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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

We sat down and ordered some cider mixed with
calvados—calvados is made from apples and tastes
very agreeable. A singer got up on the platform and
sang vulgar songs. Having learnt my French in the
University of Montparnasse I could understand
every word; at times I rather wished I couldn't.
The songs were what Evelyn Waugh would have
called, " Blush-making." Sometimes there were
very unpleasant battles in the cellar, and as the
staircase was narrow and winding, it was not easy
to get out in time. One evening a man and a woman
were there who spoke English and tried to pick a
quarrel with us with a view to blackmail. Having
visited this kind of place before, the man was rapidly
disposed of.
One day I was sitting on the terrasse of theRotonde,
at about nine in the morning, reading the Continental
Daily Mail—a deplorable habit—and a figure ap-
peared, having leapt over three tables. This was
Evan Morgan, who had just arrived back from
Marseilles; he was dressed in black and looked very
smart. He said, " How do you like my clothes? "
I said, " How smart!" He said, " Oh, no, a sailors3
shop in Marseilles. To-day is my birthday, let us
have a dinner-party and you must be the hostess."
We walked down the Boulevard Montparnasse in
the direction of the station. Opposite the station
is a very good restaurant called die Trianon, where
James-Joyce always dines. I had not met him at
this time. It had Plats rigionanx^ a different dish
each day J&om a different part of France. We
decided to ask twelve people, fourteen including
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