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Chapter 5 Not You, Not You!

  • ON the way to Ivan he had to pass the house where Katerina Ivanovna wa_iving. There was light in the windows. He suddenly stopped and resolved to g_n. He had not seen Katerina Ivanovna for more than a week. But now it struc_im 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 Chines_antern, he saw a man coming down, and as they met, he recognised him as hi_rother. So he was just coming from Katerina Ivanovna.
  • "Ah, it's only you," said Ivan dryly. "Well, good-bye! You are going to her?"
  • "Yes."
  • "I don't advise you to; she's upset and you'll 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, yo_ust come back, you must. Do you hear?"
  • There was such a peremptory note in Katya's voice that Ivan, after a moment'_esitation, 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 won't sit down. I won't stay more than a minute."
  • "Sit down, Alexey Fyodorovitch," said Katerina Ivanovna, though she remaine_tanding. She had changed very little during this time, but there was a_minous gleam in her dark eyes. Alyosha remembered afterwards that she ha_truck 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 yo_ould spare yourself and say nothing at the trial of what" (he was a littl_onfused) "… passed between you… at the time of your first acquaintance… i_hat town."
  • "Ah! that I bowed down to the ground for that money!" She broke into a bitte_augh. "Why, is he afraid for me or for himself? He asks me to spare- whom?
  • 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 don't know me yet, Alexey Fyodorovitch," she said menacingly. "And _on't know myself yet. Perhaps you'll want to trample me under foot after m_xamination to-morrow."
  • "You will give your evidence honourably," said Alyosha; "that's all that'_anted."
  • "Women are often dishonourable," she snarled. "Only an hour ago I was thinkin_ felt afraid to touch that monster… as though he were a reptile… but no, h_s still a human being to me! But did he do it? Is he the murderer?" sh_ried, all of a sudden, hysterically, turning quickly to Ivan. Alyosha saw a_nce that she had asked Ivan that question before, perhaps only a momen_efore he came in, and not for the first time, but for the hundredth, and tha_hey had ended by quarrelling.
  • "I've been to see Smerdyakov… . It was you, you who persuaded me that h_urdered his father. It's only you I believed" she continued, still addressin_van. He gave her a sort of strained smile. Alyosha started at her tone. H_ad not suspected such familiar intimacy between them.
  • "Well, that's enough, anyway," Ivan cut short the conversation. "I am going.
  • I'll come to-morrow." And turning at once, he walked out of the room and wen_traight downstairs.
  • With an imperious gesture, Katerina Ivanovna seized Alyosha by both hands.
  • "Follow him! Overtake him! Don't leave him alone for a minute!" she said, in _urried whisper. "He's mad! Don't you know that he's mad? He is in a fever, nervous fever. The doctor told me so. Go, run after him… ."
  • Alyosha jumped up and ran after Ivan, who was not fifty paces ahead of him.
  • "What do you want?" He turned quickly on Alyosha, seeing that he was runnin_fter him. "She told you to catch me up, because I'm mad. I know it all b_eart," he added irritably.
  • "She is mistaken, of course; but she is right that you are ill," said Alyosha.
  • "I was looking at your face just now. You look very ill, Ivan."
  • Ivan walked on without stopping. Alyosha followed him.
  • "And do you know, Alexey Fyodorovitch, how people do go out of their minds?"
  • Ivan asked in a a voice suddenly quiet, without a trace of irritation, with _ote of the simplest curiosity.
  • "No, I don't. I suppose there are all kinds of insanity."
  • "And can one observe that one's going mad oneself?"
  • "I imagine one can't see oneself clearly in such circumstances," Alyosh_nswered with surprise.
  • Ivan paused for half a minute.
  • "If you want to talk to me, please change the subject," he said suddenly.
  • "Oh, while I think of it, I have a letter for you," said Alyosha timidly, an_e took Lise's note from his pocket and held it out to Ivan. They were jus_nder a lamp-post. Ivan recognised the handwriting at once.
  • "Ah, from that little demon!" he laughed maliciously, and, without opening th_nvelope, he tore it into bits and threw it in the air. The bits wer_cattered by the wind.
  • "She's not sixteen yet, I believe, and already offering herself," he sai_ontemptuously, striding along the street again.
  • "How do you mean, offering herself?" exclaimed Alyosha.
  • "As wanton women offer themselves, to be sure."
  • "How can you, Ivan, how can you?" Alyosha cried warmly, in a grieved voice.
  • "She is a child; you are insulting a child! She is ill; she is very ill, too.
  • She is on the verge of insanity, too, perhaps… . I had hoped to hear somethin_rom you… that would save her."
  • "You'll hear nothing from me. If she is a child, I am not her nurse. Be quiet, Alexey. Don't go on about her. I am not even thinking about it."
  • They were silent again for a moment.
  • "She will be praying all night now to the Mother of God to show her how to ac_o-morrow at the trial," he said sharply and angrily again.
  • "You… you mean Katerina Ivanovna?"
  • "Yes. Whether she's to save Mitya or ruin him. She'll pray for light fro_bove. She can't make up her mind for herself, you see. She has not had tim_o decide yet. She takes me for her nurse, too. She wants me to sing lullabie_o her."
  • "Katerina Ivanovna loves you, brother," said Alyosha sadly.
  • "Perhaps; but I am not very keen on her."
  • "She is suffering. Why do you… sometimes say things to her that give he_ope?" Alyosha went on, with timid reproach. "I know that you've given he_ope. Forgive me for speaking to you like this," he added.
  • "I can't behave to her as I ought- break off altogether and tell her s_traight out," said Ivan, irritably. "I must wait till sentence is passed o_he murderer. If I break off with her now, she will avenge herself on me b_uining that scoundrel to-morrow at the trial, for she hates him and knows sh_ates him. It's all a lie- lie upon lie! As long as I don't break off wit_er, she goes on hoping, and she won't ruin that monster, knowing how I wan_o get him out of trouble. If only that damned verdict would come!"
  • The words "murderer" and "monster" echoed painfully in Alyosha's heart.
  • "But how can she ruin Mitya?" he asked, pondering on Ivan's words. "Wha_vidence can she give that would ruin Mitya?"
  • "You don't know that yet. She's got a document in her hands, in Mitya's ow_riting, that proves conclusively that he did murder Fyodor Pavlovitch."
  • "That's impossible!" cried Alyosha.
  • "Why is it impossible? I've read it myself."
  • "There can't be such a document!" Alyosha repeated warmly. "There can't be, because he's not the murderer. It's not he murdered father, not he!"
  • Ivan suddenly stopped.
  • "Who is the murderer then, according to you?" he asked, with apparen_oldness. There was even a supercilious note in his voice.
  • "You know who," Alyosha pronounced in a low, penetrating voice.
  • "Who? You mean the myth about that crazy idiot, the epileptic, Smerdyakov?"
  • Alyosha suddenly felt himself trembling all over.
  • "You know who," broke helplessly from him. He could scarcely breathe.
  • "Who? Who?" Ivan cried almost fiercely. All his restraint suddenly vanished.
  • "I only know one thing," Alyosha went on, still almost in a whisper, "i_asn't you killed father."
  • "'Not you'! What do you mean by 'not you'?" Ivan was thunderstruck.
  • "It was not you killed father, not you! Alyosha repeated firmly.
  • The silence lasted for half a minute.
  • "I know I didn't. Are you raving?" said Ivan, with a pale, distorted smile.
  • His eyes were riveted on Alyosha. They were standing again under a lamp-post.
  • "No, Ivan. You've told yourself several times that you are the murderer."
  • "When did I say so? I was in Moscow… . When have I said so?" Ivan faltere_elplessly.
  • "You've said so to yourself many times, when you've been alone during thes_wo dreadful months," Alyosha went on softly and distinctly as before. Yet h_as speaking now, as it were, not of himself, not of his own will, but obeyin_ome irresistible command. "You have accused yourself and have confessed t_ourself that you are the murderer and no one else. But you didn't do it: yo_re mistaken: you are not the murderer. Do you hear? It was not you! God ha_ent me to tell you so."
  • They were both silent. The silence lasted a whole long minute. They were bot_tanding still, gazing into each other's eyes. They were both pale. Suddenl_van began trembling all over, and clutched Alyosha's shoulder.
  • "You've been in my room!" he whispered hoarsely. "You've been there at night, when he came… . Confess… have you seen him, have you seen him?"
  • "Whom do you mean- Mitya?" Alyosha asked, bewildered.
  • "Not him, damn the monster!" Ivan shouted, in a frenzy, "Do you know that h_isits me? How did you find out? Speak!"
  • "Who is he? I don't know whom you are talking about," Alyosha faltered, beginning to be alarmed.
  • "Yes, you do know. or how could you- ? It's impossible that you don't know."
  • Suddenly he seemed to check himself. He stood still and seemed to reflect. _trange grin contorted his lips.
  • "Brother," Alyosha began again, in a shaking voice, "I have said this to you, because you'll believe my word, I know that. I tell you once and for all, it'_ot you. You hear, once for all! God has put it into my heart to say this t_ou, even though it may make you hate me from this hour."
  • But by now Ivan had apparently regained his self-control.
  • "Alexey Fyodorovitch," he said, with a cold smile, "I can't endure prophet_nd epileptics- messengers from God especially- and you know that only to_ell. I break off all relations with you from this moment and probably fo_ver. I beg you to leave me at this turning. It's the way to your lodgings, too. You'd better be particularly careful not to come to me to-day! Do yo_ear?"
  • He turned and walked on with a firm step, not looking back.
  • "Brother," Alyosha called after him, "if anything happens to you to-day, tur_o me before anyone!"
  • But Ivan made no reply. Alyosha stood under the lamp-post at the cross roads, till Ivan had vanished into the darkness. Then he turned and walked slowl_omewards. Both Alyosha and Ivan were living in lodgings; neither of them wa_illing to live in Fyodor Pavlovitch's empty house. Alyosha had a furnishe_oom in the house of some working people. Ivan lived some distance from him.
  • He had taken a roomy and fairly comfortable lodge attached to a fine hous_hat belonged to a well-to-do lady, the widow of an official. But his onl_ttendant was a deaf and rheumatic old crone who went to bed at six o'cloc_very evening and got up at six in the morning. Ivan had become remarkabl_ndifferent to his comforts of late, and very fond of being alone. He di_verything for himself in the one room he lived in, and rarely entered any o_he other rooms in his abode.
  • He reached the gate of the house and had his hand on the bell, when h_uddenly stopped. He felt that he was trembling all over with anger. Suddenl_e let go of the bell, turned back with a curse, and walked with rapid step_n the opposite direction. He walked a mile and a half to a tiny, slanting, wooden house, almost a hut, where Marya Kondratyevna, the neighbour who use_o come to Fyodor Pavlovitch's kitchen for soup and to whom Smerdyakov ha_nce sung his songs and played on the guitar, was now lodging. She had sol_heir little house, and was now living here with her mother. Smerdyakov, wh_as ill- almost dying-had been with them ever since Fyodor Pavlovitch's death.
  • It was to him Ivan was going now, drawn by a sudden and irresistibl_rompting.