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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING   TORSO

One day I was walking along Tottenham Court
Road, and as I passed the National Cash Register
Building, I stopped and read the news about the
War.   " Armistice " was written up in large letters.
I was not sure what it meant, but I saw further on
that hostilities would cease at 11.30.   I thought that
on such an occasion one must find someone to talk
to. I went to my bank and got some money out and
went to Shoolbreds, where I bought two bottles of
champagne.   I found Geoffrey Nelson, the painter,
and we took a 'bus to Trafalgar Square.   We then
walked down the Strand where, out of every window,
papers were being thrown.   The street looked as if
there had been a snowstorm.   I went to lunch at
the Eiffel Tower.   There I found several people I
knew, Aldous and Julian Huxley, Carrington, and
the Sitwells.   Before dinner I went to the Cafe
Royal where everyone was drinking and celebrating.
A friend of mine asked me to a party at his flat and
I walked to the Adelphi.   It was almost impossible
to find a taxi or a 'bus.   As I was walking down
Whitehall I saw a crowd of people, and at the top
of an arc-light, on a ladder, was a man who was
taking the black paint off.  We all watched him and
were quite dazzled when the light shone out again
with its pre-war glory.   Everybody cheered loudly
and I went on to my party.  It was a very fine party
indeed,    Diaghilev  was   there,   Massine,   Lydia
Lopokova, the Sitwells, Henry Mond, who became
Lord Melchett, and many more people.  There was
a pianola and we danced and I was accompanied
home by David Garnett
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