LAUGHING TORSO Lewis, I guess that as far as style goes Flaubert has got you all beat, but as far as characterization goes youVe got Flaubert all beat.39 Whereupon appar- ently an appalling battle started and Sinclair Lewis left the Dome having practically won on a " knock out." I met a young American, called John; he was a curious creature, not good-looking but tall, and with a very nice voice. He was a writer and wrote for Ford's paper, the Transatlantic Review. I liked him very much. He seemed to have almost every kind of complex possible; I thought him interesting. He lived near Paris in an old chateau, which was owned by a Greek lady and her husband, whose fortune was not so large as it had been before the War. They took in paying guests. They had several children who were very nice and well behaved. I went out to see him about once a week. All the pensionnaires had to speak French. There was a large garden, and after lunch we all played croquet, a game that I am very fond of. There was no grass on the cro- quet court, only hilly earth, and to get the balls through the hoops was purely a matter of luck. The chateau was of a very fine design and I should think late seventeenth century, with large windows opening on to the lawn. There were some very fine pictures, two small Gauguins, a Sisley, and a Manet. After the croquet game was finished we walked round the countryside, occasionally stopping to consume some Vermouth Cassis. In the spring the landscape was really beautiful, there were orchards everywhere, and one could see nothing for miles V:'::r""'"' :'1'":'v'- ' ' ' /: 238 ;-.. ,.•'•••'