Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/72

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shillings he had borrowed from me. But before he could reply I regretted that I had asked for it. I got ashamed and avoided meeting his eyes, and, as a lady came by just then, I stepped hastily aside to let her pass, and seized the opportunity to proceed on my way.

What should I do with myself whilst I waited? I could not visit a café with empty pockets, and I knew of no acquaintance that I could call on at this time of day. I wended my way instinctively up town, killed a good deal of time between the market-place and Graendsen, read the Aftenpost, which was newly pasted up on the board outside the office, took a turn down Karl Johann, wheeled round and went straight on to Our Saviour's Cemetery, where I found a quiet seat on the slope near the Mortuary Chapel.

I sat there in complete quietness, dozed in the damp air, mused, half-slept and shivered.

And time passed. Now, was it certain that the story really was a little masterpiece of inspired art? God knows if it might not have its faults here and there. All things well weighed, it was not certain that it would be accepted; no, simply not even accepted. It was perhaps mediocre enough in its way,