Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/273

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257
Hunger

vermin as you should catch folk by the throat I will, may the Lord . . ."

And the mother, this pregnant woman, who dominates the whole street with her size, answers the ten-year-old child, as she seizes him by the arm and tries to drag him in:

"Sh—sh. Hold your jaw! I just like to hear the way you swear, too, as if you had been in a brothel for years. Now, in with you."

"No, I won't"

"Yes, you will."

"No, I won't"

I stand up in the window and see that the mother's temper is rising; this disagreeable scene excites me frightfully. I can't endure it any longer. I call down to the boy to come up to me for a minute; I call twice, just to distract them—to change the scene. The last time I call very loudly, and the mother turns round flurriedly and looks up at me. She regains her self-possession at once, looks insolently at me, nay, downright maliciously, and enters the house with a chiding remark to her offspring. She talks loudly, so that I may hear it, and says to him, "Fie, you ought to be ashamed of yourself to let people see how naughty you are."