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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

BACK   TO   PARIS    AND    CELEBRITIES
" Hold the bone while I carve it." I was at the
other side of the table and grabbed the ham bone
and pulled, as she had the fork in the ham. The
bone was only an imitation one and came out in my
hand and I fell over backwards. It was one of those
very grand hams that had been filleted. She then
grabbed me by the shoulder of my dress and said,
" Take this off and dance.55 This amused me as I
thought of WassiliefFs studio and my performances
there, but I said nothing and did not dance. Lady
Michelham was charming and asked me to come
and see her at her home at Passy. I knew that she
had the most wonderful pictures and was delighted.
The party ended about four a.m. and I went home
to Montparnasse. Some days later I went to see
her. She had an enormous apartment and the foot-
man showed me into a small room leading into a
big drawing-room. I sat and waited. There were
cases containing the most wonderful pottery and on
the wall the sketch for Gainsborough's " Hay Cart/5
which is in the National Gallery. The sketch I
thought very much more beautiful than the finished
picture. The finished picture had, unfortunately,
been so much cleaned that half the paint had been
removed also. Lady Michelham came in and sent
for some cocktails. We had a long talk about life
and gossiped about our friends* She then asked me
if I would like to see the rest of her apartment. We
went into a huge ball-room with a very fine Law-
rence portrait of a lady and many other splendid
specimens of the English School. In a flat, glass
case, in the middle of the room were the most
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