Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/261

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245
Hunger

and look over at it, like this! and you know perfectly well which rose I mean, but you won't let me kneel there. You are afraid of me, and dare not come near to me. I cannot conceive how you could have the heart to call me insane. It isn't true; you don't believe it, either, any longer? It was once in the summer, a long time ago, I was mad; I worked too hard, and forgot to go to dine at the right hour, when I had too much to think about. That happened day after day. I ought to have remembered it; but I went on forgetting it—by God in Heaven, it is true! God keep me from ever coming alive from this spot if I lie. There, you can see, you do me an injustice. It was not out of need I did it; I can get credit, much credit, at Ingebret's or Gravesen's. I often, too, had a good deal of money in my pocket, and did not buy food, all the same, because I forgot it. Do you hear? You don't say anything; you don't answer; you don't stir a bit from the fire; you just stand and wait for me to go. . . ."

She came hurriedly over to me, and stretched out her hand. I looked at her, full of mistrust. Did she do it with any true heartiness, or did she only do it to get rid of me? She wound