Crime and Punishment Chapter 26
The door opens and several men struggle to make their way inside. Porfiry is obviously annoyed by the unexpected intrusion. One of the ward brings forth Nikolay, the painter accused of the murders. The young man gets on his knees and declares that he is the murderer. Porfiry is harsh with him, but the young man is determined to confess to the murders. Porfiry quickly leads Raskolnikov out and asks to come at another time for further questioning. Raskolnikov agrees. As a parting shot, Raskolnikov offers his observation of how comical Porfiry's methods seem-one moment, squeezing suspects into confessing, and when they do, harassing them to recant, as Porfiry is likely to do with Nikolay.
At home, Raskolnikov predicts Nikolay's confession will not hold, and Porfiry will soon be after him again. But has Porfiry shown all his cards? What was the surprise? What about the mysterious man who accused him of being the murderer? He decides to go to the memorial dinner (the funeral being over) to see Sonia and do what he must. But at the door, the mysterious man appears. He apologizes to Raskolnikov for wronging him. He tells this story: He is one of the bystanders at the old woman's building who witnesses Raskolnikov visiting the pawnbroker's flat. Suspicious of Raskolnikov's behavior, he makes inquiries and takes his story to Porfiry. When Porfiry hears the story, he beats his breast, sure that he has evidence on Raskolnikov. Porfiry tells him to sit in the next room while he interviews Raskolnikov. In the next room, he overhears everything. After Nikolay's confession, the man decides to ask for Raskolnikov's forgiveness. Raskolnikov forgives him and the man leaves. Raskolnikov feels a renewed sense of courage. Remembering his cowardice during his interview with Porfiry, Raskolnikov cringes with shame.