Crime And Punishment Page-153

Crime And Punishment

count that half-way through and then hold some fifty-rouble note to the light, then turn it, then hold it to the light again—to see whether it was a good one. ‘I am afraid,’ I would say, ‘a relation of mine lost twenty-five roubles the other day through a false note,’ and then I’d tell them the whole story. And after I began counting the third, ‘No, excuse me,’ I would say, ‘I fancy I made a mistake in the seventh hundred in that second thousand, I am not sure.’ And so I would give up the third thousand and go back to the second and so on to the end. And when I had finished, I’d pick out one from the fifth and one from the second thousand and take them again to the light and ask again, ‘Change them, please,’ and put the clerk into such a stew that he would not know how to get rid of me. When I’d finished and had gone out, I’d come back, ‘No, excuse me,’ and ask for some explanation. That’s how I’d do it.” “Foo! what terrible things you say!” said Zametov, laughing. “But all that is only talk. I dare say when it came to deeds you’d make a slip. I believe that even a practised, desperate man cannot always reckon on himself, much less you and I. To take an example near home—that old woman murdered in our district. The murderer seems to have been a desperate fellow, he risked everything in open daylight, was saved by a miracle—but his hands shook, too. He did not succeed in robbing the place, he couldn’t stand it. That was clear from the...” Raskolnikov seemed offended. “Clear? Why don’t you catch him then?” he cried, maliciously gibing at Zametov. “Well, they will catch him.” “Who? You? Do you suppose you could catch him? You’ve a tough job! A great point for you is whether a man is spending money or not. If he had no money and suddenly begins spending, he must be the man. So that any child can mislead you.” “The fact is they always do that, though,” answered Zametov. “A man will commit a clever murder at the risk of his life and then at once he goes drinking in a tavern. They are caught spending money, they are not all as cunning as you are. You wouldn’t go to a tavern, of course?” Raskolnikov frowned and looked steadily at Zametov. “You seem to enjoy the subject and would like to know how I should behave in that case, too?” he asked with displeasure. “I should like to,” Zametov answered firmly and seriously. Somewhat too much earnestness began to appear in his words and looks.