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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

SOUTHERtt    FRANCE    A G A I ISf
crowd of others came out to meet us.    The villa
was filled up and so we had to stay at the house next
door.    This house was let out in rooms by an Aus-
trian Countess.    It had been sequestrated during
the War.   The Countess was a very beautiful woman
with white hair.   My friend had a room at the back.
I thought the whole place most sinister.   The room
had a padded door with a tiny window in it that had
bars for someone to peep through at the occupant
of the room.   All the windows and cupboards had
wires over them;  in fact it was a complete padded
cell.    My room opened out of it and faced the sea.
Outside was a small conservatory and then a garden
leading down to the sea-shore.   At this time the
Casino at Juan les Pins was only partially construc-
ted.  The beach was nearly empty most of the time.
We had our meals with the Prince M. and his party.
There was a Russian Baroness staying there who had
gone through the War in the Russian Army as a
Cossack orderly to a general.   She had won the St.
George's Cross.   I saw a photograph of her in her
uniform. She came from the Caucasus and was short
but very strong.   She gave me a Cossack's coat and
some cigarettes.   All the servants were Russians and
in the evenings we would sit round a charcoal fire in
the garden with our legs crossed and cook " Shlas-
lik," which is mutton and bacon put on a long
skewer and held over the burning charcoal.    We
looked  like  a  gipsy encampment.    The  Russian
servants had mostly been officers during the War
and had either to be servants or to keep restaurants.
When the whole party went into Nice the servants
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