Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/148

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the road back—what would gossiping longer lead to? Besides, I commenced to feel dizzy. There was no mistake about it; I was about to break down in earnest. Office hours from 12 to 4. I had knocked at the door an hour too late. The time of grace was over. I sat down on one of the benches near the church in the market. Lord! how black things began to look for me now! I did not cry; I was too utterly tired, worn to the last degree. I sat there without trying to arrive at any conclusion, sad, motionless, and starving. My chest was much inflamed; it smarted most strangely and sorely—nor would chewing shavings help me much longer. My jaws were tired of that barren work, and I let them rest. I simply gave up. A brown orange-peel, too, I had found in the street, and which I had at once commenced to chew, had given me nausea. I was ill—the veins swelled up bluely on my wrists. What was it I had really sought after? Run about the whole live-long day for a shilling, that would but keep life in me for a few hours longer. Considering all, was it not a matter of indifference if the inevitable took place one day earlier or one day later? If I had conducted myself like an ordinary