Crime And Punishment Page-152

Crime And Punishment

“Why don’t you drink your tea? It’s getting cold,” said Zametov. “What! Tea? Oh, yes....” Raskolnikov sipped the glass, put a morsel of bread in his mouth and, suddenly looking at Zametov, seemed to remember everything and pulled himself together. At the same moment his face resumed its original mocking expression. He went on drinking tea. “There have been a great many of these crimes lately,” said Zametov. “Only the other day I read in the Moscow News that a whole gang of false coiners had been caught in Moscow. It was a regular society. They used to forge tickets!” “Oh, but it was a long time ago! I read about it a month ago,” Raskolnikov answered calmly. “So you consider them criminals?” he added, smiling. “Of course they are criminals.” “They? They are children, simpletons, not criminals! Why, half a hundred people meeting for such an object—what an idea! Three would be too many, and then they want to have more faith in one another than in themselves! One has only to blab in his cups and it all collapses. Simpletons! They engaged untrustworthy people to change the notes—what a thing to trust to a casual stranger! Well, let us suppose that these simpletons succeed and each makes a million, and what follows for the rest of their lives? Each is dependent on the others for the rest of his life! Better hang oneself at once! And they did not know how to change the notes either; the man who changed the notes took five thousand roubles, and his hands trembled. He counted the first four thousand, but did not count the fifth thousand—he was in such a hurry to get the money into his pocket and run away. Of course he roused suspicion. And the whole thing came to a crash through one fool! Is it possible?” “That his hands trembled?” observed Zametov, “yes, that’s quite possible. That, I feel quite sure, is possible. Sometimes one can’t stand things.” “Can’t stand that?” “Why, could you stand it then? No, I couldn’t. For the sake of a hundred roubles to face such a terrible experience? To go with false notes into a bank where it’s their business to spot that sort of thing! No, I should not have the face to do it. Would you?” Raskolnikov had an intense desire again “to put his tongue out.” Shivers kept running down his spine. “I should do it quite differently,” Raskolnikov began. “This is how I would change the notes: I’d count the first thousand three or four times backwards and forwards, looking at every note and then I’d set to the second thousand; I’d