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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

said, " Have another cigarette and some port/'
which I did. There was a terrific crash and we
both went outside and in the sky was a thing that
looked like a golden pencil. This was the first
Zeppelin. We then heard several other crashes
fairly near, but getting further away. I had to
catch a 68 'bus to get to Chalk Farm. When I got
to Chancery Lane it was about six inches deep in
water. A bomb had hit a water main and a gas
main, and the water was rushing down the street.
I was annoyed as I had a pair of new shoes on and
got them wet. The Strand was several inches deep
in broken glass, as nearly all the windows had been
broken. When I got to Wellington Street a huge
green flame sprung up opposite the Gaiety Theatre.
I thought that another bomb had dropped and sat
down in the doorstep of a bank, thinking that death
was rapidly approaching.
I thought of my wicked life, and of my Father and
my Grandmother, with a certain sentimental regret.
As nothing happened I got up and thought that I
would go to the Cafe Royal. The people in the 'bus
that I should have taken, if I had not had another
cigarette and a drink, were sitting in the 'bus with
their heads blown off, as a bomb had dropped out-
side. I took a 'bus to the Cafe Royal by the Savoy
Hotel. In it were two Japanese. The evening
cloak of one was torn to bits. He had been inside
the Gaiety Theatre, but fortunately, his cloak had
been hanging up in the cloak room. We all talked
together of what had happened. In Paris in 1920
I met him/ I said, " I have met you in London."
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