Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/259

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243
Hunger

meets, every step he takes affords in this way a task for his thoughts and feelings—an occupation. He is quick of hearing, and sensitive; he is an experienced man, his soul bears the sears of the fire. . . .

And I talked a long time over these sears my soul had. But the longer I talked, the more troubled she grew. At last she muttered, "My God!" a couple of times in despair, and wrung her hands. I could see well that I tormented her, and I had no wish to torment her—but did it, all the same. At last, being of the opinion that I had succeeded in telling her in rude enough terms the essentials of what I had to say, I was touched by her heart-stricken expression. I cried:

"Now I am going, now I am going. Can't you see that I already have my hand on the handle of the door? Good-bye, good-bye," I say. "You might answer me when I say good-bye twice, and stand on the point of going. I don't even ask to meet you again, for it would torment you. But tell me, why didn't you leave me in peace? What had I done to you? I didn't get in your way, now, did I? Why did you turn away from me all at once, as if you didn't know me any