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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

SOUTH    AGAIN

myself. From St. Marguerite we could see in the
distance, in the Golfe Juan, some warships. We were
told that they were English. After lunch we visited
a monastery and then took our motor-boat. Chenal
suggested that as we had plenty of time we should
return by the Golfjuan and visit the warships. The
first one had not a visitors3 day, but the second one
was the " Royal Oak/3 and we climbed up the side.
A petty officer said to a sailor who had helped us up,
" Do they speak English?35 And I said, " I am
English,53 whereupon they were delighted. So were
my friends, and we saw all over the gun-room and
climbed up and down ladders. When we got to
Cannes we went to the Casino. One can play boule
without a special ticket, but for the roulette and
more serious gambling rooms one has to have one.
Chenal was charming and bought me a season ticket
for a month, not that I ever gambled, but it was
most thrilling to watch the faces of the Greeks and
serious old ladies at the most serious table of all,
where the chips on the table staggered me. We
saw the ex-King of Portugal. We had to wait
a little before the really serious table started. On
each place is a card with a name on it, and I saw
the names of several very well-known people.
Eventually the table filled up. There was a very
smart old lady with a large hat covered in flowers.
She had the most sinister face I have ever seen, and
completely expressionless. There were two elderly
Englishwomen, who looked like governesses, and had
piles of chips in front of them. Poulenc played
boule, I did not play anything, but continued to
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