Ivan leaves Alyosha and feels greatly depressed. He cannot understand his depression until he realizes that perhaps it is because of his deep dread of meeting Smerdyakov. He does, however, go home, but seeing the cook sitting in the yard, hopes to pass him without speaking. Strangely, however, he cannot and finds himself greeting his half-brother with great cordiality.Smerdyakov confesses to Ivan that he too is troubled because of the rivalry between Fyodor and Dmitri for Grushenka. He also fears that the strain of worry might bring on an epileptic seizure. Furthermore, he says, he knows that Dmitri has learned the secret signals that Grushenka is to use if ever she decides to come to Fyodor. If such a meeting occurs, the results could well be tragic: both
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