Crime And Punishment Page-176

Crime And Punishment

struck him. “Well, that was... in case of emergency,” he added and laughed himself at his boyish sally. He was in the best of spirits. He easily found Razumihin; the new lodger was already known at Potchinkov’s and the porter at once showed him the way. Half-way upstairs he could hear the noise and animated conversation of a big gathering of people. The door was wide open on the stairs; he could hear exclamations and discussion. Razumihin’s room was fairly large; the company consisted of fifteen people. Raskolnikov stopped in the entry, where two of the landlady’s servants were busy behind a screen with two samovars, bottles, plates and dishes of pie and savouries, brought up from the landlady’s kitchen. Raskolnikov sent in for Razumihin. He ran out delighted. At the first glance it was apparent that he had had a great deal to drink and, though no amount of liquor made Razumihin quite drunk, this time he was perceptibly affected by it. “Listen,” Raskolnikov hastened to say, “I’ve only just come to tell you you’ve won your bet and that no one really knows what may not happen to him. I can’t come in; I am so weak that I shall fall down directly. And so good evening and good-bye! Come and see me to-morrow.” “Do you know what? I’ll see you home. If you say you’re weak yourself, you must...” “And your visitors? Who is the curly-headed one who has just peeped out?” “He? Goodness only knows! Some friend of uncle’s, I expect, or perhaps he has come without being invited... I’ll leave uncle with them, he is an invaluable person, pity I can’t introduce you to him now. But confound them all now! They won’t notice me, and I need a little fresh air, for you’ve come just in the nick of time—another two minutes and I should have come to blows! They are talking such a lot of wild stuff... you simply can’t imagine what men will say! Though why shouldn’t you imagine? Don’t we talk nonsense ourselves? And let them... that’s the way to learn not to!... Wait a minute, I’ll fetch Zossimov.” Zossimov pounced upon Raskolnikov almost greedily; he showed a special interest in him; soon his face brightened. “You must go to bed at once,” he pronounced, examining the patient as far as he could, “and take something for the night. Will you take it? I got it ready some time ago... a powder.” “Two, if you like,” answered Raskolnikov. The powder was taken at once. “It’s a good thing you are taking him home,” observed Zossimov to Razumihin—“we shall see how he is to-morrow, to-day he’s not at all amiss—a considerable change since the afternoon. Live and learn...”