Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/221

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205
Hunger

quickly with the excitement; I tremble and am ready to use force if he doesn't come to the point.

But the poor man has no misgivings.

Well, bless my soul, what stupid creatures one has to mix with in this world! I abuse him, explain to him every detail as to how it had all happened, show him where the fact was accomplished, where the money had lain; how I had gathered it up in my hand and closed my fingers over it—and he takes it all in and does nothing. He shifts uneasily from one foot to the other, listens for footsteps in the next room, make signs to hush me, to try and make me speak lower, and says at last:

"It was a mean enough thing of you to do!"

"No; hold on," I explained in my desire to contradict him—to aggravate him. It wasn't quite so mean as he imagined it to be, in his huckster head. Naturally, I didn't keep the money; that could never have entered my head. I, for my part, scorned to derive any benefit from it—that was opposed to my thoroughly honest nature.

"What did you do with it, then?"