Raskolnikov went straight to the house on the canal bank where Sonia lived. I_as an old green house of three storeys. He found the porter and obtained fro_im vague directions as to the whereabouts of Kapernaumov, the tailor. Havin_ound in the corner of the courtyard the entrance to the dark and narro_taircase, he mounted to the second floor and came out into a gallery that ra_ound the whole second storey over the yard. While he was wandering in th_arkness, uncertain where to turn for Kapernaumov's door, a door opened thre_aces from him; he mechanically took hold of it.
"Who is there?" a woman's voice asked uneasily.
"It's I … come to see you," answered Raskolnikov and he walked into the tin_ntry.
On a broken chair stood a candle in a battered copper candlestick.
"It's you! Good heavens!" cried Sonia weakly, and she stood rooted to th_pot.
"Which is your room? This way?" and Raskolnikov, trying not to look at her, hastened in.
A minute later Sonia, too, came in with the candle, set down the candlestic_nd, completely disconcerted, stood before him inexpressibly agitated an_pparently frightened by his unexpected visit. The colour rushed suddenly t_er pale face and tears came into her eyes … She felt sick and ashamed an_appy, too… . Raskolnikov turned away quickly and sat on a chair by the table.
He scanned the room in a rapid glance.
It was a large but exceedingly low-pitched room, the only one let by th_apernaumovs, to whose rooms a closed door led in the wall on the left. In th_pposite side on the right hand wall was another door, always kept locked.
That led to the next flat, which formed a separate lodging. Sonia's roo_ooked like a barn; it was a very irregular quadrangle and this gave it _rotesque appearance. A wall with three windows looking out on to the cana_an aslant so that one corner formed a very acute angle, and it was difficul_o see in it without very strong light. The other corner wa_isproportionately obtuse. There was scarcely any furniture in the big room: in the corner on the right was a bedstead, beside it, nearest the door, _hair. A plain, deal table covered by a blue cloth stood against the sam_all, close to the door into the other flat. Two rush-bottom chairs stood b_he table. On the opposite wall near the acute angle stood a small plai_ooden chest of drawers looking, as it were, lost in a desert. That was al_here was in the room. The yellow, scratched and shabby wall- paper was blac_n the corners. It must have been damp and full of fumes in the winter. Ther_as every sign of poverty; even the bedstead had no curtain.
Sonia looked in silence at her visitor, who was so attentively an_nceremoniously scrutinising her room, and even began at last to tremble wit_error, as though she was standing before her judge and the arbiter of he_estinies.
"I am late… . It's eleven, isn't it?" he asked, still not lifting his eyes.
"Yes," muttered Sonia, "oh yes, it is," she added, hastily, as though in tha_ay her means of escape. "My landlady's clock has just struck … I heard i_yself… ."
"I've come to you for the last time," Raskolnikov went on gloomily, althoug_his was the first time. "I may perhaps not see you again … "
"Are you … going away?"
"I don't know … to-morrow… ."
"Then you are not coming to Katerina Ivanovna to-morrow?" Sonia's voice shook.
"I don't know. I shall know to-morrow morning… . Never mind that: I've come t_ay one word… ."
He raised his brooding eyes to her and suddenly noticed that he was sittin_own while she was all the while standing before him.
"Why are you standing? Sit down," he said in a changed voice, gentle an_riendly.
She sat down. He looked kindly and almost compassionately at her.
"How thin you are! What a hand! Quite transparent, like a dead hand."
He took her hand. Sonia smiled faintly.
"I have always been like that," she said.
"Even when you lived at home?"
"Of course, you were," he added abruptly and the expression of his face an_he sound of his voice changed again suddenly.
He looked round him once more.
"You rent this room from the Kapernaumovs?"
"They live there, through that door?"
"Yes… . They have another room like this."
"All in one room?"
"I should be afraid in your room at night," he observed gloomily.
"They are very good people, very kind," answered Sonia, who still seeme_ewildered, "and all the furniture, everything … everything is theirs. An_hey are very kind and the children, too, often come to see me."
"They all stammer, don't they?"
"Yes… . He stammers and he's lame. And his wife, too… . It's not exactly tha_he stammers, but she can't speak plainly. She is a very kind woman. And h_sed to be a house serf. And there are seven children … and it's only th_ldest one that stammers and the others are simply ill … but they don'_tammer… . But where did you hear about them?" she added with some surprise.
"Your father told me, then. He told me all about you… . And how you went ou_t six o'clock and came back at nine and how Katerina Ivanovna knelt down b_our bed."
Sonia was confused.
"I fancied I saw him to-day," she whispered hesitatingly.
"Father. I was walking in the street, out there at the corner, about te_'clock and he seemed to be walking in front. It looked just like him. _anted to go to Katerina Ivanovna… ."
"You were walking in the streets?"
"Yes," Sonia whispered abruptly, again overcome with confusion and lookin_own.
"Katerina Ivanovna used to beat you, I dare say?"
"Oh no, what are you saying? No!" Sonia looked at him almost with dismay.
"You love her, then?"
"Love her? Of course!" said Sonia with plaintive emphasis, and she clasped he_ands in distress. "Ah, you don't… . If you only knew! You see, she is quit_ike a child… . Her mind is quite unhinged, you see … from sorrow. And ho_lever she used to be … how generous … how kind! Ah, you don't understand, yo_on't understand!"
Sonia said this as though in despair, wringing her hands in excitement an_istress. Her pale cheeks flushed, there was a look of anguish in her eyes. I_as clear that she was stirred to the very depths, that she was longing t_peak, to champion, to express something. A sort of insatiable compassion, i_ne may so express it, was reflected in every feature of her face.
"Beat me! how can you? Good heavens, beat me! And if she did beat me, wha_hen? What of it? You know nothing, nothing about it… . She is so unhappy … ah, how unhappy! And ill… . She is seeking righteousness, she is pure. She ha_uch faith that there must be righteousness everywhere and she expects it… .
And if you were to torture her, she wouldn't do wrong. She doesn't see tha_t's impossible for people to be righteous and she is angry at it. Like _hild, like a child. She is good!"
"And what will happen to you?"
Sonia looked at him inquiringly.
"They are left on your hands, you see. They were all on your hands before, though… . And your father came to you to beg for drink. Well, how will it b_ow?"
"I don't know," Sonia articulated mournfully.
"Will they stay there?"
"I don't know… . They are in debt for the lodging, but the landlady, I hear, said to-day that she wanted to get rid of them, and Katerina Ivanovna say_hat she won't stay another minute."
"How is it she is so bold? She relies upon you?"
"Oh, no, don't talk like that… . We are one, we live like one." Sonia wa_gitated again and even angry, as though a canary or some other little bir_ere to be angry. "And what could she do? What, what could she do?" sh_ersisted, getting hot and excited. "And how she cried to-day! Her mind i_nhinged, haven't you noticed it? At one minute she is worrying like a chil_hat everything should be right to-morrow, the lunch and all that… . Then sh_s wringing her hands, spitting blood, weeping, and all at once she will begi_nocking her head against the wall, in despair. Then she will be comforte_gain. She builds all her hopes on you; she says that you will help her no_nd that she will borrow a little money somewhere and go to her native tow_ith me and set up a boarding school for the daughters of gentlemen and tak_e to superintend it, and we will begin a new splendid life. And she kisse_nd hugs me, comforts me, and you know she has such faith, such faith in he_ancies! One can't contradict her. And all the day long she has been washing, cleaning, mending. She dragged the wash tub into the room with her feebl_ands and sank on the bed, gasping for breath. We went this morning to th_hops to buy shoes for Polenka and Lida for theirs are quite worn out. Onl_he money we'd reckoned wasn't enough, not nearly enough. And she picked ou_uch dear little boots, for she has taste, you don't know. And there in th_hop she burst out crying before the shopmen because she hadn't enough… . Ah, it was sad to see her… ."
"Well, after that I can understand your living like this," Raskolnikov sai_ith a bitter smile.
"And aren't you sorry for them? Aren't you sorry?" Sonia flew at him again.
"Why, I know, you gave your last penny yourself, though you'd seen nothing o_t, and if you'd seen everything, oh dear! And how often, how often I'v_rought her to tears! Only last week! Yes, I! Only a week before his death. _as cruel! And how often I've done it! Ah, I've been wretched at the though_f it all day!"
Sonia wrung her hands as she spoke at the pain of remembering it.
"You were cruel?"
"Yes, I—I. I went to see them," she went on, weeping, "and father said, 'rea_e something, Sonia, my head aches, read to me, here's a book.' He had a boo_e had got from Andrey Semyonovitch Lebeziatnikov, he lives there, he alway_sed to get hold of such funny books. And I said, 'I can't stay,' as I didn'_ant to read, and I'd gone in chiefly to show Katerina Ivanovna some collars.
Lizaveta, the pedlar, sold me some collars and cuffs cheap, pretty, new, embroidered ones. Katerina Ivanovna liked them very much; she put them on an_ooked at herself in the glass and was delighted with them. 'Make me a presen_f them, Sonia,' she said, 'please do.' 'Please do,' she said, she wanted the_o much. And when could she wear them? They just reminded her of her old happ_ays. She looked at herself in the glass, admired herself, and she has n_lothes at all, no things of her own, hasn't had all these years! And sh_ever asks anyone for anything; she is proud, she'd sooner give awa_verything. And these she asked for, she liked them so much. And I was sorr_o give them. 'What use are they to you, Katerina Ivanovna?' I said. I spok_ike that to her, I ought not to have said that! She gave me such a look. An_he was so grieved, so grieved at my refusing her. And it was so sad to see… .
And she was not grieved for the collars, but for my refusing, I saw that. Ah, if only I could bring it all back, change it, take back those words! Ah, if I … but it's nothing to you!"
"Did you know Lizaveta, the pedlar?"
"Yes… . Did you know her?" Sonia asked with some surprise.
"Katerina Ivanovna is in consumption, rapid consumption; she will soon die,"
said Raskolnikov after a pause, without answering her question.
"Oh, no, no, no!"
And Sonia unconsciously clutched both his hands, as though imploring that sh_hould not.
"But it will be better if she does die."
"No, not better, not at all better!" Sonia unconsciously repeated in dismay.
"And the children? What can you do except take them to live with you?"
"Oh, I don't know," cried Sonia, almost in despair, and she put her hands t_er head.
It was evident that that idea had very often occurred to her before and he ha_nly roused it again.
"And, what, if even now, while Katerina Ivanovna is alive, you get ill and ar_aken to the hospital, what will happen then?" he persisted pitilessly.
"How can you? That cannot be!"
And Sonia's face worked with awful terror.
"Cannot be?" Raskolnikov went on with a harsh smile. "You are not insure_gainst it, are you? What will happen to them then? They will be in th_treet, all of them, she will cough and beg and knock her head against som_all, as she did to-day, and the children will cry… . Then she will fall down, be taken to the police station and to the hospital, she will die, and th_hildren … "
"Oh, no… . God will not let it be!" broke at last from Sonia's overburdene_osom.
She listened, looking imploringly at him, clasping her hands in dumb entreaty, as though it all depended upon him.
Raskolnikov got up and began to walk about the room. A minute passed. Soni_as standing with her hands and her head hanging in terrible dejection.
"And can't you save? Put by for a rainy day?" he asked, stopping suddenl_efore her.
"No," whispered Sonia.
"Of course not. Have you tried?" he added almost ironically.
"And it didn't come off! Of course not! No need to ask."
And again he paced the room. Another minute passed.
"You don't get money every day?"
Sonia was more confused than ever and colour rushed into her face again.
"No," she whispered with a painful effort.
"It will be the same with Polenka, no doubt," he said suddenly.
"No, no! It can't be, no!" Sonia cried aloud in desperation, as though she ha_een stabbed. "God would not allow anything so awful!"
"He lets others come to it."
"No, no! God will protect her, God!" she repeated beside herself.
"But, perhaps, there is no God at all," Raskolnikov answered with a sort o_alignance, laughed and looked at her.
Sonia's face suddenly changed; a tremor passed over it. She looked at him wit_nutterable reproach, tried to say something, but could not speak and brok_nto bitter, bitter sobs, hiding her face in her hands.
"You say Katerina Ivanovna's mind is unhinged; your own mind is unhinged," h_aid after a brief silence.
Five minutes passed. He still paced up and down the room in silence, no_ooking at her. At last he went up to her; his eyes glittered. He put his tw_ands on her shoulders and looked straight into her tearful face. His eye_ere hard, feverish and piercing, his lips were twitching. All at once he ben_own quickly and dropping to the ground, kissed her foot. Sonia drew back fro_im as from a madman. And certainly he looked like a madman.
"What are you doing to me?" she muttered, turning pale, and a sudden anguis_lutched at her heart.
He stood up at once.
"I did not bow down to you, I bowed down to all the suffering of humanity," h_aid wildly and walked away to the window. "Listen," he added, turning to he_ minute later. "I said just now to an insolent man that he was not worth you_ittle finger … and that I did my sister honour making her sit beside you."
"Ach, you said that to them! And in her presence?" cried Sonia, frightened.
"Sit down with me! An honour! Why, I'm … dishonourable… . Ah, why did you sa_hat?"
"It was not because of your dishonour and your sin I said that of you, bu_ecause of your great suffering. But you are a great sinner, that's true," h_dded almost solemnly, "and your worst sin is that you have destroyed an_etrayed yourself for nothing. Isn't that fearful? Isn't it fearful that yo_re living in this filth which you loathe so, and at the same time you kno_ourself (you've only to open your eyes) that you are not helping anyone b_t, not saving anyone from anything? Tell me," he went on almost in a frenzy,
"how this shame and degradation can exist in you side by side with other, opposite, holy feelings? It would be better, a thousand times better and wise_o leap into the water and end it all!"
"But what would become of them?" Sonia asked faintly, gazing at him with eye_f anguish, but not seeming surprised at his suggestion.
Raskolnikov looked strangely at her. He read it all in her face; so she mus_ave had that thought already, perhaps many times, and earnestly she ha_hought out in her despair how to end it and so earnestly, that now sh_carcely wondered at his suggestion. She had not even noticed the cruelty o_is words. (The significance of his reproaches and his peculiar attitude t_er shame she had, of course, not noticed either, and that, too, was clear t_im.) But he saw how monstrously the thought of her disgraceful, shamefu_osition was torturing her and had long tortured her. "What, what," h_hought, "could hitherto have hindered her from putting an end to it?" Onl_hen he realised what those poor little orphan children and that pitiful half- crazy Katerina Ivanovna, knocking her head against the wall in he_onsumption, meant for Sonia.
But, nevertheless, it was clear to him again that with her character and th_mount of education she had after all received, she could not in any cas_emain so. He was still confronted by the question, how could she hav_emained so long in that position without going out of her mind, since sh_ould not bring herself to jump into the water? Of course he knew that Sonia'_osition was an exceptional case, though unhappily not unique and no_nfrequent, indeed; but that very exceptionalness, her tinge of education, he_revious life might, one would have thought, have killed her at the first ste_n that revolting path. What held her up—surely not depravity? All that infam_ad obviously only touched her mechanically, not one drop of real depravit_ad penetrated to her heart; he saw that. He saw through her as she stoo_efore him… .
"There are three ways before her," he thought, "the canal, the madhouse, or … at last to sink into depravity which obscures the mind and turns the heart t_tone."
The last idea was the most revolting, but he was a sceptic, he was young, abstract, and therefore cruel, and so he could not help believing that th_ast end was the most likely.
"But can that be true?" he cried to himself. "Can that creature who has stil_reserved the purity of her spirit be consciously drawn at last into that sin_f filth and iniquity? Can the process already have begun? Can it be that sh_as only been able to bear it till now, because vice has begun to be les_oathsome to her? No, no, that cannot be!" he cried, as Sonia had just before.
"No, what has kept her from the canal till now is the idea of sin and they, the children… . And if she has not gone out of her mind … but who says she ha_ot gone out of her mind? Is she in her senses? Can one talk, can one reaso_s she does? How can she sit on the edge of the abyss of loathsomeness int_hich she is slipping and refuse to listen when she is told of danger? Doe_he expect a miracle? No doubt she does. Doesn't that all mean madness?"
He stayed obstinately at that thought. He liked that explanation indeed bette_han any other. He began looking more intently at her.
"So you pray to God a great deal, Sonia?" he asked her.
Sonia did not speak; he stood beside her waiting for an answer.
"What should I be without God?" she whispered rapidly, forcibly, glancing a_im with suddenly flashing eyes, and squeezing his hand.
"Ah, so that is it!" he thought.
"And what does God do for you?" he asked, probing her further.
Sonia was silent a long while, as though she could not answer. Her weak ches_ept heaving with emotion.
"Be silent! Don't ask! You don't deserve!" she cried suddenly, looking sternl_nd wrathfully at him.
"That's it, that's it," he repeated to himself.
"He does everything," she whispered quickly, looking down again.
"That's the way out! That's the explanation," he decided, scrutinising he_ith eager curiosity, with a new, strange, almost morbid feeling. He gazed a_hat pale, thin, irregular, angular little face, those soft blue eyes, whic_ould flash with such fire, such stern energy, that little body still shakin_ith indignation and anger—and it all seemed to him more and more strange, almost impossible. "She is a religious maniac!" he repeated to himself.
There was a book lying on the chest of drawers. He had noticed it every tim_e paced up and down the room. Now he took it up and looked at it. It was th_ew Testament in the Russian translation. It was bound in leather, old an_orn.
"Where did you get that?" he called to her across the room.
She was still standing in the same place, three steps from the table.
"It was brought me," she answered, as it were unwillingly, not looking at him.
"Who brought it?"
"Lizaveta, I asked her for it."
"Lizaveta! strange!" he thought.
Everything about Sonia seemed to him stranger and more wonderful every moment.
He carried the book to the candle and began to turn over the pages.
"Where is the story of Lazarus?" he asked suddenly.
Sonia looked obstinately at the ground and would not answer. She was standin_ideways to the table.
"Where is the raising of Lazarus? Find it for me, Sonia."
She stole a glance at him.
"You are not looking in the right place… . It's in the fourth gospel," sh_hispered sternly, without looking at him.
"Find it and read it to me," he said. He sat down with his elbow on the table, leaned his head on his hand and looked away sullenly, prepared to listen.
"In three weeks' time they'll welcome me in the madhouse! I shall be there i_ am not in a worse place," he muttered to himself.
Sonia heard Raskolnikov's request distrustfully and moved hesitatingly to th_able. She took the book however.
"Haven't you read it?" she asked, looking up at him across the table.
Her voice became sterner and sterner.
"Long ago… . When I was at school. Read!"
"And haven't you heard it in church?"
"I … haven't been. Do you often go?"
"N-no," whispered Sonia.
"I understand… . And you won't go to your father's funeral to-morrow?"
"Yes, I shall. I was at church last week, too … I had a requiem service."
"For Lizaveta. She was killed with an axe."
His nerves were more and more strained. His head began to go round.
"Were you friends with Lizaveta?"
"Yes… . She was good … she used to come … not often … she couldn't… . We use_o read together and … talk. She will see God."
The last phrase sounded strange in his ears. And here was something new again: the mysterious meetings with Lizaveta and both of them— religious maniacs.
"I shall be a religious maniac myself soon! It's infectious!"
"Read!" he cried irritably and insistently.
Sonia still hesitated. Her heart was throbbing. She hardly dared to read t_im. He looked almost with exasperation at the "unhappy lunatic."
"What for? You don't believe? … " she whispered softly and as it wer_reathlessly.
"Read! I want you to," he persisted. "You used to read to Lizaveta."
Sonia opened the book and found the place. Her hands were shaking, her voic_ailed her. Twice she tried to begin and could not bring out the firs_yllable.
"Now a certain man was sick named Lazarus of Bethany … " she forced herself a_ast to read, but at the third word her voice broke like an overstraine_tring. There was a catch in her breath.
Raskolnikov saw in part why Sonia could not bring herself to read to him an_he more he saw this, the more roughly and irritably he insisted on her doin_o. He understood only too well how painful it was for her to betray an_nveil all that was her own. He understood that these feelings really were he_ecret treasure, which she had kept perhaps for years, perhaps from childhood, while she lived with an unhappy father and a distracted stepmother crazed b_rief, in the midst of starving children and unseemly abuse and reproaches.
But at the same time he knew now and knew for certain that, although it fille_er with dread and suffering, yet she had a tormenting desire to read and t_ead to him that he might hear it, and to read now whatever might come of it!
… He read this in her eyes, he could see it in her intense emotion. Sh_astered herself, controlled the spasm in her throat and went on reading th_leventh chapter of St. John. She went on to the nineteenth verse:
"And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary to comfort them concerning thei_rother.
"Then Martha as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming went and met Him: bu_ary sat still in the house.
"Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother ha_ot died.
"But I know that even now whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give i_hee… ."
Then she stopped again with a shamefaced feeling that her voice would quive_nd break again.
"Jesus said unto her, thy brother shall rise again.
"Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection, at the last day.
"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth i_e though he were dead, yet shall he live.
"And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest tho_his?
"She saith unto Him,"
(And drawing a painful breath, Sonia read distinctly and forcibly as thoug_he were making a public confession of faith.)
"Yea, Lord: I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God Which shoul_ome into the world."
She stopped and looked up quickly at him, but controlling herself went o_eading. Raskolnikov sat without moving, his elbows on the table and his eye_urned away. She read to the thirty-second verse.
"Then when Mary was come where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell down at Hi_eet, saying unto Him, Lord if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
"When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which cam_ith her, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled,
"And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and see.
"Then said the Jews, behold how He loved him!
"And some of them said, could not this Man which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?"
Raskolnikov turned and looked at her with emotion. Yes, he had known it! Sh_as trembling in a real physical fever. He had expected it. She was gettin_ear the story of the greatest miracle and a feeling of immense triumph cam_ver her. Her voice rang out like a bell; triumph and joy gave it power. Th_ines danced before her eyes, but she knew what she was reading by heart. A_he last verse "Could not this Man which opened the eyes of the blind … "
dropping her voice she passionately reproduced the doubt, the reproach an_ensure of the blind disbelieving Jews, who in another moment would fall a_is feet as though struck by thunder, sobbing and believing… . "And he, he—too, is blinded and unbelieving, he, too, will hear, he, too, will believe, yes, yes! At once, now," was what she was dreaming, and she was quivering wit_appy anticipation.
"Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
"Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto Him, Lord by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead fou_ays."
She laid emphasis on the word four.
"Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
"Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. An_esus lifted up His eyes and said, Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast hear_e.
"And I knew that Thou hearest Me always; but because of the people which stan_y I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me.
"And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
"And he that was dead came forth."
(She read loudly, cold and trembling with ecstasy, as though she were seein_t before her eyes.)
"Bound hand and foot with graveclothes; and his face was bound about with _apkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him and let him go.
"Then many of the Jews which came to Mary and had seen the things which Jesu_id believed on Him."
She could read no more, closed the book and got up from her chair quickly.
"That is all about the raising of Lazarus," she whispered severely an_bruptly, and turning away she stood motionless, not daring to raise her eye_o him. She still trembled feverishly. The candle-end was flickering out i_he battered candlestick, dimly lighting up in the poverty-stricken room th_urderer and the harlot who had so strangely been reading together the eterna_ook. Five minutes or more passed.
"I came to speak of something," Raskolnikov said aloud, frowning. He got u_nd went to Sonia. She lifted her eyes to him in silence. His face wa_articularly stern and there was a sort of savage determination in it.
"I have abandoned my family to-day," he said, "my mother and sister. I am no_oing to see them. I've broken with them completely."
"What for?" asked Sonia amazed. Her recent meeting with his mother and siste_ad left a great impression which she could not analyse. She heard his new_lmost with horror.
"I have only you now," he added. "Let us go together… . I've come to you, w_re both accursed, let us go our way together!"
His eyes glittered "as though he were mad," Sonia thought, in her turn.
"Go where?" she asked in alarm and she involuntarily stepped back.
"How do I know? I only know it's the same road, I know that and nothing more.
It's the same goal!"
She looked at him and understood nothing. She knew only that he was terribly, infinitely unhappy.
"No one of them will understand, if you tell them, but I have understood. _eed you, that is why I have come to you."
"I don't understand," whispered Sonia.
"You'll understand later. Haven't you done the same? You, too, hav_ransgressed … have had the strength to transgress. You have laid hands o_ourself, you have destroyed a life … your own (it's all the same!). You migh_ave lived in spirit and understanding, but you'll end in the Hay Market… .
But you won't be able to stand it, and if you remain alone you'll go out o_our mind like me. You are like a mad creature already. So we must go togethe_n the same road! Let us go!"
"What for? What's all this for?" said Sonia, strangely and violently agitate_y his words.
"What for? Because you can't remain like this, that's why! You must loo_hings straight in the face at last, and not weep like a child and cry tha_od won't allow it. What will happen, if you should really be taken to th_ospital to-morrow? She is mad and in consumption, she'll soon die and th_hildren? Do you mean to tell me Polenka won't come to grief? Haven't you see_hildren here at the street corners sent out by their mothers to beg? I'v_ound out where those mothers live and in what surroundings. Children can'_emain children there! At seven the child is vicious and a thief. Ye_hildren, you know, are the image of Christ: 'theirs is the kingdom o_eaven.' He bade us honour and love them, they are the humanity of the future… ."
"What's to be done, what's to be done?" repeated Sonia, weeping hystericall_nd wringing her hands.
"What's to be done? Break what must be broken, once for all, that's all, an_ake the suffering on oneself. What, you don't understand? You'll understan_ater… . Freedom and power, and above all, power! Over all trembling creatio_nd all the ant-heap! … That's the goal, remember that! That's my farewel_essage. Perhaps it's the last time I shall speak to you. If I don't come to- morrow, you'll hear of it all, and then remember these words. And some da_ater on, in years to come, you'll understand perhaps what they meant. If _ome to-morrow, I'll tell you who killed Lizaveta… . Good-bye."
Sonia started with terror.
"Why, do you know who killed her?" she asked, chilled with horror, lookin_ildly at him.
"I know and will tell … you, only you. I have chosen you out. I'm not comin_o you to ask forgiveness, but simply to tell you. I chose you out long ago t_ear this, when your father talked of you and when Lizaveta was alive, _hought of it. Good-bye, don't shake hands. To-morrow!"
He went out. Sonia gazed at him as at a madman. But she herself was like on_nsane and felt it. Her head was going round.
"Good heavens, how does he know who killed Lizaveta? What did those word_ean? It's awful!" But at the same time the idea did not enter her head, no_or a moment! "Oh, he must be terribly unhappy! … He has abandoned his mothe_nd sister… . What for? What has happened? And what had he in his mind? Wha_id he say to her? He had kissed her foot and said … said (yes, he had said i_learly) that he could not live without her… . Oh, merciful heavens!"
Sonia spent the whole night feverish and delirious. She jumped up from time t_ime, wept and wrung her hands, then sank again into feverish sleep and dream_f Polenka, Katerina Ivanovna and Lizaveta, of reading the gospel and him … him with pale face, with burning eyes … kissing her feet, weeping.
On the other side of the door on the right, which divided Sonia's room fro_adame Resslich's flat, was a room which had long stood empty. A card wa_ixed on the gate and a notice stuck in the windows over the canal advertisin_t to let. Sonia had long been accustomed to the room's being uninhabited. Bu_ll that time Mr. Svidrigaïlov had been standing, listening at the door of th_mpty room. When Raskolnikov went out he stood still, thought a moment, wen_n tiptoe to his own room which adjoined the empty one, brought a chair an_oiselessly carried it to the door that led to Sonia's room. The conversatio_ad struck him as interesting and remarkable, and he had greatly enjoyed it—s_uch so that he brought a chair that he might not in the future, to-morrow, for instance, have to endure the inconvenience of standing a whole hour, bu_ight listen in comfort.