Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/185

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169
Hunger

wards and forwards and crosswise. Small loose tufts came away, flakes that got between my fingers, and scattered over the pillow. I did not think anything about it just then; it was as if it did not concern me. I had hair enough left, anyway. I tried afresh to shake myself out of this strange daze that enveloped my whole being like a mist. I sat up, struck my knees with my flat hands, laughed as hard as my sore chest permitted me—only to collapse again. Nought availed; I was dying helplessly, with my eyes wide open—staring straight up at the roof. At length I stuck my forefinger in my mouth, and took to sucking it. Something stirred in my brain, a thought that bored its way in there—a stark-mad notion.

Supposing I were to take a bite? And without a moment's reflection, I shut my eyes, and clenched my teeth on it.

I sprang up. At last I was thoroughly awake. A little blood trickled from it, and I licked it as it came. It didn't hurt very much, neither was the wound large, but I was brought at one bound to my senses. I shook my head, went to the window, where I found a rag, and wound it round the sore place.