Crime And Punishment Page-26

Crime And Punishment

lodges with them; Kapernaumov is a lame man with a cleft palate and all of his numerous family have cleft palates too. And his wife, too, has a cleft palate. They all live in one room, but Sonia has her own, partitioned off.... Hm... yes... very poor people and all with cleft palates... yes. Then I got up in the morning, and put on my rags, lifted up my hands to heaven and set off to his excellency Ivan Afanasyvitch. His excellency Ivan Afanasyvitch, do you know him? No? Well, then, it’s a man of God you don’t know. He is wax... wax before the face of the Lord; even as wax melteth!... His eyes were dim when he heard my story. ‘Marmeladov, once already you have deceived my expectations... I’ll take you once more on my own responsibility’—that’s what he said, ‘remember,’ he said, ‘and now you can go.’ I kissed the dust at his feet—in thought only, for in reality he would not have allowed me to do it, being a statesman and a man of modern political and enlightened ideas. I returned home, and when I announced that I’d been taken back into the service and should receive a salary, heavens, what a to￾do there was!...” Marmeladov stopped again in violent excitement. At that moment a whole party of revellers already drunk came in from the street, and the sounds of a hired concertina and the cracked piping voice of a child of seven singing “The Hamlet” were heard in the entry. The room was filled with noise. The tavern￾keeper and the boys were busy with the new-comers. Marmeladov paying no attention to the new arrivals continued his story. He appeared by now to be extremely weak, but as he became more and more drunk, he became more and more talkative. The recollection of his recent success in getting the situation seemed to revive him, and was positively reflected in a sort of radiance on his face. Raskolnikov listened attentively. “That was five weeks ago, sir. Yes.... As soon as Katerina Ivanovna and Sonia heard of it, mercy on us, it was as though I stepped into the kingdom of Heaven. It used to be: you can lie like a beast, nothing but abuse. Now they were walking on tiptoe, hushing the children. ‘Semyon Zaharovitch is tired with his work at the office, he is resting, shh!’ They made me coffee before I went to work and boiled cream for me! They began to get real cream for me, do you hear that? And how they managed to get together the money for a decent outfit—eleven roubles, fifty copecks, I can’t guess. Boots, cotton shirt-fronts—most magnificent, a uniform, they got up all in splendid style, for eleven roubles and a half. The first morning I came back from the office I found Katerina Ivanovna had cooked two courses for dinner—soup and salt meat with horse radish— which we had never dreamed of till then. She had not any dresses... none at all, but she got herself up as though she were going on a visit; and not that she’d