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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

painted purple and green studies and was the ad-
miration of the whole school,, but we were rather
frightened of him and regarded him as a superior
being who understood the mysteries of life. Jan
Gordon was there also.
One day there came to the school a strange young
man with a funny hat made of cloth in the pattern
of an American sailor's hat. He had a long nose
and stuttered. He was at once named " The
Genius." He certainly had talent. I fell in love
with him. I used to visit him in Chelsea; we were
very pure.
I used to come home late at night. My Father
screamed about virtue. We were only too virtuous.
He kissed me one day. We read d'Annunzio. I
wished I were older. I bought a large black hat
like a coal-scuttle and a dress with ,a slight train
and tried to feel fatal.
We went to the Coliseum to see Sarah Bernhardt
We imagined that we were greater than all the
lovers in history. 'We remained pure because I
don't think he quite knew what to do about it, any-
way he lacked initiative and so nothing happened.
We drank crime-de-menthe and felt really devilish.
He painted a picture of me lying on a sofa with
an out-stretched hand like a fork. I forget what it
represented; I think one of the phases of the souL
I was convinced that I had a fatal and hopeless
passion.
About this time I met Arthur Ransome who had
written a book called Bohemia in London. I walked
into a friend's room and a man in knickerbockers,
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