Later that day, around 7pm, Raskolnikov walks toward his mother's house.
He's a big mess, all wet and dirty. He's been alone, and doesn't know where he slept.
Pulcheria is very glad to see him. She says she's been reading his article – she understands that he's an intellectual and that intellectuals sometime act funny.
Raskolnikov wants to see the article and, when she shows him, he feels excited – just for a minute – at seeing his words in print for the first time.
The narrator reveals that Raskolnikov "is only twenty-three years old."
Suddenly, he finds the article loathsome and throws it down.
He asks about Dounia. Pulcheria says she isn't there, that she isn't home much these days. Raskolnikov asks Pulcheria if she would love him, even if she heard something terrible about him. She says that she would never believe anything bad about him.
Full of tender feelings, he tells his mother that he's always loved her and always will.
She knows he's going away and offers to go with him. She says that Dounia, and Razumihin, and even Sonia – who she's willing to see as a daughter – can come, too.
They pray together. Tears fall. Good-byes are exchanged.
Back at his place, Raskolnikov finds Dounia waiting for him.
Dounia and Sonia have been miserable all night – they were worried he would commit suicide.
They exchange tearful and passionate words, and then Raskolnikov says he's going to give himself to the police.
He asks for Dounia's hand, afraid she won't want to touch him, but she gives it willingly.
Dounia thinks he's already making up for his crime through his "suffering."
This irks him – he insists he hasn't committed any crime. By killing the pawnbroker, he was helping others, he claims. If he hadn't messed it all up, he's sure that everybody would be praising him now.
Finally, he gets tired of arguing the point and he tells Dounia he's leaving. He tells her to stay with Razumihin and let him take care of her and Pulcheria.
Then he goes to a notebook and gives her a watercolor portrait of his dead fiancé.
He says that she knew all about his theories, then tells Dounia it might be better if he did throw himself in the river.
They leave together, but go separate ways. At one moment, Dounia looks back at him. He sees her and hurries out of her line of vision with an irritated gesture. His behavior fills him with shame.
He argues with himself over whether to confess or not.