Crime And Punishment Page-129

Crime And Punishment

observed. “Maybe I am, but we will get him off anyway,” shouted Razumihin, bringing his fist down on the table. “What’s the most offensive is not their lying—one can always forgive lying—lying is a delightful thing, for it leads to truth—what is offensive is that they lie and worship their own lying.... I respect Porfiry, but... What threw them out at first? The door was locked, and when they came back with the porter it was open. So it followed that Koch and Pestryakov were the murderers—that was their logic!” “But don’t excite yourself; they simply detained them, they could not help that.... And, by the way, I’ve met that man Koch. He used to buy unredeemed pledges from the old woman? Eh?” “Yes, he is a swindler. He buys up bad debts, too. He makes a profession of it. But enough of him! Do you know what makes me angry? It’s their sickening rotten, petrified routine.... And this case might be the means of introducing a new method. One can show from the psychological data alone how to get on the track of the real man. ‘We have facts,’ they say. But facts are not everything—at least half the business lies in how you interpret them!” “Can you interpret them, then?” “Anyway, one can’t hold one’s tongue when one has a feeling, a tangible feeling, that one might be a help if only.... Eh! Do you know the details of the case?” “I am waiting to hear about the painter.” “Oh, yes! Well, here’s the story. Early on the third day after the murder, when they were still dandling Koch and Pestryakov—though they accounted for every step they took and it was as plain as a pikestaff—an unexpected fact turned up. A peasant called Dushkin, who keeps a dram-shop facing the house, brought to the police office a jeweller’s case containing some gold ear-rings, and told a long rigamarole. ‘The day before yesterday, just after eight o’clock’—mark the day and the hour!—‘a journeyman house-painter, Nikolay, who had been in to see me already that day, brought me this box of gold ear-rings and stones, and asked me to give him two roubles for them. When I asked him where he got them, he said that he picked them up in the street. I did not ask him anything more.’ I am telling you Dushkin’s story. ‘I gave him a note’—a rouble that is—‘for I thought if he did not pawn it with me he would with another. It would all come to the same thing—he’d spend it on drink, so the thing had better be with me. The further you hide it the quicker you will find it, and if anything turns up, if I hear any rumours, I’ll take it to the police.’ Of course, that’s all taradiddle; he lies like