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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

THE    SOUTH    OF   FRANCE

found a cellar with Spaniards drinking wine out of
bottles with long spouts. They held the spouts to
their lips, opened their throats, and down went the
wine. We ordered a bottle of wine and some glasses.
The Pole and the South American drank out of the
bottles. The French, who were entering Spain,
drank to the health of the Spaniards, and the
Spaniards who were about to enter France, drank
to the health of the French* We drank to every-
body's health, including our own, and the Customs
House Officers. We then descended the other side
of the mountain and entered Port Bou. The cafes
were filled. The Spanish men wore black hats and
smoked cigars. When they saw me they screamed,
" Inglesel Inglesel " This, I realized, was regrettable,
but could not be helped. The Spaniards had little
fans, which they flapped all the time. We found a
restaurant and ordered a large lunch with a litre of
Spanish wine. It cost us a good deal of money, as
we had to change our francs into pesetas. The wine
was so strong that even five of us dared not finish the
bottle, which we left only three-quarters empty.
-After .lunch.-we .visited the fete. There were re-
gattas, and dances, and guitars, and what was de-
scribed as pigeon-shooting. This rather horrified
me as the unfortunate pigeons were tied to posts
by their legs. The Spaniards shot at them. There
was a whole row of pigeons and if one was wounded
—they very rarely killed one outright—it flapped its
wings and frightened the other birds. It was then
time to return, as we had our train to catch at
Cerbere. We passed the Customs, who were tactful
'