Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/309

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293
Hunger

The only sound I heard in this moment was my own merry chuckle.

A singularly happy idea had just struck me about a church bell—a church bell that was to peal out at a certain point in my drama. All was going ahead with overwhelming rapidity. Then I hear a step on the stairs. I tremble, and am almost beside myself; sit ready to bolt, timorous, watchful, full of fear at everything, and excited by hunger. I listen nervously, just hold the pencil still in my hand, and listen. I cannot write a word more. The door opens, and the pair from below enter.

Even before I had time to make an excuse for what I had done, the landlady calls out, as if struck of a heap with amazement:

"Well, God bless and save us, if he isn't sitting here again!"

"Excuse me," I said, and I would have added more, but got no farther; the landlady flung open the door, as far as it would go, and shrieked:

"If you don't go out, now, may God blast me, but I'll fetch the police!"

I got up.

"I only wanted to say good-bye to you," I murmured; "and I had to wait for you. I