Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/88

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He called a policeman, and I desired nothing better than to have one between my hands just for one moment. I slackened my pace intentionally in order to give him an opportunity of overtaking me; but he did not come. Was there now any reason whatever that absolutely every one of one's most earnest and most persevering efforts should fail? Why, too, had I written 1848? In what way did that infernal date concern me? Here I was going about starving, so that my entrails wriggle together in me like worms, and it was, as far as I knew, not decreed in the book of fate that anything in the shape of food would turn up later on in the day.

I was becoming mentally and physically more and more prostrate; I was letting myself down each day to less and less honest actions, so that I lied on each day without blushing, cheated poor people out of their rent, struggled with the meanest thoughts of making away with other men's blankets—all without remorse or prick of conscience.

Foul places began to gather in my inner being, black spores which spread more and more. And up in Heaven God Almighty sat and kept a watchful eye on me, and took