Crime and Punishment Chapter 7
Raskolnikov almost makes a mistake by pulling the door open while the old woman is still hanging on. As soon as he enters the room, the old woman begins to be suspicious and puts up her guard. He offers to sell the pledge or go elsewhere. The remark puts the greedy old woman at ease. As she positions herself to unwrap the pledge, Raskolnikov strikes her head with the axe and fells her. He strikes several more times, drawing blood. He finds her keys and tries them on the chest of drawers in the old woman's room. Suddenly, he imagines that the old woman is still alive and runs out. On the dead woman's body, he discovers a string with a purse and some crosses. After stuffing the purse into his pocket and taking hold of the axe, he goes back into the bedroom to work on the keys again, this time on a box he finds under the bed. He takes several items from the box, but from the next room he hears noise. He runs out and sees Lizaveta. Instinctively, he strikes her down. He begins to lose his mind. Everything seems surreal.
While he has the presence of mind to wash his hands and the axe, he discovers that the door had been open the whole time! In haste, he fastens the door, then changes his mind and tries to make a run for it. But from the staircase, he hears footsteps coming up. Raskolnikov heads back into the flat and fastens the latch. The footsteps draw nearer until the visitor is standing directly across from Raskolnikov on the other side of the door. He rings the bell and when it is unanswered, he shakes the door, almost prying it open. Raskolnikov hears another person come upstairs. The new person notices that something must be wrong because the door is fastened from the inside and no one is responding. Suspicious of foul play (being a law student), he tells the first visitor to stay while he fetches the porter. Raskolnikov is beside himself, not knowing what to do. He thinks of fighting or giving up. Fortunately, the man on the other side of the door becomes impatient and goes downstairs
Raskolnikov seizes this opportunity and heads out. On his way down, he hears footsteps coming up towards him. Just when he thinks all is lost, he sees an open door of a flat on the second floor where the painters had just been. He slips inside, in time for the others to pass by without noticing him. He then runs outside, with no one having seen him. Sweat runs down his neck and he feels half-dead. Even though the door of the porter's room is closed, he opens it without thinking. Again, no one is in. He puts the axe back in its original position. Upon reaching his room, he sinks into empty consciousness.