Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/79

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say. The uplifted axe, with its edge turned against me, darts like a cold slash through my nerves. I stand dumb with terror before this armed man, and draw involuntarily back. I say nothing, only glide farther and farther away from him. To save appearances I draw my hand over my forehead, as if I had forgotten something or other, and slink away. When I reached the pavement again I felt as much saved as if I had just escaped a great peril, and I hurried away.

Cold and famished, more and more miserable in spirit, I flew up Carl Johann. I began to swear out aloud, troubling myself not a whit as to whether anyone heard me or not. Arrived at Parliament House, just near the first trees, I suddenly, by some association of ideas, bethought myself of a young artist I knew, a stripling I had once saved from an assault in the Tivoli, and upon whom I had called later on. I snap my fingers gleefully, and wend my way to Tordenskjiolds Street, find the door, on which is fastened a card with C. Zacharias Bartel on it, and knock.

He came out himself, and smelt so fearfully of ale and tobacco that it was horrible.

"Good-evening!" I say.