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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

THE   SOUTH   OF   FRANCE

nobody did any work. A comic band appeared.
They played in a little square. There were four of
them in Catalan costume and they sat on four
barrels. Three of them played curious instruments
like clarionets, but they made an odd noise, almost
like bagpipes, and the fourth one played a trumpet.
They played one particular tune over and over
again and the peasants danced Catalan dances. I
think that, during one week, there were three fete
days. As we lived near the square and as the band
played till after midnight we found it rather tire-
some. We painted one motif'in the morning and
another in the afternoon. I found a wonderful
scene with trees and houses. After I had painted
the usual blue sky for two afternoons a storm arose
and the sky became dark blue. I painted as hard
as I could and the painting was getting better and
better and then the downpour started and I had
to run for shelter. Of course, I never finished the
painting as there was not another storm. I always
think that it might have been a masterpiece. I
think one thinks that about every picture one has not
finished. We had painted about fourteen pictures
and the money was getting rather low. We had only
about three weeks* money left.
There was a curious old lady who paraded up and
down the streets. She was a beggar and moved
from place to place according to the seasons. She
spent the winter months in Paris. Everyone hated
her because she sang or rather croaked in a loud
and raucous voice. When she walked down our
street all the inhabitants put their heads out of their