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Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment Part 6, Chapter 6 Summary
Svidrigaïlov walks the streets and barhops until around 10 p.m. A storm has moved in, and he's wet by the time he gets home. Inside, he gets "all his money and [tears] up two or three papers." Time to visit Sonia. He announces his plan to go to America, then gives Sonia about 3,000 roubles in bonds. She thanks him for helping out with the kids but says she doesn't need the other money. Take it for Raskolnikov, he tells her. He says he know she will follow him to prison and encourages her to stop being a prostitute. When he moves to leave, she reminds him that it's storming outside. The rain won't keep him away from America, he tells her. It's a little after 11 p.m. Svidrigaïlov goes to his teenage fiancée's house. He tells everybody that he's going on a little trip but will be back soon. Then, he hands the parents some cash to give their daughter. Svidrigaïlov leaves and makes his way through the storm. Soaked to the bone, he takes a room in a run-down hotel and orders tea and veal. Lighting a candle, he finds himself in a grimy room with a really dirty bed. The waiter brings the tea and veal. He drinks the tea to get warm, but he can't eat. Feeling feverish, he gets in bed. He hears a mouse scratching. The storm rages. He blows out the candle but can't sleep. Raskolnikov and Dounia disturb his thoughts. Finally, he falls asleep, but he wakes up when something runs across his body. Eek! It's the mouse. Now, it's eating the veal. He lights the candle and frantically tries to catch the mouse. But the mouse jumps on him and —whew. It's only a dream. He decides not to sleep, but thoughts come into his head. Svidrigaïlov is walking through the most beautiful garden. He walks into a room with a coffin in the middle of it. In the coffin is a beautiful young girl, with flowers all around her. He knows her. She's 14. She drowned herself because of what he did to her (which isn't actually stated). Svidrigaïlov gets up. The storm still rages, overflowing the river. It's 3 a.m. and Svidrigaïlov decides it's the perfect time to be on his way. In the hallway, he comes across a little girl, about 5. She's soaked and has been crying. From what she says, her mother is abusive and got mad at her, so she's been hiding. He takes her into his room, takes her clothes off, puts her in bed, and covers her with a blanket. On his way out, something stops him. He goes back to the bed, pulls back the covers, and looks at her. She's sound asleep, but her face starts to change. She's smiling at him. Her face isn't a little girl's face but rather "the shameless face of a French harlot." Horrified, he screams at her and is about to smack her when― Svidrigaïlov wakes up. It's around 5 a.m. Svidrigaïlov is late. Everything is wet on the street. He sees a policeman slouching against a wall, looking bored. This is perfect, Svidrigaïlov thinks, and tries to strike up a conversation with the policeman. He tells him he's on his way to America. Stop kidding around, the policeman tells him. In response, Svidrigaïlov takes out his gun and cocks it. He tells the policeman to tell everybody he said he was going to America. Then, Svidrigaïlov puts the gun to his own temple and shoots.
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