Tender is the Night Book 1, Chapter 10
Abe told Rosemary that the trouble started at the time the Brady's car passed the Diver's car that had pulled over. Violet McKisco was telling Mrs. Abrams what she had seen at the Diver's when she had gone to the bathroom, but Tommy stopped her. Abe then said that The Divers together is more important to their friends than many of them realize and continued to say "of course it's done at a certain sacrifice - sometimes they seem just rather charming figures in a ballet, and worth the attention you five a ballet, but it's more than that - you'd have to know the story. Anyhow Tommy is one of those men that Dick's passed along to Nicole." Book 1, Chapter 10, pg. 43 As Violet persisted to tell the story, Tommy kept stopping her as if the Divers were sacred and then told her to speak about something else. When she didn't stop, he asked her if she wanted to get out and walk the rest of the way to the hotel, and then told Mr. McKisco to 'shut his wife up'. Mr. McKisco called Tommy a bully, and said that they should have a duel. Being French, Tommy took him up on it and called someone to act as a second, while Mr. McKisco asked Abe to be his second.
When Abe finished telling the story, Rosemary asked if the Divers knew that the duel was about them, to which Abe replied that they didn't and that it was better that way. They then went to see Mr. McKisco, who was no longer drunk, although he had a glass of champagne in his hand. He had been writing and drinking all night, and after asking how much time was left, he gave Abe a letter to give to his wife. He was concerned about how his wife would get back to America, and sad about never finishing his novel. Rosemary advised him that he shouldn't fight a duel, to which he replied that she was right and he should have beat Tommy up when he had the chance. He then continued to say that he couldn't back down because he had suggested the duel and if he backed down then his wife would never respect him again. Rosemary assured him that this wasn't true as Abe pulled out Tommy's pistols so that Mr. McKisco could familiarize himself with them. After discussing the distance for the duel, they all left and when Mr. McKisco asked what would happen if he killed Tommy, Abe answered that he would run him over the Italian border. This was the first thing McKisco had ever really done, as he was one of those people for whom a sensual world did not exist. Abe then told McKisco that there was something he wanted to see him about alone. Rosemary left.