Crime And Punishment Page-101

Crime And Punishment

heedless...” “Nobody asks you for these personal details, sir, we’ve no time to waste,” Ilya Petrovitch interposed roughly and with a note of triumph; but Raskolnikov stopped him hotly, though he suddenly found it exceedingly difficult to speak. “But excuse me, excuse me. It is for me to explain... how it all happened... In my turn... though I agree with you... it is unnecessary. But a year ago, the girl died of typhus. I remained lodging there as before, and when my landlady moved into her present quarters, she said to me... and in a friendly way... that she had complete trust in me, but still, would I not give her an I O U for one hundred and fifteen roubles, all the debt I owed her. She said if only I gave her that, she would trust me again, as much as I liked, and that she would never, never—those were her own words—make use of that I O U till I could pay of myself... and now, when I have lost my lessons and have nothing to eat, she takes action against me. What am I to say to that?” “All these affecting details are no business of ours.” Ilya Petrovitch interrupted rudely. “You must give a written undertaking but as for your love affairs and all these tragic events, we have nothing to do with that.” “Come now... you are harsh,” muttered Nikodim Fomitch, sitting down at the table and also beginning to write. He looked a little ashamed. “Write!” said the head clerk to Raskolnikov. “Write what?” the latter asked, gruffly. “I will dictate to you.” Raskolnikov fancied that the head clerk treated him more casually and contemptuously after his speech, but strange to say he suddenly felt completely indifferent to anyone’s opinion, and this revulsion took place in a flash, in one instant. If he had cared to think a little, he would have been amazed indeed that he could have talked to them like that a minute before, forcing his feelings upon them. And where had those feelings come from? Now if the whole room had been filled, not with police officers, but with those nearest and dearest to him, he would not have found one human word for them, so empty was his heart. A gloomy sensation of agonising, everlasting solitude and remoteness, took conscious form in his soul. It was not the meanness of his sentimental effusions before Ilya Petrovitch, nor the meanness of the latter’s triumph over him that had caused this sudden revulsion in his heart. Oh, what had he to do now with his own baseness, with all these petty vanities, officers, German women, debts, police-offices? If he had been sentenced to be burnt at that moment, he would not have stirred, would hardly have heard the sentence to the end. Something