Page:Hunger (Hamsun).djvu/95

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79
Hunger

I answered, and I took his word for it. There was, indeed, no reason why he should lie about such a trifling matter. It struck me, too, that his blue eyes were moist whilst he ransacked his pockets and found nothing. I drew back. "Excuse me," I said; "it was only just that I was a bit hard up." I was already a piece down the street, when he called after me about the little packet. "Keep it! keep it," I answered; "you are welcome to it. There are only a few trifles in it—a bagatelle; about all I own in the world," and I became so touched at my own words, they sounded so pathetic in the twilight, and I fell a-weeping. . . .

The wind freshened, the clouds chased madly across the heavens, and it grew cooler and cooler as it got darker. I walked, and cried as I walked, down the whole street; felt more and more commiseration with myself, and repeated, time after time, a few words, an ejaculation, which called forth fresh tears whenever they were on the point of ceasing: "Lord God, I feel so wretched! Lord God, I feel so wretched!"

An hour passed; passed with such strange slowness, such weariness. I spent a long time