Book 1, Chapter 4 Notes from Tender is the Night

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Tender is the Night Book 1, Chapter 4

The next day, the McKiscos were not there when she arrived on the beach, and she had barely spread her things when two men, the one with the jockey cap and the tall blonde one, left their group and came down to speak to her. Dick Diver first asked why she had stayed away from them yesterday and invited her to sit with them. His tone was kind, and by not saying her name he led her to believe that although they all knew who she was, they respected her privacy. Rosemary valued this courtesy tremendously and joined them.

Nicole Diver was wearing her pearls, as she had been the day before, and was looking for the recipe for chicken Maryland in a recipe book. Rosemary guessed that she was about twenty-four and realized the bold features of her face - from her brow to her lips. When she asked Rosemary if they were staying long, Rosemary realized that they might be there for another week, and answered that they were not staying very long. Trying to change the subject, she asked Nicole if she liked it where they were staying. To this, Abe North said that they had to like it since they invented it by convincing Gausse, two years ago, to keep the hotel open and keep on a cook and a chasseur. This year, the hotel did even better than last year. However, they do not stay at the hotel since they built a house up at Tarnes. The conversation then turned to the nationality of the people at the hotel, and the many strange names they had. During the conversation, everybody except for Nicole left, and Rosemary found that it was even quieter with Nicole than it was with her mother. Rosemary took note of the belongings that the group had, among which were a portable bathhouse for dressing and a pneumatic rubber house. There were many things that she had not seen before, and she considered the group to be rather fashionable people, and realized that these objects were probably from the first set of luxury manufacturing after the war; however, her mother had told her to beware of such people as drones, but she did not feel that way here.

She wondered about the interrelations of the group, but decided that it did not matter since they were all having a good time. Then, she wondered about the gentlemen of the group and decided that although they all seemed genuinely gentle, they were each very different. Barban was less civilized, more scoffing and skeptical, yet remained formal. Abe North had an amusing, but puzzling, sense of humor, and yet appeared to be very shy. She did not feel that she could judge him. Dick Diver was perfect, and she took a moment to admire him. He had a perfect reddish complexion, with bright blue eyes, and a perfect nose. He looked directly at the people he was talking to, and had a capturing voice. Yet, she could tell that there were layers of self-control and self-discipline in him, just like there were in her. Nicole saw her admire him and heard Rosemary sigh at the fact that he was taken.

Soon, the other party that Rosemary had met arrived, and took their place on the beach. Nicole complained that their were too many people on the beach that Dick had made, but remarked that the present crowd was better than the British one that had shared the beach with them last summer. Then, she informed Rosemary about a fight that had taken place the day prior to her arrival, when Mr. McKisco was having an argument with his wife, and she tossed some sand in his face, after which he sat on top of her and rubbed her face in the sand. In response to this, Dick said that he would go and invite the other party to lunch. Nicole said that she would not have it, and that she was very content with things the way they were, and thus there was not need to invite them. Furthermore, she said, it was time that they all went swimming. She handed Dick her sewing and told him to go put it on. When he emerged, it appeared that he was wearing a transparent black lace swimsuit; but upon inspection, it was found that it was lined with flesh-colored cloth.

Rosemary was delighted with the swimsuit, and responded whole-heartedly to the expensive simplicity of the Divers. However, she was unaware of the struggles they had endured in order to attain the simple virtues that they had. They then drank some sherry and ate crackers. Dick looked at her with his cold blue eyes and said, "You're the only girl I've seen for a very long time that actually did look like something blooming." Book 1, Chapter 4, pg. 22

Later, she cried in her mother's lap, and told her mother that she loved Dick, but that she also liked his wife, and that it was hopeless. When her mother said that she would like to meet him, Rosemary answered that they had invited them to dinner on Friday.

Topic Tracking: Love 2

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