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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

WAR
1905, and a small hat.   She always reminded me of
Cezanne's portraits of his wife.   One day she pro-
duced a nightdress, also very old-fashioned, it was
very elaborate and had real lace on it.    She said,
" Would you like this, it might help you to attract
men? "  I said, " No, thank you, I can do that quite
well without! "   Sophia made pounds and pounds
of jam, she had a mania for it.   We picked black-
berries and bought apples and when she rested in
the afternoon I had to sit downstairs and see that it
did not burn.   Sophia was reading Casanova at that
time, and from upstairs would make comments on
his disreputable life, shouting down the staircase at
me.    I only intended to stay there a week, but as
there were air-raids every day in London I thought
I would stay on. Sophia had obtained from a park-
keeper the permission to use an upstairs' room in the
porter's lodge, belonging to a large estate.   This she
rested in at the end of her walks.   It was very dirty
and Sophia would lie on the floor and eat nuts and
throw the shells all over the floor.   She came there
to contemplate, and I was only allowed in on the
condition that I would not speak.    The air-raids
stopped a week later and I left.   I had been invited
by. Roger Fry to stay at his country house in Guild-
ford.    I arrived  there,  rather shaken,  after the
weeks of Sophia,   Roger said I was quite mad to
stay with lunatics. Several members of the Strachey
family were staying there.    In the evening Lady
Strachey would read us restoration plays and we
would play games.   Everyone would choose a book
from the library and hide the cover.    They read
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