Book 1, Chapter 20 Notes from Tender is the Night

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Tender is the Night Book 1, Chapter 20

After lunch, Rosemary had cramps and felt fretful. Dick was also unhappy and the subsequent increase of egotism tended momentarily to blind him to what was going on around him. After Mary left for her train, Rosemary too got up to leave to go to the studio, where she was meeting with some people. However, before leaving, she asked the remaining company to tell Collis that she couldn't wait and for him to call her the next day. Nicole was angry and told Rosemary to leave the message with a waiter as they were leaving immediately.

As soon as Rosemary left, Dick noticed a flash of unhappiness of Nicole's mouth. It was so small that anybody but him could have missed it, and he could have pretended not to see it. He wandered what Nicole was thinking. Rosemary was one of many people he had 'worked over' in the past years, and Nicole knew how these people interpreted his interest and enthusiasm; but she also knew that except for when their children were being born, Dick had not spent a night away from her since their marriage. There was a moment of silence before Collis appeared. As soon as he sat, Nicole left. However, Dick sat with Collis as he liked him, and he listen passively as Collis rambled on. Dick's attention was soon caught by the subject matter of which Collis was speaking - Rosemary. Collis was saying how when he first met Rosemary, he thought that she was very cold, but after a certain incident, he changed his mind. What had happened was that on the train from New York to Chicago one Easter, Rosemary had a compartment with one of Collis's cousins, but she wanted to be alone with Bill Hillis, one of his friends, so she and Bill went into a compartment by themselves. Two hours later, Collis went back and found Rosemary and Bill arguing with the conductor - Rosemary white as a sheet. What had happened was that they had locked the door and pulled down the blinds, and Collis said that while some 'heavy stuff' must have been happening, the conductor went around to pick up the tickets. They thought that it was Collis joking around with them and knocking on the door, so they wouldn't let him in at first, and when they did, he was very angry.

Dick suddenly felt a change within him, caused by the thought of a third person with Rosemary. He could vividly picture every minute of the story, including Bill asking Rosemary if she would mind if he pulled the curtain down. Whereas the story had no impression on Collis, except that it proved to him that Rosemary was 'human', Dick realized that Collis was in love with Rosemary.

Topic Tracking: Love 11

Dick went to the bank, and wrote a check; however, he was unsure who to ask to cash the check, as he had ties with each of the tellers. He finally decided on the youngest one, as he would only have to put on a small show. He first went to the mail desk, and picked up his mail, where there were several letters for him, three for Nicole, and one for Rosemary. However, he could not get the picture of Bill asking Rosemary if he could pull down the curtain out of his mind. By the time he reached the teller, the person he wanted to present his check to was busy, so he approached the one who would, and did, make conversation about mutual friends that Dick hadn't spoken to for twelve years.

Dick got into a taxi and was uncertain of what he wanted to do since he was so shocked by what had happened in the last forty-eight hours. He told the taxi to take him to Rosemary's studio, and yet when there, he tried his best to make sure she didn't see him. He knew that this was out of character with everything he had done in his life, and was a turning point.

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