Alyosha went to his fathers bedroom and sat by his bedside behind the screen for about an hour. The old man suddenly opened his eyes and gazed for a long while at Alyosha, evidently remembering and meditating. All at once his face betrayed extraordinary excitement.
Alyosha, he whispered apprehensively, wheres Ivan?
In the yard. Hes got a headache. Hes on the watch.
Give me that looking-glass. It stands over there. Give it me.
Alyosha gave him a little round folding looking-glass which stood on the chest of drawers. The old man looked at himself in it; his nose was considerably swollen, and on the left side of his forehead there was a rather large crimson bruise.
What does Ivan say? Alyosha, my dear, my only son, Im afraid of Ivan. Im more afraid of Ivan than the other. Youre the only one Im not afraid of.
Dont be afraid of Ivan either. He is angry, but hell defend you.
Alyosha, and what of the other? Hes run to Grushenka. My angel, tell me the truth, was she here just now or not?
No one has seen her. It was a mistake. She has not been here.
You know Mitya wants to marry her, to marry her.
She wont marry him.
She wont. She wont. She wont. She wont on any account!
The old man fairly fluttered with joy, as though nothing more comforting could have been said to him. In his delight he seized Alyoshas hand and pressed it warmly to his heart. Tears positively glittered in his eyes.
That image of the Mother of God of which I was telling you just now, he said. Take it home and keep it for yourself. And Ill let you go back to the monastery. I was joking this morning, dont be angry with me. My head aches, Alyosha. Alyosha, comfort my heart. Be an angel and tell me the truth!
Youre still asking whether she has been here or not? Alyosha said sorrowfully.
No, no, no. I believe you. Ill tell you what it is: you go to Grushenka yourself, or see her somehow; make haste and ask her; see for yourself, which she means to choose, him or me? Eh? What? can you?
If I see her Ill ask her, Alyosha muttered embarrassed.
No, she wont tell you, the old man interrupted, shes a rogue. Shell begin kissing you and say that its you she wants. Shes a deceitful, shameless hussy. You mustnt go to her, you mustnt!
No, father, and it wouldnt be suitable, it wouldnt be right at all.
Where was he sending you just now? He shouted Go as he ran away.
To Katerina Ivanovna.
For money? To ask her for money?
No. Not for money.
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