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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

we spent our evenings singing and drinking port.
The farther the ship got away from England the
better I felt, and my Father and my Grandmother
seemed like some nightmare of a forgotten age.
At Kronstadt a steamboat approached filled with
the wildest-looking men dressed in green uniforms,
with high boots, large flowing beards, carrying
swords. These were the Customs officers. They
climbed over the side of the ship and looked through
our things.
When we got to St. Petersburg we drove in a
droshky to my friend's family's flat, a magnificent
apartment with salons and many rooms. The next
day we went to a place on the Gulf of Finland.
This part of Finland is not very beautiful. Nothing
but pine trees and forests. I stayed there for two
months.
For one week they came to Petersburg to show
me the sights.
I went to the first night of the ballet The Sleeping
Beauty. Pavlova was the Premiere Danseuse, Karsa-
vina the second, and the Corps de Ballet was wonder-
ful. Any one of them would have been a star now.
My friend had two unmarried sisters and they
had two very beautiful Russian friends who were
both unmarried. Every day roses and poems were
brought to the Russian girls by students and young
officers. I was very envious, but they were bored
and sent them away. The students came in their
blue uniforms and talked and talked; they never
seemed to repeat themselves. They all talked
French and most of them English. After their visits
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