I rest all my hopes on you, and of course, my whole life is in your hands. I simply beg you to go to Lise and find out everything from her, as you alone can, and come back and tell me—me, her mother, for you understand it will be the death of me, simply the death of me, if this goes on, or else I shall run away. I can stand no more. I have patience; but I may lose patience, and then…then something awful will happen. Ah, dear me! At last, Pyotr Ilyitch!” cried Madame Hohlakov, beaming all over as she saw Perhotin enter the room. “You are late, you are late! Well, sit down, speak, put us out of suspense. What does the counsel say? Where are you off to, Alexey Fyodorovitch?”

“To Lise.”

“Oh, yes. You won’t forget, you won’t forget what I asked you? It’s a question of life and death!”

“Of course, I won’t forget, if I can…but I am so late,” muttered Alyosha, beating a hasty retreat.

“No, be sure be sure to come in; don’t say ‘if you can.’ I shall die if you don’t,” Madame Hohlakov called after him, but Alyosha had already left the room.

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