“Doctors and the whole crew of quacks collectively, and also, of course, individually. I don’t believe in medicine. It’s a useless institution. I mean to go into all that. But what’s that sentimentality you’ve got up there? The whole class seems to be there every day?”

“Not the whole class: it’s only ten of our fellows who go to see him every day. There’s nothing in that.”

“What I don’t understand in all this is the part that Alexey Karamazov is taking in it. His brother’s going to be tried to-morrow or next day for such a crime, and yet he has so much time to spend on sentimentality with boys.”

“There’s no sentimentality about it. You are going yourself now to make it up with Ilusha.”

“Make it up with him? What an absurd expression! But I allow no one to analyse my actions.”

“And how pleased Ilusha will be to see you! He has no idea that you are coming. Why was it, why was it you wouldn’t come all this time?” Smurov cried with sudden warmth.

“My dear boy, that’s my business, not yours. I am going of myself because I choose to, but you’ve all been hauled there by Alexey Karamazov—there’s a difference, you know. And how do you know? I may not be going to make it up at all. It’s a stupid expression.”

“It’s not Karamazov at all; it’s not his doing. Our fellows began going there of themselves. Of course, they went with Karamazov at first. And there’s been nothing of that sort—no silliness. First one went, and then another. His father was awfully pleased to see us. You know he will simply go out of his mind if Ilusha dies. He sees that Ilusha’s dying. And he seems so glad we’ve made it up with Ilusha. Ilusha asked after you, that was all. He just asks and says no more. His father will go out of his mind or hang himself. He behaved like a madman before. You know he is a very decent man. We made a mistake then. It’s all the fault of that murderer who beat him then.”

“Karamazov’s a riddle to me all the same. I might have made his acquaintance long ago, but I like to have a proper pride in some cases. Besides, I have a theory about him which I must work out and verify.”

Kolya subsided into dignified silence. Smurov, too, was silent. Smurov, of course, worshipped Krassotkin and never dreamed of putting himself on a level with him. Now he was tremendously interested at Kolya’s saying that he was “going of himself” to see Ilusha. He felt that there must be some mystery in Kolya’s suddenly taking it into his head to go to him that day. They crossed the market-place, in which at that hour were many loaded waggons from the country and a great number of live fowls. The market women were selling rolls, cottons and threads, etc., in their booths. These Sunday markets were naïvely called “fairs” in the town, and there were many such fairs in the year.

Perezvon ran about in the wildest spirits, sniffling about first one side then the other. When he met other dogs they zealously smelt each other over according to the rules of canine etiquette.

“I like to watch such realistic scenes, Smurov,” said Kolya suddenly. “Have you noticed how dogs sniff at one another when they meet? It seems to be a law of their nature.”

“Yes; it’s a funny habit.”

“No, it’s not funny; you are wrong there. There’s nothing funny in nature, however funny it may seem to man with his prejudices. If dogs could reason and criticise us they’d be sure to find just as much that would be funny to them, if not far more, in the social relations of men, their masters—far more, indeed. I repeat that, because I am convinced that there is far more foolishness among us. That’s Rakitin’s idea—a remarkable idea. I am a Socialist, Smurov.”

“And what is a Socialist?” asked Smurov.

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