Ive come to you, Sofya Semyonovna, he began. Excuse me I thought I should find you, he said, addressing Raskolnikov suddenly, that is, I didnt mean anything of that sort but I just thought. Katerina Ivanovna has gone out of her mind. he blurted out suddenly, turning from Raskolnikov to Sonia.
At least it seems so. But we dont know what to do, you see! She came backshe seems to have been turned out somewhere, perhaps beaten. So it seems at least. She had run to your fathers former chief, she didnt find him at home: he was dining at some other generals. Only fancy, she rushed off there, to the other generals, and, imagine, she was so persistent that she managed to get the chief to see her, had him fetched out from dinner, it seems. You can imagine what happened. She was turned out, of course; but, according to her own story, she abused him and threw something at him. One may well believe it. How it is she wasnt taken up, I cant understand! Now she is telling every one, including Amalia Ivanovna; but its difficult to understand her, she is screaming and flinging herself about. Oh yes, she shouts that since every one has abandoned her, she will take the children and go into the street with a barrel-organ, and the children will sing and dance, and she too, and collect money, and will go every day under the generals window to let every one see well-born children, whose father was an official, begging in the street. She keeps beating the children and they are all crying. She is teaching Lida to sing My Village, the boy to dance, Polenka the same. She is tearing up all the clothes, and making them little caps like actors; she means to carry a tin basin and make it tinkle, instead of music She wont listen to anything. Imagine the state of things! Its beyond anything!
Lebeziatnikov would have gone on, but Sonia, who had heard him almost breathless, snatched up her cloak and hat, and ran out of the room, putting on her things as she went. Raskolnikov followed her and Lebeziatnikov came after him.
She has certainly gone mad! he said to Raskolnikov, as they went out into the street. I didnt want to frighten Sofya Semyonovna, so I said it seemed like it, but there isnt a doubt of it. They say that in consumption the tubercles sometimes occur in the brain; its a pity I know nothing of medicine. I did try to persuade her, but she wouldnt listen.
Not precisely of the tubercles. Besides, she wouldnt have understood! But what I say is, that if you convince a person logically that he has nothing to cry about, hell stop crying. Thats clear. Is it your conviction that he wont?
Excuse me, excuse me; of course it would be rather difficult for Katerina Ivanovna to understand, but do you know that in Paris they have been conducting serious experiments as to the possibility of curing the insane, simply by logical argument. One professor there, a scientific man of standing, lately dead, believed in the possibility of such treatment. His idea was that theres nothing really wrong with the physical organism of the insane, and that insanity is, so to say, a logical mistake, an error of judgment, an incorrect view of things. He gradually showed the madman his error and, would you believe it, they say he was successful! But as he made use of douches too, how far success was due to that treatment remains uncertain. So it seems at least.
Raskolnikov went into his little room and stood still in the middle of it. Why had he come back here? He looked at the yellow and tattered paper, at the dust, at his sofa. From the yard came a loud continuous knocking; some one seemed to be hammering. He went to the window, rose on tiptoe and looked out into the yard for a long time with an air of absorbed attention. But the yard was empty and he could not see who was hammering. In the house on the left he saw some open windows; on the window-sills were pots of sickly-looking geraniums. Linen was hung out of the windows. He knew it all by heart. He turned away and sat down on the sofa.
He could not have said how long he sat there with vague thoughts surging through his mind. All at once the door opened and Dounia come in. At first she stood still and looked at him from the doorway, just as he had done at Sonia; then she came in and sat down in the same place as yesterday, on the chair facing him. He looked silently and almost vacantly at her.
Brother, now I know all, all. Dmitri Prokofitch has explained and told me everything. They are worrying and persecuting you through a stupid and contemptible suspicion. Dmitri Prokofitch told me that there is no danger, and that you are wrong in looking upon it with such horror. I dont think so, and I fully understand how indignant you must be, and that that indignation may have a permanent effect on you. Thats what I am afraid of. As for your cutting yourself off from us, I dont judge you, I dont venture to judge you, and forgive me for having blamed you for it. I feel that I too, if I had so great a trouble, should keep away from every one. I shall tell mother nothing of this, but I shall talk about you continually and shall tell her from you that you will come very soon. Dont worry about her; I will set her mind at rest; but dont you try her too muchcome once at least; remember that she is your mother. And now I have come simply to say (Dounia began to get up) that if you should need me or should need all my life or anything call me, and Ill come. Good-bye!
No, he was not cold to her. There was an instant (the very last one) when he had longed to take her in his arms and say good-bye to her, and even to tell her, but he had not dared even to touch her hand.
He could not, of course, and would not consider how ill he was. But all this continual anxiety and agony of mind could not but affect him. And if he were not lying in high fever it was perhaps just because this continual inner strain helped to keep him on his legs and in possession of his faculties. But this artificial excitement could not last long.
He wandered aimlessly. The sun was setting. A special form of misery had begun to oppress him of late. There was nothing poignant, nothing acute about it; but there was a feeling of permanence, of eternity about it; it brought a foretaste of hopeless years of this cold leaden misery, a foretaste of an eternity on a square yard of space. Towards evening this sensation usually began to weigh on him more heavily.
Only fancy, Ive been to your room looking for you. Only fancy, shes carried out her plan, and taken away the children. Sofya Semyonovna and I have had a job to find them. She is rapping on a frying-pan and making the children dance. The children are crying. They keep stopping at the cross roads and in front of shops; theres a crowd of fools running after them. Come along!
Simply frantic. That is, its not Sofya Semyonovnas frantic, but Katerina Ivanovna, though Sofya Semyonovnas frantic too. But Katerina Ivanovna is absolutely frantic. I tell you she is quite mad. Theyll be taken to the police. You can fancy what an effect that will have. They are on the canal bank, near the bridge now, not far from Sofya Semyonovnas, quite close.
On the canal bank near the bridge and not two houses away from the one where Sonia lodged, there was a crowd of people, consisting principally of gutter children. The hoarse broken voice of Katerina Ivanovna could be heard from the bridge, and it certainly was a strange spectacle likely to attract a street crowd. Katerina Ivanovna in her old dress with the green shawl, wearing a torn straw hat, crushed in a hideous way on one side, was really frantic. She was exhausted and breathless. Her wasted consumptive face looked more suffering than ever, and indeed out of doors in the sunshine a consumptive always looks worse than at home. But her excitement did not flag, and every moment here irritation grew more intense. She rushed at the children, shouted at them, coaxed them, told then before the crowd how to dance and what to sing, began explaining to them why it was necessary, and driven to desperation by their not understanding, beat them. Then she would make a rush at the crowd; if she noticed any decently dressed person stopping to look, she immediately appealed to him to see what these children from a genteel, one may say aristocratic, house had been brought to. If she heard laughter or jeering in the crowd, she would rush at once at the scoffers and begin squabbling with them. Some people laughed, others shook their heads, but every one felt curious at the sight of the madwoman with the frightened children. The frying-pan of which Lebeziatnikov had spoken was not there, at least Raskolnikov did not see it. But instead of rapping on the pan, Katerina Ivanovna began clapping her wasted hands, when she made Lida and Kolya dance and Polenka sing. She too joined in the singing, but broke down at the second note with a fearful cough, which made her curse in despair and even shed tears. What made her most furious was the weeping and terror of Kolya and Lida. Some effort had been made to dress the children up as street singers are dressed. The boy had no a turban made of something red and white to look like a Turk. There had been no costume for Lida; she simply had a red knitted cap, or rather a night cap that had belonged to Marmeladov, decorated with a broken piece of white ostrich feather, which had been Katerina Ivanovnas grandmothers and had been preserved as a family possession. Polenka was in her everyday dress; she looked in timid perplexity at her mother, and kept at her side, hiding her tears. She dimly realised her mothers condition, and looked uneasily about her. She was terribly frightened of the street and the crowd. Sonia followed Katerina Ivanovna, weeping and beseeching her to return home, but Katerina Ivanovna was not to be persuaded.
Leave off, Sonia, leave off, she shouted, speaking fast, panting and coughing. You dont know what you ask; you are like a child! Ive told you before that I am not coming back to that drunken German. Let every one, let all Petersburg see the children begging in the street, though their father was an honourable man who served all his life in truth and fidelity, and one may say died in the service. (Katerina Ivanovna had by now invented this fantastic story and thoroughly believed it.) Let that wretch of a general see it! And you are silly, Sonia: what have we to eat? Tell me that. We have worried you enough, I wont go on so! Ah, Rodion Romanovitch, is that you? she cried, seeing Raskolnikov and rushing up to him. Explain to this silly girl, please, that nothing better could be done! Even organ-grinders earn their living, and every one will see at once that we are different, that we are an honourable and bereaved family reduced to beggary. And that general will lose his post, youll see! We shall perform under his windows every day, and if the Tsar drives by, Ill fall on my knees, put the children before me, show them to him, and say Defend us, father. He is the father of the fatherless, he is merciful, hell protect us, youll see, and that wretch of a general Lida, tenez vous droite! Kolya, youll dance again. Why are you whimpering? Whimpering again! What are you afraid of, stupid? Goodness, what am I to do with them, Rodion Romanovitch? If you only knew how stupid they are! Whats one to do with such children?
And she, almost crying herself, which did not stop her uninterrupted, rapid flow of talkpointed to the crying children. Raskolnikov tried to persuade her to go home, and even said, hoping to work on her vanity, that it was unseemly for her to be wandering about the streets like an organ-grinder, as she was intending to become the principal of a boarding-school.
A boarding-school, ha-ha-ha! A castle in the air, cried Katerina Ivanovna, her laugh ending in a cough. No, Rodion Romanovitch, that dream is over! All have forsaken us! And that general You know, Rodion Romanovitch, I threw an inkpot at himit happened to be standing in the waiting-room by the paper where you sign your name. I wrote my name, threw it at him and ran away. Oh the scoundrels, the scoundrels! But enough of them, now Ill provide for the children myself, I wont bow down to anybody! She has had to bear enough for us! she pointed to Sonia. Polenka, how much have you got? Show me! What, only two farthings! Oh the mean wretches! They give us nothing, only run after us, putting their tongues out. There, what is that blockhead laughing at? (She pointed to a man in the crowd.) Its all because Kolya here is so stupid; I have such a bother with him. What do you want, polenka? Tell me in French, parlez moi francais. Why, Ive taught you, you know some phrases. Else how are you to show that you are of good family, well brought-up children, and not at all like other organ-grinders? We arent going to have a Punch and Judy show in the street, but to sing a genteel song Ah, yes What are we to sing? You keep putting me out, but we you see, we are standing here, Rodion Romanovitch, to find something to sing and get money, something Kolya can dance to for, as you can fancy, our performance is all impromptu We must talk it over and rehearse it all thoroughly, and then we shall go to Nevsky, where there are far more people of good society, and we shall be noticed at once. Lida knows My Village only, nothing but My Village, and every one sings that. We must sing something far more genteel Well, have you thought of anything, Polenka? If only youd help your mother! My memorys quite gone, or I should have thought of something. We really cant sing An Hussar. Ah, let us sing in French, Cinq sous, I have taught it you, I have taught it you. And as it is in French, people will see at once that you are children of good family, and that will be much more touching You might sing Malborough sen va-t-en guerre, for thats quite a childs song and is sung as a lullaby in all the aristocratic houses.
Malborough sen va-t-en guerre
Ne sait quand reviendra
she began singing. But no, better sing Cinq sous. Now, Kolya, your hands on your hips, make haste, and you, Lida, keep turning the other way, and Polenka and I will sing and clap our hands!
Cinq sous, cinq sous
Pour monter notre ménage.
(Cough-cough-cough!) Set your dress straight, Polenka, its slipped down on your shoulders, she observed, panting from coughing. Now its particularly necessary to behave nicely and genteelly, that all may see that you are well-born children. I said at the time that the bodice should be cut longer, and made of two widths. It was your fault, Sonia, with your advice to make it shorter, and now you see the child is quite deformed by it Why, youre all crying again! Whats the matter, stupids? Come, Kolya, begin. Make haste, make haste! Oh, what an unbearable child!
A policeman was indeed forcing his way through the crowd. But at that moment a gentleman in civilian uniform and an overcoata solid-looking official of about fifty with a decoration on his neck (which delighted Katerina Ivanovna and had its effect on the policeman)approached and without a word handed her a green three-rouble note. His face wore a look of genuine sympathy. Katerina Ivanovna took it and gave him a polite, even ceremonious, bow.
I thank you, honoured sir, she began loftily. The causes that have induced us (take the money, Polenka: you see there are generous and honourable people who are ready to help a poor gentlewoman in distress). You see, honoured sir, these orphans of good familyI might even say of aristocratic connectionsand that wretch of a general sat eating grouse and stamped at my disturbing him. Your excellency, I said, protect the orphans, for you knew my late husband, Semyon Zaharovitch, and on the very day of his death the basest of scoundrels slandered his only daughter That policeman again! Protect me, she cried to the official. Why is that policeman edging up to me? We have only just run away from one of them. What do you want, fool?
Honoured sir, honoured sir, you dont know, screamed Katerina Ivanovna. We are going to the Nevsky Sonia, Sonia! Where is she? She is crying too! Whats the matter with you all? Kolya, Lida, where are you going? she cried suddenly in alarm. Oh, silly children! Kolya, Lida, where are they off to!
Kolya and Lida, scared out of their wits by the crowd, and their mothers mad pranks, suddenly seized each other by the hand, and ran off at the sight of the policeman who wanted to take them away somewhere. Weeping and wailing, poor Katerina Ivanovna ran after them. She was a piteous and unseemly spectacle, as she ran, weeping and panting for breath. Sonia and Polenka rushed after her.
All ran up and crowded round. Raskolnikov and Lebeziatnikov were the first at her side, the official too hastened up, and behind him the policeman who muttered, Bother! with a gesture of impatience, feeling that the job was going to be a troublesome one.
Ive seen that before, muttered the official to Raskolnikov and Lebeziatnikov; thats consumption; the blood flows and chokes the patient. I saw the same thing with a relative of my own not long ago nearly a pint of blood, all in a minute. Whats to be done though? She is dying.
Thanks to the officials efforts, this plan was adopted, the policeman even helping to carry Katerina Ivanovna. She was carried to Sonias room, almost unconscious, and laid on the bed. The blood was still flowing, but she seemed to be coming to herself. Raskolnikov, Lebeziatnikov, and the official accompanied Sonia into the room and were followed by the policeman, who first drove back the crowd which followed to the very door. Polenka came in holding Kolya and Lida, who were trembling and weeping. Several persons came in too from the Kapernaumovs room; the landlord, a lame one-eyed man of strange appearance with whiskers and hair that stood up like a brush, his wife, a woman with an everlastingly scared expression, and several open-mouthed children with wonder-struck faces. Among these, Svidrigaïlov suddenly made his appearance. Raskolnikov looked at him with surprise, not understanding where he had come from and not having noticed him in the crowd. A doctor and priest were spoken of. The official whispered to Raskolnikov that he thought it was too late now for the doctor, but he ordered him to be sent for. Kapernaumov ran himself.
Meanwhile Katerina Ivanovna had regained her breath. The bleeding ceased for a time. She looked with sick but intent and penetrating eyes at Sonia, who stood pale and trembling, wiping the sweat from her brow with a handkerchief. At last she asked to be raised. They sat her up on the bed, supporting her on both sides.
We have been your ruin, Sonia. Polenka, Lida, Kolya, come here! Well, here they are, Sonia, take them all! I hand them over to you, Ive had enough! The ball is over. (Cough!) Lay me down, let me die in peace.
She sank more and more into uneasy delirium. At times she shuddered, turned her eyes from side to side, recognised every one for a minute, but at once sank into delirium again. Her breathing was hoarse and difficult, there was a sort of rattle in her throat.
I said to him, your excellency, she ejaculated, gasping after each word. That Amalia Ludwigovna, ah! Lida Kolya, hands on your hips, make haste! Glissez, glissez! pas de basque! Tap with your heels, be a graceful child!
Ah, how I loved it! I loved that song to distraction, Polenka! Your father, you know, used to sing it when we were engaged Oh those days! Oh thats the thing for us to sing! How does it go? Ive forgotten. Remind me! how was it?
Your excellency! she wailed suddenly with a heartrending scream and a flood of tears, protect the orphans! You have been their fathers guest one may say aristocratic She started, regaining consciousness, and gazed at all with a sort of terror, but at once recognised Sonia.
She sank into unconsciousness again, but this time it did not last long. Her pale, yellow, wasted face dropped back, her mouth fell open, her leg moved convulsively, she gave a deep, deep sigh and died.
Sonia fell upon her, flung her arms about her, and remained motionless with her head pressed to the dead womans wasted bosom. Polenka threw herself at her mothers feet, kissing them and weeping violently. Though Kolya and Lida did not understand what had happened, they had a feeling that it was something terrible; they put their hands on each others little shoulders, stared straight at one another and both at once opened their mouths and began screaming. They were both still in their fancy dress; one in a turban, the other in the cap with the ostrich feather.
I will undertake all the arrangements, the funeral and that. You know its question of money and, as I told you, I have plenty to spare. I will put those little ones and Polenka into some good orphan asylum, and I will settle fifteen hundred roubles to be paid to each on coming of age, o that Sofya Semyonovna need have no anxiety about them. And I will pull her out of the mud too, for she is a good girl, isnt she? So tell Avdotya Romanovna that that is how I am spending her ten thousand.
Ah! you skeptical person! laughed Svidrigaïlov. I told you I had no need of that money. Wont you admit that its simply done from humanity? She wasnt a louse, you know (he pointed to the corner where the dead woman lay), was she, like some old pawnbroker woman? Come, youll agree, is Luzhin to go on living, and doing wicked things or is she to die? And if I didnt help them, Polenka would go the same way.
He said this with an air of a sort of gay winking slyness, keeping his eyes fixed on Raskolnikov, who turned white and cold, hearing his own phrases, spoken to Sonia. He quickly stepped back and looked wildly at Svidrigaïlov.
Yes, continued Svidrigaïlov, shaking with laughter. I assure you on my honour, dear Rodion Romanovitch, that you have interested me enormously. I told you we should become friends, I foretold it. Well, here we have. And you will see what an accommodating person I am. Youll see that you can get on with me!