Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/216

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is 69. This number struck me with such vivid clearness that it penetrated like a splint into my brain—69—accurately 69. I wouldn't forget it.

I leant back in the vehicle, a prey to the wildest fancies; crouched under the hood so that no one could see me. I moved my lips and commenced to talk idiotically to myself. Madness rages through my brain, and I let it rage. I am fully conscious that I am succumbing to influences over which I have no control. I begin to laugh, silently, passionately, without a trace of cause, still merry and intoxicated from the couple of glasses of ale I have drunk. Little by little my excitement abates, my calm returns more and more to me. I feel the cold in my sore finger, and I stick it down inside my collar to warm it a little. At length we reach Tomtegaden. The driver pulls up.

I alight, without any haste, absently, listlessly, with my head heavy. I go through a gateway and come into a yard across which I pass. I come to a door which I open and pass through; I find myself in a lobby, a sort of anteroom, with two windows. There are two boxes in it, one on top of the other, in one corner,