8. CHAPTER VIII
When he went into Sonia's room, it was already getting dark. All day
Sonia had been waiting for him in terrible anxiety. Dounia had been
waiting with her. She had come to her that morning, remembering
Svidrigailov's words that Sonia knew. We will not describe the
conversation and tears of the two girls, and how friendly they became.
Dounia gained one comfort at least from that interview, that her
brother would not be alone. He had gone to her, Sonia, first with his
confession; he had gone to her for human fellowship when he needed it;
she would go with him wherever fate might send him. Dounia did not
ask, but she knew it was so. She looked at Sonia almost with reverence
and at first almost embarrassed her by it. Sonia was almost on the
point of tears. She felt herself, on the contrary, hardly worthy to
look at Dounia. Dounia's gracious image when she had bowed to her so
attentively and respectfully at their first meeting in Raskolnikov's
room had remained in her mind as one of the fairest visions of her
Dounia at last became impatient and, leaving Sonia, went to her
brother's room to await him there; she kept thinking that he would
come there first. When she had gone, Sonia began to be tortured by the
dread of his committing suicide, and Dounia too feared it. But they
had spent the day trying to persuade each other that that could not
be, and both were less anxious while they were together. As soon as
they parted, each thought of nothing else. Sonia remembered how
Svidrigailov had said to her the day before that Raskolnikov had two
alternatives--Siberia or . . . Besides she knew his vanity, his pride
and his lack of faith.
"Is it possible that he has nothing but cowardice and fear of death to
make him live?" she thought at last in despair.
Meanwhile the sun was setting. Sonia was standing in dejection,
looking intently out of the window, but from it she could see nothing
but the unwhitewashed blank wall of the next house. At last when she
began to feel sure of his death--he walked into the room.
She gave a cry of joy, but looking carefully into his face she turned