Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/217

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Hunger

and against the wall an old, painted sofa-bed over which a rug is spread. To the right, in the next room, I hear voices and the cry of a child, and above me, on the second floor, the sound of an iron plate being hammered. All this I notice the moment as I enter.

I step quietly across the room to the opposite door, without any haste, without any thought of flight; open it, too, and come out in Vognmansgaden. I look up at the house through which I have passed. "Refreshment and lodgings for travellers."

It is not my intention to escape, to steal away from the driver who is waiting for me. I go very coolly down Vognmansgaden, without fear, and without being conscious of doing any wrong. Kierulf, this dealer in wool, who has spooked in my brain so long—this creature in whose existence I believed, and whom it was of vital importance that I should meet—had vanished from my memory; was wiped out with many other mad whims which came and went in turns. I recalled him no longer, except as a reminiscence—a phantom.

In measure, as I walked on, I became more and more sober; felt languid and weary, and