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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING   TORSO

a well-dressed young Englishman who had just left
Oxford. He came along. He looked so respectable
that we made him dance a tango with La fille. I
think he felt that he really was starting out on a
career of adventure. Pascin suggested that we
should remove the negresses' clothes. We ap-
proached one and induced her to remove her dress.
She wore purple cotton underclothes and looked so
dreadful that we urged her to replace it. Parties in
Paris are always supposed to be so wicked and
immoral, but I can't say that I have ever, during
the whole of my career, seen or taken part in any-
thing worse than I have so far described. It is true
that I have been asked to places where I suspected
that things would get rather rough and so have
refused.
Pascin asked me to sit for him. He did a portrait
of me which he did not like and, I think, destroyed
it. One day I was dining in Montmartre with him
and some of his German friends. After dinner we
were sitting in a cafe drinking coffee and he was
talking about Les Belles Poules, and how he had
done many drawings there. I said, " What kind of
place is that? " He said, " C'est un b or del: est-ce
que vous n'avezjamais et£ Id? " I had to confess that
I had not. He said, " Then we will go now. We
will go back to my studio and get some paper and
pencils and spend the evening drawing the girls/5
The Belles Poules is near the Boulevard Sebasto-
pol and we went down a long passage. The
a most evil-looking old lady, exactly
"   -.-,"' •• '370-' - -,.' = '; •:.-/' • •'    :-. • •••'.