Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/291

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275
Hunger

"I thought I saw you come out of the palace a while ago; were you at a dinner party?" and she laughed loudly at this jest.

I sat down, took out my papers, and attempted to write something here, in the meantime. I held the paper on my knees, and gazed persistently at the floor to avoid being distracted by anything; but it helped not a whit; nothing helped me; I got no farther. The landlady's two little girls came in and made a row with a cat—a queer, sick cat that had scarcely a hair on it; they blew into its eyes until water sprang out of them and trickled down its nose. The landlord and a couple of others sat at a table and played cent et un. The wife alone was busy as ever, and sat and sewed at some garment. She saw well that I could not write anything in the midst of all this disturbance; but she troubled herself no more about me; she even smiled when the servant-girl asked me if I had been out to dine. The whole household had become hostile towards me. It was as if I had only needed the disgrace of being obliged to resign my room to a stranger to be treated as a man of no account. Even the servant, a little, brown-eyed street-wench, with