Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/169

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153
Hunger

betook myself to the "commandor." It was high time I made some arrangement towards getting a little money again; I had only a few pence left.

The "commandor" requested me to sit down for a moment; he would be disengaged immediately, and he continued writing.

I looked about the little office—busts, prints, cuttings, and an enormous paper-basket, that looked as if it might swallow a man, bones and all. I felt sad at heart at the sight of this monstrous chasm, this dragon's mouth, that always stood open, always ready to receive rejected work, newly crushed hopes.

"What day of the month is it?" queried the "commandor" from the table.

"The 28th," I reply, pleased that I can be of service to him, "the 28th," and he continues writing. At last he encloses a couple of letters in their envelopes, tosses some papers into the basket, and lays down his pen. Then he swings round on his chair, and looks at me. Observing that I am still standing near the door, he makes a half-serious, half-playful motion with his hand, and points to a chair.

I turn aside, so that he may not see that I have no waistcoat on, when I open my