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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAU GHING    TORSO

tried all the guitars and Van Loon played all the
violins. We could not find anything that we liked
so moved on to the Boulevard Montparnasse.
There were several shops that I knew of there, and
we tried more guitars and more violins. Alas! we
could not find a single guitar that we liked and I
had to content myself with a large bunch of red
roses. He came and sat for me a few days later and
I did a drawing of him which was a bad drawing
but a good likeness. I went often to his hotel near
the Rue de Rivoli, and met his wife " Jimmy/' who
was charming and we all went to a Russian restaur-
ant in the Rue du Bac and dined. I saw them quite
often. One day they asked me to go to a large hotel
in the Champs Elysees to dance and have tea or
cocktails. Van Loon fetched me in the Daimler,
wrhich he always had in Paris. As we were walking
down the corridor of the hotel leading to the ball-
room I saw, walking ahead of me, a man with a
wonderful figure and wide shoulders. I walked
quickly on and caught him up and saw as I passed
him that he was Carpentier. I saw him dancing
afterwards, "Jimmy" and Van Loon's Dutch
sister were waiting for us. I danced with Van
Loon, who, like nearly all big men, danced very
well. His wife and sister did not care about dancing.
We all left together and stepped into the Daimler.
As we drove away the sister said, cc Hendrik, what
kind of men are they that frequent this hotel;
distinguished people, attaches at Embassies, I sup-
pose? " Van Loon said, " No, my dear; bastard sons
of bitches! " And Jimmy said, " Oh, Hendrik! "
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