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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

great fun at the Boeuf when the dull people and the
Americans went away and we were left to ourselves.
Everyone did turns, either sang their songs, danced,
or did acrobatics.
I was introduced one day to a very nice American
called Frank. Curiously enough, two years before,
I had seen him in a small restaurant and always
liked the look of him. He used to roll his eyes about
and get up and do ridiculous dances by himself when
he had drunk a good deal of wine. He was tall,
with large blue eyes, and wore old-fashioned
knickerbockers, the kind that we christened " Minus
twos " after the appearance of " Plus fours," I
have recently discovered that his line of conversation
and his method of dancing were strongly influenced
by Mr. Groucho Marx. He was extremely funny
and amused me. I was very broke and very bored
with life in Montparnasse and, although I had a
fine time with my French friends, and at the Boeuf
sur le Toit, I felt that I was not making any kind of
progress, either from the point of view of painting or
finance. One day Frank said, " I am bored here,
let's go to Brittany." I said, " All right, I have no
money at all." He said, " That doesn't matter, I
have a few thousand francs and can live on that
for a month, come along with me." I bought
some-paints and a long roll of canvas which was
wrapped round a wooden pole, and one afternoon
we took the train to Brittany. We took some bottles
of wine with us, as no one in France ever dreams of
entering a train without some refreshment. We
iiad to change at Rennes and also wait there for
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