Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/292

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a big fringe over her forehead, and a perfectly flat bosom, poked fun at me in the evening when I got my ration of bread and butter. She inquired perpetually where, then, was I in the habit of dining, as she had never seen me picking my teeth outside the Grand? It was clear that she was aware of my wretched circumstances, and took a pleasure in letting me know of it.

I fall suddenly into thought over all this, and am not able to find a solitary speech for my drama. Time upon time I seek in vain; a strange buzzing begins inside my head, and I give it up. I thrust the papers into my pocket, and look up. The girl is sitting straight opposite me. I look at her—look at her narrow back and drooping shoulders, that are not yet fully developed. What business was it of hers to fly at me? Even supposing I did come out of the palace, what then? Did it harm her in any way? She had laughed insolently in the past few days at me, when I was a bit awkward and stumbled on the stairs, or caught fast on a nail and tore my coat. It was no later than yesterday that she gathered up my rough copy, that I had thrown aside in the ante-room—stolen these rejected frag-