Crime And Punishment Page-141

Crime And Punishment

closer... Above all, I hope for your return to health...” Raskolnikov did not even turn his head. Pyotr Petrovitch began getting up from his chair. “One of her customers must have killed her,” Zossimov declared positively. “Not a doubt of it,” replied Razumihin. “Porfiry doesn’t give his opinion, but is examining all who have left pledges with her there.” “Examining them?” Raskolnikov asked aloud. “Yes. What then?” “Nothing.” “How does he get hold of them?” asked Zossimov. “Koch has given the names of some of them, other names are on the wrappers of the pledges and some have come forward of themselves.” “It must have been a cunning and practised ruffian! The boldness of it! The coolness!” “That’s just what it wasn’t!” interposed Razumihin. “That’s what throws you all off the scent. But I maintain that he is not cunning, not practised, and probably this was his first crime! The supposition that it was a calculated crime and a cunning criminal doesn’t work. Suppose him to have been inexperienced, and it’s clear that it was only a chance that saved him—and chance may do anything. Why, he did not foresee obstacles, perhaps! And how did he set to work? He took jewels worth ten or twenty roubles, stuffing his pockets with them, ransacked the old woman’s trunks, her rags—and they found fifteen hundred roubles, besides notes, in a box in the top drawer of the chest! He did not know how to rob; he could only murder. It was his first crime, I assure you, his first crime; he lost his head. And he got off more by luck than good counsel!” “You are talking of the murder of the old pawnbroker, I believe?” Pyotr Petrovitch put in, addressing Zossimov. He was standing, hat and gloves in hand, but before departing he felt disposed to throw off a few more intellectual phrases. He was evidently anxious to make a favourable impression and his vanity overcame his prudence. “Yes. You’ve heard of it?” “Oh, yes, being in the neighbourhood.” “Do you know the details?” “I can’t say that; but another circumstance interests me in the case—the whole question, so to say. Not to speak of the fact that crime has been greatly on the