Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/78

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

from the chimney-stacks, and the stroke of the engine pistons pierced the clammy air with a dull sound. There was no sun and no wind; the trees behind me were almost wet, and the seat upon which I sat was cold and damp.

Time went. I settled down to doze, waxed tired, and a little shiver ran down my back. A while after I felt that my eyelids began to droop, and I let them droop. . . .

When I awoke it was dark all around me. I started up, bewildered and freezing. I seized my parcel, and commenced to walk. I went faster and faster in order to get warm, slapped my arms, chafed my legs—which by now I could hardly feel under me—and thus reached the watch-house of the fire brigade. It was nine o'clock; I had been asleep for several hours.

Whatever shall I do with myself? I must go to some place. I stand there and stare up at the watch-house, and query if it would not be possible to succeed in getting into one of the passages if I were to watch for a moment when the watchman's back was turned. I ascend the steps, and prepare to open a conversation with the man. He lifts his axe in salute, and waits for what I may have to