Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/133

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117
Hunger

their good warm dinner from the Dampkökken—pass the bakers, where the loaf is still in its place, and at length reach Bernt Akers Street, half dead with fatigue. The door is open, and I mount all the weary stairs to the attic. I take the letters out of my pocket in order to put Hans Pauli into a good humour on the moment of my entrance.

He would be certain not to refuse to give me a helping hand when I explained how things were with me; no, certainly not; Hans Pauli had such a big heart I had always said that of him. . . . I discovered his card fastened to the door—"H. P. Pettersen, Theological Student, 'gone home.'"

I sat down without more ado—sat down on the bare floor, dulled with fatigue, fairly beaten with exhaustion. I mechanically mutter, a couple of times, "Gone home—gone home!" then I keep perfectly quiet. There was not a tear in my eyes; I had not a thought, not a feeling of any kind. I sat and stared, with wide-open eyes, at the letters, without coming to any conclusion. Ten minutes went over—perhaps twenty or more. I sat stolidly on the one spot, and did not move a finger. This numb feeling of drowsiness was almost like a