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CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY PART I CHAPTER I On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S Place and walked slowly as though in hesitation towards K bridge He had successfully avoided meeting his landlady on the staircase His garret was under the roof of a high five-storied house and was more like a cupboard than a room The landlady who provided him with garret dinners and attendance lived on the floor below and every time he went out he was obliged to pass her kitchen the door of which invariably stood open And each time he passed the young man had a sick frightened feeling which made him scowl and feel ashamed He was hopelessly in debt to his landlady and was afraid of meeting her This was not because he was cowardly and abject quite the raskcontrary but for some time past he had been in an overstrained irritable condition verging on hypochondria He had become so completely absorbed in himself and isolated from his fellows that he dreaded meeting not only his landlady but anyone at all He was crushed by poverty but the anxieties of his position had of late ceased to weigh upon him He had given up attending to matters of practical importance he had lost all desire to do so Nothing that any landlady could do had a real terror for him But to be stopped on the stairs to be forced to listen to her trivial irrelevant gossip to pestering demands for payment threats and complaints and to rack his brains for excuses to prevaricate to lie--no rather than that he would creep down the stairs like a cat and slip out unseen This evening
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