Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/192

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rather go to another compartment, it's so dark here?"

"No, thanks; just let me be here," I reply; her kindliness touches me at once. I pay for the beef on the spot, put whatever change remains into her hand, close her fingers over it. She smiles, and I say in fun, with the tears near my ears, "There, you're to have the balance to buy yourself a farm. . . . Ah, you're very welcome to it."

I commenced to eat, got more and more greedy as I did so, swallowed whole pieces without chewing them, enjoyed myself in an animal-like way at every mouthful, and tore at the meat like a cannibal.

The waitress came over to me again.

"Will you have anything to drink?" she asks, bending down a little towards me. I looked at her. She spoke very low, almost shyly, and dropped her eyes. "I mean a glass of ale, or whatever you like best . . . from me . . . without . . . that is, if you will . . ."

"No; many thanks," I answer. "Not now; I shall come back another time."

She drew back, and sat down at the desk. I could only see her head. What a singular creature!