Crime And Punishment Page-149

Crime And Punishment

newspapers.... Zossimov said he’d read it in the papers. Have you the papers?” he asked, going into a very spacious and positively clean restaurant, consisting of several rooms, which were, however, rather empty. Two or three people were drinking tea, and in a room further away were sitting four men drinking champagne. Raskolnikov fancied that Zametov was one of them, but he could not be sure at that distance. “What if it is?” he thought. “Will you have vodka?” asked the waiter. “Give me some tea and bring me the papers, the old ones for the last five days, and I’ll give you something.” “Yes, sir, here’s to-day’s. No vodka?” The old newspapers and the tea were brought. Raskolnikov sat down and began to look through them. “Oh, damn... these are the items of intelligence. An accident on a staircase, spontaneous combustion of a shopkeeper from alcohol, a fire in Peski... a fire in the Petersburg quarter... another fire in the Petersburg quarter... and another fire in the Petersburg quarter.... Ah, here it is!” He found at last what he was seeking and began to read it. The lines danced before his eyes, but he read it all and began eagerly seeking later additions in the following numbers. His hands shook with nervous impatience as he turned the sheets. Suddenly someone sat down beside him at his table. He looked up, it was the head clerk Zametov, looking just the same, with the rings on his fingers and the watch-chain, with the curly, black hair, parted and pomaded, with the smart waistcoat, rather shabby coat and doubtful linen. He was in a good humour, at least he was smiling very gaily and good-humouredly. His dark face was rather flushed from the champagne he had drunk. “What, you here?” he began in surprise, speaking as though he’d known him all his life. “Why, Razumihin told me only yesterday you were unconscious. How strange! And do you know I’ve been to see you?” Raskolnikov knew he would come up to him. He laid aside the papers and turned to Zametov. There was a smile on his lips, and a new shade of irritable impatience was apparent in that smile. “I know you have,” he answered. “I’ve heard it. You looked for my sock.... And you know Razumihin has lost his heart to you? He says you’ve been with him to Luise Ivanovna’s—you know, the woman you tried to befriend, for whom you winked to the Explosive Lieutenant and he would not understand. Do you remember? How could he fail to understand—it was quite clear, wasn’t it?” “What a hot head he is!”