Crime And Punishment Page-136

Crime And Punishment

“This is Raskolnikov” he jumped up quickly, sat on the sofa and with an almost defiant, but weak and breaking, voice articulated: “Yes, I am Raskolnikov! What do you want?” The visitor scrutinised him and pronounced impressively: “Pyotr Petrovitch Luzhin. I believe I have reason to hope that my name is not wholly unknown to you?” But Raskolnikov, who had expected something quite different, gazed blankly and dreamily at him, making no reply, as though he heard the name of Pyotr Petrovitch for the first time. “Is it possible that you can up to the present have received no information?” asked Pyotr Petrovitch, somewhat disconcerted. In reply Raskolnikov sank languidly back on the pillow, put his hands behind his head and gazed at the ceiling. A look of dismay came into Luzhin’s face. Zossimov and Razumihin stared at him more inquisitively than ever, and at last he showed unmistakable signs of embarrassment. “I had presumed and calculated,” he faltered, “that a letter posted more than ten days, if not a fortnight ago...” “I say, why are you standing in the doorway?” Razumihin interrupted suddenly. “If you’ve something to say, sit down. Nastasya and you are so crowded. Nastasya, make room. Here’s a chair, thread your way in!” He moved his chair back from the table, made a little space between the table and his knees, and waited in a rather cramped position for the visitor to “thread his way in.” The minute was so chosen that it was impossible to refuse, and the visitor squeezed his way through, hurrying and stumbling. Reaching the chair, he sat down, looking suspiciously at Razumihin. “No need to be nervous,” the latter blurted out. “Rodya has been ill for the last five days and delirious for three, but now he is recovering and has got an appetite. This is his doctor, who has just had a look at him. I am a comrade of Rodya’s, like him, formerly a student, and now I am nursing him; so don’t you take any notice of us, but go on with your business.” “Thank you. But shall I not disturb the invalid by my presence and conversation?” Pyotr Petrovitch asked of Zossimov. “N-no,” mumbled Zossimov; “you may amuse him.” He yawned again. “He has been conscious a long time, since the morning,” went on Razumihin, whose familiarity seemed so much like unaffected good-nature that Pyotr Petrovitch began to be more cheerful, partly, perhaps, because this shabby and