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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LIFE
WassiliefPs and visited Museums in the afternoons.
I drank cafe creme at the Rotonde. Life was so
exciting that I had no time to drink. Sometimes if
anyone was rich we drank champagne at fifty
centimes a glass.
One day Wyndham Lewis came from London in
order to arrange for the publication of his Vorticist
Magazine, Blast, in Paris. I had always got on very
well with him and regarded him as a great man. I
was delighted and flattered when he took my arm
and walked down the Boulevard Montparnasse with
me, explaining his ideas and the possibilities of the
future. He spoke in French and addressed me in the
second person singular, the only person who ever
had; I found it difficult to reply as my grammar
was very shaky.
I heard that Arthur Ransome was in Paris. He
introduced me to a very good-looking young man
who was an aristocrat. He wore very old clothes, a
large cloak, and a black hat, and wrote poetry.
His shoes were never cleaned; he said that he was
incapable of putting them outside the door at night.
After I got to know him we sent a postcard every
night addressed to him, cc Dear Basil, please put out
your shoes in the morning." His name was not
Basil, but that is what I shall call him. We had
lunch at the Restaurant Leduc in the Boulevard
Raspail. When we were having coffee I said,
cc Where does one find a bath here? I have not had
one for weeks." Ransome looked horrified and
they called a fiacre and told the driver to go to the
nearest public baths. The building was by the Gare
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