Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/187

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171
Hunger

sider. "On no account," I replied to myself at last; I was unfortunately not in a condition to bear food. It would only be a repetition of the same old story—visions, and presentiments, and mad notions. My article would never get finished, and it was a question of going to the "Commandor" before he had time to forget me. On no account whatever! and I decided upon the candle. With that I entered the shop.

A woman is standing at the counter making purchases; several small parcels in different sorts of paper are lying in front of her. The shopman, who knows me, and knows what I usually buy, leaves the woman, and packs without much ado a loaf in a piece of paper and shoves it over to me.

"No, thank you, it was really a candle I wanted this evening," I say. I say it very quietly and humbly, in order not to vex him and spoil my chance of getting what I want.

My answer confuses him; he turns quite cross at my unexpected words; it was the first time I had ever demanded anything but a loaf from him.

"Well then, you must wait a while," he says