Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/195

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179
Hunger

good working order, but I am much excited; my nerves are irritated by my last meal. I pass her by as usual; am almost at the door and on the point of entering. There I stop. All of a sudden an inspiration seizes me. Without rendering myself any account of it, I turn round and go straight up to the lady, look her in the face, and bow.

"Good-evening."

"Good-evening," she answers.

Excuse me, was she looking for anything? I had noticed her before; could I be of assistance to her in any way? begged pardon, by-the-way, so earnestly for inquiring.

Yes; she didn't quite know. . . .

No one lived inside that door besides three or four horses and myself; it was, for that matter, only a stable and a tinker's workshop. . . . She was certainly on a wrong track if she was seeking anyone there.

At this she turns her head away, and says: "I am not seeking for anybody. I am only standing here; it was really only a whim. I" . . . she stops.

Indeed, really, she only stood there, just stood there, evening after evening, just for a whim's sake!