Fortunately, Trankwillitatin was just at this time out of town. He could not come to see us before the next day: advantage must be taken of the intervening night. My aunt did not sleep with her door locked—indeed, throughout the house we had no keys in the doors—but where did she hide the watch? Until evening she carried it about in her pocket, and so ensured its safety, but at night where will she put it? Well, that’s just what I must find out, I thought, and clenched my fist. I was glowing with audacity and fear and joy at the idea of the crime I was about to commit. I kept nodding my head, I wrinkled my forehead, I whispered to myself, “Just wait!” I kept threatening every one: I was cross, I was dangerous; and I even avoided David. No one, and particularly not he, should have any suspicion of what I was about to do. I would act alone, and bear the whole responsibility. Slowly the day crept by, then the evening: at last night came. I did nothing: I scarcely moved. One thought filled my head. At supper my father, whose anger never lasted very long, and who was already a little sorry for his violence, tried to bring me back to my good-humor, but I repelled his advances—not, as he thought, because I could not conquer my wrath, but simply because I feared becoming sentimental. I must preserve undiminished the whole glow of my indignation, the whole vigor of an unalterable determination. I went to bed early, but you may well believe I did not close my eyes. I kept them wide open, although I had pulled the bed-clothes over my head. I had not thought over beforehand what I should do: I had no fixed plan. I was only waiting for the house to get quiet. The only precaution I took was to keep on my stockings. My aunt’s chamber was in the second story. I should have to go through the dining-room, the ante-room, up a flight of stairs, along an entry, and on the right was the door. It was not necessary to take a candle or lantern: I knew that in the corner of my aunt’s chamber there was a shrine with a light always burning before it, so I should be able to see well enough. I lay with my eyes wide open, my mouth open and dry: the blood throbbing in my temples, my ears, throat, back, throughout my whole body. I waited, but it seemed to me as if a demon were tormenting me. Time went by, but the house did not get quiet.
Never, it seemed to me, had David been so long in going to sleep: David, the taciturn David, even talked to me. Never did the people in the house clatter and walk about and talk so late. And what are they talking about now? thought I. Haven’t they had time enough since morning? Outdoors, too, the noise kept up very late. A dog would bark with long-protracted howls; then a drunken man would go by with a racket; then a rattling wagon would seem as if it took for ever to get past the house. But these outdoor noises did not vex me: on the