Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/208

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I went up the steps to the bazaar and took hold of one and began to examine it.

While I was thus engaged an acquaintance came by, he nodded and called up to me. I let the waistcoat hang and went down to him. He was a designer, and was on the way to his office.

"Come with me and have a glass of beer," he said. "But hurry up, I haven't much time. . . . What lady was that you were walking with yesterday evening?"

"Listen here now," said I, jealous of his bare thought. "Supposing it was my fiancée."

"By Jove!" he exclaimed.

"Yes; it was all settled yesterday evening."

This nonplussed him completely. He believed me implicitly. I lied in the most accomplished manner to get rid of him. We ordered the beer, drank it, and left.

"Well, good-bye! Oh, listen," he said suddenly. "I owe you a few shillings. It is a shame, too, that I haven't paid you long ago, but now you shall have them during the next few days."

"Yes, thanks," I replied; but I knew that he would never pay me back the few shillings. The beer, I am sorry to say, went almost