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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING   TORSO

the one with the horse-trap and the black dog. I
was thirty at that time and she must have been very
much older. She asked me how old I was and I
said, " Thirty." She said, " How funny, I am only
three years older than you." I had never met
anyone who lied quite to that extent before and was
rather disturbed. I thought that conversation
under those circumstances was going to be difficult,
if not impossible. Evan Morgan came to see her
with me one evening. She told us that we were
both vulgar and common and it nearly ended in a
battle. The day that they all went to Brancusi's
they danced and sang and the Baroness, feeling tired,
asked if she could go upstairs and lie down for a
short time. She did, and then went home. When
Brancusi went to bed he was horrified to find the
Baroness's yellow wig. It was an embarrassing
moment for him. The next day she wrote and
explained that it belonged to her; she said that she
did not, as a rule, wear it, and would he send it back
at once.
I worked at Modigliani's studio with the Pole and
drew at the Academy. I felt rather a fool about my
painting as all the Poles and, in fact, all the painters
painted in very bright colours, and mine still looked
like London fog. I was very happy and felt very well
as I always did in Paris. The Pole liked me very
much. He painted portraits and flowers. He was
small and well-built and looked rather like Charlie
Chaplin, whom he imitated very well as he wore a
pair of very baggy corduroy trousers.