Crime And Punishment Page-168

Crime And Punishment

trying to drive out the people who came in from the stairs. Almost all Madame Lippevechsel’s lodgers had streamed in from the inner rooms of the flat; at first they were squeezed together in the doorway, but afterwards they overflowed into the room. Katerina Ivanovna flew into a fury. “You might let him die in peace, at least,” she shouted at the crowd, “is it a spectacle for you to gape at? With cigarettes! (Cough, cough, cough!) You might as well keep your hats on.... And there is one in his hat!... Get away! You should respect the dead, at least!” Her cough choked her—but her reproaches were not without result. They evidently stood in some awe of Katerina Ivanovna. The lodgers, one after another, squeezed back into the doorway with that strange inner feeling of satisfaction which may be observed in the presence of a sudden accident, even in those nearest and dearest to the victim, from which no living man is exempt, even in spite of the sincerest sympathy and compassion. Voices outside were heard, however, speaking of the hospital and saying that they’d no business to make a disturbance here. “No business to die!” cried Katerina Ivanovna, and she was rushing to the door to vent her wrath upon them, but in the doorway came face to face with Madame Lippevechsel who had only just heard of the accident and ran in to restore order. She was a particularly quarrelsome and irresponsible German. “Ah, my God!” she cried, clasping her hands, “your husband drunken horses have trampled! To the hospital with him! I am the landlady!” “Amalia Ludwigovna, I beg you to recollect what you are saying,” Katerina Ivanovna began haughtily (she always took a haughty tone with the landlady that she might “remember her place” and even now could not deny herself this satisfaction). “Amalia Ludwigovna...” “I have you once before told that you to call me Amalia Ludwigovna may not dare; I am Amalia Ivanovna.” “You are not Amalia Ivanovna, but Amalia Ludwigovna, and as I am not one of your despicable flatterers like Mr. Lebeziatnikov, who’s laughing behind the door at this moment (a laugh and a cry of ‘they are at it again’ was in fact audible at the door) so I shall always call you Amalia Ludwigovna, though I fail to understand why you dislike that name. You can see for yourself what has happened to Semyon Zaharovitch; he is dying. I beg you to close that door at once and to admit no one. Let him at least die in peace! Or I warn you the Governor-General, himself, shall be informed of your conduct to-morrow. The prince knew me as a girl; he remembers Semyon Zaharovitch well and has often