Crime And Punishment Page-103

Crime And Punishment

“But excuse me, how do you explain this contradiction? They state themselves that they knocked and the door was locked; yet three minutes later when they went up with the porter, it turned out the door was unfastened.” “That’s just it; the murderer must have been there and bolted himself in; and they’d have caught him for a certainty if Koch had not been an ass and gone to look for the porter too. He must have seized the interval to get downstairs and slip by them somehow. Koch keeps crossing himself and saying: ‘If I had been there, he would have jumped out and killed me with his axe.’ He is going to have a thanksgiving service—ha, ha!” “And no one saw the murderer?” “They might well not see him; the house is a regular Noah’s Ark,” said the head clerk, who was listening. “It’s clear, quite clear,” Nikodim Fomitch repeated warmly. “No, it is anything but clear,” Ilya Petrovitch maintained. Raskolnikov picked up his hat and walked towards the door, but he did not reach it.... When he recovered consciousness, he found himself sitting in a chair, supported by someone on the right side, while someone else was standing on the left, holding a yellowish glass filled with yellow water, and Nikodim Fomitch standing before him, looking intently at him. He got up from the chair. “What’s this? Are you ill?” Nikodim Fomitch asked, rather sharply. “He could hardly hold his pen when he was signing,” said the head clerk, settling back in his place, and taking up his work again. “Have you been ill long?” cried Ilya Petrovitch from his place, where he, too, was looking through papers. He had, of course, come to look at the sick man when he fainted, but retired at once when he recovered. “Since yesterday,” muttered Raskolnikov in reply. “Did you go out yesterday?” “Yes.” “Though you were ill?” “Yes.” “At what time?” “About seven.” “And where did you go, may I ask?” “Along the street.”