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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

completely ruined by her parents5 stupid way of
bringing her up. When she was a girl she was never
even allowed to go to dances, her Father was a
clergyman. She had no friends and at the age of
twenty fell in love with the coachman. There was
a scandal in the village and she never recovered.
She drew rather like a child and some of her pictures
of ships and the sea were quite good. She eventually
died and so my finances were again in a bad way.
My paternal Grandfather was an Indian Civil
Servant. He had had at one time a considerable
sum of money in a bank that went smash. There
still remained a few hundred pounds which the
grandchildren would eventually get. A sympathetic
uncle by marriage arranged that I could get fifty
pounds in advance. This was a fortune and I was
overjoyed. I took a room in Grafton Street,
Fitzroy Square, for seven and sixpence a week.
There were bugs in it. I chased them with a can
of petrol. I slept there sometimes but generally
went home as I could not afford much to eat
during the day-time and there was always food at
home. My Father by this time had quite given
up any hopes of my becoming a decent human
being or marrying a nice man and settling down
in the suburbs. He secretly hoped that I would
get into some awful mess and then he would be
able to say, " I told you so, this is what Art leads
to.55 He and his horrible doctor friend would
discuss me with leers and winks and talk about what
they thought went on in Art Schools.
In Gower Street was the Slade School.    The
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