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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

rather grand-looking hotel down a side street leading
to the sea. I took the cheapest and smallest room
that I could find. A whole girls' school was there.
They had come from a tour of Switzerland and were
in the same position as I was. I could not afford to
eat at the hotel, so I bought myself bread and cheese
and ate it on the seashore. I went to the old church,
which has a group of golden statues with Jesus
Christ in the Manger, surrounded by the Wise Men
and the Virgin Mary. I bought a candle and lit it
for Edgar. I also said a prayer, and afterwards
wondered if it would be registered in Heaven as I
was not a Roman Catholic.
For three days there were no boats and I was be-
ginning to feel very hungry. On the third day a
boat sailed. I had a ticket as far as Newhaven.
During the daytime I sat on the quays. I had some
coloured chalks with me and did quite a lot of draw-
ings. I just managed to pay the hotel bill and had
two pennies left. By this time nothing seemed to
matter. The boat did not go to Newhaven but to
Folkestone. When I got to Folkestone I went to the
station-master and said, cc All I have is twopence
and I want to get to London." As a matter of fact
many people were in the same position. He was
very kind, and after I had given the name and
address of my parents he put me into a first-class
carriage. The railway company sent the bill in and
were kind enough to charge only the third-class
fare. I was extremely hungry, having had nothing
to eat for twenty-four hours. When I got to Victoria
I was able to take the Underground home, as two-
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