Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/74

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headed, and both had round, care-free faces. I passed them and thought to myself that they were sure to accost me, sure to fling some taunt or other at me, play me some trick; and as I got near enough, one of them called out and asked what I had under my arm?

"A blanket!"

"What o'clock is it?" he asked then.

"I don't know rightly; about three, I think!"

Whereupon they both laughed and drove on. I felt at the same moment the lash of a whip curl round one of my ears, and my hat was jerked off. They couldn't let me pass without playing me a trick. I raised my hand to my head more or less confusedly, picked my hat out of the ditch, and continued my way. Down at St Han's Hill I met a man who told me it was past four. Past four! already past four! I mended my pace, nearly ran down to the town, turned off towards the news office. Perhaps the editor had been there hours ago, and had left the office by now. I ran, jostled against folk, stumbled, knocked against cars, left everybody behind me, competed with the very horses, struggled like a madman to arrive there in time. I wrenched through the door, took the stairs in four bounds, and knocked.