“That’s been proved,” said Razumihin with apparent reluctance, frowning. “Koch recognised the jewel-case and gave the name of the owner, who proved conclusively that it was his.” “That’s bad. Now another point. Did anyone see Nikolay at the time that Koch and Pestryakov were going upstairs at first, and is there no evidence about that?” “Nobody did see him,” Razumihin answered with vexation. “That’s the worst of it. Even Koch and Pestryakov did not notice them on their way upstairs, though, indeed, their evidence could not have been worth much. They said they saw the flat was open, and that there must be work going on in it, but they took no special notice and could not remember whether there actually were men at work in it.” “Hm!... So the only evidence for the defence is that they were beating one another and laughing. That constitutes a strong presumption, but... How do you explain the facts yourself?” “How do I explain them? What is there to explain? It’s clear. At any rate, the direction in which explanation is to be sought is clear, and the jewel-case points to it. The real murderer dropped those ear-rings. The murderer was upstairs, locked in, when Koch and Pestryakov knocked at the door. Koch, like an ass, did not stay at the door; so the murderer popped out and ran down, too; for he had no other way of escape. He hid from Koch, Pestryakov and the porter in the flat when Nikolay and Dmitri had just run out of it. He stopped there while the porter and others were going upstairs, waited till they were out of hearing, and then went calmly downstairs at the very minute when Dmitri and Nikolay ran out into the street and there was no one in the entry; possibly he was seen, but not noticed. There are lots of people going in and out. He must have dropped the earrings out of his pocket when he stood behind the door, and did not notice he dropped them, because he had other things to think of. The jewel-case is a conclusive proof that he did stand there.... That’s how I explain it.” “Too clever! No, my boy, you’re too clever. That beats everything.” “But, why, why?” “Why, because everything fits too well... it’s too melodramatic.” “A-ach!” Razumihin was exclaiming, but at that moment the door opened and a personage came in who was a stranger to all present.