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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

BACK   TO   PARIS   AND   CELEBRITIES
brandy, red wine, and mahogany. Later on our
friend went out to replace the bottles. She bought
whisky and red wine. Next morning she found
the key of the box in an envelope addressed to
her brother in the hall. The bottles did not con-
tain whisky but brandy. After this disaster we
went to Regent Square. Some time before, the
flat had been shared by Aldous Huxley and his wife.
Upstairs lived two elderly ladies. They made,
sometimes in the evenings, a great deal of noise.
The landlord was a retired vicar. Aldous wrote a
letter complaining of the noise and asked him if he
would be kind enough to ask the ladies to stop their
nocturnal "bombinations"; the French slang for
raising hell and disturbing everyone is to faire la
bombeyZxid this word was an invention of his. The
Vicar wrote a pained letter back and said that he
was quite certain that the Misses A. were quite
incapable of committing any kind of abomination.
The flat was, at this time, shared by Russell Green
and his wife. Russell had been a contemporary of
Tommy's at Oxford. Facing the Square was a large
room with two windows and book-cases with very
fine books. First editions of Restoration Plays and
all kinds of rare and interesting works. By the
window was a telephone and in front of the fire was
a large wicker " Oxford'5 armchair. Near the door
was a divan on which Tommy slept. As I had
travelled all day and was tired I said that I would
like to go to bed. Tommy gave me a bottle of Bass
to drink, if I was thirsty during the night, and went
into the kitchen, saying that he was going to cook
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