Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/190

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

without any astonishment, without a trace of fear; I only collected the money into my hand, and prepared to give it back.

"Beg pardon, you've forgotten your candle," says the boy.

"Ah, thanks," I answer quietly. "Thanks, thanks"; and I strolled on, down the street, bearing it in my hand.

My first sensible thought referred to the money. I went over to a lamp-post, counted it, weighed it in my hand, and smiled. So, in spite of all, I was helped—extraordinarily, grandly, incredibly helped—helped for a long, long time; and I thrust my hand with the money into my pocket, and walked on.

Outside an eating-house in Grand Street I stopped, and turned over in my mind, calmly and quietly, if I should venture so soon to take a little refreshment. I could hear the rattle of knives and plates inside, and the sound of meat being pounded. The temptation was too strong for me—I entered.

"A helping of beef," I say.

"One beef!" calls the waitress down through the door of the lift.

I sat down by myself at a little table next to the door, and prepared to wait. It was