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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

CHAPTER VII                                                                         WAR
THERE was a feeling of agitation and unrest in the
atmosphere. On the second of August War was
declared on Germany. There was pandemonium.
No one had any papers. I had no passport and
Edgar had no papers at all except a mysterious
birth certificate with a German name that I had
not heard before. We had two weeks in which to
get papers and register ourselves. My beautiful
Russian friend went away and said that Edgar and
I could live in the studio, which we did.
Nobody had any money. Paper money was refused
everywhere. Only gold and silver were accepted.
On the third of August the mob stormed the
Laiterie Maggi, which was a German firm. They
killed several Germans and broke all the milk-shops.
Everyone said that we would starve. Wassilieff
started dinners at her studio at one franc-fifty, with
one Gaporal Bleu cigarette and one glass of wine
thrown in. We all went every evening and Modig-
liani too. A Swiss painter did the cooking. Oddly
enough, a few days before the declaration of War,
all the Germans vanished from the Quarter. The
last days of the time given for registry of ourselves
were nearing their end. I implored Edgar to go to
the police, but he refused; he appeared to think that
he was superior to the police force. An American
woman sculptor gave me sittings, and so I was able
to earn enough money to live on.
People said that the War could not possibly last
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