Crime and Punishment Chapter 13
As soon as Nastasya leaves the room, Raskolnikov, in a sudden change of alertness and clarity of mind, dresses himself in the new clothes that Razumihin brought bought and heads out. This must all end, he tells himself. Raskolnikov heads instinctively to the Hay Market where he comes across organ grinders, street performers, and a throng of people going in and out of saloons. Attracted to singing from one of the taverns, he walks in and engages in conversation with a pretty girl who flirts with him. Raskolnikov thinks to himself:
"Where is it I've read that someone condemned to death says or think, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he'd only room to stand, and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once! Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be!...How true it is! Good God, how true! Man is a vile creature!...And vile is he who calls him vile for that." Chapter 13, pg. 139
He goes into another establishment and begins to read the papers for the accounts of the murders. Zametov, who is drinking champagne at another table, approaches Raskolnikov. A feeling of irreverence comes over Raskolnikov. He begins to tease Zametov. He even confesses to Zametov that he is reading about the murders. While he is talking to Zametov, Raskolnikov remembers standing behind the door with the axe, wanting to laugh at the unwanted visitors on the other side. In observing Raskolnikov's strange behavior, a shocking thought flashes through Zametov's mind. Zametov turns to a discussion of counterfeiters who were caught in Moscow. Raskolnikov mocks them for their lack of cleverness, especially the one who brought suspicion by not counting all the money at the bank. He tells Zametov how he would have done it, counting and recounting before the teller until the teller would soon get rid of him. Zametov counters by saying that actions are harder than words, citing the incompetence of the murderer who killed the old woman. Raskolnikov, acting offended, dares Zametov to catch the murderer. Zametov is sure the criminal will be caught because most criminals always give themselves away. Raskolnikov explains how he would behave if he were the murderer: He would find a stone to put the money under and not touch it for two or three years to evade suspicion. Zametov whispers to Raskolnikov that he must be mad for talking like that. Raskolnikov's lips tremble, "like the latch on that door." Raskolnikov knowingly blurts out, "And what if it was I who murdered the old woman and Lizaveta?" (p. 145). Zametov turns white. Raskolnikov confronts Zametov about the police's suspicions against him. He reveals that he has twenty-five roubles in his pockets and points to his new clothes. Raskolnikov walks out in rapturous hysteria, leaving Zametov exasperated.
On the steps of the restaurant, Raskolnikov runs into Razumihin who has been frantically looking for him. Raskolnikov tells Razumihin to leave him alone-that he does not want the kindness shown him. Razumihin does not give in easily, spurning Raskolnikov's request. Razumihin exhorts Raskolnikov to come to his housewarming party. Raskolnikov rejects Razumihin's invitation and walks off. After deliberating with himself for a while, Razumihin decides that it is a mistake to let Raskolnikov wander off by himself. He tries to stop Raskolnikov from going off, but loses sight of him.
Meanwhile, Raskolnikov staggers onto a bridge, only to see a woman throw herself into the river below. A police officer rescues her. Raskolnikov overhears from the crowd gathered around the woman that she had attempted suicide before. Raskolnikov feels that drowning in a river is no way to go. He will go the police station to end this, he tells himself in apathy. He takes a different route to the police station and strangely finds himself in front of the old pawnbroker's house. He goes up to the flat and sees two workmen papering the walls. When the older workman asks what he is doing, Raskolnikov asks if there still is blood on the floor. When confronted with more questions from the workman, Raskolnikov invites him to go to the police station together. Raskolnikov also confronts the porters and some other bystanders gathered at the entrance of the building. Finding Raskolnikov acting strange and troublesome, one of the porters throws him out into the street. Another yells to take him to the police station. Raskolnikov makes up his mind to go to the police station, but not far off he hears shouts from a crowd gathered around a carriage.