Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/210

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how it had all happened. He valued his situation far too dearly for that. No noise, no scenes, may I beg!

But all the same, this money weighed in my pocket sinfully, and gave me no peace. I began to question myself, and I became clearly convinced that I had been happier before, during the period in which I had suffered in all honour. And Ylajali? Had I, too, not polluted her with the touch of my sinful hands? Lord, O Lord my God, Ylajali! I felt as drunk as a bat, jumped up suddenly, and went straight over to the cake woman who was sitting near the chemist's under the sign of the elephant. I might even yet lift myself above dishonour; it was far from being too late; I would show the whole world that I was capable of doing so.

On the way over I got the money in readiness, held every farthing of it in my hand, bent down over the old woman's table as if I wanted something, and clapped the money without further ado into her hands. I spoke not a word, turned on my heel, and went my way.

What a wonderful savour there was in feeling oneself an honest man once more!