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Notes From The Underground 88

Notes From The Underground 88

2 mins 6.5K 2 mins 6.5K

‘Perhaps I am in your way,’ she began timidly, hardly au-dibly, and was getting up.

But as soon as I saw this first impulse of wounded digni-ty I positively trembled with spite, and at once burst out.

‘Why have you come to me, tell me that, please?’ I began, gasping for breath and regardless of logical connection in my words. I longed to have it all out at once, at one burst; I did not even trouble how to begin. ‘Why have you come? Answer, answer,’ I cried, hardly knowing what I was doing. ‘I’ll tell you, my good girl, why you have come. You’ve come because I talked sentimental stuff to you then. So now you are soft as butter and longing for fine sentiments again. So you may as well know that I was laughing at you then. And I am laughing at you now. Why are you shuddering? Yes, I was laughing at you! I had been insulted just before, at dinner, by the fellows who came that evening before me. I came to you, meaning to thrash one of them, an officer; but I didn’t succeed, I didn’t find him; I had to avenge the in-sult on someone to get back my own again; you turned up, I vented my spleen on you and laughed at you. I had been humiliated, so I wanted to humiliate; I had been treated like a rag, so I wanted to show my power .... That’s what it was,

and you imagined I had come there on purpose to save you. Yes? You imagined that? You imagined that?’

I knew that she would perhaps be muddled and not take it all in exactly, but I knew, too, that she would grasp the gist of it, very well indeed. And so, indeed, she did. She turned white as a handkerchief, tried to say something, and her lips worked painfully; but she sank on a chair as though she had been felled by an axe. And all the time afterwards she lis-tened to me with her lips parted and her eyes wide open, shuddering with awful terror. The cynicism, the cynicism of my words overwhelmed her ....


To be contd..


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