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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

SOUTH    AGAIN

it as, whenever I sat outside and attempted to draw,
it would lay its head on my lap or try and swallow
the Indian ink. There was also a tame sheep which
was very fond of walking into the drawing-room
and tucking itself up comfortably on the sofa. This
had to be discouraged in wet weather as it did not
wipe its feet. I had the most beautiful bedroom
with a large and very comfortable bed. I also had
a bathroom to myself and a kind lady came and
asked me if I wanted any mending done. I felt that
at last I had arrived in Paradise. The house had a
wide winding staircase. The rest of the house had
been painted with coloured patterns which, unfor-
tunately, had disappeared, principally owing to the
damp. At the back of the house was a lake filled with
fish and a small and very beautiful island with mi-
mosa trees on it. On the far side was a bed of irises.
We were on the top of a steep hill and the ground
sloped down. The other side of the pond, behind
the irises, which could be seen from the house, we
could see in the distance the sea, and at night the
Esterelle. At one side of the house was a valley and,
in the distance, more and bigger mountains. These
had snow on the top of them, and in the early morn-
ing were the most wonderful colour. Near the house
was a pear-tree in bloom. I think I have already
mentioned that near Paris, there were orchards
filled with pear blossoms which I never had the
courage to paint; but every day I looked at this
tree and determined to try. For the background
there were trees on the hill as it sloped towards the
valley,* and over their tops were the distant snow-
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