Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/285

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269
Hunger

"No; I said that I had made a mis-entry once, a bagatelle; if you want to know, a false date on a letter, a single stroke of the pen wrong—that was my whole crime. No, God be praised, I can tell right from wrong yet a while. How would it fare with me if I were, into the bargain, to sully my honour? It is simply my sense of honour that keeps me afloat now. But it is strong enough too; at least, it has kept me up to date."

I threw back my head, turned away from "Missy," and looked down the street. My eyes rested on a red dress that came towards us; on a woman at a man's side. If I had not had this conversation with "Missy," I would not have been hurt by his coarse suspicion, and I would not have given this toss of my head, as I turned away in offence; and so perhaps this red dress would have passed me without my having noticed it. And at bottom what did it concern me? What was it to me if it were the dress of the Hon. Miss Nagel, the lady-in-waiting? "Missy" stood and talked, and tried to make good his mistake again. I did not listen to him at all; I stood the whole time and stared at the red dress that was coming nearer up