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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

very strong but most irritating, as one woke up at
one a.m. and thought it was five, and the nights
were interminable.
I learnt a little Russian and was sent out to buy
stamps and cigarettes. In September I sailed from
St. Petersburg. On the boat I met a woman who,
like my friends, had been born and brought up in
Russia, although of English parents. We became
great friends. Her family had cotton mills in
Russia. As I shall explain later she was the means
of my going to Paris.
I would very much have liked to have stayed in
Russia, but there was no chance of an English per-
son getting anything to do. The ojaly thing was to
go into a home for decayed gentlewomen and wait
for an opportunity to teach English.
I went back to my Grandmother's and felt ex-
tremely discontented. I returned to Brangwyns,
and as my Grandmother refused to pay any more
fees, the manager of the Academy was kind enough
to allow me to work there for nothing on the con-
dition that I acted as Massier for the still life class.
We painted onions and potatoes and strawberries.
The braver and better off students painted melons
and pumpkins out of respect for Brangwyn.
I still continued to visit my friend the cc Genius "
and worked in his studio. He was still painting souls
in torture. I did not belong to the imaginative
school of painting, so drew charwomen and small
children.
One day I was in the King's Road, Chelsea, and
someone said, " There goes Augustus John!" In
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