1. CHAPTER I
So he lay a very long while. Now and then he seemed to wake up, and at
such moments he noticed that it was far into the night, but it did not
occur to him to get up. At last he noticed that it was beginning to
get light. He was lying on his back, still dazed from his recent
oblivion. Fearful, despairing cries rose shrilly from the street,
sounds which he heard every night, indeed, under his window after two
o'clock. They woke him up now.
"Ah! the drunken men are coming out of the taverns," he thought, "it's
past two o'clock," and at once he leaped up, as though someone had
pulled him from the sofa.
"What! Past two o'clock!"
He sat down on the sofa--and instantly recollected everything! All at
once, in one flash, he recollected everything.
For the first moment he thought he was going mad. A dreadful chill
came over him; but the chill was from the fever that had begun long
before in his sleep. Now he was suddenly taken with violent shivering,
so that his teeth chattered and all his limbs were shaking. He opened
the door and began listening--everything in the house was asleep. With
amazement he gazed at himself and everything in the room around him,
wondering how he could have come in the night before without fastening
the door, and have flung himself on the sofa without undressing,
without even taking his hat off. It had fallen off and was lying on
the floor near his pillow.
"If anyone had come in, what would he have thought? That I'm drunk
but . . ."
He rushed to the window. There was light enough, and he began
hurriedly looking himself all over from head to foot, all his clothes;
were there no traces? But there was no doing it like that; shivering
with cold, he began taking off everything and looking over again. He
turned everything over to the last threads and rags, and mistrusting
himself, went through his search three times.