The words burst involuntarily from every mouth. All present started up in bewildered excitement; all surrounded her; all had listened uneasily to her wild, disconnected sentences. All felt that something had happened, something had gone very far wrong indeed, but no one could make head or tail of the matter.
At this moment there was a furious ring at the bell, and a great knock at the door — exactly similar to the one which had startled the company at Gania’s house in the afternoon.
“Ah, ah! here’s the climax at last, at half-past twelve!” cried Nastasia Philipovna. “Sit down, gentlemen, I beg you. Something is about to happen.”
So saying, she reseated herself; a strange smile played