Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/33

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17
Hunger

with shame for having caused her annoyance. By degrees, a wonderful feeling stole over me of being far, far away in other places; I had a half-undefined sense that it was not I who was going along over the gravel hanging my head.

A few minutes later, they reached Pascha's book-shop. I had already stopped at the first window, and as they go by I step forward and repeat:

"You are losing your book, madam!"

"No; what book?" she asks, affrightedly. "Can you make out what book it is he is talking about?" and she comes to a stop.

I hug myself with delight at her confusion; the irresolute perplexity in her eyes positively fascinates me. Her mind cannot grasp my short, passionate address. She has no book with her; not a single page of a book, and yet she fumbles in her pockets, looks down repeatedly at her hands, turns her head and scrutinises the streets behind her, exerts her sensitive little brain to the utmost in trying to discover what book it is I am talking about. Her face changes colour, has now one, now another expression, and she is breathing quite audibly—even the very buttons on her gown