Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/31

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15
Hunger

I must put an end to it, so I left the park hurriedly to fetch my pencil from the pawnbroker's.

As I arrived at the foot of the hill I overtook two ladies, whom I passed. As I did so, I brushed one of them accidently on the arm. I looked up; she had a full, rather pale, face. But she blushes, and becomes suddenly surprisingly lovely. I know not why she blushes; maybe at some word she hears from a passer-by, maybe only at some lurking thought of her own. Or can it be because I touched her arm? Her high, full bosom heaves violently several times, and she closes her hand tightly about the handle of her parasol. What has come to her?

I stopped, and let her pass ahead again. I could, for the moment, go no farther; the whole thing struck me as being so singular. I was in a tantalising mood, annoyed with myself on account of the pencil incident, and in a high degree disturbed by all the food I had taken on a totally empty stomach. Suddenly my thoughts, as if whimsically inspired, take a singular direction. I feel myself seized with an odd desire to make this lady afraid; to follow her, and annoy her in some