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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAU GHING    TORSO

Boulogne is very tough indeed, and it is round here
that nearly all the criminals are found. The neigh-
bourhood from the point of view of living there is
very respectable, but there are side streets with very
bad cafes frequented by criminals. One evening
I was going out to dine with Marie, and we stood
on the doorstepówe were both in evening dressó
to wait for a taxi. Suddenly she ran across the
street and stopped a taxi and then called for me. I
ran across and found that she was being spoken to
by a most dreadful looking tough with a real
criminal face. He wanted to take us off somewhere
in the taxi. We ran quickly back to her house and
shut the door. We then asked the concierge to fetch
us a taxi.
I met at the Parnasse an American who had the
brightest, reddest hair, I had ever seen. He had
small blue eyes, the colour of a turquoise, and a
freckled face. He was very tall and looked as if his
arms and legs might come unhooked at any mo-
ment. He spoke very slowly. I had not been in
love since the incident of the Pole and immediately
on seeing this vision with such red hair, I began to
" sit up and take notice." I have always liked red-
headed people of both sexes. They seem to me to
be very much alive and very intelligent. I met him
a few days later. We arranged to dine on the night
oftheBaldes Quatz5 Arts. I never went, for reasons
that I have explainedbefore. It was too rough. I
still saw my Pole and worked at the studio, in fact
stayed there sometimes. During the afternoon of
the day of the ball, Arthur Rubenstein appeared,,