3. CHAPTER III
He hurried to Svidrigailov's. What he had to hope from that man he did
not know. But that man had some hidden power over him. Having once
recognised this, he could not rest, and now the time had come.
On the way, one question particularly worried him: had Svidrigailov
been to Porfiry's?
As far as he could judge, he would swear to it, that he had not. He
pondered again and again, went over Porfiry's visit; no, he hadn't
been, of course he hadn't.
But if he had not been yet, would he go? Meanwhile, for the present he
fancied he couldn't. Why? He could not have explained, but if he
could, he would not have wasted much thought over it at the moment. It
all worried him and at the same time he could not attend to it.
Strange to say, none would have believed it perhaps, but he only felt
a faint vague anxiety about his immediate future. Another, much more
important anxiety tormented him--it concerned himself, but in a
different, more vital way. Moreover, he was conscious of immense moral
fatigue, though his mind was working better that morning than it had
done of late.
And was it worth while, after all that had happened, to contend with
these new trivial difficulties? Was it worth while, for instance, to
manoeuvre that Svidrigailov should not go to Porfiry's? Was it worth
while to investigate, to ascertain the facts, to waste time over
anyone like Svidrigailov?
Oh, how sick he was of it all!
And yet he was hastening to Svidrigailov; could he be expecting
something /new/ from him, information, or means of escape? Men will
catch at straws! Was it destiny or some instinct bringing them
together? Perhaps it was only fatigue, despair; perhaps it was not
Svidrigailov but some other whom he needed, and Svidrigailov had
simply presented himself by chance. Sonia? But what should he go to
Sonia for now? To beg her tears again? He was afraid of Sonia, too.
Sonia stood before him as an irrevocable sentence. He must go his own
way or hers. At that moment especially he did not feel equal to seeing
her. No, would it not be better to try Svidrigailov? And he could not
help inwardly owning that he had long felt that he must see him for