Scene 9: Downpayment

(The bridge. Stavrogin is walking rapidly while muttering to himself. When he has gone beyond the middle of the bridge, Fedka pops up behind him. Stavrogin turns around suddenly, seizes him by the neck, and pins him face downward on the ground, without seeming to make an effort. Then he lets go of him. At once Fedka is on his feet with a broad, short knife in his hand.)

Stavrogin: Put away the knife! I almost broke your neck, I was so angry.

Fedka: You are strong, Excellency. The soul is weak, but the body is vigorous. Your sins must be great.

Stavrogin: So youíve gone in for preaching? Yet I have heard that you robbed a church last week.

Fedka: To tell the truth, I had gone in to pray. And then it occurred to me that Divine Grace had led me there and that I should take advantage of it because God was willing to give me a little help.

Stavrogin: You slaughtered the watchman too.

Fedka: You might say we cleaned out the church together. But in the morning, down by the river, we fell to disputing as to who should carry the big bag. And then I sinned.

Stavrogin: Superb. Go on slaughtering and robbing!

Fedka: Thatís what little Peter told me. Iím quite willing. There are plenty of opportunities. Why, at the Captainís, where you went this eveningÖ

Stavrogin: Well?

Fedka: Now, donít hit me again! I mean that that drunkard leaves the door open every night, he is so drunk. Anyone could go in and kill everyone in the house, both brother and sister.

Stavrogin: Did you go in?

Fedka: Yes.

Stavrogin: Why didnít you kill everybody?

Fedka: I made a little calculation.

Stavrogin: What?

Fedka: I could steal a hundred and fifty after having killed him Ė after having killed them, I mean. But if I am to believe little Peter, I could get fifteen hundred from you for the same work. SoÖ I am turning to you as a brother or father. Nobody will ever know anything about it, not even young Peter. But I need to know whether you want me to do it: just give me the word or a little down payment. Now, wouldnít you like to give me the money I asked you for earlier?

(Stavrogin, still laughing, takes bills out of his pocket and drops them on the ground one by one. Fedka picks them up.)