Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/183

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my hands. Then I lay down, as I had done for a long time now, with all my clothes on.

The following morning I sat up in bed as soon as it got light, and set to work at the essay once more. I sat thus till noon; I had succeeded by then in getting ten, perhaps twenty, lines down, and still I had not found an ending.

I rose, put on my shoes, and began to walk up and down the floor to try and warm myself. I looked out; there was rime on the window; it was snowing. Down in the yard a thick layer of snow covered the paving-stones and the top of the pump. I bustled about the room, took aimless turns to and fro, scratched the wall with my nail, leant my head carefully against the door for a while, tapped with my forefinger on the floor, and then listened attentively, all without any object, but quietly and pensively as if it were some matter of importance in which I was engaged; and all the while I murmured aloud, time upon time, so that I could hear my own voice.

But, great God, surely this is madness! and yet I kept on just as before. After a long time, perhaps a couple of hours, I pulled myself sharply together, bit my lips, and manned