Crime And Punishment Page-160

Crime And Punishment

all dressed up. ‘Why are you preening and prinking?’ says I. ‘I am ready to do anything to please you, Tit Vassilitch!’ That’s a way of going on! And she dressed up like a regular fashion book!” “And what is a fashion book?” the younger one asked. He obviously regarded the other as an authority. “A fashion book is a lot of pictures, coloured, and they come to the tailors here every Saturday, by post from abroad, to show folks how to dress, the male sex as well as the female. They’re pictures. The gentlemen are generally wearing fur coats and for the ladies’ fluffles, they’re beyond anything you can fancy.” “There’s nothing you can’t find in Petersburg,” the younger cried enthusiastically, “except father and mother, there’s everything!” “Except them, there’s everything to be found, my boy,” the elder declared sententiously. Raskolnikov got up and walked into the other room where the strong box, the bed, and the chest of drawers had been; the room seemed to him very tiny without furniture in it. The paper was the same; the paper in the corner showed where the case of ikons had stood. He looked at it and went to the window. The elder workman looked at him askance. “What do you want?” he asked suddenly. Instead of answering Raskolnikov went into the passage and pulled the bell. The same bell, the same cracked note. He rang it a second and a third time; he listened and remembered. The hideous and agonisingly fearful sensation he had felt then began to come back more and more vividly. He shuddered at every ring and it gave him more and more satisfaction. “Well, what do you want? Who are you?” the workman shouted, going out to him. Raskolnikov went inside again. “I want to take a flat,” he said. “I am looking round.” “It’s not the time to look at rooms at night! and you ought to come up with the porter.” “The floors have been washed, will they be painted?” Raskolnikov went on. “Is there no blood?” “What blood?” “Why, the old woman and her sister were murdered here. There was a perfect pool there.” “But who are you?” the workman cried, uneasy.