"That shows it's not locked, but fastened with the hook! Do you hear how the hook clanks?"


"Why, don't you see? That proves one of them is at home. If they were all out, they would have locked the door from outside with the key and not with the hook from the inside. There, do you hear how the hook is clanking? To fasten the hook from the inside they must be home, don't you see? So there they are sitting inside and don't open the door!"

"Well! And so they must be." cried Koch, astonished. "What are they about in there?" And he began furiously shaking the door.

"Stay!" cried the young man again. "Don't pull at it! There must be something wrong... Here, you've been wringing and pulling at the door and still they don't open! So either they've both fainted or..."


"I tell you what. Let's go and fetch the porter, let him wake them up."

"All right."

Both were going down.

"Stay. You stop here while I run down for the porter."

"What for?"

"Well, you'd better."

"All right."

"I'm studying the law, you see! It's evident, e-vi-dent there's something wrong here!" the young man cried hotly, and he ran downstairs. Koch remained. Once more he softly touched the bell which gave one tinkle, then gently, as though reflecting and looking about him, began touching the door-handle, pulling it and letting it go to make sure once more that it was only fastened by the hook.

Fydor Dostoyevski, Crime and Punishment.

TIME: second half of 18th c.

PLACE: Russia

CIRCUMSTANCE: Raskolnikov, newly initiated into the horrid reality of committing murder, develops acute powers of hearing whilst trying to hide from the inquiring visitors.