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Sunday, February 10, 2013

(14) C. and P. Conclusion of Part one, (VII)

Two mistrustful eyes peer at him from the darkness.

He almost pulled the old woman into the hallway, afraid she would lock herself in and rushed past her as she was blocking the doorway.

"Good evening, Alyona Ivanova," his voice disobeyed him, it faltered and started trembling. "I've brought you . . . an article  . . . but we better go over there . . . near the light . . . "

"Lord what is it? . . . Who are you? What's your business?"

"For pity's sake, Alyona Ivanova . . . you know me . . . Raskolnikov . . . " He was holding the pledge out to her.

She looks at the pledge, then fixed her eyes on the eyes of her uninvited visitor, looking at him with mistrust.

"But why are you looking at me like that? If you want it take it, otherwise I'll go elsewhere."

"But what's the matter, dearie, so suddenly . . . what is it?" she asked. "Why are you so pale? Look your hands are trembling!"

"Fever," he answered abruptly. "You can't help getting pale . . . when you have nothing to eat."

Taking the pledge she asked "what is it? Ehh, it's all wrapped up."

She goes over to the window trying to untie the string, turning her back to him. He freed the axe holding it under his coat with his right hand. His hands were terribly weak; they were growing numb. He was afraid he was going to drop the axe . . . suddenly his head seemed to spin.

"Look how he's wrapped it up!" the old woman exclaimed in annoyance, and made a move towards him.

He took the axe out, swung it with both hands, scarcely aware of himself, 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.


He was in full possession of his mind, the clouding and dizziness had ceased, but his hands were still trembling. He immediately pulls the keys out of her pocket. He tries the many keys to the chest of drawers, upon hearing their jingling he suddenly wants to drop everything and leave. Another thought comes to him, what if the old lady is still alive? He checks, discovering a string around her neck, a purse stuffed full. Two crosses one of cypress, one of brass, he took the purse dropping the crosses on the old woman's chest, taking the axe with him back to the bedroom. He was fumbling with the keys without luck. There was one big key that looked to be for a trunk. He found one under the bed filled with old clothes, then a gold watch fell out. Many gold objects were between the clothes. He stuffed the pledges into his trousers and coat pockets.

Suddenly the sound of footsteps in the other room, then a slight but distinct cry, he grabbed the axe and ran out. Lizaveta stood frozen, as white as a sheet, unable to utter a cry. Poor childlike, simple, Lizaveta was backing up as the axe came down.


Fear was taking hold of him after this second quite unexpected murder.

Then a sort of absentmindness took possession of him, seeing a bucket of water in the kitchen he washes his hands, the axe and checked himself for blood, spending about three minutes doing so.

A tormenting feeling takes over him. "My God! I must run away!" He rushed to the door where horror awaited him. The door was unlatched standing open a hands width. The old woman had not locked it after he rushed in, nor had Lizaveta, when she entered. He rushed to the door and locked it. "But no, I must go, go . . ." He unhooked the door, opened it, listening carefully for a long time. Voices were heard, arguing, shouting, these voices went away, then someone was humming a tune, he waited patiently. He had stepped out to the stairs when footsteps were heard coming from far away from the bottom of the stairs. Somehow he knew they were coming to the fourth floor to the old woman's apartment. As the visitor started climbing the fourth floor he quietly slipped back into the apartment latching the door. He now was on the opposite side of the door just as the old woman was earlier, only now it was he who was doing the listening.

It was as if he were dreaming as the visitor rang the bell. He rang it again then becoming impatient tugging at the door handle.

"What's up in there, are they snoring, or has somebody wrung their necks Cur-r-rse it!" He bellowed.

Another set of footsteps was heard, someone else is coming up. The newcomer addresses Koch "what nobody home."

The newcomer suggest they go get the caretaker, because the door is hooked not locked so someone has to be home. Something's not right he goes to get the caretaker, recommending Koch to stay there at the door.

Time passes Koch gets impatient and leaves, giving Raskolnikov the opening he needs. He starts down the stairs as three or four footsteps are heard coming up. Luckily there was an empty apartment below him as he stepped inside as the men slipped by him. He leaves just as the men were entering the apartment.

Torments had weakened him so much he could barely walk, sweat rolled off him in drops.

He was nearing collapse as he entered the gates of his house, forgetting the axe until he was already on the stairs. He then returns the axe back to the caretakers shed.

He went into his room and threw himself onto the sofa. He did not sleep, he was lost in oblivion. If anyone had come into his room then, he would have jumped up and shouted. Bits and pieces of various thoughts kept swarming in his head; but he could not grasp any one of them, could not rest on anyone, hard as he tried . . .

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you. I got the feeling that something had possessed Raskol that moment he swung the axe. You know, this book made me really think about the potential for evil and violence that must exist in everyone. What makes one person act on it and another to keep it buried and under control ? What exactly is the trigger that sets a person off? I guess it is different for each person. Not everyone is going to harbor the desire to kill, but I think everyone has a breaking point where they COULD possibly do something very much out of character.