Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/173

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157
Hunger

she carries in her hand a small umbrella with an ivory ring in the handle. This was already the third evening I had seen her there, always in the same place. As soon as I have passed her by she turns slowly and goes down the street away from me. My nervous brain vibrated with curiosity, and I became at once possessed by the unreasonable feeling that I was the object of her visit. At last I was almost on the point of addressing her, of asking her if she was looking for anyone, if she needed my assistance in any way, or if I might accompany her home. Badly dressed, as I unfortunately was, I might protect her through the dark streets; but I had an undefined fear that it perhaps might cost me something; a glass of wine, or a drive, and I had no money left at all. My distressingly empty pockets acted in a far too depressing way upon me, and I had not even the courage to scrutinise her sharply as I passed her by. Hunger had once more taken up its abode in my breast, and I had not tasted food since yesterday evening. This, 'tis true, was not a long period; I had often been able to hold out for a couple of days at a time, but latterly I had commenced to fall off seriously; I could