Crime and Punishment

The old woman fumbled in her pocket for her keys, and disappeared behind the curtain into the other room. The young man, left standing alone in the middle of the room, listened inquisitively, thinking. He could hear her unlocking the chest of drawers.

“It must be the top drawer,” he reflected. “So she carries the keys in a pocket on the right. All in one bunch on a steel ring.... And there’s one key there, three times as big as all the others, with deep notches; that can’t be the key of the chest of drawers... then there must be some other chest or strong-box... that’s worth knowing. Strong-boxes always have keys like that... but how degrading it all is.”

The old woman came back.

“Here, sir: as we say ten copecks the rouble a month, so I must take fifteen copecks from a rouble and a half for the month in advance. But for the two roubles I lent you before, you owe me now twenty copecks on the

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