Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/324

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to call the police. I wished to be lenient with her, I said. Were I to take all that was lawfully mine, I would clear her whole stand, because it was a big sum of money that I had given to her. But I had no intention of taking so much, I wanted in reality only half the value of the money, and I would, into the bargain, never come back to trouble her again. Might God preserve me from it, seeing that that was the sort of creature she was. . . . At length she shoved some cakes towards me, four or five, at an exorbitant price, the highest possible price she could think of, and bade me take them and begone. I wrangled still with her, persisted that she had at least cheated me to the extent of a shilling, besides robbing me with her exorbitant prices. "Do you know there is a penalty for such rascally trickery," said I; "God help you, you might get penal servitude for life, you old fool!" She flung another cake to me, and, with almost gnashing teeth, begged me to go.

And I left her.

Ha! a match for this dishonest cake-vendor was not to be found. The whole time, whilst I walked to and fro in the market-place and ate my cakes, I talked loudly about this