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Prince Myshkin stumbles upstairs. On the way, he starts freaking out a little bit because he doesn't really know why he is going to the party in the first place. There's some big idea about this in the back of his mind, but it's too scary to think about, so he doesn't.
Which, sure, denial is one way to go. (You want a hint about what he's denying? It might be something about how he doesn't just like her, he like-likes her. We're just sayin'.)
So yeah, meanwhile the party is rolling along.
All the usual suspects are there—the dudes we already know, minus Rogozhin, and a few randos that Nastasya apparently likes to collect.
Her apartment is way swank, because Totsky is still doing Operation: Luxury-to-Buy-Her-Off, but Nastasya seems really uninfluenced by the money. She does, however, seem to have some kind of magnetic hold over everyone.
Everyone is pretty stressed, waiting on pins and needles for Nastasya's big announcement about her marriage plans.
Ganya tells the story of how Rogozhin barged into his house with calm good humor. (Really? A character in this novel stays calm about something? No way.)
Turns out his pal Ptitsyn has been digging up info on Rogozhin, and now shares that he might actually have a pretty good shot at raising 100 grand like he was bragging about. He's taking out loans left and right.
Myshkin is announced. Everyone is all, wha? But then Nastasya seems happy and everyone else is suddenly charmed by how original and nonconformist he is.
While Myshkin is coming up the stairs, Ferdishenko starts making fun of Epanchin. Ferdishenko really gets off on being the class clown and making everyone else uncomfortable with his inappropriate and crass humor. Nastasya also seems into it. (Oooh, Shmoop insight for you all—maybe Ferdishenko has the same kind of destabilizing influence on people that she would like to, and that's why she is so weirdly into his generally lame antics? Food for thought.)
Myshkin finally comes in, and tells Nastasya that she is perfect in every way.
She is all, no, I'm not, but everyone has noticed how he has been looking at her and Ganya tells the party that Myshkin confessed to him to be in love with her. Amusingly, Myshkin doesn't deny the love part—just the "confessing" part. Ganya is like, okay, dude, tomato-tomahto.
Nastasya tells her guests to drink up, which is weird because usually she is super-formal and not all casual like this. She looks sick and feverish, but when some guests suggest leaving her to get some rest, she declines.
Someone suggests playing a party game. And, hey, awesome, Ferdishenko knows a brand-new party game. It's like a cross between Truth-or-Dare and I-Never—basically, everyone just tells the worst thing they've ever done. Um. That sounds like the worst party game we have ever heard of. If we'd been there, we'd totally suggest Seven Minutes in Heaven. Or at least Charades, or something.
But no, Worst-Ever-Thing game it is.
Totsky is infuriated and says the game is stupid. He really doesn't want to play. Is that maybe because his worst thing is bringing up Nastasya as some kind of sex slave? Yeah, that might be it. Or, imagine that wasn't even the worst thing he'd ever done. Dude could have a freezer full of body parts...um, no, that would be a different book.
Anyway, where were we? Oh, right. An argument breaks out over whether anyone's story could ever really be verified. What if everyone just starts lying? Does that ruin the game? Ferdishenko is all, no, it's cool, trust me.
Nastasya has the final word, and this horrible game really appeals to her, so the men draw their names out of a hat to determine the order. Ferdishenko goes first.