Skip to main content

Full text of "Laughing Torso"

See other formats


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                      ;-.. ,.''