Skip to main content

Full text of "Laughing Torso"

See other formats


decided to come here every evening. It was right
on the quays and we drank Vermouth Cassis and
sometimes Calvados. I found many subjects to
paint and started by doing a water-colour. I then
found, in a little street leading up to the town from
the quays, a pale blue and cream-coloured ice*
cream barrow with white and grey stone houses
behind. I painted this every morning, starting quite
early. Frank sat outside the cafe, drank Ver-
mouth Cassis, and read Ulysses until I joined him
when I had finished painting. I found life extremely
agreeable and remember my stay in Douarnenez
with the greatest pleasure. One day there was a
Breton fete and all the peasants came out in the
dresses of their ancestors. They looked wonderful,
and played the Cornemuses, which are little bag-
pipes, and very much like the bag-pipes that are
played by the peasants in Auvergne. The fete was
held in a large field some miles from the towrn and
we walked there and sat on long wooden benches
to watch the dances. A few days after we arrived
we found another little cafe near our hotel. It had
a penny-in-the-slot piano which played a strange
selection of war-time popular tunes, including an
English one; its respectable title I don't know, as I
can only remember the unprintable version of it.
The cafe was kept by two buxom peasant women
who wore, as in fact all the women did, little white
caps and black dresses. On the counter were
barrels of cider and in the cafe there were only
sailors and no women at all except myself and the
proprietresses. Barrels were used as tables and we