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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

would probably come down too. I believe Modig-
liani climbed down on one occasion. The studio
was exactly as he had left it, and parts of the
walls had been painted different colours to make
different backgrounds. The staircase was lopsided,
as it had already slipped about two inches from the
wall. I was rather nervous at first about going up
and downstairs, but it seemed to be quite safe. In
the studio underneath lived Ortiz de Zarate, the
South American painter. The Pole and the Arab
sat with me in the evenings at the Cafe Parnasse.
There were many Polish painters there at that time
and they were unanimous in their hatred of E.
who had gone away with my friend and my money.
There was one particularly amusing painter called
Rubezack, who drank wine, sang songs, and made
jokes all day and half the night. The Arab had
a mistress who was a Frenchwoman and was
very jealous of him. I thought him most charm-
ing and very good-looking; he seemed to like me
too. Rubezack had a son and had one day to
go out of Paris to a country place to inspect the
school. He came to the cafe and found the Arab and
myself drinking coffee and asked us if we would
accompany him for the afternoon. We took the train
and came to a charming place with a large house,
which was the school. Afterwards we sat in the gar-
den of a cafe and drank Vermouth Cassis, a drink
which eventually goes to the head and is mostly
drunk in France by work-girls and concierges.
There was a swing in the garden and we took turns
on it and behaved in a ridiculously childish way.
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