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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

the bottom of the stairs holding out a china vase
with pink and blue flowers on it. That was my
second birthday. We then went to Saltash, where,
seated on the front doorstep one day, I went for a
walk with a strange lady and was later discovered
by my nurse all dressed in white chasing a flock of
sheep down a hillside followed by an angry shepherd.
At this time my brother was born, and as everyone
was very much occupied I had a good time rooting
up all the carnations in the front garden that my
Father, whom I disliked, had recently planted.
Next door lived a boy of about six. I spent much
time trying to pull him through the wire-netting
which separated our gardens, but without success;
he is now, I believe, a Brigadier-General in the
Royal Engineers. We then went to York. I was
taken out one evening in my nurse's arms to see the
Duke and Duchess of York driving through the
streets and was thrilled by the lights and the crowd;
this was their honeymoon visit to York. They are
now King George and Queen Mary.
There was a lunatic asylum next door and some-
times a fair; the noise of the fair and the lunatics
kept us awake at night. On Christmas Day I was
given a glass of champagne, which gave me a
pleasant and gay feeling. I was then sent back to
Tenby and to my Grandmother, who was the most
stupid and sentimental of women and loathed my
Father, I was free and allowed to do as I liked. I
rode every day on a donkey, accompanied by a
donkey-boy and my nurse. I liked the donkey-boy,
but the nurse and he talked all the time. I felt the