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The Brothers Karamazov

Fyodor Dostoevsky


Book IX: The Preliminary Investigation, Chapters 1–9

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Summary—Chapter 1: The Start of the Official Perkhotin’s Career

After Dmitri leaves Perkhotin, the official is naturally suspicious. He wonders how Dmitri got his hands on such a large amount of money, when he had been so obviously broke just hours before. Perkhotin snoops after Dmitri, learning about the brass pestle from Grushenka’s maid. Then, rather than going to Fyodor Pavlovich’s, he goes to Madame Khokhlakov’s house, where he learns that Madame Khokhlakov refused to give Dmitri a loan. Perkhotin remembers that Fyodor Pavlovich has kept 3,000 rubles on hand in his attempt to seduce Grushenka, and he suddenly worries that Dmitri has stolen the money from his father.

Summary—Chapter 2: The Alarm

Perkhotin goes to tell the police about his fear, but he finds that the station is already a hubbub of activity. Grigory’s wife has made another report to the police. Fyodor Pavlovich has been murdered.

Summary—Chapter 3: The Soul’s Journey Through Torments. The First Torment

Suspicion immediately falls on Dmitri, and he is quickly arrested. Dmitri protests his innocence, but no one believes him. Grushenka vows that she loves him despite his crime and even says that she is to blame for having deliberately toyed with both Dmitri’s and Fyodor Pavlovich’s affections.

Summary—Chapter 4: The Second Torment

Dmitri pleads innocent, but he cannot deny any of the circumstantial evidence that confronts him. He hated his father and knew about his father’s 3,000 rubles. He also owed that same sum to Katerina, and took the brass pestle from Grushenka’s. Finally, he traveled to his father’s just before the old man was murdered. The only question Dmitri refuses to answer is about the source of the cash he obtained shortly after leaving his father’s estate.

Summary—Chapter 5: The Third Torment

The officers continue to question Dmitri and to explore the evidence against him, trying to decide whether to charge him formally or set him free. Convinced that the truth is his ally, Dmitri seems to try to answer their questions honestly, but his evasions about the money continue to make him appear suspicious.

Summary—Chapter 6: The Prosecutor Catches Mitya

The officers search Dmitri’s clothes and find that they are stained with blood. After the officers take his clothing as evidence, Dmitri becomes enraged with the prosecutors.

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