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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING   TORSO

decided that we could not put our poor friend in
the dustbin so we sat down and thought. In the
gutters of the streets of- Paris are, at intervals,
small slits about a foot and a half long and about
six inches high. These lead to the sewers of Paris,
which lead to the Seine. We decided that at
night we would wrap our cat's body up and drop
him down, and he might eventually float down to
the sea. I thought of Alfred Jarry's remark about
dead people. I think it is in the Docteur Faustrol; I
can't quote it in French, but when he asks, " What
is the difference between live people and the dead? "
the answer is, " The live ones can swim both up
and down the river, but the dead ones can only
swim down." We stretched our cat out straight and
wrapped him in two layers of paper and tied him up
with string. We made a handle of the string and he
looked rather like a parcel containing a long bottle.
At nine in the evening we went out, the Pole holding
the parcel by the string handle. We crept round
the neighbourhood, looking for a quiet spot. We
walked for some time round the Luxembourg
gardens and finally found a suitable place in the
Rue d'Assas. Both crying bitterly, we popped him
in And then went to the Cafe Parnasse, and had
some drinks. Everyone asked why we were so sad,
but we did not tell them, and went home to bed.
The Pole knew many Spaniards and they came
to our studio and played and sang. . . . They were
much the same as the South American. I liked the
Spaniards. They seemed to spend their lives playing
guitars. Even so they really did a great deal of work.