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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

second week the play came to an end. All the
chorus were upset and recommended me to visit
Mr. Blackmore in Garrick Street. It was strange
after my youthful cravings to find myself acting on
the stage of a London theatre, but the glamour had
already worn off, and even two weeks showed me
that I had done well to paint and not to act.
I put on my coal-scuttle hat and the dress with
the train, and sat down in Mr. Blackmore's waiting-
room. There were dowdy-looking painted ladies of
all ages, and a good many rather horsey and beery-
looking men, nothing at all like the present-day
chorus boy. We all waited., in fact we waited and
waited. After waiting about three weeks, one day a
page boy, who used to come round daily and peer
into our faces, tapped on the window of Mr, Black-
more's office, and as the window was lifted up,
shouted, " A little bit of fluff, sir.35 I then realized
that if I sat there for forty years I should never be a
" Little Bit of Fluff." I returned to painting. I
worked at home and joined the Polytechnic evening
life classes at Turnham Green. A neighbour sat
for me and I did a pastel of her head which was
accepted by the Liverpool Art Gallery.