“…get four members of a circle to bump off a fifth on the pretense of his being an informer, and with this shed blood you’ll immediately tie them together in a single knot.”

Part Two, Chapter Six, Sections 6-7
by Dennis Abrams

“Pyotr Stepanovich Bustles About,” concluded. “Pyotr Stepanovich went first to Kirillov.” Kirillov and his medicine ball. The agreement between Kirillov and Pyotr is brought up. Kirillov’s will, “I agree, I agree, let it be your will, as long as this will doesn’t change.” Anger at words. Kirillov’s resolution to take his own life. Cold tea is good. Kirillov: “A thought occurred in the Society…that I could be useful if I killed myself, and that one day when you got into some kind of mischief and they were looking for culprits, I could suddenly shoot myself and leave a letter that I had done it all, so that they wouldn’t suspect you for a whole year.” “Or at least a few days; even one day is precious.” The one hundred and twenty thalers. Pyotr asks Kirillov to come to that evening’s meeting of the ‘society,” being held at Virginsky’s on the pretext of it being his name day. At the meeting, Kirillov will play the role of the out-of-town ‘inspector,’ but refuses to sit with pencil and paper. Fedka has been spending his nights at Filippov’s house, Pyotr tells Kirillov he’s not being kept to put a knife in someone, “he’s for something else…” Kirillov and Shatov ignore each other — too much time spent together in America. Pyotr takes Kirillov’s ball. Kirillov says “…I won’t give you anything against Stavrogin,” confusing Pyotr Stepanovich greatly. Pyotr stops in to visit Shatov, who was at home, in bed, slightly ill. Pyotr tells Shatov he needs to attend the meeting at Virginsky’s, “You’ll meet those people there with whom we will finally decide the manner of your leaving the Society, and to whom you will hand over what you have.” “The Shining Light” and Shatov’s ambiguous letter. Shatov’s letter preserved. Pyotr’s happiness at Shatov’s anger, “I could wish for nothing better, nothing better! The Russian God himself is helping out! Going to visit Stavrogin, Pyotr hears him talking behind the study door with Mavriky Nikolaevich, who runs out “with a completely pale face.” The narrator explains their conversation: Stavrogin had been in his study when he received an unexpected visit from Mavriky Nikolaevich. “If you can, then marry Lizaveta Nikolaevna,” Mavriky Nikolaevich suddenly offered…” Mavriky acknowledges that Lizaveta would leave him at the altar, or even after, if Stavrogin were to call her. “From behind her ceaseless, genuine, and most complete hatred for you, love flashes every moment, and…madness…the most genuine and boundless love and –madness!” Mavriky went to Stavrogin without Lizaveta’s knowledge, and, after this meeting, marriage between him and Lizaveta is impossible. Stavrogin admits that he is already married. Mavriky’s last words before running out, “If after such a confession you do not leave Lizaveta Nikolaevna alone, and keep making her unhappy, I’ll kill you with a stick like a dog in a ditch!” The meeting between Pyotr and Stavrogin: Their walk to the meeting. Who will be in attendance. “Where we’re going only four of them are members of the circle. The rest, while they wait, are spying on each other as hard as they can and bringing everything to me.” Pyotr’s strategy: “I purposely invent ranks and positions: I have secretaries, secret stool pigeons, treasurers, chairmen, registrars, their adjuncts…You know, with us socialism spreads mostly through sentimentality. The central committee and numerous branches. Stavrogin: “All this officialdom and sentimentality — it’s good glue, but there’s one thing better still: get four members of a circle to bump off the fifth on the pretense of his being an informer, and with this shed blood you’ll immediately tie them together in a single knot. They’ll become your slaves, they won’t dare rebel or call you to accounts. Ha, ha, ha!” Pyotr thinks that Stavrogin will pay for those words, “and even this very night.” Stavrogin’s role at the meeting will be as a founding member from abroad. Pyotr tells Stavrogin he won’t be speaking, Stavrogin thinks it will be a good idea if he does.

Thicker and thicker…

So…Pyotr wants to use Kirillov’s suicide and “false confession” as a way of diverting the police from his actions. What Pyotr told Karmazinov about “The Shining Hour” had very little basis in reality. Fedka is lurking. Lizaveta is in love with Stavrogin. Stavrogin is still…an enigma. The date for the uprising has been set. Yulia is looking like what used to be known as a ‘useful idiot,” while Lembke is seemingly doomed. And where’s Stepan?

Thursday’s Reading:

Part Two, Chapter Seven, Section 1


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