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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING   TORSO

Modigliani's, and knew many stories about him, so
I was never bored for a minute. We went to the
sea-shore every morning with the Foujitas and the
South American. There were bathing-boxes, and
Madame Foujita and I shared one and the men had
another. Foujita swam like a fish and dived
beautifully. I could not swim at all, the result of
my having been " ducked " when I was a child, but
they all decided to teach me. We all made a great
effort and finally after a week, I managed to swim
five metres, and after a scream of triumph, sank.
We went in the evening to a cafe where they had, on
Friday nights, Cafe Concerts. The songs they sang
shocked even me, they were of an unbelievable
indecency, but the population were delighted, and
cheered loudly. I drew at the cafe during the day-
time, as we sometimes went there after lunch.
There were Senegalese working near by, digging a
trench. They never appeared to be doing any work,
they just posed in attitudes, resting on their pickaxes
and their shovels, standing in very well composed
groups, never moving at all. We stayed at Gollioure
for three months and even then the trench was not
completed. One day my Pole said to one of them,
"How do you like the women here? " And he re-
plied, " Not at all, they smell too much." Ap-
parently the white girls smelt as badly to them as
the black men did to the white girls, and so no one
had any success at all.
We had brought metres of canvas with us and
some stretchers, and a few days later I found a
motif. It was up a hill; one saw roofs in the fore-
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