Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/184

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myself as well as I could. There must be an end to this! I found a splinter to chew, and set myself resolutely to write again.

A couple of short sentences formed themselves with much trouble, a score of poor words which I tortured forth with might and main to try and advance a little. Then I stopped, my head was barren; I was incapable of more. And, as I could positively not go on, I set myself to gaze with wide open eyes at these last words, this unfinished sheet of paper; I stared at these strange, shaky letters that bristled up from the paper like small hairy creeping things, till at last I could neither make head nor tail of any of it. I thought on nothing.

Time went; I heard the traffic in the street, the rattle of cars and tramp of hoofs. Jens Olaj's voice ascended towards me from the stables as he chid the horses. I was perfectly stunned. I sat and moistened my lips a little, but otherwise made no effort to do anything: my chest was in a pitiful state. The dusk closed in; I sank more and more together, grew weary, and lay down on the bed again. In order to warm my fingers a little I stroked them through my hair back-