4769. After that we rode home on the subway, and I sat next to B. in a rather depressed state of mind. We sat across from the doors, and at a stop two people got on the train and they captured my interest at once.
4770. The two of them reminded me of some characters in “Crime and Punishment” which I just happened to be reading at the time. They were beggars, an old man, and what might have been his daughter, an intensely beautiful black eyed, thin girl of about fourteen, with a face of sad abstraction.
4771. He had a violin, which he began to play, and a moment later she began to sing in a soft, slightly tremulous untrained voice. From the very first instant, when that bow began to scratch across a string I began to feel my heart ache, and when the child’s voice emerged, as if it had been hidden in the sound of the violin string, I suddenly felt as if I was going to pass out, so intensely did I feel the sound of her voice unexpectedly in the center of my heart.