Crime and Punishment Chapter 36
Raskolnikov ends up following Svidrigailov. Svidrigailov tries to get rid of him to no avail. They walk together until they reach Svidrigailov's place. Svidrigailov tells Raskolnikov that Sonia is not at home, that she is tending to the affairs of the three children. Svidrigailov enters his room, takes some money, and gets into a carriage, saying he is off to the islands. For the moment, Raskolnikov is assuaged of his suspicions. He does not see that Svidrigailov has gotten out of the carriage a few paces away. Raskolnikov approaches a bridge where Dounia spots him. Svidrigailov is not far off, motioning to her. Dounia slips past Raskolnikov. Although Dounia is reluctant, Svidrigailov convinces her that he will not harm her in any way. They head for his place. He shows Dounia the room where he overheard Sonia and Raskolnikov's conversation. Dounia brings up Svidrigailov's letter, and promptly denies that her brother could do such a thing. Svidrigailov explains to Dounia the reasons Raskolnikov committed the murders, as he overheard it. As Svidrigailov explains, Dounia is shaking. She demands to see Sonia. Svidrigailov tells her that Sonia will not be home till late. Realizing that Svidrigailov had lied to her, Dounia falls weakly into a chair. Svidrigailov tries to reassure Dounia, offering his services to help Raskolnikov escape. Can he be saved? Dounia asks. Svidrigailov makes his advance, telling her that one word from her will move him to do all he can for Raskolnikov, only if she would let him have her. Dounia demands he unlock the door, but Svidrigailov is determined. He has masterly planned everything so that Dounia would have no way out. In desperation, Dounia pulls out a revolver. She reveals that she knows about him poisoning Marfa Petrovna, Dounia warns him that if he makes a move, she will shoot. Svidrigailov dares her. Dounia first shot grazes his head, causing it to bleed. Svidrigailov patiently waits for her to cock again. Second shot misses. Svidrigailov waits again. Suddenly, Dounia throws the revolver down. Svidrigailov puts his hand on Dounia's waist and asks if she could ever love him. No. A sudden sadness come over Svidrigailov. He puts the key to the door on the table and orders her to leave. Alone and in despair, Svidrigailov picks up the revolver and steps out.