Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment Part 2, Chapter 4 Summary
READ THE BOOK: Part 2, Chapter 4
- Raskolnikov tells everybody that he's feeling just fine and isn't sick at all.
- The doctor says he can eat soup and tea, but no meat, cucumbers, or mushrooms.
- Razumihin has plans to take Raskolnikov all over town.
- The doctor vetoes this plan, and says Raskolnikov needs to stay in his bed.
- There's going to be a party at Razumihin's house tomorrow, though, and he wants Raskolnikov to come.
- When Zossimov asks, Razumihin reads him the guest list, so to speak.
- Among the guests will be "Porfiry Petrovitch, the head of the Investigation Department here" and Zametov (the police clerk).
- Porfiry is distantly related to both Razumihin and Zossimov, but Zossimov and he haven't gotten along in the past.
- He's also the guy that's been interrogating suspects in the murder of the pawnbroker and her sister.
- Zossimov can't imagine what people like Razumihin and Raskolnikov have to talk about with a corrupt policeman like Zametov.
- Well, it turns out Zametov (who Razumihin defends as being a very young man needing special care) and Razumihin are both interested, very interested, in a certain situation with a certain housepainter.
- He's been accused of murder (yes, the murder of the pawnbroker) and the two men want to free him, because he's innocent.
- Remember, there were painters working on one of the flats Raskolnikov had to pass by in order to get to the pawnbroker's apartment.
- On of those painters pawned a pair of earrings, which he claimed to have found on the street, which turned out to have been pawned by somebody else to the murdered pawnbroker.
- The guy he pawned them to heard about the murders, and suspected that the earrings and the housepainter, Nikolay Dementyev, were connected to it, so he went to the police.
- Nikolay got drunk on the money from the earrings. When he heard about the murder, he knew he was a suspect due to the earrings. Scared, he ran and then he tried to hang himself.
- But somebody saw him trying to hang himself and got the police in time to stop him.
- They got him and he admitted that he didn't find them in the street, but in the flat they were working in.
- See, right before closing time, the other painter, Dmitri, had smeared paint on Nikolay's face, and they started playing and fighting.
- Dmitri ran off, but Nikolay went back to the flat to close it up.
- That's when he found the box behind the door.
- (At this detail, Raskolnikov gets a little excited, but then lies back down, listening.)
- The police believe Nikolay is guilty, because he wouldn't have run and wouldn't have tried to hang himself if he wasn't guilty.
- But, ten people saw the two painters rolling around in the grass like lunatics.
- As Razumihin explains to the doctor, they wouldn't have been acting like that, or had time to act like that, if they had just killed the two women.
- Razumihin knows exactly what happened though, he says.
- The earrings prove it.
- The murderer, he says, was inside, at the door when the two guys came to pawn something.
- He waited until they went away, and then made his escape. The earring fell out of his pocket when he walked by the room being painted.
- The doctor thinks Razumihin's theory is "melodramatic," like a soap opera.
- Razumihin is about to respond, but a stranger enters the room...
READ THE BOOK: Part 2, Chapter 4