Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/247

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Hunger

time—that is to say, only just a scrap better. Don't imagine . . . no; the last time you were really shabby, and you had a dirty rag round your finger into the bargain; and in that state you absolutely wanted me to go to some place, and take wine with you—thanks, not me!"

"So it was, after all, because of my miserable appearance that you would not go with me?" I said.

"No," she replied and looked down. "No; God knows it wasn't. I didn't even think about it."

"Listen," said I; "you are evidently sitting here labouring under the delusion that I can dress and live exactly as I choose, aren't you? And that is just what I can't do; I am very, very poor."

She looked at me. "Are you?" she queried.

"Yes, worse luck, I am."

After an interval.

"Well, gracious, so am I, too," she said, with a cheerful movement of her head.

Everyone of her words intoxicated me, fell on my heart like drops of wine. She enchanted me with the trick she had of putting her head a little on one side, and listening when I said