Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/160

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adding, "and let me tell you, at the same time, I've had about enough of this."

I tore myself out, sick with hunger, and boiling with shame. I had turned myself into a dog for the sake of a miserable bone, and I had not got it. Nay, now there must be an end of this! It had really gone all too far with me. I had held myself up for many years, stood erect through so many hard hours, and now, all at once, I had sunk to the lowest form of begging. This one day had coarsened my whole mind, bespattered my soul with shamelessness. I had not been too abashed to stand and whine in the pettiest huckster's shop, and what had it availed me?

But was I not then without the veriest atom of bread to put inside my mouth? I had succeeded in rendering myself a thing loathsome to myself. Yes, yes; but it must come to an end. Presently they would lock the outer door at home? I must hurry unless I wished to lie in the guard-house again.

This gave me strength. Lie in that cell again I would not. With body bent forward, and my hands pressed hard against my left ribs to deaden the stings a little, I struggled on, keeping my eyes fastened upon the paving-