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Part 1 Chapter 24

THE TRIAL--THE SENTENCE.

Peter Gerasimovitch's assumption was correct. The president came back from the debating room with a paper, and read as follows:--"April 28th, 188-. By His Imperial Majesty's ukase No. ----- The Criminal Court, on the strength of the decision of the jury, in accordance with Section 3 of Statute 771, Section 3 of Statutes 770 and 777, decrees that the peasant, Simeon Kartinkin, 33 years of age, and the meschanka Katerina Maslova, 27 years of age, are to be deprived of all property rights and to be sent to penal servitude in Siberia, Kartinkin for eight, Maslova for four years, with the consequences stated in Statute 25 of the code. The meschanka Botchkova, 43 years of age, to be deprived of all special personal and acquired rights, and to be imprisoned for three years with consequences in accord with Statute 48 of the code. The costs of the case to be borne equally by the prisoners; and, in the case of their being without sufficient property, the costs to be transferred to the Treasury. Articles of material evidence to be sold, the ring to be returned, the phials destroyed." Botchkova was condemned to prison, Simeon Kartinken and Katerina Maslova to the loss of all special rights and privileges and to penal servitude in Siberia, he for eight and she for four years.

Kartinkin stood holding his arms close to his sides and moving his lips. Botchkova seemed perfectly calm. Maslova, when she heard the sentence, blushed scarlet. "I'm not guilty, not guilty!" she suddenly cried, so that it resounded through the room. "It is a sin! I am not guilty! I never wished--I never thought! It is the truth I am saying--the truth!" and sinking on the bench she burst into tears and sobbed aloud. When Kartinkin and Botchkova went out she still sat crying, so that a gendarme had to touch the sleeve of her cloak.

"No; it is impossible to leave it as it is," said Nekhludoff to himself, utterly forgetting his bad thoughts. He did not know why he wished to look at her once more, but hurried out into the corridor. There was quite a crowd at the door. The advocates and jury were going out, pleased to have finished the business, and he was obliged to wait a few seconds, and when he at last got out into the corridor she was far in front. He hurried along the corridor after her, regardless of the attention he was arousing, caught her up, passed her, and stopped. She had ceased crying and only sobbed, wiping her red, discoloured face with the end of the kerchief on her head. She passed without noticing him. Then he hurried back to see the president. The latter had already left the court, and Nekhludoff followed him into the lobby and went up to him just as he had put on his light grey overcoat and was taking the silver-mounted walking-stick which an attendant was handing him.

"Sir, may I have a few words with you concerning some business I have just decided upon?" said Nekhludoff. "I am one of the jury."

"Oh, certainly, Prince Nekhludoff. I shall be delighted. I think we have met before," said the president, pressing Nekhludoff's hand and recalling with pleasure the evening when he first met Nekhludoff, and when he had danced so gaily, better than all the young people. "What can I do for you?"

"There is a mistake in the answer concerning Maslova. She is not guilty of the poisoning and yet she is condemned to penal servitude," said Nekhludoff, with a preoccupied and gloomy air.

"The Court passed the sentence in accordance with the answers you yourselves gave," said the president, moving towards the front door; "though they did not seem to be quite in accord." And he remembered that he had been going to explain to the jury that a verdict of "guilty" meant guilty of intentional murder unless the words "without intent to take life" were added, but had, in his hurry to get the business over, omitted to do so.

"Yes, but could not the mistake be rectified?"

"A reason for an appeal can always be found. You will have to speak to an advocate," said the president, putting on his hat a little to one side and continuing to move towards the door.

"But this is terrible."

"Well, you see, there were two possibilities before Maslova," said the president, evidently wishing to be as polite and pleasant to Nekhludoff as he could. Then, having arranged his whiskers over his coat collar, he put his hand lightly under Nekhludoff's elbow, and, still directing his steps towards the front door, he said, "You are going, too?"

"Yes," said Nekhludoff, quickly getting his coat, and following him.

They went out into the bright, merry sunlight, and had to raise their voices because of the rattling of the wheels on the pavement.

"The situation is a curious one, you see," said the president; "what lay before this Maslova was one of two things: either to be almost acquitted and only imprisoned for a short time, or, taking the preliminary confinement into consideration, perhaps not at all--or Siberia. There is nothing between. Had you but added the words, 'without intent to cause death,' she would have been acquitted."

"Yes, it was inexcusable of me to omit that," said Nekhludoff.

"That's where the whole matter lies," said the president, with a smile, and looked at his watch. He had only three-quarters of an hour left before the time appointed by his Clara would elapse.

"Now, if you like to speak to the advocates you'll have to find a reason for an appeal; that can be easily done." Then, turning to an isvostchik, he called out, "To the Dvoryanskaya 30 copecks; I never give more." "All right, your honour; here you are."

"Good-afternoon. If I can be of any use, my address is House Dvornikoff, on the Dvoryanskaya; it's easy to remember." And he bowed in a friendly manner as he got into the trap and drove off.

彼得·盖拉西莫维奇的推测是正确的。

庭长从议事室回来,手里拿着公文,宣读起来:

“一八八×年四月二十八日,本地方法院刑事庭遵奉皇帝陛下圣谕,按照诸位陪审员先生裁定,根据刑事诉讼法第七百七十一条第三款、第七百七十六条第三款及第七百七十七条判决如下:农民西蒙·卡尔津金,年三十三岁,小市民叶卡吉琳娜·玛丝洛娃,年二十七岁,褫夺一切公权,流放服苦役:卡尔津金八年,玛丝洛娃四年,并承担刑法第二十八条所列后果。小市民叶菲米雅·包奇科娃,年四十三岁,褫夺一切公权和特权,没收其财产,处徒刑三年,并承担刑法第四十九条所列后果。本案诉讼费用由被告平均分担,如被告无力缴纳,由国库支付。本案物证全部变卖,戒指追还,酒瓶销毁。”

卡尔津金仍旧挺直身子站着,双手贴住裤腿上的接缝,手指叉开,脸颊上的肌肉不断抖动。包奇科娃看上去若无其事。

玛丝洛娃听到判决,脸涨得通红。

“我没有罪,没有罪!”她忽然对着整个法庭大声叫嚷。

“冤枉啊!我没有罪!我根本没有起过坏心,连想都没有想过。我说的是实话,实话!”她说完往长凳上一坐,放声痛哭起来。

卡尔津金和包奇科娃走出法庭,可是玛丝洛娃还坐在那里痛哭,弄得宪兵只好拉拉她的衣袖。

“不,可不能就这样了结,”聂赫留朵夫完全忘了刚才那种卑劣的感情,自言自语。他身不由主地赶到走廊里,想再去看她一眼。门口挤满了陪审员和律师,他们有说有笑,为办完案子而高兴。聂赫留朵夫不得不在门口停留几分钟。等他来到走廊里,玛丝洛娃已经走远了。他快步走去,也不顾人家的注意,直到追上她方才站住。她已经停止号哭,只是抽抽搭搭地呜咽着,用头巾梢儿擦着她那红块斑斑的脸。她头也不回地从他身边走过。等她过去了,聂赫留朵夫急忙返身往回走,想去找庭长,可是庭长已经走掉了。

聂赫留朵夫直到门房那里才追上他。

“庭长先生,”聂赫留朵夫走到他跟前说,这时庭长已穿上浅色大衣,从门房手里接过镶银手杖,“我可以同您谈一谈刚才判决的那个案件吗?我是陪审员。”

“哦,当然可以,您是聂赫留朵夫公爵吧?太荣幸了,我们以前见过面,”庭长说着同聂赫留朵夫握手,同时高兴地想到他们见面的那个晚上,当时聂赫留朵夫舞跳得多么漂亮多么轻快,比所有的青年都出色。“有什么事我能为您效劳哇?”

“有关玛丝洛娃那个答案有点误会了。她没有犯毒死人命罪,可是竟判了她服苦役,”聂赫留朵夫紧皱着眉头说。

“法庭是根据你们作出的答案判决的,”庭长一面说,一面向大门口走去,“虽然法庭也觉得你们的答案不符合案情。”

庭长这时才想起,他本想对陪审员们说明,既然他们回答:“是的,她犯了罪,”而没有否定蓄意杀人,那就是肯定了蓄意杀人,但他当时急于把这个案子办完,竟没有这样说。

“是的,难道有错也不能纠正吗?”

“要上诉总是可以找到理由的。这事得找律师商量,”庭长说,把帽子稍稍歪戴到头上,继续向门口走去。

“这可太不象话了。”

“不过,您要明白,玛丝洛娃前面也无非只有两条路,”庭长说,显然想尽量讨好聂赫留朵夫,对他客气些。他理理大衣领子外面的络腮胡子,轻轻挽着聂赫留朵夫的臂肘,往门口走去,嘴里说:“您也要走吧?”

“是的,”聂赫留朵夫说,慌忙穿上大衣,跟着他一起出去。

他们来到令人欢乐的灿烂阳光下,立刻由于街上辘辘的车轮声不得不提高声音说话。

“您瞧,情况是有点别扭,”庭长放开嗓子说,“那个玛丝洛娃前面本来是有两条路摆着:一条几乎可以无罪开释,坐一阵子牢,还可以扣除已监禁的日子,那简直只能算是拘留;另一条是服苦役。中间的路是没有的。你们原来要是能加上一句:‘但并非蓄意谋杀,’她就可以无罪开释了。”

“我忽略了这一点,真是该死,”聂赫留朵夫说。

“是啊,关键就在这里,”庭长一面笑着说,一面看看表。

此刻离克拉拉约定的时间只差三刻钟了。

“您要是愿意,现在还可以去找律师。一定要找个上诉的理由。要找总是找得到的。上贵族街,”他回答马车夫说,“三十戈比,多一个戈比不要。”

“是,老爷,您请上车。”

“再见。要是有什么事需要我为您效劳,请光临贵族街德伏尔尼科夫的房子。这地名好记。”

他亲切地鞠了一躬,坐上车走了。



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