Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/265

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249
Hunger

matter of waiting till the spirit moved me; and why shouldn't the spirit move me? Why should it not come over me even now, at a very early date? There was no longer anything the matter with me. My landlady gave me a little food every day, some bread and butter, mornings and evenings, and my nervousness had almost flown. I no longer used cloths round my hands when I wrote; and I could stare down into the street from my window on the second floor without getting giddy. I was much better in every way, and it was becoming a matter of astonishment to me that I had not already finished my allegory. I couldn't understand why it was. . . .

But a day came when I was at last to get a clear idea of how weak I had really become; with what incapacity my dull brain acted. Namely, on this day my landlady came up to me with a reckoning which she asked me to look over. There must be something wrong in this reckoning, she said; it didn't agree with her own book; but she had not been able to find out the mistake.

I set to work to add up. My landlady sat right opposite and looked at me. I totted