Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/317

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301
Hunger

"Do you know what o'clock it is?" I ask.

He pauses a bit as he hauls out his watch, and never takes his eyes off me the whole time.

"About four," he replies.

"Accurately," I say, "about four, perfectly accurate. You know your business, and I'll bear you in mind." Thereupon I left him. He looked utterly amazed at me, stood and looked at me, with gaping mouth, still holding his watch in his hand.

When I got in front of the Royal Hotel I turned round and looked back. He was still standing in the same position, following me with his eyes.

Ha, ha! That is the way to treat the brutes! With the most refined effrontery! That impresses the brutes—puts the fear of God into them. . . . I was peculiarly satisfied with myself, and began to sing a little strain. Every nerve was tense with excitement. Without feeling any more pain, without even being conscious of discomfort of any kind, I walked, light as a feather, across the whole market, turned round at the stalls, and came to a halt—sat down on a bench near Our Saviour's Church. Might it not just as well