Friday, February 1

Paragraphs from Stein, 9

"Gertrude Stein always said the war was so much better than just going to America. Here you were with America in a kind of way that if you only went to America you could not possible be. Every now and then one of the american soldiers would get into the hospital at Nîmes and as Doctor Fabre knew that Gertrude Stein had had a medical education he always wanted her present with the doughboy on these occasions. One of them fell off the train. He did not believe that the little french trains could go fast but they did, fast enough to kill him.

"This was a tremendous occasion. Gertrude Stein in company with the wife of the préfet, the governmental head of the department and the wife of the general were the chief mourners. Duncan and two others blew on the bugle and everybody made speeches. The Protestant pastor asked Gertrude Stein about the dead man and his virtues and she asked the doughboys. It was difficult to find any virtue. Apparently he had been a fairly hard citizen. But can't you tell me something good about him, she said despairingly. Finally Taylor, one of his friends, looked up solemnly and said, I tell you he had a heart as big as a washtub."

fr. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

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