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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

remained there for about six months. One day I was
painting W. H. Davies, the poet. He said, " I don't
feel very well to-day, I had lunch with Sickert and
we had a bottle of champagne. He cooked the
lunch and afterwards said, c Now what about
another half-bottle/ " I then realized what had
happened and sure enough the next morning, when
I went to his studio, it had gone!
Nancy Cunard, who was often at the Eiffel
Tower, started a magazine of poetry called Wheels.
Three young poets called Sitwell, wrote for it, and
there was a great deal of discussion as to their merits.
I met them one day with Ethelbert White. I
thought them most intelligent and charming, and it
was at their house that I met W. H. Davies. I was
told that he was very shy and difficult to talk to:
I had a golden evening-dress on, with a wreath of
autumn leaves round my head, and looked rather
like a dissipated Bacchante after a little champagne.
Davies was sitting on the floor and I sat down beside
him. I talked of the relative values of beer and
public-houses, and we got on admirably.
One evening Robert Ross was there, and St. John
Hutchinson, and they decided to act " Salome." I
had to play Salome whilst Robbie Ross acted Herod.
There were a lot of people present and I was
frightened to death, so much so, that when I had to
speak to him I made a dash for the door and hid in
the bathroom; The audience actually thought that
this was part of the play and I managed to get away
with it. Davies lived in two rooms in Great Russell
Street. They were filled with mice. He set a trap
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