Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/91

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75
Hunger

and in her embarrassment could not stir from the spot, but stood and stared after me as I descended the stairs.

My calm had returned to me, and my head was clear. The lady's saying that she had nothing for me to-day had acted upon me like an icy shower. So it had gone so far with me that any one might point at me, and say to himself, "There goes a beggar—one of those people who get their food handed out to them at folk's back-doors!"

I halted outside an eating-house in Möller Street, and sniffed the fresh smell of meat roasting inside; my hand was already upon the door-handle, and I was on the point of entering, without any fixed purpose, when I bethought myself in time, and left the spot. On reaching the market, and seeking for a place to rest for a little, I found all the benches occupied, and I sought in vain all round outside the church for a quiet seat, where I could sit down.

Naturally. I told myself, gloomily—naturally, naturally; and I commenced to walk again. I took a turn round the fountain at the corner of the bazaar, and swallowed a mouthful of water. On again, dragging one foot after the other;