(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING   TORSO

was deadly serious and determined to get on. The
old man who kept the school was a sweet old
Scotsman who painted curious pictures of High-
landers and romantic scenes at dawn. They did not
seem to me to mean very much. I drew from the
antique with energy. Mr. Cope, now Sir Arthur,
conducted the life class. He used to roar, " Line!
Line! " at the young ladies and they would burst
into tears.
I lived at the flat at Chiswick with my Grand-
mother. I wore a stiff linen collar and tie and cor-
sets with bones in them. A few years later I cast
them aside. My Grandmother and an elderly
cousin said that it was indecent and disgraceful and
women's backs were not strong enough to support
themselves; I am now forty-one and my backbone
has not yet crumpled up.
In the flat underneath lived a very charming
family. They knew H. M. Bateman, which thrilled
me, and I would go down in the evenings and hear
about the great man, of whom I am still a very great
admirer. One of the sons, Charlie, was a medical
student. I fell violently in love with him. I was
ugly and shy, and he used to take beautiful and
well-dressed girls to dances. This made me sad. I
was studying Anatomy at the time and going to
lectures at the Royal Academy. The grand passion
gave me such interest in Anatomy that I learnt and
knew by heart every muscle and its attachment. I
borrowed his bones, a skull, a backbone, and a
chain of vertebrae on a string which hung over the
end of my bed at night. I placed the skull affection-
18