Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/154

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pulled up at once: What's amiss with my face? Had I really begun to die? I felt over my cheeks with my hand; thin—naturally, I was thin—my cheeks were like two hollowed bowls; but Lord . . . I reeled along again, but again came to a standstill; I must be quite inconceivably thin. Who knows but that my eyes were sinking right into my head? How did I look in reality? It was the very deuce that one must let oneself turn into a living deformity for sheer hunger's sake. Once more I was seized by fury, a last flaring up, a final spasm. "Preserve me, what a face. Eh?" Here I was, with a head that couldn't be matched in the whole country, with a pair of fists that, by the Lord, could grind a navvy into finest dust, and yet I went and hungered myself into a deformity, right in the town of Christiania. Was there any rhyme or reason in that? I had sat in saddle, toiled day and night like a carrier's horse.

I had read my eyes out of their sockets, had starved the brains out of my head, and what the devil had I gained by it? Even a street hussy prayed God to deliver her from the sight of me. Well, now, there should be a stop to it. Do