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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

PARIS
dance floor, nearly upsetting the dancers, and em-
braced each other. She did not look more than
twenty-two and was marvellously dressed; she had
two large, real pearl necklaces on, and diamond
rings. She had been for some years in South
America and had had so many adventures that she
said it would take weeks for me to hear them all.
I had always called her Prudence; we christened
her by that name at Brangwyns because her con-
duct was so rash. She had been a dancer in South
America and had danced with Pavlova's troupe.
She had now become an acrobatic dancer and
was looking for a job in Paris. She had arrived
at an hotel with two monkeys and a snake, and
a very old and wicked-looking Spanish woman,
who was her maid. The old lady looked exactly
like the keeper of one of the more sinister "Joints "
in Montmartre. The hotel did not consider very
highly the idea of lodging the snake and the mon-
keys, but they said that they could stay for the
night. The' next morning Prudence went out,
taking with her the maid, who had never been
to Europe before. When they returned they found
the whole hotel in an uproar and a miniature
Niagara Falls pouring down the main staircase.
The monkeys had got into the bathroom and
turned on the taps and hidden themselves. The
snake's behaviour was beyond reproach and it lay
curled up in an armchair. I introduced her to
my friends, who were delighted with her. Her de-
scriptions of her adventures were most amusing and
she did not mind telling them with the fullest detail.
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