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Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment Part 6, Chapter 3 Summary
Looking for Svidrigaïlov, Raskolnikov (in typical fashion) argues with himself about whether to seek out the man or not. Did Svidrigaïlov rat him out to Porfiry? Not likely. He feels like Svidrigaïlov has something he needs, but he can't imagine what. Visiting Sonia comes into his mind. He's scared of everybody right now, including her. No, better to check out Svidrigaïlov first. He wonders to himself why Svidrigaïlov is helping Katerina's children. Will he blackmail Dounia into something awful by threatening to turn in Raskolnikov? He thinks of the mysterious letter Dounia received. Was it from Luzhin? Svidrigaïlov? If Svidrigaïlov is messing with Dounia, Raskolnikov will kill him. That much he knows. He comes upon a huge bar and sees Svidrigaïlov in there, smoking a pipe. Fear strikes him. Raskolnikov and Svidrigaïlov both pretend they haven't seen each other and look at each other out of the corners of their eyes. Their eyes meet. Svidrigaïlov seems amused and asks Raskolnikov to join him. A bottle of champagne is on Svidrigaïlov's table. A little boy plays the organ, and a young girl, Katia, sings. They stop when Svidrigaïlov tells them to. He appears to pay them by giving Katia champagne to drink (but maybe they already got paid). Then, the two street kids leave. Raskolnikov tells Svidrigaïlov that he was looking for him but doesn't know why he came to this spot. Svidrigaïlov says he told Raskolnikov to meet him there. Doesn't he remember? He doesn't. Svidrigaïlov says the information got stuck in Raskolnikov's brain and led him there, even though Raskolnikov doesn't consciously remember. Frustrated with the guy already, Raskolnikov tells him to say what he needs to say. Svidrigaïlov wants to chat for a while. Raskolnikov asks him what he's doing in St. Petersburg. Chasing women, he admits. Disgusted, Raskolnikov says taking advantage of women is a "disease." Changing the subject, Svidrigaïlov says they should hurry —he has to meet "a woman" in an hour. Raskolnikov gets irritated and feels trapped. He gets up to leave. Uh-oh. That's not in Svidrigaïlov's plan. He quickly brings up Dounia. He wants to tell Raskolnikov how Dounia tried "to save" him.
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