5. CHAPTER V
Lebeziatnikov looked perturbed.
"I've come to you, Sofya Semyonovna," he began. "Excuse me . . . I
thought I should find you," he said, addressing Raskolnikov suddenly,
"that is, I didn't mean anything . . . of that sort . . . But I just
thought . . . Katerina Ivanovna has gone out of her mind," he blurted
out suddenly, turning from Raskolnikov to Sonia.
"At least it seems so. But . . . we don't know what to do, you see!
She came back--she seems to have been turned out somewhere, perhaps
beaten. . . . So it seems at least, . . . She had run to your father's
former chief, she didn't find him at home: he was dining at some other
general's. . . . Only fancy, she rushed off there, to the other
general's, and, imagine, she was so persistent that she managed to get
the chief to see her, had him fetched out from dinner, it seems. You
can imagine what happened. She was turned out, of course; but,
according to her own story, she abused him and threw something at him.
One may well believe it. . . . How it is she wasn't taken up, I can't
understand! Now she is telling everyone, including Amalia Ivanovna;
but it's difficult to understand her, she is screaming and flinging
herself about. . . . Oh yes, she shouts that since everyone has
abandoned her, she will take the children and go into the street with
a barrel-organ, and the children will sing and dance, and she too, and
collect money, and will go every day under the general's window . . .
'to let everyone see well-born children, whose father was an official,
begging in the street.' She keeps beating the children and they are
all crying. She is teaching Lida to sing 'My Village,' the boy to
dance, Polenka the same. She is tearing up all the clothes, and making
them little caps like actors; she means to carry a tin basin and make
it tinkle, instead of music. . . . She won't listen to anything. . . .
Imagine the state of things! It's beyond anything!"
Lebeziatnikov would have gone on, but Sonia, who had heard him almost
breathless, snatched up her cloak and hat, and ran out of the room,
putting on her things as she went. Raskolnikov followed her and
Lebeziatnikov came after him.