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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

PARIS
a stuffed bird of paradise, and pressed it into the
hands of my astonished friend. He hardly spoke at
all, but we asked him to lunch the next day, which
was Sunday. One or two people had been invited to
lunch from Paris to meet him and we waited and
waited. After nearly an hour late Ronald appeared
in an ancient barouche which he had hired. He
refused to eat or to drink and hardly said a word.
The minute coffee was finished he presented the
Countess and myself with a copy of his latest book
and made a dash for the barouche, which he had
kept waiting, and returned to Versailles. I was
severely reprimanded for producing an obvious
lunatic, but Ronald was a person who was so
temperamental that he could really "not be relied
on to do anything at any stated time.
In the afternoon Cecile Sorel came to tea with
" Coco " Chanel, the Couturiere, and Monsieur and
Madame Van Dongen and several other people.
Everyone spoke French and after tea we drank
cocktails and danced. Van Dongen danced with
Sorel, they both danced marvellously. Van Dongen
is very tall and very thin, with a long beard. Sorel
was not very tall but with a most elegant and
serpent-like figure. Everyone stopped to watch
them and no one else had the courage to dance.
The Countess motored me back to Paris the fol-
lowing day.
A negro night-club had been opened by Bricktop,
a coloured singer. Her name was explained by
the fact that as she was not entirely coloured her
hair was slightly reddish. One night after dinner
265