Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/175

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159
Hunger

red alcove, without succeeding in finding my man.

Crestfallen and annoyed I dragged myself out again into the street and took the direction to the Palace.

Wasn't it now the very hottest eternal devil existing to think that my hardships never would come to an end! Taking long, furious strides, with the collar of my coat hunched savagely up round my ears, and my hands thrust in my breeches pockets, I strode along, cursing my unlucky stars the whole way. Not one real untroubled hour in seven or eight months, not the common food necessary to hold body and soul together for the space of one short week, before want stared me in the face again. Here I had, into the bargain gone and kept straight and honourable all through my misery—Ha, ha! straight and honourable to the heart's core. God preserve me, what a fool I had been! And I commenced to tell myself how I had even gone about conscience-stricken because I had once brought Hans Pauli's blanket to the pawnbroker's. I laughed sarcastically at my delicate rectitude, spat contemptuously in the street, and could not find words half strong