Vol. 17 No. 1 1950 - page 16

you got for sale?' I ask [the merchant], and he rubs
hands together
and says: 'Well, mademoiselle, to-day we have some perfectly be-oo–
tiful love.' Sometimes he hasn't even got that in stock, but he sends
out for it when he finds I have so much money to spend." So the
hero of the story, a bright young executive, gives Rags an evening at
a roof garden where he fools her into thinking she's met the Prince
of Wales and she thanks him for "the second greatest thrill" of her
life and marries him. Thus the exceedingly optimistic young man in
Fitzgerald, who, though he was hardly more mature than the fifteen–
year-old who invented "Thornton Hart alias 'The Shadow,''' the
suave gentleman burglar, nonetheless guided Fitzgerald's life much of
the time. What the spoiled priest was thinking of it all was another
matter. A decade later he was to say in "Babylon Revisited" of the
man who locked his wife out in the snow after a drunken quarrel:
" ... the snow of twenty-nine wasn't real snow.
you didn't want
it to be snow you just paid some money."
With a kind of youthful naivety and gusto which led most peo–
ple to forgive them almost anything, the Fitzgeralds went about New
York "doing what they had always wanted to do." "The other even–
ing at a dancing club," one observer wrote, "a young man in a gray
suit, soft shirt, loosely tied scarf, shook his tousled yellow hair engag–
ingly, introduced me to the beautiful lady with whom he was dancing
and sat down. They were Mr. and Mrs. Scott Fitzgerald, and Scott
seemed to have changed not one whit from the first time I met him at
Princeton, when he was an eager undergraduate bent upon becoming
a great author. He is still eager. He is still bent upon becoming a
great author." They were as likely to be three hours late to a dinner
party as on time and even more likely not to come at all. They went
to parties, carefully greeted their hosts, and then sat quietly down in a
corner and, like two children, went fast asleep. They rode down Fifth
Avenue on the tops of taxis because it was hot or dove into the foun–
tain at Union Square or tried to undress at the Scandals, or, in
sheer delight at the splendor of New York, jumped, dead sober, into
the Pulitzer fountain. Fitzgerald got in fights with waiters and Zelda
danced, more or less clothed, on people's dinner tables. "When Zelda
Sayre and I were young," said Fitzgerald toward the end of his life,
""the war was in the sky," and with his incurable honesty he always
remembered how optimistic and assured they all felt about life as they
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