7. CHAPTER VII
He had not even thought of saying this, but it was suddenly said of
itself. The old woman recovered herself, and her visitor's resolute
tone evidently restored her confidence.
"But why, my good sir, all of a minute. . . . What is it?" she asked,
looking at the pledge.
"The silver cigarette case; I spoke of it last time, you know."
She held out her hand.
"But how pale you are, to be sure . . . and your hands are trembling
too? Have you been bathing, or what?"
"Fever," he answered abruptly. "You can't help getting pale . . . if
you've nothing to eat," he added, with difficulty articulating the
His strength was failing him again. But his answer sounded like the
truth; the old woman took the pledge.
"What is it?" she asked once more, scanning Raskolnikov intently, and
weighing the pledge in her hand.
"A thing . . . cigarette case. . . . Silver. . . . Look at it."
"It does not seem somehow like silver. . . . How he has wrapped it up!"
Trying to untie the string and turning to the window, to the light
(all her windows were shut, in spite of the stifling heat), she left
him altogether for some seconds and stood with her back to him. He
unbuttoned his coat and freed the axe from the noose, but did not yet
take it out altogether, simply holding it in his right hand under the
coat. His hands were fearfully weak, he felt them every moment growing
more numb and more wooden. He was afraid he would let the axe slip and
fall. . . . A sudden giddiness came over him.
"But what has he tied it up like this for?" the old woman cried with
vexation and moved towards him.