting you, and so it was, you came! My heart was fairly throbbing. Ach!

“Now, why need you have come? Your laughter, too, as you came in, do you remember? I saw it all plain as daylight, but if I hadn’t expected you so specially, I should not have noticed anything in your laughter. You see what influence a mood has! Mr. Razumihin then—ah, that stone, that stone under which the things were hidden! I seem to see it somewhere in a kitchen garden. It was in a kitchen garden, you told Zametov and afterwards you repeated that in my office? And when we began picking your article to pieces, how you explained it! One could take every word of yours in two senses, as though there were another meaning hidden.

“So in this way, Rodion Romanovitch, I reached the furthest limit, and knocking my head against a post, I pulled myself up, asking myself what I was about. After all, I said, you can take it all in another sense if you like, and it’s more natural so, indeed. I couldn’t help admitting it was more natural. I was bothered! ‘No, I’d better get hold of some little fact’ I said. So when I heard of the bell-ringing, I held my breath and was all in a tremor. ‘Here is my little fact,’ thought I, and I didn’t think it over, I simply wouldn’t. I would have given a thousand roubles at that minute to have seen you with my own eyes, when you walked a hundred paces beside that workman, after he had called you murderer to your face, and you did not dare to ask him a question all the way. And then what about your trembling, what about your bell-ringing in your illness, in semi-delirium?

“And so, Rodion Romanovitch, can you wonder that I played such pranks on you? And what made you come at that very minute? Someone seemed to have sent you, by Jove! And if Nikolay had not parted us … and do you remember Nikolay at the time? Do you remember him clearly? It was a thunderbolt, a regular thunderbolt! And how I met him! I didn’t believe in the thunderbolt, not for a minute. You could see it for yourself; and how could I? Even afterwards, when you had gone and he began making very, very plausible answers on certain points, so that I was surprised at him myself, even then I didn’t believe his story! You see what it is to be as firm as a rock! No, thought I, Morgenfruh. What has Nikolay got to do with it!”

“Razumihin told me just now that you think Nikolay guilty and had yourself assured him of it. …”

His voice failed him, and he broke off. He had been listening in indescribable agitation, as this man who had seen through and through him, went back upon himself. He was afraid of believing it and did not believe it. In those still ambiguous words he kept eagerly looking for something more definite and conclusive.

“Mr. Razumihin!” cried Porfiry Petrovitch, seeming glad of a question from Raskolnikov, who had till then been silent. “He-he-he! But I had to put Mr. Razumihin off; two is company, three is none. Mr. Razumihin is not the right man, besides he is an outsider. He came running to me with a pale face. … But never mind him, why bring him in? To return to Nikolay, would you like to know what sort of a type he is, how I understand him, that is? To begin with, he is still a child and not exactly a coward, but something by way of an artist. Really, don’t laugh at my describing him so. He is innocent and responsive to influence. He has a heart, and is a fantastic fellow. He sings and dances, he tells stories, they say, so that people come from other villages to hear him. He attends school too, and laughs till he cries if you hold up a finger to him; he will drink himself senseless—not as a regular vice, but at times, when people treat him, like a child. And he stole, too, then, without knowing it himself, for ‘How can it be stealing, if one picks it up?’ And do you know he is an Old Believer, or rather a dissenter? There have been Wanderers1

in his family, and he was for two years in his village under the spiritual guidance of a certain elder. I learnt all this from Nikolay and from his fellow villagers. And what’s more, he wanted to run into the wilderness! He was full of fervour, prayed at night, read the old books, ‘the true’ ones, and read himself crazy.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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