Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/113

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97
Hunger

Well, I could go to an hotel and get a bed!

But I really couldn't go to an hotel and get a bed; I had no money, I had been out—in a café . . . he knew . . .

We stood a while on the Town Hall steps. He considered and examined my personal appearance. The rain fell in torrents outside.

"Well then, you must go to the guard-house and report yourself as homeless!" said he.

Homeless? I hadn't thought of that. Yes, by Jove, that was a capital idea; and I thanked the constable on the spot for the suggestion. Could I simply go in and say I was homeless?

"Just that." . . .

"Your name?" inquired the guard.

"Tangen—Andreas Tangen!"

I don't know why I lied; my thoughts fluttered about disconnectedly and inspired me with many singular whims, more than I knew what to do with. I hit upon this out-of-the-way name on the spur of the moment, and blurted it out without any calculation. I lied without any occasion for doing so.

"Occupation?"

This was driving me into a corner with a vengeance. Occupation! what was my oc-