Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/278

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before, this one common room in which they all lived, both day and night the husband, wife, wife's father, and four children. The servant lived in the kitchen, where she also slept at night. I approached the door with much repugnance, and knocked. No one answered, yet I heard voices inside.

The husband did not speak as I stepped in, did not acknowledge my nod even, merely glanced at me carelessly, as if I were no concern of his. Besides, he was sitting playing cards with a person I had seen down on the quays, with the by-name of "Pane o' glass." An infant lay and prattled to itself over in the bed, and an old man, the landlady's father, sat doubled together on a settle-bed, and bent his head down over his hands as if his chest or stomach pained him. His hair was almost white, and he looked in his crouching position like a poke-necked reptile that sat cocking its ears at something.

"I come, worse luck, to beg for house-room down here to-night," I said to the man.

"Did my wife say so?" he inquired.

"Yes; a new lodger came to my room."

To this the man made no reply, but proceeded to finger the cards. There this