TWO SHARP MISTRUSTFUL EYES STARE AT HIM AS THE DOOR SLIGHTLY OPENS. FLUSTERED, HE MAKES A MISTAKE. KNOWING THE OLD WOMAN WOULD BE FRIGHTENED, WITH NO HOPE HIS CURRENT LOOKS WOULD REASSURE HER, HE PULLED THE DOOR TO HIM, SO THAT SHE COULD NOT LOCK HERSELF IN. SHE DID NOT TRY TO PULL THE DOOR BACKWARDS, LEAVING HER HAND ON THE HANDLE HE ALMOST PULLED HER INTO THE HALLWAY. SHE WAS NOW BLOCKING THE DOORWAY, NOT LETTING HIM IN, HE WENT STRAIGHT FOR HER AS SHE MOVES ASIDE IN FEAR. SHE LOOKS AS THOUGH SHE WANTED TO SAY SOMETHING, BUT WAS UNABLE TO AND STARED AT HIM.
"Good evening, Alyona Ivanova," he began, as casually as he could, but his voice would not obey him, it faltered and started trembling. "I've brought you . . . an article . . . but we better go over there . . . near the light . . . " He walked straight into the room uninvited. The old woman's tongue came untied.
"Lord! What is it? . . . Who are you? What's your business?"
"For pity's sake, Alyona Ivanova . . . you know me . . . Raskolnikov . . . here, I've brought you that pledge . . . the one I promised you the other day . . . " He was holding the pledge out to her.
SHE GLANCED AT THE PLEDGE, THEN AT ONCE FIXED HER EYES DIRECTLY ON THE EYES OF THE UNINVITED VISITOR. SHE LOOKED AT HIM, SPITEFULLY, MISTRUSTFULLY, A MINUTE PASSES, HE THOUGHT HE SAW MOCKERY IN HER EYES, AS IF SHE ALREADY GUESSED EVERYTHING. HE WAS BECOMING, FLUSTERED, FRIGHTENED, SO MUCH SO THAT IF SHE WERE TO LOOK AT HIM LIKE THAT WITHOUT SAYING A WORD , FOR ANOTHER HALF MINUTE, HE WOULD RUN AWAY FROM HER.
"But why are you looking at me like that, as if you don't recognize me?" He suddenly asked, with spite. "If you want it, take it--otherwise I'll go somewhere else. I have no time." She comes to her senses, and her visitors resolute tone seemed to encourage her.
"But what's the matter dearie, so suddenly . . . what is it?" she asked, looking at the pledge. She held out her hand. "But why are you so pale? Look your hands are trembling! Did you go for a swim dearie, or what?"
"Fever he answered abruptly. You can't help getting pale . . . when you have nothing to eat," barely able to articulate the words. The answer sounded plausible; the old woman took the pledge.
"What is it?" she asked, once again looking Raskolnikov over intently and weighing the pledge in her hand.
"An article . . . a cigarette case . . . silver . . . take a look."
"But it doesn't seem like silver . . . Ehh, it's all wrapped up."
UNTYING THE STRING AND MOVING TO THE WINDOW FOR LIGHT, SHE TURNED HER BACK GIVING HIM THE FEW SECONDS HE NEEDED. HE FREED THE AXE FROM THE LOOP HOLDING IT IN HIS HAND UNDER HIS COAT. HIS HANDS WERE WEAK GROWING NUMB. HE WAS AFRAID HE WOULD DROP THE AXE . . . SUDDENLY HIS HEAD SEEMED TO SPIN.
"Look how he's wrapped it up!" the old woman exclaimed in vexation, and made a move towards him.
HE TOOK THE AXE OUT, SWUNG IT WITH BOTH HANDS, SCARCELY AWARE OF HIMSELF, AND ALMOST WITHOUT EFFORT, ALMOST MECHANICALLY, BROUGHT THE BUTT-END DOWN ON HER HEAD, HIS OWN STRENGTH SEEMED TO HAVE NO PART IN IT. BUT THE MOMENT HE BROUGHT THE AXE DOWN, STRENGTH WAS BORN IN HIM.
BECAUSE SHE WAS SO SHORT, THE BLOW HAPPENED TO LAND RIGHT ON THE CROWN OF HER HEAD. (((I WON'T GIVE ANY GORY DETAILS.)))
HE PUT HIS HAND IN HER RIGHT POCKET FOR THE KEYS. HE WAS IN FULL POSSESSION OF REASON, THE CLOUDING AND DIZZINESS HAD CEASED. HE PULLED OUT THE KEYS; THEY WERE ALL ON A STEEL RING. HE IMMEDIATELY RAN TO THE BEDROOM WITH THEM. THERE WAS A CHEST OF DRAWERS, STRANGELY, WHEN HE HEARD THE KEYS JINGLING, HE WANTED TO DROP EVERYTHING AND LEAVE, BUT ONLY FOR A MOMENT, IT WAS TOO LATE TO LEAVE. HE GRINNED TO HIMSELF, THEN ANOTHER ANXIOUS THOUGHT STRUCK HIS MIND, HE FANCIED THE OLD WOMAN MIGHT STILL BE ALIVE. HE WENT BACK AND CHECKED THERE WAS NO DOUBT, HE THEN NOTICED A STRING AROUND HER NECK, WITH MUCH DIFFICULTY HE REMOVES IT. A PURSE WITH TWO CROSSES ON THE STRING. THE PURSE WAS STUFFED FULL, HE SHOVED IT INTO HIS POCKET AND DROPPED THE CROSSES ON THE OLD WOMAN'S CHEST, RUSHING BACK TO THE BEDROOM.
HE WAS TERRIBLY HURRIED, SNATCHED UP THE KEYS, FUMBLING WITH THEM, WITH NO LUCK. HE REALIZED THE BIG KEY WITH THE OTHERS MAY BE TO A TRUNK. LOOKING UNDER THE BED HE SPOTS A SIZABLE TRUNK. THE KEY FIT, BUT THERE SEEMED TO BE NOTHING MORE THAN OLD CLOTHES. THEN A GOLD WATCH SLIPPED OUT OF A FUR COAT. VARIOUS GOLD OBJECTS MOST LIKELY PLEDGES. HE STUFFED THEM IN THE POCKETS OF HIS TROUSERS AND COAT; BUT HE DID NOT HAVE TIME TO TAKE MUCH . . .
HE HEARD FOOTSTEPS COMING FROM THE ROOM THE OLD WOMAN LAY. HE STOPPED STILL AS DEATH, MUST BE HIS IMAGINATION. THEN A SLIGHT CRY, AND A MOAN, THEN SILENCE. HE WAS BARELY BREATHING, SUDDENLY HE JUMPED UP WITH THE AXE.
LIZAVETA WAS FROZEN GAZING AT HER SISTER. SEEING HIM SHE TREMBLED WITH FAINT QUIVERING ACROSS HER FACE, SHE RAISED HER HAND, OPENED HER MOUTH, STARING AT HIM, NO BREATH IN HER TO CRY OUT. SHE ALSO IS DONE IN BY THE AXE, POOR, SIMPLE, SO DOWNTRODDEN, SO FRIGHTENED, LIZAVETA.
FEAR TOOK HOLD OF HIM ESPECIALLY AFTER LIZAVETA. HE WANTED TO RUN FROM THERE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. IF HE HAD BEEN CAPABLE OF REASONING AT THAT MOMENT, IF HE HAD ONLY BEEN ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE DIFFICULTIES, DESPAIR, HIDEOUSNESS, ABSURDITY OF IT, AND TO UNDERSTAND, HOW MANY MORE DIFFICULTIES, HE HAD TO OVERCOME TO REACH HOME, HE MIGHT HAVE GONE AT ONCE TO DENOUNCE HIMSELF, PURELY OUT OF HORROR FOR WHAT HE HAD JUST DONE. LOATHING WAS GROWLING WITHIN HIM. HE WOULD NOT HAVE GONE BACK IN THAT ROOM FOR ANYTHING IN THE WORLD.
A SORT OF ABSENT MINDNESS CAME OVER HIM AS HE FORGOT THE MAIN THINGS AND CLUNG TO TRIFLES. HE NOTICED A BUCKET OF WATER IN THE KITCHEN, IT OCCURED TO HIM TO WASH HIS HANDS AND AXE. AFTER SEVERAL MINUTES SATISFIED THE AXE WAS CLEAN HE PUT IT UNDER HIS COAT.
THERE IS SO MUCH TO GET ACROSS, WHILE I ATTEMPT TO SHORTEN, AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. I WILL FINISH THIS CHAPTER IN ANOTHER POST, AND SUMMARIZE WITH MY FEELINGS, THOUGHTS, AND OBSERVATIONS. I'M TRYING TO GET THE BARE BONES OF THE BOOK, BUT FEAR I'M NOT DOING JUSTICE TO SUCH A CLASSIC! I WILL TRUDGE ON HOWEVER AT LEAST THROUGH PART ONE.
I CAN'T WAIT TO GIVE MY SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS. HOPEFULLY I HAVE GIVEN A MINUSCULE TASTE AND OTHERS WILL READ THIS BOOK AT LEAST ONCE IN THEIR LIFETIME.
THE TRANSLATION I'VE USED THUS FAR IS FROM EVERYMAN'S LIBRARY. IT IS AN EASIER READ THAN THE ONE A FRIEND GAVE ME. THAT VERSION I PREFER, A BANTAM CLASSIC FIRST PRINTED IN 1958. "Sweet dreams until we meet again, I have the feeling I've only just begun!"