Crime And Punishment Page-151

Crime And Punishment

“Shall I tell you what I was reading about, what I was looking for? See what a lot of papers I’ve made them bring me. Suspicious, eh?” “Well, what is it?” “You prick up your ears?” “How do you mean—‘prick up my ears’?” “I’ll explain that afterwards, but now, my boy, I declare to you... no, better ‘I confess’... No, that’s not right either; ‘I make a deposition and you take it.’ I depose that I was reading, that I was looking and searching....” he screwed up his eyes and paused. “I was searching—and came here on purpose to do it—for news of the murder of the old pawnbroker woman,” he articulated at last, almost in a whisper, bringing his face exceedingly close to the face of Zametov. Zametov looked at him steadily, without moving or drawing his face away. What struck Zametov afterwards as the strangest part of it all was that silence followed for exactly a minute, and that they gazed at one another all the while. “What if you have been reading about it?” he cried at last, perplexed and impatient. “That’s no business of mine! What of it?” “The same old woman,” Raskolnikov went on in the same whisper, not heeding Zametov’s explanation, “about whom you were talking in the police￾office, you remember, when I fainted. Well, do you understand now?” “What do you mean? Understand... what?” Zametov brought out, almost alarmed. Raskolnikov’s set and earnest face was suddenly transformed, and he suddenly went off into the same nervous laugh as before, as though utterly unable to restrain himself. And in one flash he recalled with extraordinary vividness of sensation a moment in the recent past, that moment when he stood with the axe behind the door, while the latch trembled and the men outside swore and shook it, and he had a sudden desire to shout at them, to swear at them, to put out his tongue at them, to mock them, to laugh, and laugh, and laugh! “You are either mad, or...” began Zametov, and he broke off, as though stunned by the idea that had suddenly flashed into his mind. “Or? Or what? What? Come, tell me!” “Nothing,” said Zametov, getting angry, “it’s all nonsense!” Both were silent. After his sudden fit of laughter Raskolnikov became suddenly thoughtful and melancholy. He put his elbow on the table and leaned his head on his hand. He seemed to have completely forgotten Zametov. The silence lasted for some time.