Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/280

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264
Hunger

My spirits were crushed by her reply.

I stood down near the door, and made myself small, tried to make it appear as if I were quite content all the same to change my room for another for one night's sake. I put on a friendly face on purpose not to irritate her and perhaps be hustled right out of the house.

"Ah, yes," I said, "there is sure to be some way!" and then held my tongue.

She still bustled about the room.

"For that matter, I may as well just tell you that I can't afford to give people credit for their board and lodging," said she, "and I told you that before, too."

"Yes; but, my dear woman, it is only for these few days, until I get my article finished," I answered, "and I will willingly give you an extra five shillings—willingly."

But she had evidently no faith in my article, I could see that; and I could not afford to be proud, and leave the house, just for a slight mortification; I knew what awaited me if I went out.

· · · · · · ·

A few days passed over.

I still associated with the family below, for