Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/146

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

please. You are too poor to support a conscience. You are hungry; you have come on important business—the first thing needful. But you shall hold your head askew, and set your words to a sing-song. You won't! What? Well then, I won't go a step farther. Do you hear that? Indeed, you are in a sorely tempted condition, fighting with the powers of darkness and great voiceless monsters at night, so that it is a horror to think of; you hunger and thirst for wine and milk, and don't get them. It has gone so far with you. Here you stand and haven't as much as a halfpenny to bless yourself with. But you believe in grace, the Lord be praised; you haven't yet lost your faith; and then you must clasp your hands together, and look a very Satan of a fellow for believing in grace. As far as Mammon was concerned, why, you hated Mammon with all its pomps in any form. Now it's quite another thing with a psalm-book—a souvenir to the extent of a few shillings. . . . I stopped at the pastor's door, and read, "Office hours, 12 to 4."

Mind, no fudge, I said; now we'll go ahead in earnest! So hang your head a little more, and I rang at the private entrance.

"I want to see the pastor," said I to the