Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/136

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the sunshine. There was bustle and movement everywhere, shrieking steam-whistles, quay porters with cases on their shoulders, lively "shanties" coming from the prams. An old woman, a vendor of cakes, sits near me, and bends her brown nose down over her wares. The little table before her is sinfully full of nice things, and I turn away with distaste. She is filling the whole quay with her smell of cakes—phew! up with the windows!

I accosted a gentleman sitting at my side, and represented forcibly to him the nuisance of having cake-sellers here, cake-sellers there. . . . Eh? Yes; but he must really admit that. . . . But the good man smelt a rat, and did not give me time to finish speaking, for he got up and left. I rose, too, and followed him, firmly determined to convince him of his mistake.

"If it was only out of consideration for sanitary conditions," said I; and I slapped him on the shoulders.

"Excuse me, I am a stranger here, and know nothing of the sanitary conditions," he replied, and stared at me with positive fear.

Oh, that alters the case! if he was a stranger. . . . Could I not render him a service in any way? show him about? Really not? because