Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/178

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ready to fall down in the first doorway for a glass of beer! What sirens! The place at their side still warm from the last night's embrace of a watchman or a stable-boy! The throne always vacant, always open to newcomers! Pray, mount!

I spat far out over the pavement, without troubling if it hit anyone. I felt enraged; filled with contempt for these people who scraped acquaintanceship with one another, and paired off right before my eyes. I lifted my head, and felt in myself the blessing of being able to keep my own sty clean. At Stortingsplads (Parliament Place) I met a girl who looked fixedly at me as I came close to her.

"Good-night!" said I.

"Good-night!" She stopped.

Hum! was she out walking so late? Did not a young lady run rather a risk in being in Carl Johann at this time of night? Really not? Yes; but was she never spoken to, molested, I meant; to speak plainly, asked to go along home with anyone?

She stared at me with astonishment, scanned my face closely, to see what I really meant by this, then thrust her hand suddenly under my arm, and said: