Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/117

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101
Hunger

listening to myself crooning lullabies, sweating with the exertion of striving to hush myself to rest. I peered into the gloom, and I never in all the days of my life felt such darkness. There was no doubt that I found myself here, in face of a peculiar kind of darkness; a desperate element to which no one had hitherto paid attention. The most ludicrous thoughts busied me, and everything made me afraid.

A little hole in the wall at the head of my bed occupies me greatly—a nail hole. I find the marks in the wall—I feel it, blow into it, and try to guess its depth. That was no innocent hole—not at all. It was a downright intricate and mysterious hole, which I must guard against! Possessed by the thought of this hole, entirely beside myself with curiosity and fear, I get out of bed and seize hold of my half penknife in order to gauge its depth, and convince myself that it does not reach right into the next wall.

I lay down once more to try and fall asleep, but in reality to wrestle again with the darkness. The rain had ceased outside, and I could not hear a sound. I continued for a long time to listen for footsteps in the street,