Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/199

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183
Hunger

Should I tell her why I had no overcoat; make my sorry condition known at once, and frighten her away? As well first as last. Still, it was delightful to walk here at her side and keep her in ignorance yet a while longer. So I lied. I answered:

"No, not at all"; and, in order to change the subject, I asked, "Have you seen the menagerie in the Tivoli?"

"No," she answered; "is there really anything to see?"

Suppose she were to take it into her head to wish to go there? Into that blaze of light, with the crowd of people. Why, she would be filled with shame; I would drive her out again, with my shabby clothes, and lean face; perhaps she might even notice that I had no waistcoat on. . . .

"Ah, no; there is sure to be nothing worth seeing!"

And a lot of happy ideas occurred to me, of which I at once made use; a few sparse words, fragments left in my dessicated brain. What could one expect from such a small menagerie? On the whole, it did not interest me in the least to see animals in cages. These animals know that one is standing staring at