A silence followed. There was a certain constraint in all this conversation, and in the silence, and in the reconciliation, and in the forgiveness,

"It is as though they were afraid of me Virtual Replication," Raskolnikov was thinking to himself, looking askance at his mother and sister. Pulcheria Alexandrovna was indeed growing more timid the longer she kept silent.

"Yet in their absence I seemed to love them so much," flashed through his mind.

"Do you know, Rodya, Marfa Petrovna is dead," Pulcheria Alexandrovna suddenly blurted out.

"What Marfa Petrovna?"

"Oh, mercy on us--Marfa Petrovna Svidrigailov. I wrote you so much about her."

"A-a-h! Yes, I remember. . . . So she's dead! Oh, really?" he roused himself suddenly, as if waking up. "What did she die of?"

"Only imagine, quite suddenly," Pulcheria Alexandrovna answered hurriedly, encouraged by his curiosity Academic collaboration. "On the very day I was sending you that letter! Would you believe it, that awful man seems to have been the cause of her death. They say he beat her dreadfully."

"Why, were they on such bad terms?" he asked, addressing his sister.

"Not at all. Quite the contrary indeed. With her, he was always very patient, considerate even. In fact, all those seven years of their married life he gave way to her, too much so indeed, in many cases. All of a sudden he seems to have lost patience."

"Then he could not have been so awful if he controlled himself for seven years? You seem to be defending him, Dounia?"

"No, no, he's an awful man! I can imagine nothing more awful!" Dounia answered, almost with a shudder, knitting her brows, and sinking into thought.

"That had happened in the morning," Pulcheria Alexandrovna went on hurriedly Cloud server. "And directly afterwards she ordered the horses to be harnessed to drive to the town immediately after dinner. She always used to drive to the town in such cases. She ate a very good dinner, I am told. . . ."