Crime And Punishment Page-85

Crime And Punishment

“All right.” “I’m studying the law you see! It’s evident, e-vi-dent there’s something wrong here!” the young man cried hotly, and he ran downstairs. Koch remained. Once more he softly touched the bell which gave one tinkle, then gently, as though reflecting and looking about him, began touching the door-handle pulling it and letting it go to make sure once more that it was only fastened by the hook. Then puffing and panting he bent down and began looking at the keyhole: but the key was in the lock on the inside and so nothing could be seen. Raskolnikov stood keeping tight hold of the axe. He was in a sort of delirium. He was even making ready to fight when they should come in. While they were knocking and talking together, the idea several times occurred to him to end it all at once and shout to them through the door. Now and then he was tempted to swear at them, to jeer at them, while they could not open the door! “Only make haste!” was the thought that flashed through his mind. “But what the devil is he about?...” Time was passing, one minute, and another—no one came. Koch began to be restless. “What the devil?” he cried suddenly and in impatience deserting his sentry duty, he, too, went down, hurrying and thumping with his heavy boots on the stairs. The steps died away. “Good heavens! What am I to do?” Raskolnikov unfastened the hook, opened the door—there was no sound. Abruptly, without any thought at all, he went out, closing the door as thoroughly as he could, and went downstairs. He had gone down three flights when he suddenly heard a loud voice below— where could he go! There was nowhere to hide. He was just going back to the flat. “Hey there! Catch the brute!” Somebody dashed out of a flat below, shouting, and rather fell than ran down the stairs, bawling at the top of his voice. “Mitka! Mitka! Mitka! Mitka! Mitka! Blast him!” The shout ended in a shriek; the last sounds came from the yard; all was still. But at the same instant several men talking loud and fast began noisily mounting the stairs. There were three or four of them. He distinguished the ringing voice of the young man. “Hey!” Filled with despair he went straight to meet them, feeling “come what must!”