Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/299

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283
Hunger

in my head during the despairing moment when my landlady was about to thrust me from her door.

"He doesn't hear," she yelled. "I tell you, you'll quit this house. Now you know it! I believe, God blast me, that the man is mad, I do! Now, out you go, on the blessed spot, and so no more chat about it."

I looked towards the door, not in order to leave—no, certainly not in order to leave. An audacious notion seized me—if there had been a key in the door, I would have turned it and locked myself in along with the rest to escape going. I had a perfectly hysterical dread of going out into the streets again.

But there was no key in the door.

Then, suddenly my landlord's voice mingled with that of his wife, I stood still with amazement. The same man who had threatened me a while ago took my part, strangely enough, now. He said:

"No, it won't do to turn folk out at night; do you know one can be punished for doing that?"

"I didn't know if there was a punishment for that; I couldn't say, but perhaps it was so," and the wife bethought herself quickly, grew quiet, and spoke no more.