“Then he despises me, me?”

“You, too.”

“Good.” Lise seemed to grind her teeth. “When he went out laughing, I felt that it was nice to be despised. The child with fingers cut off is nice and to be despised is nice…”

And she laughed in Alyosha’s face, a feverish malicious laugh.

“Do you know, Alyosha, do you know, I should like…Alyosha save me!” she suddenly jumped from the couch, rushed to him and seized him with both hands. “Save me!” she almost groaned. “Is there any one in the world I could tell what I’ve told you? I’ve told you the truth, the truth. I shall kill myself, because I loathe everything! I don’t want to live, because I loathe everything! I loathe everything, everything, Alyosha, why don’t you love me in the least?” she finished in a frenzy.

“But I do love you!” answered Alyosha warmly.

“And will you weep over me, will you?”


“Not because I won’t be your wife, but simply weep for me?”


“Thank you! It’s only your tears I want. Every one else may punish me and trample me under foot, every one, everyone, not excepting any one. For I don’t love any one. Do you hear, not any one! On the contrary, I hate him! Go, Alyosha, it’s time you went to your brother,” she tore herself away from him suddenly.

“How can I leave you like this? said Alyosha, almost in alarm.

“Go to your brother, the prison will be shut, go, here’s your hat. Give my love to Mitya, go, go!”

And she almost forcibly pushed Alyosha out of the door. He looked at her with pained surprise when he was suddenly aware of a letter in his right hand, a tiny letter folded up tight and sealed. He glanced at it and instantly read the address “to Ivan Fyodorovitch Karamazov.” He looked quickly at Lise. Her face had become almost menacing.

“Give it to him, you must give it to him!” she ordered him, trembling and beside herself. “To-day, at once, or I’ll poison myself! That’s why I sent for you.”

And she slammed the door quickly. The bolt clicked. Alyosha put the note in his pocket and went straight downstairs, without going back to Madame Hohlakov, forgetting her, in fact. As soon as Alyosha had gone, Lise unbolted the door, opened it a little, put her finger in the crack and slammed the door with all her might, pinching her finger. Ten seconds after, releasing her finger, she walked softly, slowly to her chair, sat up straight in it and looked intently at her blackened finger and at the blood that oozed from under the nail. Her lips were quivering and she kept whispering rapidly to herself:

“I am a wretch, wretch, wretch, wretch!”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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