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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING   TORSO

I must say that I think that the fullest details can
be told to a select company of sympathetic people,
but not written down for everyone to read.
She had just taken an apartment in the Bois de
Boulogne on the ground floor. It was horribly dark
and the lights had to be turned on almost the whole
time. I went to see it the next day. The monkeys
had a whole room to themselves and lived in a large
wooden cage that had been made specially for them.
The snake had disappeared, apparently up a pipe in
the bathroom. We put mice at the bottom of the
pipe to try and entice it out, but nothing happened
except a horrible smell and we think it must have
stuck inside and died there. She had an instructor
who taught her acrobatic dancing; he had worked
in a circus. A mattress was placed in the hall,
which was large, and she, in a bathing dress, would
do remarkable feats with her anatomy. We
christened the instructor Adalbert, because his
name was Albert. He would roar instructions at
her. Acrobats are fiends and nearly always want
everyone else to become one. Prudence and Adal-
bert did their best to induce me to break up my
extremely well-preserved anatomy, but I firmly re-
fused. I introduced her to many people and they
all liked her and found her most entertaining. We
also went about a good deal together and I had a
wonderful time.
I saw Pascin from time to time. His studio was
always filled with the most extraordinary mixture of
people; He had the genuine descendant of the
Baron Munchausen, who was a shy young man,
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