Crime And Punishment Page-246

Crime And Punishment

it, might somehow have slipped out and been lost in some crack, and then might suddenly turn up as unexpected, conclusive evidence against him. He stood as though lost in thought, and a strange, humiliated, half senseless smile strayed on his lips. He took his cap at last and went quietly out of the room. His ideas were all tangled. He went dreamily through the gateway. “Here he is himself,” shouted a loud voice. He raised his head. The porter was standing at the door of his little room and was pointing him out to a short man who looked like an artisan, wearing a long coat and a waistcoat, and looking at a distance remarkably like a woman. He stooped, and his head in a greasy cap hung forward. From his wrinkled flabby face he looked over fifty; his little eyes were lost in fat and they looked out grimly, sternly and discontentedly. “What is it?” Raskolnikov asked, going up to the porter. The man stole a look at him from under his brows and he looked at him attentively, deliberately; then he turned slowly and went out of the gate into the street without saying a word. “What is it?” cried Raskolnikov. “Why, he there was asking whether a student lived here, mentioned your name and whom you lodged with. I saw you coming and pointed you out and he went away. It’s funny.” The porter too seemed rather puzzled, but not much so, and after wondering for a moment he turned and went back to his room. Raskolnikov ran after the stranger, and at once caught sight of him walking along the other side of the street with the same even, deliberate step with his eyes fixed on the ground, as though in meditation. He soon overtook him, but for some time walked behind him. At last, moving on to a level with him, he looked at his face. The man noticed him at once, looked at him quickly, but dropped his eyes again; and so they walked for a minute side by side without uttering a word. “You were inquiring for me... of the porter?” Raskolnikov said at last, but in a curiously quiet voice. The man made no answer; he didn’t even look at him. Again they were both silent. “Why do you... come and ask for me... and say nothing.... What’s the meaning of it?” Raskolnikov’s voice broke and he seemed unable to articulate the words