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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING   TORSO

Irish lady my family knew had three little girls; I
stayed with them as often as I could escape from
home and was really happy.
When we left Ireland I had to be carried on to the
boat wailing loudly with misery. We went back to
Tenby and my parents went to Malta, leaving me
with my Grandmother. I spent most of my time
and money on fishing; I sat daily on the end of the
old pier alone with a line and caught pollack and
sometimes sprats which were generally too small to
cook. One day I met a butcher boy whose face I
had never liked, so I kicked his tray of meat over and
hit him in the stomach; I was rescued by two nuns
and taken home to my infuriated Grandmother. I
made friends with bathing-machine boys whom I
found sympathetic and a pleasant change from
home life. I learnt the pleasing expression of
ec Bloody b-----r " from them, which I found acted
very effectively on a nasty park keeper. I also had
a dispute with my Grandmother who locked me
into a bedroom and spoke about the devil, so I
threw a basin., a jerry, a jug and two bananas out of
the window and knocked her down. Every day I
rode on a fat pony kept by the sweep but I only
rode it because I liked the sweep, who was a nice
kindly old man and not because of his pony, which
was old and fat.