Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/155

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139
Hunger

you understand that? Stop it shall, or the devil take a worse hold of me.

With steadily increasing fury, grinding my teeth under the consciousness of my impotence, with tears and oaths I raged on, without looking at the people who passed me by. I commenced once more to martyr myself, ran my forehead against lamp-posts on purpose, dug my nails deep into my palms, bit my tongue with frenzy when it didn't articulate clearly, and laughed insanely each time it hurt much.

Yes; but what shall I do? I asked myself at last, and I stamped many times on the pavement and repeated, What shall I do? A gentleman just going by remarks, with a smile, "You ought to go and ask to be locked up." I looked after him. One of our well-known lady's doctors, nicknamed "The Duke." Not even he understood my real condition—a man I knew; whose hand I had shaken. I grew quiet. Locked up? Yes, I was mad; he was right. I felt madness in my blood; felt its darting pain through my brain. So that was to be the end of me! Yes, yes; and I resume my wearisome painful walk. There was the haven in which I was to find rest.

Suddenly I stop again. But not locked up!