Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/188

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at last, and busies himself with the woman's parcels again.

She receives her wares and pays for them—gives him a florin, out of which she gets the change, and goes out. Now the shop-boy and I are alone. He says:

"So it was a candle you wanted, eh!" He tears open a package, and takes one out for me. He looks at me, and I look at him; I can't get my request over my lips.

"Oh yes, that's true; you paid, though!" he says suddenly. He simply asserts that I had paid. I heard every word, and he begins to count some silver out of the till, coin after coin, shining stout pieces. He gives me back change for a crown.

"Much obliged," he says. Now I stand and look at these pieces of money for a second. I am conscious something is wrong somewhere. I do not reflect; do not think about anything at all—I am simply struck of a heap by all this wealth which is lying glittering before my eyes—and I gather up the money mechanically.

I stand outside the counter, stupid with amazement, dumb, paralysed. I take a stride towards the door, and stop again. I turn