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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

PRIVATE   ACADEMY

two nights and that I was to play the leading part
in Jack and the Beanstalk. " Fame at last." I danced
extremely well. The most brilliant pupil was a
child of ten, my own age, with blue eyes and short
golden hair, a relation of the mistresses, who was
very conceited and was furious that she was not
given the leading part. I met her in Paris a few years
ago. It still rankled. Like most blondes later in
life, she resembled instead of a ripe fruit or flower,
those pale faded waxen fruits and flowers in Vic-
torian glass cases. Blondes should dye their hair and
paint their faces or get married and have children.
Rehearsing was fun and the costumes were made
by the mistresses and the great night came. I wore
red tights and high-heeled red shoes and a little cap
with a feather and felt that I was about to conquer
the world. I went through my part and climbed
the beanstalk—a rope covered in leaves which hung
over a beam and was held by two old gentlemen in
the wings. I was very well received, I danced a
hornpipe and brought the house down. I was called
for over and over again. The only time I shall know
what real Fame is, to stand in front of an enthu-
siastic and cheering audience. Some rich people
wanted to get me an engagement in London and
others to dance at concerts but alas! my family
again. " Ladies do not go on the stage." I was
furious, besides a lady was the last thing that I
wanted to be.