The door rattled again. "Come on, you lazy dog, wake up!" Nastasia demanded.
The haze of sleep and torment of his thoughts quelled, and Raskolnikov stretched out his arm and unlatched the door from his couch. The door opened and Nastasia came in, pointing at the soup. "Well, so you put me to the trouble of getting you dinner, and here you've not touched it at all. The flies have been at it all night, do you still want it? Lazy fool! Do you know," she turned to Lebeziatnikov, who entered beside her, "some weeks ago his mother sent him thirty rubles. Thirty rubles! He might have paid off his rent, or at least lived like a king for some days. But no, no, that's too easy and straightforward for a thinker like him! Razumikin bought him some new clothes, since he wears nothing but rags, and we got him some proper beef, tea, and a nice tablecloth. And he spent the rest on a funeral for some stranger!"
"Clothes! Ah, that's strange, though," Lebeziatnikov exclaimed, snapping his fingers. "I've been scrounging round for a nice set of clothes; mine are a bit ratty. You have a spare set, then, may I see it?"
"Take it, and welcome," Raskolnikov spat, gesturing irritably to a corner of the room, where he had thrown Razumikin's careful purchases. "I want nothing to do with those clothes."
"Idiot," Nastasia scolded, setting the soup on the dust-smeared table. "Mister Razumikin took great care in picking those items out, he put effort into making you look like a respectable tutor. And you through the chance away, you're a lazy fellow!"
"Yes, I am lazy and evil. Now get out of here, Nastasia!" And he threw a pillow at her.
"Forget dinner," she sniffed, and took her leave.
Meanwhile Lebeziatnikov was marveling at the clothes. "Wonderful, wonderful! I am, as you may have heard, working hard with the rest of the followers to get the commune in order and a strong start. We haven't enough money yet, so I am going to dress up in fine clothes, do you see, and brush my hair with water and put on my best manners, and I am going to go about Petersburg, all the important people, and ask for money."
"And do you think they'll give it to you?"
"They will have no choice! When an intelligent, important businessman, wise in the world, hears my logical presentation of the idea, they'll give like mad! You see, the communes are a new revolution, the physical representation of the changing mindset of modern Russia! I badly wish that Sonia and her siblings will join the commune—she's listened eagerly to me speak of it, the equality and freedom to be found—but equality and freedom are only ideas, you see, until we can construct the physical building. Then all will behold…ah, it will be so lovely! It's Sonia I came to talk to you about, actually," he remarked, holding up the hat and putting his head sideways. "Yes, this is a nice hat," he murmured to himself.
"Sonia? What do you mean?" Raskolnikov asked sharply, sitting up on his couch.
"Oh! Well about the communes, or rather, what she will do to fend for herself until they're ready for her to come. I know she hasn't a kopeck to her name, and now all those little children! I did not want to bother her, she seemed so upset—"
"And wouldn't you be upset, if your mother died in front of you, choking on blood and singing so strangely?"
"No reason to get so hot, we see things the same way, I think!" Lebeziatnikov cried, setting the hat in his lap. "You're an honorable man, I know that, though…we definitely disagree on certain matters, such as private charity."
"What!" Rodia jumped to his feet, trembling. "What do you mean by private charity?"
"But…wasn't the servant telling the truth just now, about your giving the money to Katerina Ivanovna for the funeral?" He asked, bewildered. "She wasn't lying?"
"Oh…yes, the funeral dinner for Marmaledov, yes," Rodia said faintly, sinking back to the couch. "I was only…confused for a minute. Yes, I gave money, but what of it?"
"It's only I cannot agree in those actions. Now, don't be angry! The poor must be helped, of course, and turning a blind eye is a sin. But it's better to do things in a structured manner, so that he most people possible can be helped."
"And meanwhile, poor people like Sonia will die under your nose, and you don't care!"
"Ah! How badly disadvantaged us revolutionaries are! The old thinkers have hundreds of years of science and experience to back their words up, and we new thinkers must build the track under the moving train! Such turmoil we go through to bless the next generation! But don't you see that I am worried for Sonia Semianovna, since I came here just to see what may be done for her?"
"I've done one better than that already," Rodia said scornfully, though he was still pale and trembling. "I begged enough money for her to last a long time."
"Really! So she can be at ease for the time? Well that's a great thing, my mind can be at rest concerning her, and I can put all my energy into the communes! Now just tell me, Raskolnikov, so I can know where the best and most generous men are. Where did you manage to find such giving people?"
"I'd rather keep that to myself. If your ideas about the communes are as great as you believe, you could ask a butcher and he'd give you all his money."
"Don't, I beg you, speak ill of my plans," Lebeziatnikov said, sternly. "I like you, but I've had enough of people sneering and calling me a fool and an idiot. And after having Peter Petrovich share my lodgings for the last weeks, pretending to be so interested in my plans—but gradually, I saw through it all, and I saw his hidden sneers. I've had enough, I tell you! You're right, I don't need to worry about where to ask for money. I will ask everyone! And if they don't want—"
"But aren't you asking them to give to a private charity?" Raskolnikov interrupted with a sly and cold smile, though he was still pale.
Lebeziatnikov rallied with a scowl. "No, I am gathering funding for the beginnings of a movement that will benefit all Russia, educate everyone, and show them the best way to live! We are a practical experiment to the world, to prove that free marriages and the absence of common rules are how we shall thrive! And that settles the matter," he finished firmly, clapping the hat on his head and getting to his feet, arms full of the other garments. "Give my regards to Sonia Semianovna, or I may visit her myself. I will see how my work progresses. Thank you for the clothes, Rodian Romanovich," he added, smiling suddenly in happiness, and not realizing that the clothes were a private charity gift.
"Wait a bit, wait!" Rodia commanded, putting both hands on the couch and leaning forward in thought. "You said Peter Petrovich mocked your ideas, yes?"
"Yes, that's right. He mocked and deceived."
"And didn't he deceive everyone at the funeral dinner, trying to paint Sonia as a thief?"
"It was a lucky thing I came by and was able to prove her innocent!"
"Peter Petrovich, it is also plain, treated my mother and sister badly, putting them in the cheapest apartment and trying to manipulate my sister, even at the last moment. So it's plain to me—that is, Lebeziatnikov, do you think Peter Petrovich is an evil man?"
Roused to indignation by Raskolnikov's words, and his own personal recollections of Peter Petrovich's injustice, Lebeziatnikov fell away from logic and theory, and his face set in a scowl of pure emotional reaction. "He's an evil man, a terribly evil man! He is certainly not a Christian!"
"And… Lebeziatnikov," Raskonikov said slowly. "Will you come tomorrow, come and have tea with me, and tell me more about the communes. I ask as an interested man, not a flatterer."
"Yes, I see in your eyes you have true interest!" Lebeziatnikov cried in delight. "I will certainly come tomorrow and tell you all about it! I am so glad, the world is turning right once again! Sonia is well cared for (by illegitimate charity, but we won't speak of that), I have fine new clothes, and now you're interested in the communes! It's all going so wonderfully! Goodbye, Rodia, you are such a kind man! I'll see you tomorrow!"
When his guest had left, Raskolnikov sat quietly on the couch, listening to the flies buzz about the soup.