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Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment Part 1, Chapter 7 Summary
She opens the door a tiny bit, her eyes gleaming at him, full of mistrust. At this point, Raskolnikov almost screws up. He's nervous she'll shut the door again when she sees who's come calling, so he yanks the door. Since she's still holding onto the handle, he almost pulls her out of her house (and down the stairs). She must have let go because she's standing in her doorway, blocking him. He walks toward her, saying, "Good evening, Alyona Ivanovna," and taking out his little package. She has no idea who he is. Nastily, he reminds her and threatens to take his business elsewhere. This seems to convince her of his sincerity, and she's lured into her room with Raskolnikov's "cigarette case." She doesn't think it feels like silver. She remarks on how knotted the knot is and tries to untie it. As she does, Raskolnikov hits her at the top of the head with the blunt end of the axe. Now, he feels very awake and energetic. She cries a little and falls to the floor. Her skull is cracked. He smashes it with another blow, in the same place. Blood flows, and she's most definitely dead. Putting the axe down, he gets the keys. He tries to unlock the case holding her valuables but is too nervous. Maybe she's alive, he thinks, and rushes back to the body. He notices she has a "string" around her neck, but he can't break it. So, he gets the axe and cuts the string. His hands, and the axe, are smeared with blood. He finds what he was looking for, a purse, which he puts in his pocket. He also finds two crosses and a key. Back in the bedroom, he gets confused and has trouble with the keys, but he soon finds a chest. On top is a red fur. He gets the urge to wipe his bloody hands on it but then realizes this isn't a good plan and asks himself if he's going mad, or what. At the bottom of the chest, he finds jewelry wrapped in rags, and he shoves as many pieces as he can into his pockets. He hears a noise, a cry, and he rushes back into the other room only to find… Lizaveta! He brings up his axe. She's so used to being abused that she only slowly raises her hands to her face. Raskolnikov lowers the axe and splits her skull. Then, he grabs her stuff but right away puts it back down. He knows he needs to leave but gets distracted, forgetting himself. The axe needs washing, after all, and so he washes it, and his hands. As he's wiping his boots, he starts thinking about possible mistakes he's made, but before he gets carried away, he rushes to leave. He sees that the door is open just a crack, and he has some confusing thoughts about why it was open and how Lizaveta got in. In any case, he locks the door. Oops. He's trying to get out, not stay in. He unlocks it and is on the stairs. Then, he realizes there are customers coming up the stairs to see the pawnbroker. He rushes back up and bolts himself in. The customers are persistent and realize the door is bolted from within and become suspicious. One goes for help. Then, the other follows him. Raskolnikov makes his escape. He hears men yelling and sees them coming from the room being painted. He's about to turn back, but they run down the stairs. Confused and crazed, Raskolnikov makes his way home on foot, returns the axe to the caretaker's closet, and goes to bed, his mind a mess.
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