Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/114

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cupation? I thought first of turning myself into a tinker—but I dared not; firstly, I had given myself a name that was not common to every and any tinker—besides, I wore pince-nez. It suddenly entered my head to be foolhardy. I took a step forward and said firmly, almost solemnly:

"A journalist."

The guard gave a start before he wrote it down, whilst I stood as important as a homeless Cabinet Minister before the barrier. It roused no suspicions. The guard understood quite well why I hesitated a little before answering. What did it look like to see a journalist in the night guard-house without a roof over his head?

"On what paper, Herr Tangen?"

"Morgenbladet!" said I. "I have been out a little too late this evening, more's the shame!"

"Oh, we won't mention that," he interrupted, with a smile; "when young people are out . . . we understand!"

Turning to a policeman, he said, as he rose and bowed politely to me, "Show this gentleman up to the reserved section. Good-night!"

I felt ice run down my back at my own