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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

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the voyage was very agreeable. Yvonne had
arranged to stay at the Hotel Metropole in Northum-
berland Avenue. The Countess had to stay with a
friend of hers. Yvonne and I went to the hotel. I
had a room on the fourth floor and she had a room
lower down. We were very tired and so we both
went to bed.
The next morning about nine-thirty I went down-
stairs and tapped on her door.    The maid had
drawn the blinds and outside it was completely
dark. There was not actually a fog but an overhead
one and it was just as dark as night.   Yvonne gave
a scream of horror and said, " This is dreadful, I
shall return to France at once! " I said, " Give me
some money and you will not want to return so
quickly."  I went to Soho and bought a bottle of
pre-war absinthe, a copy of the Matin, and some
Maryland jaunes.   When I arrived back we pushed
the bell and sent for the waiter and told him to bring
some ice.   We drank a few absinthes and felt very
much better.   The fog then lifted and we went to
the Alhambra, where she had to rehearse.   I sat on
the stage and translated to the conductor.    That
evening she appeared and had an enormous success.
After the first house, which I did not go to, but
waited for the second one, Yvonne returned to the
hotel, and, finding me alone, said, " Now take me
to somewhere amusing, not the Ritz or places like
that but somewhere that is amusing and unique/*
I had already been thinking of places to take her to
that would amuse and possibly astonish her,   I said
that for the moment I had only ^