Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/213

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Hunger

and peeped several times into the trap, where I sat, sheltered underneath the hood. Had he, too, grown suspicious? There was no doubt of it; my miserable attire had attracted his attention.

"I want to meet a man," I called to him, in order to be beforehand with him, and I explained gravely that I must really meet this man. We stop outside 37, and I jump out, spring up the stairs right to the third storey, seize a bell, and pull it. It gives six or seven fearful peals inside.

A maid comes out and opens the door. I notice that she has round, gold drops in her ears, and black stuff buttons on her grey bodice. She looks at me with a frightened air.

I inquire for Kierulf—Joachim Kierulf, if I might add further—a wool-dealer; in short, not a man one could make a mistake about. . . .

The girl shook her head. "No Kierulf lives here," said she.

She stared at me, and held the door ready to close it. She made no effort to find the man for me. She really looked as if she knew the person I inquired for, if she would only take the trouble to reflect a bit. The lazy