Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/139

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123
Hunger

"Nothing!" I reply, "nothing at all; I only wanted to give the little girl over there my waistcoat . . . for her father . . . you needn't stand there and laugh at that . . . I have only to go home and put on another."

"No disturbance in the street," says the constable; "so, march," and he gives me a shove on.

"Is them your papers?" he calls after me.

"Yes, by Jove! my newspaper leader; many important papers? How ever could I be so careless?" I snatch up my manuscript, convince myself that it is lying in order, and go, without stopping a second or looking about me, towards the editor's office.

It was now four by the clock of Our Saviour's Church. The office is shut. I steal noiselessly down the stairs, frightened as a thief, and stand irresolutely outside the door. What should I do now? I lean up against the wall, stare down at the stones, and consider. A pin is lying glistening at my feet; I stoop and pick it up. Supposing I were to cut the buttons off my coat, how much could I get for them? Perhaps it would be no use, though buttons are buttons; but yet, I look and examine them, and find them as good as new—that was