Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/318

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be a matter of indifference whether I returned the half-sovereign or not? When once I received it, it was mine; and there was evidently no want where it came from. Besides, I was obliged to take it when it was sent expressly to me; there could be no object in letting the messenger keep it. It wouldn't do, either, to send it back—a whole half-sovereign that had been sent to me. So there was positively no help for it.

I tried to watch the bustle about me in the market, and distract myself with indifferent things, but I did not succeed; the half-sovereign still busied my thoughts. At last I clenched my fists and got angry. It would hurt her if I were to send it back. Why, then, should I do so? Always ready to consider myself too good for everything—to toss my head and say, No, thanks! I saw now what it led to. I was out in the street again. Even when I had the opportunity I couldn't keep my good warm lodging. No; I must needs be proud, jump up at the first word, and show I wasn't the man to stand trifling, chuck half-sovereigns right and left, and go my way. . . . I took myself sharply to task for having left my lodging and brought