7. CHAPTER VII
His mother and sister were sitting on his sofa and had been waiting an
hour and a half for him. Why had he never expected, never thought of
them, though the news that they had started, were on their way and
would arrive immediately, had been repeated to him only that day? They
had spent that hour and a half plying Nastasya with questions. She was
standing before them and had told them everything by now. They were
beside themselves with alarm when they heard of his "running away"
to-day, ill and, as they understood from her story, delirious! "Good
Heavens, what had become of him?" Both had been weeping, both had been
in anguish for that hour and a half.
A cry of joy, of ecstasy, greeted Raskolnikov's entrance. Both rushed
to him. But he stood like one dead; a sudden intolerable sensation
struck him like a thunderbolt. He did not lift his arms to embrace
them, he could not. His mother and sister clasped him in their arms,
kissed him, laughed and cried. He took a step, tottered and fell to
the ground, fainting.
Anxiety, cries of horror, moans . . . Razumihin who was standing in
the doorway flew into the room, seized the sick man in his strong arms
and in a moment had him on the sofa.
"It's nothing, nothing!" he cried to the mother and sister--"it's only
a faint, a mere trifle! Only just now the doctor said he was much
better, that he is perfectly well! Water! See, he is coming to
himself, he is all right again!"
And seizing Dounia by the arm so that he almost dislocated it, he made
her bend down to see that "he is all right again." The mother and
sister looked on him with emotion and gratitude, as their Providence.
They had heard already from Nastasya all that had been done for their
Rodya during his illness, by this "very competent young man," as
Pulcheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikov called him that evening in
conversation with Dounia.