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Book 1, Chapter 19 Notes from Tender is the Night

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Tender is the Night Book 1, Chapter 19

Abe left from the station at eleven. Just as he was wondering whether he had time for a drink before he left, he noticed Nicole, who was very self-revelatory in her expressions, as she felt unobserved. She was frowning, but upon seeing Abe, the mood passed off her face. She quickly told him that she was only there because he had asked her to come. Abe seemed to have forgotten why he asked her to come, and Nicole seemed content to look at the passers-by. She noticed a woman wearing a dress with extra material, and became very emotional, talking about the dress and the story behind it faster and faster.

Suddenly, she stopped talking and realized that she had said too much for her. Then, Abe began to talk - he said that he had not had fun seeing them this trip, and that he was tired of them. He continued to say that if he had any enthusiasm, he would go on to find new people. Nicole slapped him, and said that it was foolish of him to be unpleasant and that he didn't mean what he had just said. In response, he said that maybe he was just bored, and tired of women's worlds and of friends. The thing to have, he said, was sycophants. The station was filling up, and Nicole noticed a girl she knew dropping letters into a mail-slot, and said she had to speak to her. Abe followed Nicole's gaze, and recognized the girl as someone he had seen around Paris. The woman turned as if to greet Nicole, and Nicole approached her. Then, the girl turn around and left. Nicole returned to the table just as Abe was about to go and get a drink. Abe and Nicole started arguing again, but Rosemary and Mary came into sight.

They stood in a group made uncomfortable by Abe's sober presence. Dick appeared soon and pulled them out of the situation, changing the subject. Some Americans were saying goodbyes, as new people came on to the station. Nicole, meanwhile, was noticing something else, and grabbed Dick's arm, pointing to the woman she had earlier seen. The woman was quickly running away from the man she was talking to, and plunging frantically into her purse, pulled out a revolver and shot someone twice. Simultaneously, the train began to move, and Abe, oblivious to what had happened, waved from the window. The target was sitting down on the platform and the crowd was forming. The crowd then split in two - one half following the man as he was being carried away on the stretcher and the other following the girl. Dick left the group for a few minutes and came back to say that the girl was Maria Wallis, the man was an Englishman who it was difficult to identify since she had shot him through his identification card, and that he would go with her to the police station. Nicole objected and said that the girl's sister lived in Paris and that they should simply call her. Dick said that he should go because he didn't want them to do anything outrageous to her.

However, he was unconvinced and also wanted to show off for Rosemary. Nicole then told him to wait, and went to call Laura, Maria's sister. Meanwhile, Rosemary realized that Dick liked to help everybody, just like her mother. When she voiced this, the mention of her mother annoyed Dick rather than amused him, and he found himself wanting to sweep her away from her mother. However, this urge made him realize that he had somewhat lost control, and he reestablished himself immediately. Nicole and Rosemary were both shocked by what had happened, and were waiting for Dick to make a moral comment on the matter, but he was too shaken by his own emotions to resolve things, and so the women slipped into vague unhappiness.

Although they pretended that nothing had happened, for Rosemary, everything had happened: Abe had left, Mary was planning to leave that afternoon for Salzburg, and thus the time in Paris had ended. Furthermore, "the shots had entered into all their lives: echoes of violence followed them out onto the pavement where two porters held a post-mortem beside them as they waited for a taxi."Book 1, Chapter 19, pg. 85

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