Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/153

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137
Hunger

with the buttons. Of course there would be no use in trying; and besides, I was now in a rather bad way; but when I came to consider the matter closely, I would be obliged, as it were, to pass in the direction of my "Uncle's" as I went home. At last I got up, dragging myself slowly to my feet, and reeled down the streets. It began to burn over my eyebrows—fever was setting in, and I hurried as fast as I could. Once more I passed the baker's shop where the little loaf lay. "Well, we must stop here!" I said, with affected decision. But supposing I were to go in and beg for a bit of bread? Surely that was a fleeting thought, a flash; it could never really have occurred to me seriously. "Fie!" I whispered to myself, and shook my head, and held on my way. In Rebslager a pair of lovers stood in a doorway and talked together softly; a little farther up a girl popped her head out of a window. I walked so slowly and thoughtfully, that I looked as if I might be deep in meditation on nothing in particular, and the wench came out into the street. "How is the world treating you, old fellow? Eh, what, are you ill? Nay, the Lord preserve us, what a face!" and she drew away frightened. I