Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/272

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another. Two little boys; I recognised one of them; he was my landlady's son. I open the window to hear what they are saying to one another, and immediately a flock of children crowded together under my window, and looked wistfully up. What did they expect? That something would be thrown down? Withered flowers, bones, cigar ends, or one thing or another, that they could amuse themselves with? They looked up with their frost-pinched faces and unspeakably wistful eyes. In the meantime, the two small foes continued to revile one another.

Words like great buzzing noxious insects swarm out of their childish mouths; frightful nicknames, thieves' slang, sailors' oaths, that they perhaps had learnt down on the wharf; and they are both so engaged that they do not notice my landlady, who rushes out to see what is going on.

"Yes," explains her son, "he catched me by the throat; I couldn't breathe for ever so long," and turning upon the little man who is the cause of the quarrel, and who is standing grinning maliciously at him, he gets perfectly furious, and yells, "Go to hell, Chaldean ass that you are! To think such