Crime And Punishment Page-182

Crime And Punishment

Alexandrovna began in alarm, but she stopped, looking at Dounia. Avdotya Romanovna was looking attentively at her brother, waiting for what would come next. Both of them had heard of the quarrel from Nastasya, so far as she had succeeded in understanding and reporting it, and were in painful perplexity and suspense. “Dounia,” Raskolnikov continued with an effort, “I don’t want that marriage, so at the first opportunity to-morrow you must refuse Luzhin, so that we may never hear his name again.” “Good Heavens!” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. “Brother, think what you are saying!” Avdotya Romanovna began impetuously, but immediately checked herself. “You are not fit to talk now, perhaps; you are tired,” she added gently. “You think I am delirious? No... You are marrying Luzhin for my sake. But I won’t accept the sacrifice. And so write a letter before to-morrow, to refuse him... Let me read it in the morning and that will be the end of it!” “That I can’t do!” the girl cried, offended, “what right have you...” “Dounia, you are hasty, too, be quiet, to-morrow... Don’t you see...” the mother interposed in dismay. “Better come away!” “He is raving,” Razumihin cried tipsily, “or how would he dare! To-morrow all this nonsense will be over... to-day he certainly did drive him away. That was so. And Luzhin got angry, too.... He made speeches here, wanted to show off his learning and he went out crest-fallen....” “Then it’s true?” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. “Good-bye till to-morrow, brother,” said Dounia compassionately—“let us go, mother... Good-bye, Rodya.” “Do you hear, sister,” he repeated after them, making a last effort, “I am not delirious; this marriage is—an infamy. Let me act like a scoundrel, but you mustn’t... one is enough... and though I am a scoundrel, I wouldn’t own such a sister. It’s me or Luzhin! Go now....” “But you’re out of your mind! Despot!” roared Razumihin; but Raskolnikov did not and perhaps could not answer. He lay down on the sofa, and turned to the wall, utterly exhausted. Avdotya Romanovna looked with interest at Razumihin; her black eyes flashed; Razumihin positively started at her glance. Pulcheria Alexandrovna stood overwhelmed. “Nothing would induce me to go,” she whispered in despair to Razumihin. “I will stay somewhere here... escort Dounia home.”