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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

and had to leave it to join the Army. He said that
the food was very bad but his family gave him
money so that he could feed himself. He was per-
fectly charming and at Toulon the sailors got off,
feeling rather ill and bad-tempered, and the soldier
and myself continued, standing in the corridor, talk-
ing and looking at the landscape. When I arrived
at Cannes, my friends were waiting for me on
the platform. The soldier got out and I intro-
duced him to them. We asked him to have a drink
with us but he had to wait for another train to
take him to Nice and had not got time. F* was
not at all surprised to see me with a French soldier,
as he is one of those sensible people who are not
at all surprised at anything.
I was very dirty indeed and I had some food at
the Cafe de Paris, which is, or was—I think it no
longer exists—opposite the Casino. We then
motored to the house, which was on the road to
Grasse, but about two miles from the main road.
It was a most beautiful old house, built about 1802,
on a hill surrounded by mimosa trees, which were in
full bloom. The yellow flowers in the sunlight were
so bright and dazzling that one had to blink one's
eyes for a few seconds before one could see. In the
front of the house was a hilly lawn with some big
trees. The whole lawn was covered in the biggest
and sweetest smelling violets that I have ever seen.
There were several farmhouses on the estate, quite
near the house, surrounded by olive trees and
a small, strangely shaped, and very fat donkey with
an enormous head. I did not get on very well with
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