Sonia looked in silence at her visitor

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 who was so attentively and unceremoniously scrutinising her room, and even began at last to tremble with terror, as though she was standing before her judge and the arbiter of her destinies.

"I am lateJinglingthe changein his handhe shookhishead. . . . It's eleven, isn't it?" he asked, still not lifting his eyes.

"Yes," muttered Sonia, "oh yes, it is," she added, hastily, as though in that lay her means of escape. "My landlady's clock has just struck . . . I heard it myself. . . ."

"I've come to you for the last time," Raskolnikov went on gloomily, although this was the first time. "I may perhaps not see you again . . ."

"Are you . . . going away?"

"I don't know . . . to-morrow. . . ."

"Then you are not coming to Katerina Ivanovna to-morrow?" Sonia's voice shook.

"I don't know. I shall know to-morrow morning. . . . Never mind that: I've come to say one word. . . ."

He raised his brooding eyes to her and suddenly noticed that he was sitting down while she was all the while standing before him.

"Why are you standing? Sit down," he said in a changed voice, gentle and friendly.

She sat down. He looked kindly and almost compassionately at her.

"How thin you are! What a hand! Quite transparent, like a dead hand."

He took her hand. Sonia smiled faintly.

"I have always been like that," she said.

"Even when you lived at home?"

"Yes."

"Of course, you were," he added abruptly and the expression of his face and the sound of his voice changed again suddenly.

He looked round him once more.

"You rent this room from the Kapernaumovs?"

"Yes. . . ."

"They live there, through that door?"

"Yes. . . . They have another room like this."

"All in one room?"

"Yes."

"I should be afraid in your room at night," he observed gloomily.

"They are very good people, very kind," answered Sonia, who still seemed bewildered, "and all the furniture, everything . . . everything is theirs. And they are very kind and the children, too, often come to see me."

"They all stammer, don't they?"

"Yes. . . . He stammers and he's lame. And his wife, too. . . . It's not exactly that she stammers, but she can't speak plainly. She is a very kind woman. And he used to be a house serf. And there are seven children . . . and it's only the eldest one that stammers and the others are simply ill . . . but they don't stammer. . . . But where did you hear about them?" she added with some surprise.

"Your father told me, then. He told me all about you. . . . And how you went out at six o'clock and came back at nine and how Katerina Ivanovna knelt down by your bed."


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