Crime And Punishment Page-228

Crime And Punishment

over-serious attention which is at once oppressive and embarrassing, especially to a stranger, and especially if what you are discussing is in your opinion of far too little importance for such exceptional solemnity. But in brief and coherent phrases Raskolnikov explained his business clearly and exactly, and was so well satisfied with himself that he even succeeded in taking a good look at Porfiry. Porfiry Petrovitch did not once take his eyes off him. Razumihin, sitting opposite at the same table, listened warmly and impatiently, looking from one to the other every moment with rather excessive interest. “Fool,” Raskolnikov swore to himself. “You have to give information to the police,” Porfiry replied, with a most businesslike air, “that having learnt of this incident, that is of the murder, you beg to inform the lawyer in charge of the case that such and such things belong to you, and that you desire to redeem them... or... but they will write to you.” “That’s just the point, that at the present moment,” Raskolnikov tried his utmost to feign embarrassment, “I am not quite in funds... and even this trifling sum is beyond me... I only wanted, you see, for the present to declare that the things are mine, and that when I have money....” “That’s no matter,” answered Porfiry Petrovitch, receiving his explanation of his pecuniary position coldly, “but you can, if you prefer, write straight to me, to say, that having been informed of the matter, and claiming such and such as your property, you beg...” “On an ordinary sheet of paper?” Raskolnikov interrupted eagerly, again interested in the financial side of the question. “Oh, the most ordinary,” and suddenly Porfiry Petrovitch looked with obvious irony at him, screwing up his eyes and, as it were, winking at him. But perhaps it was Raskolnikov’s fancy, for it all lasted but a moment. There was certainly something of the sort, Raskolnikov could have sworn he winked at him, goodness knows why. “He knows,” flashed through his mind like lightning. “Forgive my troubling you about such trifles,” he went on, a little disconcerted, “the things are only worth five roubles, but I prize them particularly for the sake of those from whom they came to me, and I must confess that I was alarmed when I heard...” “That’s why you were so much struck when I mentioned to Zossimov that Porfiry was inquiring for everyone who had pledges!” Razumihin put in with obvious intention.