Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/145

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129
Hunger

A policeman came towards me. "Why do you sit here?" said he.

"Why do I sit here?" I replied; "for pleasure."

"I have been watching you for the last half-hour. You've sat here now half-an-hour."

"About that," I replied; "anything more?"

I got up in a temper and walked on. Arrived at the market-place, I stopped and gazed down the street. For pleasure. Now, was that an answer to give? For weariness, you should have replied, and made your voice whining. You are a booby; you will never learn to dissemble. From exhaustion, and you should have gasped like a horse.

When I got to the fire look-out, I halted afresh, seized by a new idea. I snapped my fingers, burst into a loud laugh that confounded the passers-by, and said: "Now you shall just go to Levion the parson. You shall, as sure as death—ay, just for a try. What have you got to lose by it? and it is such glorious weather!"

I entered Pascha's book-shop, found Pastor Levion's address in the directory, and started for it.

Now for it! said I. Play no pranks. Conscience, did you say? No rubbish, if you