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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

PARIS    AND    BRITTANY

have at the Claridge Gallery, in Brook Street. I had
a good many oil-paintings that I had never exhibited
before, and quite enough for a good exhibition. He
bought a still life of mine and paid me twelve hun-
dred francs. I was delighted and wired immediately
to F. that I was arriving at any moment. I paid
the hotel bill and felt very light-hearted and free
again. The next day I caught a violent.cold and
that evening had to go to bed with a high tempera-
ture. I was living alone at that time in the Rue
Campagne Premiere. In the same hotel lived three
people who were charming, but generally spent
every night dancing and drinking in Montmartre,
arriving home at seven or eight in the morning.
They generally bounced into my room to inform
me of the scandals of the night, which they managed
to hiccough out. At seven a.m. they arrived in
evening-dress. I said I was very ill. They were
very upset and brought me a bottle of brandy and
tottered off to their beds. I looked at it and decided
that I should, on the whole, prefer a lingering death
rather than a sudden one and went to sleep. I
managed to sleep all day and at six-thirty a doctor
friend of mine happened to call and see me. He
gave me one look and said, " Have you any money? "
I gave him fifty francs and he went out and bought
various pills, potions, and appliances, and within
ten minutes my temperature was considerably less.
By this time my neighbours had come to, and
were appalled to think that they had not fetched a
doctor in the morning. I suggested that they should
have some brandy and console themselves as it
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