Finally Simeon threw the door wide open.
Jennka was hanging in the middle of the water-closet on a tape from her corset, fastened to the lamphook. Her body, already motionless after an unprolonged agony, was slowly swinging in the air, and describing scarcely perceptible turns to the right and left around its vertical axis. Her face was bluishly-purple, and the tip of the tongue was thrust out between clenched and bared teeth. The lamp which had been taken off was also here, sprawling on the floor.
Some one began to squeal hysterically, and all the girls, like a stampeded herd, crowding and jostling each other in the narrow corridor, vociferating and choking with hysterical sobbings, started in to run.
The doctor came upon hearing the outcries... Came, precisely, and not ran. Seeing what the matter was, he did not become amazed or excited; during his practice as an official city doctor, he had had his fill of seeing such things, so that he had already grown benumbed and hardened to human sufferings, wounds and death. He ordered Simeon to lift the corpse of Jennka a bit upward, and himself getting up on the seat, cut through the tape. Proforma, he ordered Jennka’s body to be borne away into the room that had been hers, and tried with the help of the same Simeon to produce artificial respiration; but after five minutes gave it up as a bad job, fixed the pince-nez, which had become crooked, on his nose, and said:
“Call the police in to make a protocol.”
Again Kerbesh came, again whispered for a long time with the proprietress in her little bit of a cabinet, and again crunched in his pocket a new hundred-rouble bill.
The protocol was made in five minutes; and Jennka, just as half-naked as she had hung herself, was carted away in a hired wagon into an anatomical theatre, wrapped up in and covered with two straw mats.
Emma Edwardovna was the first to find the note that Jennka had left on her night table. On a sheet, torn out of the income-expense book, compulsory for every prostitute, in pencil, in a naive, rounded, childish handwriting—by which, however, it could be judged that the hands of the suicide had not trembled during the last minutes—was written:
“I beg that no one be blamed for my death. I am dying because I have become infected, and also because all people are scoundrels and it is very disgusting to live. How to divide my things—Tamara knows about that. I told her in detail.”
Emma Edwardovna turned around upon Tamara, who was right on the spot among a number of other girls, and with eyes filled with a cold, green hatred, hissed out:
“Then you knew, you low-down thing, what she was preparing to do? ... You knew, you vermin? ... You knew and didn’t tell? ...”
She already had swung back, in order, as was her wont, to hit Tamara cruelly and calculatingly; but suddenly stopped just as she was, with gaping mouth and with eyes wide open. It was just as though she was seeing, for the first time, Tamara, who was looking at her with a firm, wrathful, unbearable gaze, and slowly, slowly was raising from below, and at last brought up to the level of the housekeeper’s face, a small object, glistening with white metal.