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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

tastes like vinegar.   There were lady dance partners
of all ages and sizes.   There was one very fat lady,
far from young, dressed, or rather "'upholstered "
in red velvet.   As I was very thin. Tommy thought
it would look very funny to see her dancing with me
and called her over.   The lady was delighted and,
much to my embarrassment seized me round the
wraist and whirled me round and round.    Tommy
handed  her  twenty  francs   and   insisted   on  her
repeating  the  process.      I  was  becoming  really
exhausted and we asked her to join us in some wine.
She sat down and entertained us with the story of
her life, which was much the same as that of any
other lady in any other night club.   We then went to
La Pigalle, which is, I think, the gayest and most
lively of all the Boites.   There people seem to be
really enjoying themselves and, at most of the other
places,   the   gaiety  seems   to   be   forced.     Paper
streamers   were   being   thrown   about,   and   little
muslin bags, containing coloured cotton-wool balls,
were handed to us to throw at our neighbours.   In
the middle of the room was a table, and, sitting at it,
I recognized Little Tich.    I was thrilled, as I had
seen him on the stage but never in real life.   It was
impossible not to recognize him.    In front of him
was a bottle of champagne in a bucket, and Tommy
and I pelted him with our stock of ammunition.   I
hit him on the head twice, which I don't think he
liked much.   I was a very good shot as I had learnt
the accomplishment of throwing straight from the
bathing-machine boys in Tenby.    The third time
I hit the bottle of champagne, which was apparently
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