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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

Montparnasse; it was of a circular pattern. Down-
stairs was for men and upstairs for women. Ran-
some bought me a piece of pink soap that floated, and
a towel. I was taken upstairs by an old woman and
Basil and Arthur remained downstairs. I scrubbed
and scrubbed till the skin nearly came off. I got
out and Ransome called from downstairs, " How
are you getting on ? " I said, " I have finished wash-
ing." He said, " What! you can't possibly be clean,
go back and do some more scrubbing." So I went
back and splashed the water about until I was told
that I could come out. We then went and drank
some Vermouth Cassis, which is vermouth and a
syrup and is drunk by the work girls. Basil was very
good-looking and resembled Rupert Brooke, only
that he was shorter. He liked me very much. I
very nearly fell in love with him. He was a great
success with women, and was rather spoilt and con-
ceited. I was told that he had treated a friend of
mine very badly. He had visited her daily and
implored her to marry him. She refused, but at the
end of six months, when she actually did fall in love
with him, he went off with a Frenchwoman. I
could not see myself being treated like that and I
rather despised him for being an aristocrat. I still
shared Henri's sentiments to a great extent.
In London the second Independant show was
being held, this time at the Holland Park Skating
Rink. I had sent a life-size nude painting of two
women. People thought it rather vulgar. I also
sent a portrait of Zadkine. Some of the critics liked
it.- Henri wrote for Blast, Wyndham Lewis's paper,
56