SOMETHING utterly unexpected and amazing to Mitya followed. He could never, even a minute before, have conceived that anyone could behave like that t_im, Mitya Karamazov. What was worst of all, there was something humiliatin_n it, and on their side something "supercilious and scornful." It was nothin_o take off his coat, but he was asked to undress further, or rather not aske_ut "commanded," he quite understood that. From pride and contempt h_ubmitted without a word. Several peasants accompanied the lawyers an_emained on the same side of the curtain. "To be ready if force is required,"
thought Mitya, "and perhaps for some other reason, too."
"Well, must I take off my shirt, too?" he asked sharply, but Nikola_arfenovitch did not answer. He was busily engaged with the prosecutor i_xamining the coat, the trousers, the waistcoat and the cap; and it wa_vident that they were both much interested in the scrutiny. "They make n_ones about it," thought Mitya, "they don't keep up the most elementar_oliteness."
"I ask you for the second time- need I take off my shirt or not?" he said, still more sharply and irritably.
"Don't trouble yourself. We will tell you what to do," Nikolay Parfenovitc_aid, and his voice was positively peremptory, or so it seemed to Mitya.
Meantime a consultation was going on in undertones between the lawyers. Ther_urned out to be on the coat, especially on the left side at the back, a hug_atch of blood, dry, and still stiff. There were bloodstains on the trousers, too. Nikolay Parfenovitch, moreover, in the presence of the peasant witnesses, passed his fingers along the collar, the cuffs, and all the seams of the coa_nd trousers, obviously looking for something- money, of course. He didn'_ven hide from Mitya his suspicion that he was capable of sewing money up i_is clothes.
"He treats me not as an officer but as a thief," Mitya muttered to himself.
They communicated their ideas to one another with amazing frankness. Th_ecretary, for instance, who was also behind the curtain, fussing about an_istening, called Nikolay Parfenovitch's attention to the cap, which they wer_lso fingering.
"You remember Gridyenko, the copying clerk," observed the secretary. "Las_ummer he received the wages of the whole office, and pretended to have los_he money when he was drunk. And where was it found? Why, in just such piping_n his cap. The hundred-rouble notes were screwed up in little rolls and sewe_n the piping."
Both the lawyers remembered Gridyenko's case perfectly, and so laid asid_itya's cap, and decided that all his clothes must be more thoroughly examine_ater.
"Excuse me," cried Nikolay Parfenovitch, suddenly, noticing that the righ_uff of Mitya's shirt was turned in, and covered with blood, "excuse me, what's that, blood?"
"Yes," Mitya jerked out.
"That is, what blood?… and why is the cuff turned in?"
Mitya told him how he had got the sleeve stained with blood looking afte_rigory, and had turned it inside when he was washing his hands at Perhotin's.
"You must take off your shirt, too. That's very important as materia_vidence."
Mitya flushed red and flew into a rage.
"What, am I to stay naked?" he shouted.
"Don't disturb yourself. We will arrange something. And meanwhile take of_our socks."
"You're not joking? Is that really necessary?"
Mitya's eyes flashed.
"We are in no mood for joking," answered Nikolay Parfenovitch sternly.
"Well, if I must-" muttered Mitya, and sitting down on the bed, he took of_is socks. He felt unbearably awkward. All were clothed, while he was naked, and strange to say, when he was undressed he felt somehow guilty in thei_resence, and was almost ready to believe himself that he was inferior t_hem, and that now they had a perfect right to despise him.
"When all are undressed, one is somehow not ashamed, but when one's the onl_ne undressed and everybody is looking, it's degrading," he kept repeating t_imself, again and again. "It's like a dream; I've sometimes dreamed of bein_n such degrading positions." It was a misery to him to take off his socks.
They were very dirty, and so were his underclothes, and now everyone could se_t. And what was worse, he disliked his feet. All his life he had thought bot_is big toes hideous. He particularly loathed the coarse, flat, crooked nai_n the right one, and now they would all see it. Feeling intolerably ashame_ade him, at once and intentionally, rougher. He pulled off his shirt, himself.
"Would you like to look anywhere else if you're not ashamed to?"
"No, there's no need to, at present."
"Well, am I to stay naked like this?" he added savagely.
"Yes, that can't be helped for the time… . Kindly sit down here for a while.
You can wrap yourself in a quilt from the bed, and I… I'll see to all this."
All the things were shown to the witnesses. The report of the search was draw_p, and at last Nikolay Parfenovitch went out, and the clothes were carrie_ut after him. Ippolit Kirillovitch went out, too. Mitya was left alone wit_he peasants, who stood in silence, never taking their eyes off him. Mity_rapped himself up in the quilt. He felt cold. His bare feet stuck out, and h_ouldn't pull the quilt over so as to cover them. Nikolay Parfenovitch seeme_o be gone a long time, "an insufferable time."
"He thinks of me as a puppy," thought Mitya, gnashing his teeth. "That rotte_rosecutor has gone, too, contemptuous no doubt, it disgusts him to see m_aked!"
Mitya imagined, however, that his clothes would be examined and returned t_im. But what was his indignation when Nikolay Parfenovitch came back wit_uite different clothes, brought in behind him by a peasant.
"Here are clothes for you," he observed airily, seeming well satisfied wit_he success of his mission. "Mr. Kalganov has kindly provided these for thi_nusual emergency, as well as a clean shirt. Luckily he had them all in hi_runk. You can keep your own socks and underclothes."
Mitya flew into a passion.
"I won't have other people's clothes!" he shouted menacingly, "give me m_wn!"
"Give me my own. Damn Kalganov and his clothes, too!"
It was a long time before they could persuade him. But they succeeded someho_n quieting him down. They impressed upon him that his clothes, being staine_ith blood, must be "included with the other material evidence," and that they
"had not even the right to let him have them now… taking into consideratio_he possible outcome of the case." Mitya at last understood this. He subside_nto gloomy silence and hurriedly dressed himself. He merely observed, as h_ut them on, that the clothes were much better than his old ones, and that h_isliked "gaining by the change." The coat was, besides, "ridiculously tight.
Am I to be dressed up like a fool… for your amusement?"
They urged upon him again that he was exaggerating, that Kalganov was only _ittle taller, so that only the trousers might be a little too long. But th_oat turned out to be really tight in the shoulders.
"Damn it all! I can hardly button it," Mitya grumbled. "Be so good as to tel_r. Kalganov from me that I didn't ask for his clothes, and it's not my doin_hat they've dressed me up like a clown."
"He understands that, and is sorry… I mean, not sorry to lend you his clothes, but sorry about all this business," mumbled Nikolay Parfenovitch.
"Confound his sorrow! Well, where now? Am I to go on sitting here?"
He was asked to go back to the "other room." Mitya went in, scowling wit_nger, and trying to avoid looking at anyone. Dressed in another man's clothe_e felt himself disgraced, even in the eyes of the peasants, and of Trifo_orissovitch, whose face appeared, for some reason, in the doorway, an_anished immediately. "He's come to look at me dressed up," thought Mitya. H_at down on the same chair as before. He had an absurd nightmarish feeling, a_hough he were out of his mind.
"Well, what now? Are you going to flog me? That's all that's left for you," h_aid, clenching his teeth and addressing the prosecutor. He would not turn t_ikolay Parfenovitch, as though he disdained to speak to him.
"He looked too closely at my socks, and turned them inside out on purpose t_how everyone how dirty they were- the scoundrel!"
"Well, now we must proceed to the examination of witnesses," observed Nikola_arfenovitch, as though in reply to Mitya's question.
"Yes," said the prosecutor thoughtfully, as though reflecting on something.
"We've done what we could in your interest, Dmitri Fyodorovitch," Nikola_arfenovitch went on, "but having received from you such an uncompromisin_efusal to explain to us the source from which you obtained the money foun_pon you, we are, at the present moment-"
"What is the stone in your ring?" Mitya interrupted suddenly, as thoug_wakening from a reverie. He pointed to one of the three large rings adornin_ikolay Parfenovitch's right hand.
"Ring?" repeated Nikolay Parfenovitch with surprise.
"Yes, that one… on your middle finger, with the little veins in it, what ston_s that?" Mitya persisted, like a peevish child.
"That's a smoky topaz," said Nikolay Parfenovitch, smiling. "Would you like t_ook at it? I'll take it off… "
"No, don't take it off," cried Mitya furiously, suddenly waking up, and angr_ith himself. "Don't take it off… there's no need… . Damn it!… Gentlemen, you've sullied my heart! Can you suppose that I would conceal it from you, i_ had really killed my father, that I would shuffle, lie, and hide myself? No, that's not like Dmitri Karamazov, that he couldn't do, and if I were guilty, _wear I shouldn't have waited for your coming, or for the sunrise as I mean_t first, but should have killed myself before this, without waiting for th_awn! I know that about myself now. I couldn't have learnt so much in twent_ears as I've found out in this accursed night!… And should I have been lik_his on this night, and at this moment, sitting with you, could I have talke_ike this, could I have moved like this, could I have looked at you and at th_orld like this, if I had really been the murderer of my father, when the ver_hought of having accidentally killed Grigory gave me no peace all night- no_rom fear- oh, not simply from fear of your punishment! The disgrace of it!
And you expect me to be open with such scoffers as you, who see nothing an_elieve in nothing, blind moles and scoffers, and to tell you another nast_hing I've done, another disgrace, even if that would save me from you_ccusation! No, better Siberia! The man who opened the door to my father an_ent in at that door, he killed him, he robbed him. Who was he? I'm racking m_rains and can't think who. But I can tell you it was not Dmitri Karamazov, and that's all I can tell you, and that's enough, enough, leave me alone… .
Exile me, punish me, but don't bother me any more. I'll say no more. Call you_itnesses!"
Mitya uttered his sudden monologue as though he were determined to b_bsolutely silent for the future. The prosecutor watched him the whole tim_nd only when he had ceased speaking, observed, as though it were the mos_rdinary thing, with the most frigid and composed air:
"Oh, about the open door of which you spoke just now, we may as well infor_ou, by the way, now, of a very interesting piece of evidence of the greates_mportance both to you and to us, that has been given us by Grigory, the ol_an you wounded. On his recovery, he clearly and emphatically stated, in repl_o our questions, that when, on coming out to the steps, and hearing a nois_n the garden, he made up his mind to go into it through the little gate whic_tood open, before he noticed you running, as you have told us already, in th_ark from the open window where you saw your father, he, Grigory, glanced t_he left, and, while noticing the open window, observed at the same time, muc_earer to him, the door, standing wide open- that door which you have state_o have been shut the whole time you were in the garden. I will not concea_rom you that Grigory himself confidently affirms and bears witness that yo_ust have run from that door, though, of course, he did not see you do so wit_is own eyes, since he only noticed you first some distance away in th_arden, running towards the fence."
Mitya had leapt up from his chair half-way through this speech.
"Nonsense!" he yelled, in a sudden frenzy, "it's a barefaced lie. He couldn'_ave seen the door open because it was shut. He's lying!"
"I consider it my duty to repeat that he is firm in his statement. He does no_aver. He adheres to it. We've cross-examined him several times."
"Precisely. I have cross-examined him several times," Nikolay Parfenovitc_onfirmed warmly.
"It's false, false! It's either an attempt to slander me, or the hallucinatio_f a madman," Mitya still shouted. "He's simply raving, from loss of blood, from the wound. He must have fancied it when he came to… . He's raving."
"Yes, but he noticed the open door, not when he came to after his injuries, but before that, as soon as he went into the garden from the lodge."
"But it's false, it's false! It can't be so! He's slandering me from spite… .
He couldn't have seen it… I didn't come from the door," gasped Mitya.
The prosecutor turned to Nikolay Parfenovitch and said to him impressively:
"Confront him with it."
"Do you recognise this object?"
Nikolay Parfenovitch laid upon the table a large and thick official envelope, on which three seals still remained intact. The envelope was empty, and sli_pen at one end. Mitya stared at it with open eyes.
"It… it must be that envelope of my father's, the envelope that contained th_hree thousand roubles… and if there's inscribed on it, allow me, 'For m_ittle chicken'… yes- three thousand!" he shouted, "do you see, thre_housand, do you see?"
"Of course, we see. But we didn't find the money in it. It was empty, an_ying on the floor by the bed, behind the screen."
For some seconds Mitya stood as though thunderstruck.
"Gentlemen, it's Smerdyakov!" he shouted suddenly, at the top of his voice.
"It's he who's murdered him! He's robbed him! No one else knew where the ol_an hid the envelope. It's Smerdyakov, that's clear, now!"
"But you, too, knew of the envelope and that it was under the pillow."
"I never knew it. I've never seen it. This is the first time I've looked a_t. I'd only heard of it from Smerdyakov… . He was the only one who knew wher_he old man kept it hidden, I didn't know… " Mitya was completely breathless.
"But you told us yourself that the envelope was under your deceased father'_illow. You especially stated that it was under the pillow, so you must hav_nown it."
"We've got it written down," confirmed Nikolay Parfenovitch.
"Nonsense! It's absurd! I'd no idea it was under the pillow. And perhaps i_asn't under the pillow at all… . It was just a chance guess that it was unde_he pillow. What does Smerdyakov say? Have you asked him where it was? Wha_oes Smerdyakov say? That's the chief point… . And I went out of my way t_ell lies against myself… . I told you without thinking that it was under th_illow, and now you- Oh, you know how one says the wrong thing, withou_eaning it. No one knew but Smerdyakov, only Smerdyakov, and no one else… . H_idn't even tell me where it was! But it's his doing, his doing; there's n_oubt about it, he murdered him, that's as clear as daylight now," Mity_xclaimed more and more frantically, repeating himself incoherently, an_rowing more and more exasperated and excited. "You must understand that, an_rrest him at once… . He must have killed him while I was running away an_hile Grigory was unconscious, that's clear now… . He gave the signal an_ather opened to him… for no one but he knew the signal, and without th_ignal father would never have opened the door… ."
"But you're again forgetting the circumstance," the prosecutor observed, stil_peaking with the same restraint, though with a note of triumph, "that ther_as no need to give the signal if the door already stood open when you wer_here, while you were in the garden… "
"The door, the door," muttered Mitya, and he stared speechless at th_rosecutor. He sank back helpless in his chair. All were silent.
"Yes, the door!… It's a nightmare! God is against me!" he exclaimed, starin_efore him in complete stupefaction.
"Come, you see," the prosecutor went on with dignity, "and you can judge fo_ourself, Dmitri Fyodorovitch. On the one hand, we have the evidence of th_pen door from which you ran out, a fact which overwhelms you and us. On th_ther side, your incomprehensible, persistent, and, so to speak, obdurat_ilence with regard to the source from which you obtained the money which wa_o suddenly seen in your hands, when only three hours earlier, on your ow_howing, you pledged your pistols for the sake of ten roubles! In view of al_hese facts, judge for yourself. What are we to believe, and what can w_epend upon? And don't accuse us of being 'frigid, cynical, scoffing people,'
who are incapable of believing in the generous impulses of your heart… . Tr_o enter into our position… "
Mitya was indescribably agitated. He turned pale.
"Very well!" he exclaimed suddenly, "I will tell you my secret. I'll tell yo_here I got the money!… I'll reveal my shame, that I may not have to blam_yself or you hereafter."
"And believe me, Dmitri Fyodorovitch," put in Nikolay Parfenovitch, in a voic_f almost pathetic delight, "that every sincere and complete confession o_our part at this moment may, later on, have an immense influence in you_avour, and may, indeed, moreover-"
But the prosecutor gave him a slight shove under the table, and he checke_imself in time. Mitya, it is true, had not heard him.