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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

I    BEGIN    TO    BE    AN    ARTIST
School and was at home with no money to buy
paints or canvas and very miserable. My cousin
wrote and asked me to go to his office. To my joy
he said that I could start that night and walk
on in the chorus at Ģi a week. I was delighted to
earn Ģi a week at anything, it was a fortune. The
play was an eighteenth-century Scottish play, with
powdered and bewigged ladies, of whom I was one,
and Highlanders in kilts. I thought with a smile of
the old Professor at Pelham Street and his. pictures
of Highlanders in action. There was plenty of
action in this play. We had Henry Ainley, Leon
Quartermaine, and Alexander Carlisle in the caste,
a splendid caste, but the play was not a success.
The hero and adored of all the chorus was Leon
Quartermaine; Henry Ainley was quite out of the
picture. My first night I was standing in the wings
and Ainley, seeing a new face, came up to me and,
putting his hand under my chin, tilted up my face,
looked at it, and walked away. I was in a dressing-
room with eleven other girls; they showed me how
to make up and were very kind. The management
provided eleven wicker-work frames to wear under
the dresses and make the panels at the side stick out,
and eleven pairs of white drawers with white lace
on the legs. These hung on a rail. We had to hold
empty golden glasses and sing a drinking song. All
the girls had young men who waited for them.
They brought them flowers and accompanied them
home. I was very much distressed. I had quar-
relled with the " Genius " and had no one at all. At
the end of the week I got my Ģi. At the end of the