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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

VERY   EARLY   DAYS

terrible misery of being so young and ignorant and
having no conversational powers: I decided that
something must be done to improve things. I fell in
love with a little boy of seven and ran all over the
town after him saying,, " Tony, I will kiss you/9 but
I.never caught him. Many years later, when I was
eleven I was asked to a party and everyone said,
" Aren't you going to kiss Tony? " and we both
nearly died of shame. He is to-day a successful
rancher in South America. I was now four, and had
the first feeling of shame. I spent most of my time
writing stories and drawing. I wore socks, and one
day my Grandmother said, " You are too big to
wear socks and people will think it shameful and
will stare at you." I hung my head and blushed
and had to wear black woollen stockings. A birth-
day party was given for me and I was given an
oyster to taste; I spat it on the floor and was
carried out screaming. I objected to girls, and was
asked to a refined Christmas tree party where I was
given a beautiful pink doll. I made so much disturb-
ance that I was taken home at once in the Bath
chair that always took us to parties.
There was a woman with a horrible face who
passed the house every morning; I always waited
for her to poke my tongue out and make grimaces;
I found out later that she was a Sunday School
teacher. She complained to my Grandmother, who
had me locked into a back room during the time
she passed the window. Life with my Grandmother
was, on the whole, too easy, and, finding my be-
haviour impossible to cope with, she sent me to
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