Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/297

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Hunger

wanted to explain how the whole disturbance commenced. If I only kept quiet, it would all blow over sometime; it would surely not come to the worst if I only did not utter a word; and what word after all could I have to say? Was it not perhaps winter outside, and far advanced into the night, besides? Was that a time to strike a blow, and show one could hold one's own? No folly now! . . . So I sat still and made no attempt to leave the house; I never even blushed at keeping silent, never felt ashamed, although I had almost been shown the door. I stared coolly, case-hardened, at the wall where Christ hung in an oleograph, and held my tongue obstinately during all the landlady's attack.

"Well, if it is me you want to get quit of, ma'am, there will be nothing in the way as far as I am concerned," said one of the card-players as he stood up. The other card-players rose as well.

"No, I didn't mean you—nor you either," replied the landlady to them. "If there's any need to, I will show well enough who I mean, if there's the least need to, if I know myself rightly. Oh, it will be shown quick enough who it is. . . ."