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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

about the future. I said that I could not imagine,
but that if Edgar got out of gaol, I should probably
return to Paris and bring him back.
One day I got a letter from him to say that he was
released and allowed to stay in Paris for the duration
of hostilities. Basil gave me five pounds and said,
that if I really loved him I had better go back and
join him. Everyone said I was mad but I did not
mind, and took a train to Folkestone. We arrived
at Boulogne. There were two other English people
on the train. The train took thirty hours to get to
Paris. There was nothing to eat, and if the French
peasants had not been at each station with food
for the soldiers, and were kind enough to give us
some bread and cheese, we would have had nothing.
I was in a carriage with five French postmen who
were going to Paris to join up. They had some bottles
of wine and cider. I gave them two farthings to
bring them luck. We arrived at Arras and had to
get out as we heard that the Germans were some-
where in the neighbourhood. The station was filled
with soldiers who had come from a battle. They
were all bandaged up and covered with blood. I sat
down with them and rather felt that to be taken a
prisoner by the Germans would be the simplest way
of getting out of it all. The train then went on and
we got to another station.
A motor-car appeared with three French officers
in it. They said to the engine-driver, "Go on at
once, the Germans are three kilometres away." So
we went on. The other two English people were
old ladies, both married to Frenchmen. I spotted
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