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Chapter 6

  • When he remembered the scene afterwards, this is how Raskolnikov saw it.
  • The noise behind the door increased, and suddenly the door was opened _ittle.
  • "What is it?" cried Porfiry Petrovitch, annoyed. "Why, I gave orders … "
  • For an instant there was no answer, but it was evident that there were severa_ersons at the door, and that they were apparently pushing somebody back.
  • "What is it?" Porfiry Petrovitch repeated, uneasily.
  • "The prisoner Nikolay has been brought," someone answered.
  • "He is not wanted! Take him away! Let him wait! What's he doing here? Ho_rregular!" cried Porfiry, rushing to the door.
  • "But he … " began the same voice, and suddenly ceased.
  • Two seconds, not more, were spent in actual struggle, then someone gave _iolent shove, and then a man, very pale, strode into the room.
  • This man's appearance was at first sight very strange. He stared straigh_efore him, as though seeing nothing. There was a determined gleam in hi_yes; at the same time there was a deathly pallor in his face, as though h_ere being led to the scaffold. His white lips were faintly twitching.
  • He was dressed like a workman and was of medium height, very young, slim, hi_air cut in round crop, with thin spare features. The man whom he had thrus_ack followed him into the room and succeeded in seizing him by the shoulder; he was a warder; but Nikolay pulled his arm away.
  • Several persons crowded inquisitively into the doorway. Some of them tried t_et in. All this took place almost instantaneously.
  • "Go away, it's too soon! Wait till you are sent for! … Why have you brough_im so soon?" Porfiry Petrovitch muttered, extremely annoyed, and as it wer_hrown out of his reckoning.
  • But Nikolay suddenly knelt down.
  • "What's the matter?" cried Porfiry, surprised.
  • "I am guilty! Mine is the sin! I am the murderer," Nikolay articulate_uddenly, rather breathless, but speaking fairly loudly.
  • For ten seconds there was silence as though all had been struck dumb; even th_arder stepped back, mechanically retreated to the door, and stood immovable.
  • "What is it?" cried Porfiry Petrovitch, recovering from his momentar_tupefaction.
  • "I … am the murderer," repeated Nikolay, after a brief pause.
  • "What … you … what … whom did you kill?" Porfiry Petrovitch was obviousl_ewildered.
  • Nikolay again was silent for a moment.
  • "Alyona Ivanovna and her sister Lizaveta Ivanovna, I … killed … with an axe.
  • Darkness came over me," he added suddenly, and was again silent.
  • He still remained on his knees. Porfiry Petrovitch stood for some moments a_hough meditating, but suddenly roused himself and waved back the uninvite_pectators. They instantly vanished and closed the door. Then he looke_owards Raskolnikov, who was standing in the corner, staring wildly at Nikola_nd moved towards him, but stopped short, looked from Nikolay to Raskolniko_nd then again at Nikolay, and seeming unable to restrain himself darted a_he latter.
  • "You're in too great a hurry," he shouted at him, almost angrily. "I didn'_sk you what came over you… . Speak, did you kill them?"
  • "I am the murderer… . I want to give evidence," Nikolay pronounced.
  • "Ach! What did you kill them with?"
  • "An axe. I had it ready."
  • "Ach, he is in a hurry! Alone?"
  • Nikolay did not understand the question.
  • "Did you do it alone?"
  • "Yes, alone. And Mitka is not guilty and had no share in it."
  • "Don't be in a hurry about Mitka! A-ach! How was it you ran downstairs lik_hat at the time? The porters met you both!"
  • "It was to put them off the scent … I ran after Mitka," Nikolay replie_urriedly, as though he had prepared the answer.
  • "I knew it!" cried Porfiry, with vexation. "It's not his own tale he i_elling," he muttered as though to himself, and suddenly his eyes rested o_askolnikov again.
  • He was apparently so taken up with Nikolay that for a moment he had forgotte_askolnikov. He was a little taken aback.
  • "My dear Rodion Romanovitch, excuse me!" he flew up to him, "this won't do; I'm afraid you must go … it's no good your staying … I will … you see, what _urprise! … Good-bye!"
  • And taking him by the arm, he showed him to the door.
  • "I suppose you didn't expect it?" said Raskolnikov who, though he had not ye_ully grasped the situation, had regained his courage.
  • "You did not expect it either, my friend. See how your hand is trembling! He- he!"
  • "You're trembling, too, Porfiry Petrovitch!"
  • "Yes, I am; I didn't expect it."
  • They were already at the door; Porfiry was impatient for Raskolnikov to b_one.
  • "And your little surprise, aren't you going to show it to me?" Raskolniko_aid, sarcastically.
  • "Why, his teeth are chattering as he asks, he-he! You are an ironical person!
  • Come, till we meet!"
  • "I believe we can say good-bye!"
  • "That's in God's hands," muttered Porfiry, with an unnatural smile.
  • As he walked through the office, Raskolnikov noticed that many people wer_ooking at him. Among them he saw the two porters from the house, whom he ha_nvited that night to the police station. They stood there waiting. But he wa_o sooner on the stairs than he heard the voice of Porfiry Petrovitch behin_im. Turning round, he saw the latter running after him, out of breath.
  • "One word, Rodion Romanovitch; as to all the rest, it's in God's hands, but a_ matter of form there are some questions I shall have to ask you … so w_hall meet again, shan't we?"
  • And Porfiry stood still, facing him with a smile.
  • "Shan't we?" he added again.
  • He seemed to want to say something more, but could not speak out.
  • "You must forgive me, Porfiry Petrovitch, for what has just passed … I lost m_emper," began Raskolnikov, who had so far regained his courage that he fel_rresistibly inclined to display his coolness.
  • "Don't mention it, don't mention it," Porfiry replied, almost gleefully. "_yself, too … I have a wicked temper, I admit it! But we shall meet again. I_t's God's will, we may see a great deal of one another."
  • "And will get to know each other through and through?" added Raskolnikov.
  • "Yes; know each other through and through," assented Porfiry Petrovitch, an_e screwed up his eyes, looking earnestly at Raskolnikov. "Now you're going t_ birthday party?"
  • "To a funeral."
  • "Of course, the funeral! Take care of yourself, and get well."
  • "I don't know what to wish you," said Raskolnikov, who had begun to descen_he stairs, but looked back again. "I should like to wish you success, bu_our office is such a comical one."
  • "Why comical?" Porfiry Petrovitch had turned to go, but he seemed to prick u_is ears at this.
  • "Why, how you must have been torturing and harassing that poor Nikola_sychologically, after your fashion, till he confessed! You must have been a_im day and night, proving to him that he was the murderer, and now that h_as confessed, you'll begin vivisecting him again. 'You are lying,' you'l_ay. 'You are not the murderer! You can't be! It's not your own tale you ar_elling!' You must admit it's a comical business!"
  • "He-he-he! You noticed then that I said to Nikolay just now that it was no_is own tale he was telling?"
  • "How could I help noticing it!"
  • "He-he! You are quick-witted. You notice everything! You've really a playfu_ind! And you always fasten on the comic side … he-he! They say that was th_arked characteristic of Gogol, among the writers."
  • "Yes, of Gogol."
  • "Yes, of Gogol… . I shall look forward to meeting you."
  • "So shall I."
  • Raskolnikov walked straight home. He was so muddled and bewildered that o_etting home he sat for a quarter of an hour on the sofa, trying to collec_is thoughts. He did not attempt to think about Nikolay; he was stupefied; h_elt that his confession was something inexplicable, amazing—something beyon_is understanding. But Nikolay's confession was an actual fact. Th_onsequences of this fact were clear to him at once, its falsehood could no_ail to be discovered, and then they would be after him again. Till then, a_east, he was free and must do something for himself, for the danger wa_mminent.
  • But how imminent? His position gradually became clear to him. Remembering, sketchily, the main outlines of his recent scene with Porfiry, he could no_elp shuddering again with horror. Of course, he did not yet know al_orfiry's aims, he could not see into all his calculations. But he had alread_artly shown his hand, and no one knew better than Raskolnikov how terribl_orfiry's "lead" had been for him. A little more and he might have give_imself away completely, circumstantially. Knowing his nervous temperament an_rom the first glance seeing through him, Porfiry, though playing a bold game, was bound to win. There's no denying that Raskolnikov had compromised himsel_eriously, but no facts had come to light as yet; there was nothing positive.
  • But was he taking a true view of the position? Wasn't he mistaken? What ha_orfiry been trying to get at? Had he really some surprise prepared for him?
  • And what was it? Had he really been expecting something or not? How would the_ave parted if it had not been for the unexpected appearance of Nikolay?
  • Porfiry had shown almost all his cards—of course, he had risked something i_howing them—and if he had really had anything up his sleeve (Raskolniko_eflected), he would have shown that, too. What was that "surprise"? Was it _oke? Had it meant anything? Could it have concealed anything like a fact, _iece of positive evidence? His yesterday's visitor? What had become of him?
  • Where was he to-day? If Porfiry really had any evidence, it must be connecte_ith him… .
  • He sat on the sofa with his elbows on his knees and his face hidden in hi_ands. He was still shivering nervously. At last he got up, took his cap, thought a minute, and went to the door.
  • He had a sort of presentiment that for to-day, at least, he might conside_imself out of danger. He had a sudden sense almost of joy; he wanted to mak_aste to Katerina Ivanovna's. He would be too late for the funeral, of course, but he would be in time for the memorial dinner, and there at once he woul_ee Sonia.
  • He stood still, thought a moment, and a suffering smile came for a moment o_o his lips.
  • "To-day! To-day," he repeated to himself. "Yes, to-day! So it must be… ."
  • But as he was about to open the door, it began opening of itself. He starte_nd moved back. The door opened gently and slowly, and there suddenly appeare_ figure—yesterday's visitor from underground.
  • The man stood in the doorway, looked at Raskolnikov without speaking, and too_ step forward into the room. He was exactly the same as yesterday; the sam_igure, the same dress, but there was a great change in his face; he looke_ejected and sighed deeply. If he had only put his hand up to his cheek an_eaned his head on one side he would have looked exactly like a peasant woman.
  • "What do you want?" asked Raskolnikov, numb with terror. The man was stil_ilent, but suddenly he bowed down almost to the ground, touching it with hi_inger.
  • "What is it?" cried Raskolnikov.
  • "I have sinned," the man articulated softly.
  • "How?"
  • "By evil thoughts."
  • They looked at one another.
  • "I was vexed. When you came, perhaps in drink, and bade the porters go to th_olice station and asked about the blood, I was vexed that they let you go an_ook you for drunken. I was so vexed that I lost my sleep. And remembering th_ddress we came here yesterday and asked for you… ."
  • "Who came?" Raskolnikov interrupted, instantly beginning to recollect.
  • "I did, I've wronged you."
  • "Then you come from that house?"
  • "I was standing at the gate with them … don't you remember? We have carried o_ur trade in that house for years past. We cure and prepare hides, we tak_ork home … most of all I was vexed… ."
  • And the whole scene of the day before yesterday in the gateway came clearl_efore Raskolnikov's mind; he recollected that there had been several peopl_here besides the porters, women among them. He remembered one voice ha_uggested taking him straight to the police- station. He could not recall th_ace of the speaker, and even now he did not recognise it, but he remembere_hat he had turned round and made him some answer… .
  • So this was the solution of yesterday's horror. The most awful thought wa_hat he had been actually almost lost, had almost done for himself on accoun_f such a trivial circumstance. So this man could tell nothing except hi_sking about the flat and the blood stains. So Porfiry, too, had nothing bu_hat delirium, no facts but this psychology which cuts both ways, nothin_ositive. So if no more facts come to light (and they must not, they mus_ot!) then … then what can they do to him? How can they convict him, even i_hey arrest him? And Porfiry then had only just heard about the flat and ha_ot known about it before.
  • "Was it you who told Porfiry … that I'd been there?" he cried, struck by _udden idea.
  • "What Porfiry?"
  • "The head of the detective department?"
  • "Yes. The porters did not go there, but I went."
  • "To-day?"
  • "I got there two minutes before you. And I heard, I heard it all, how h_orried you."
  • "Where? What? When?"
  • "Why, in the next room. I was sitting there all the time."
  • "What? Why, then you were the surprise? But how could it happen? Upon m_ord!"
  • "I saw that the porters did not want to do what I said," began the man; "fo_t's too late, said they, and maybe he'll be angry that we did not come at th_ime. I was vexed and I lost my sleep, and I began making inquiries. An_inding out yesterday where to go, I went to-day. The first time I went h_asn't there, when I came an hour later he couldn't see me. I went the thir_ime, and they showed me in. I informed him of everything, just as i_appened, and he began skipping about the room and punching himself on th_hest. 'What do you scoundrels mean by it? If I'd known about it I should hav_rrested him!' Then he ran out, called somebody and began talking to him i_he corner, then he turned to me, scolding and questioning me. He scolded me _reat deal; and I told him everything, and I told him that you didn't dare t_ay a word in answer to me yesterday and that you didn't recognise me. And h_ell to running about again and kept hitting himself on the chest, and gettin_ngry and running about, and when you were announced he told me to go into th_ext room. 'Sit there a bit,' he said. 'Don't move, whatever you may hear.'
  • And he set a chair there for me and locked me in. 'Perhaps,' he said, 'I ma_all you.' And when Nikolay'd been brought he let me out as soon as you wer_one. 'I shall send for you again and question you,' he said."
  • "And did he question Nikolay while you were there?"
  • "He got rid of me as he did of you, before he spoke to Nikolay."
  • The man stood still, and again suddenly bowed down, touching the ground wit_is finger.
  • "Forgive me for my evil thoughts, and my slander."
  • "May God forgive you," answered Raskolnikov.
  • And as he said this, the man bowed down again, but not to the ground, turne_lowly and went out of the room.
  • "It all cuts both ways, now it all cuts both ways," repeated Raskolnikov, an_e went out more confident than ever.
  • "Now we'll make a fight for it," he said, with a malicious smile, as he wen_own the stairs. His malice was aimed at himself; with shame and contempt h_ecollected his "cowardice."