4. CHAPTER IV
"Oh, I see you are excited! Wait a bit. I forgot to ask you; what
proof is there that the box came from the old woman?"
"That's been proved," said Razumihin with apparent reluctance,
frowning. "Koch recognised the jewel-case and gave the name of the
owner, who proved conclusively that it was his."
"That's bad. Now another point. Did anyone see Nikolay at the time
that Koch and Pestryakov were going upstairs at first, and is there no
evidence about that?"
"Nobody did see him," Razumihin answered with vexation. "That's the
worst of it. Even Koch and Pestryakov did not notice them on their way
upstairs, though, indeed, their evidence could not have been worth
much. They said they saw the flat was open, and that there must be
work going on in it, but they took no special notice and could not
remember whether there actually were men at work in it."
"Hm! . . . So the only evidence for the defence is that they were
beating one another and laughing. That constitutes a strong
presumption, but . . . How do you explain the facts yourself?"
"How do I explain them? What is there to explain? It's clear. At any
rate, the direction in which explanation is to be sought is clear, and
the jewel-case points to it. The real murderer dropped those ear-rings. The murderer was upstairs, locked in, when Koch and Pestryakov
knocked at the door. Koch, like an ass, did not stay at the door; so
the murderer popped out and ran down, too; for he had no other way of
escape. He hid from Koch, Pestryakov and the porter in the flat when
Nikolay and Dmitri had just run out of it. He stopped there while the
porter and others were going upstairs, waited till they were out of
hearing, and then went calmly downstairs at the very minute when
Dmitri and Nikolay ran out into the street and there was no one in the
entry; possibly he was seen, but not noticed. There are lots of people
going in and out. He must have dropped the ear-rings out of his pocket
when he stood behind the door, and did not notice he dropped them,
because he had other things to think of. The jewel-case is a
conclusive proof that he did stand there. . . . That's how I explain