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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

was giving a party at his house and as he only, as a
rule, had theatrical people, he would like to invite
for a change some painters; would I bring Walter
Sickert and Augustus John? This seemed an almost
impossible feat, but I promised to do my best. I
found Augustus and he said that he would consider
the matter. Sickert I asked at breakfast the next
morning, and he was delighted as he had known
Kim's father very well. The Sitwells asked me to
dinner on the night of the party and Sickert and his
wife were there. We had arranged to collect John
at his house and take him with us. We arrived
rather late and found a large motor-car outside.
John was standing on the doorstep. We all three
got in and went to the party. All kinds of stage
stars were there who were famous at that time.
The men were mostly in uniform. Melville Gideon
played and sang. Luvaun, the Maori, was there
with his Hawaiian guitar. Melville Gideon sang
his famous song about the " Pussy Cat " and we
drank champagne. I had my golden dress on with
the wreath of autumn leaves, which got nearer and
nearer my left ear as the evening wore on. Sickert
walked home with me and left me on my doorstep
in the early hours of the morning.
One day I got Spanish 'flu'. Everyone was dying.
I went to bed in my studio. Sickert brought me
milk in the morning and Adrian Allinson, the
painter, cooked me onions in the afternoon. At other
times I was quite alone. * .... I stayed in bed about
a week without the assistance of a doctor and then
recovered.
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