Not You, Not You!
On the way to Ivan he had to pass the house where Katerina Ivanovna was living. There was light in the windows. He suddenly stopped and resolved to go in. He had not seen Katerina Ivanovna for more than a week. But now it struck him that Ivan might be with her, especially on the eve of the terrible day. Ringing and mounting the staircase, which was dimly lighted by a Chinese lantern, he saw a man coming down, and as they met, he recognised him as his brother. So he was just coming from Katerina Ivanovna.
Ah, its only you, said Ivan drily. Well, good-bye! You are going to her?
I dont advise you to; shes upset and youll upset her more.
A door was instantly flung open above, and a voice cried suddenly:
No, no! Alexey Fyodorovitch, have you come from him?
Yes; I have been with him.
Has he sent me any message? Come up, Alyosha, and you, Ivan Fyodorovitch, you must come back, you must. Do you hear?
There was such a peremptory note in Katyas voice that Ivan, after a moments hesitation, made up his mind to go back with Alyosha.
She was listening, he murmured angrily to himself, but Alyosha heard it.
Excuse my keeping my greatcoat on, said Ivan, going into the drawing-room. I wont sit down. I wont stay more than a minute.
Sit down, Alexey Fyodorovitch, said Katerina Ivanovna, though she remained standing. She had changed very little during this time, but there was an ominous gleam in her dark eyes. Alyosha remembered afterwards that she had struck him as particularly handsome at that moment.
What did he ask you to tell me?
Only one thing, said Alyosha, looking her straight in the face, that you would spare yourself and say nothing at the trial of what (he was a little confused) passed between you at the time of your first acquaintance in that town.
Ah! that I bowed down to the ground for that money! She broke into a bitter laugh. Why is she afraid for me or for himself? He asks me to sparewhom? Him or myself? Tell me, Alexey Fyodorovitch!
Alyosha watched her intently, trying to understand her.
Both yourself and him, he answered softly.
I am glad to hear it. she snapped out maliciously, and she suddenly blushed.
You dont know me yet, Alexey Fyodorovitch, she said menacingly. And I dont know myself yet. Perhaps youll want to trample me under foot after my examination to-morrow.
You will give your evidence honourably, said Alyosha; thats all thats wanted.
Women are often dishonourable, she snarled. Only an hour ago I was thinking I felt afraid to touch that monster as though he were a reptile but no, he is still a human being to me! But did he do it? Is he the murderer? she cried, all of a sudden hysterically, turning quickly to Ivan. Alyosha saw at once
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