Crime And Punishment Page-173

Crime And Punishment

intense suffering. “Sonia! Daughter! Forgive!” he cried, and he tried to hold out his hand to her, but losing his balance, he fell off the sofa, face downwards on the floor. They rushed to pick him up, they put him on the sofa; but he was dying. Sonia with a faint cry ran up, embraced him and remained so without moving. He died in her arms. “He’s got what he wanted,” Katerina Ivanovna cried, seeing her husband’s dead body. “Well, what’s to be done now? How am I to bury him! What can I give them to-morrow to eat?” Raskolnikov went up to Katerina Ivanovna. “Katerina Ivanovna,” he began, “last week your husband told me all his life and circumstances.... Believe me, he spoke of you with passionate reverence. From that evening, when I learnt how devoted he was to you all and how he loved and respected you especially, Katerina Ivanovna, in spite of his unfortunate weakness, from that evening we became friends.... Allow me now... to do something... to repay my debt to my dead friend. Here are twenty roubles, I think—and if that can be of any assistance to you, then... I... in short, I will come again, I will be sure to come again... I shall, perhaps, come again to-morrow.... Good-bye!” And he went quickly out of the room, squeezing his way through the crowd to the stairs. But in the crowd he suddenly jostled against Nikodim Fomitch, who had heard of the accident and had come to give instructions in person. They had not met since the scene at the police station, but Nikodim Fomitch knew him instantly. “Ah, is that you?” he asked him. “He’s dead,” answered Raskolnikov. “The doctor and the priest have been, all as it should have been. Don’t worry the poor woman too much, she is in consumption as it is. Try and cheer her up, if possible... you are a kind-hearted man, I know...” he added with a smile, looking straight in his face. “But you are spattered with blood,” observed Nikodim Fomitch, noticing in the lamplight some fresh stains on Raskolnikov’s waistcoat. “Yes... I’m covered with blood,” Raskolnikov said with a peculiar air; then he smiled, nodded and went downstairs. He walked down slowly and deliberately, feverish but not conscious of it, entirely absorbed in a new overwhelming sensation of life and strength that surged up suddenly within him. This sensation might be compared to that of a