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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

I looked round the room and saw the Bible with my
initials in gold; I put it under one arm and a pair
of indoor slippers under the other. I took seven and
sixpence which was my pocket money for some time,
climbed over the garden wall, and started in the
direction of the station. I must have been rather a
noticeable figure at that hour as I had the school
colours on my hat. I got to the station and asked
about the trains to London, where my Grandmother
was staying. By this time I had worked up a con-
siderable amount of affection for her. Alas! no
trains for an hour and a half; what should I do?
I took a road behind the station. I passed by a
farmyard and looked through the iron gates. I saw
chickens and pigs feeding. I felt awfully hungry
and envied them. I passed a road of villas and
could see the detested bourgeois eating eggs and bacon
through the lace curtains. I came to a field of
turnips and sat down on the roadside. I had heard
that turnips were good to eat so I chipped a bit off
one and found it extremely disagreeable. I thought
that it must be nearly time for the train to go and
got up to walk on, suddenly a hand was laid on, my
shoulder: the HEAD MISTRESS!
The mistressesóthree sistersówere charming and
very intelligent women, and although I won a prize
for writing an essay on a play of Shakespeare's, my
performances in the schoolroom were far from satis-
factory. I was by this time quite resigned to my
fate and began rather to enjoy it. In the winter
term I overheard a discussion on theatricals and to
my joy was told that the theatre was to be hired for
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