Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/110

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suite of rooms on the first floor? Why, I am living in a loft over a tinker's workshop, a loft already forsaken by God and man last winter, because the snow blew in. So I could not understand the whole thing; not a bit of it.

I slouched on, and dwelt upon all this, and there was not as much as a spark of bitterness or malice or envy in my mind.

I halted at a paint-shop and gazed into the window. I tried to read the labels on a couple of the tins, but it was too dark. Vexed with myself over this new whim, and excited—almost angry at not being able to make out what these tins held,—I rapped twice sharply on the window and went on.

Up the street I saw a policeman. I quickened my pace, went close up to him, and said, without the slightest provocation, "It is ten o'clock."

"No, it's two," he answered, amazed.

"No, it's ten," I persisted; "it is ten o'clock!" and, groaning with anger, I stepped yet a pace or two nearer, clenched my fist, and said, "Listen, do you know what, it's ten o'clock!"

He stood and considered a while, summed up my appearance, stared aghast at me, and