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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING   TORSO

drunk anything. I sat on a chair and grinned.
The others entered the giggling stage. This was for
me a most awful bore as I could not say a word of
any kind without them roaring with laughter. I
got so bored that I went home to my Pole. Crowley
eventually returned to Cefalu, taking his wife with
him, and so we had no more Kubla Khan No. 2.
There was a charming Frenchman who visited
the quarter. He wore a black hat and had curly
black hair which was going grey. He was a very
important person at the Prefecture of Police. He
was a great friend of all the artists in Montparnasse
and bought many pictures from the Polish picture-
dealer. He had several very fine Modiglianis. He
sang old French songs very beautifully, including
one which had been the favourite song of Henry the
Fourth. It was a most charming song and I wish
that I had learnt it. One day I had to visit the
Prefecture of Police about my carte d'identite. He
had told me that if I wanted any help to come and
see him in his office. I went one morning and
mentioned his name. I was shown to the office by
several policemen,, who were very polite. The door
was opened and, sitting at a desk, was Monsieur S.
looking very unlike a Chief of Police. The walls
were covered from top to bottom with modern
paintings-—very good ones indeed—and for the
moment I completely forgot why I had come. I
had no wish to remember either, as I was much too
interested in the pictures. Unfortunately he was a
very busy man and I had to explain my difficulties
a&d go away. I tried to know as few English and
-U :^.:"::"'V-V' :.' ;..-V 180 -.' -• ' -. ' v •