Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/257

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241
Hunger

when nothing was to come of it? What was the matter with her now? It didn't seem to put her out that I stood prepared to leave. She was all at once completely lost to me, and I searched for something to say to her in farewell—a weighty, cutting word that would strike her, and perhaps impress her a little. And in the face of my first resolve, hurt as I was, instead of being proud and cold, disturbed and offended, I began right off to talk of trifles. The telling word would not come; I conducted myself in an exceedingly aimless fashion. Why couldn't she just as well tell me plainly and straightly to go my way? I queried. Yes, indeed, why not? There was no need of feeling embarrassed about it. Instead of reminding me that the girl would soon come home, she could have simply said as follows: "Now you must run, for I must go and fetch my mother, and I won't have your escort through the street." So it was not that she had been thinking about? Ah, yes; it was that all the same she had thought about; I understood that at once. It did not require much to put me on the right track; only, just the way she had taken up her jacket, and left it down again, had con-