Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/236

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no more. I looked fixedly at him as I say it, indeed I was conscious of staring fearfully at him. It was as if I saw him with my entire body instead of only with my eyes. I stare for a little while after I give utterance to this word, and then I jog along again to the railway square. The man does not utter a syllable, he only keeps his gaze fixed upon me.

"Binder!" I stood suddenly still. Yes, wasn't that just what I had a feeling of the moment I met the old chap; a feeling that I had met him before! One bright morning up in Graendsen, when I pawned my waistcoat. It seemed to me an eternity since that day.

Whilst I stand and ponder over this, I lean and support myself against a house wall at the corner of the railway square and Harbour Street. Suddenly, I start quickly and make an effort to crawl away. As I do not succeed in it, I stare case-hardened ahead of me and fling all shame to the winds. There is no help for it. I am standing face to face with the "Commandor." I get devil-may-care—brazen. I take yet a step farther from the wall in order to make him notice me. I do not do it to awake his compassion, but to mortify myself, place myself, as it were, on the