Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/322

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set that I came for that purpose. I take, too, a cake up from the table, a sort of white roll that I commenced to eat.

When the woman sees this, she stirs uneasily inside her bundle of clothes, makes an involuntary movement as if to protect her wares, and gives me to understand that she had not expected me to return to rob her of them.

"Really not?" I say, "indeed, really not?" She certainly was an extraordinary woman. Had she, then, at any time, had the experience that someone came and gave her a heap of shillings to take care of, without that person returning and demanding them again? No; just look at that now! Did she perhaps run away with the idea that it was stolen money, since I slung it at her in that manner? No; she didn't think that either. Well, that at least was a good thing—really a good thing. It was, if I might so say, kind of her, in spite of all, to still consider me an honest man. Ha, ha! yes, indeed, she really was good!

But why did I give her the money, then? The woman was exasperated, and called out loudly about it. I explained why I had given her the money, explained it temperately and