Vol. 17 No. 1 1950 - page 20

ufacturers put out a Rolling Junk, and their salesmen come immedi–
ately to us because they know that we are the sort of people to whom
Rolling Junks should be sold." Eventually they settled in Westport in
a comfortable grey-shingled house known locally as the Burritt Wake–
man place.
But somehow peace did not descend; it was rather week-end
guests who descended, and the party went on. One night, out of some
kind of boredom, Zelda put in a fire alarm and when the department
arrived and asked where the fire was she struck her breast dramatically
and said, "Here." "There were people in automobiles all along the
Boston Post Road," Zelda wrote afterwards, "thinking everything was
going to be all right while they got drunk and ran into fire-plugs
and trucks and old stone walls. Policemen were too busy thinking
everything was going to be all right to arrest them." Through May and
June they saw many old and new friends, college friends of Scott's
like John Biggs and Townsend Martin, new acquaintances like Charles
Towne. George Jean Nathan came for a week-end and immediately
announced that their Japanese butler, Tana, had whispered to him
that his real name was Lieutenant Emile Tannenbaum and that he
was a German Intelligence officer (Tana, like so much else from this
period of the Fitzgerald's lives, turns up almost intact in
The Beautiful
and Damned).
Nathan kept urging on them more parties which were
hard to resist: "Can't we all have a party during the week? Mencken
will be here and I should like to have you meet him. I have laid in
three more cases of gin," he would write. He also made love to Zelda
to the point of arousing Fitzgerald's jealous anger; it is possible he had
a good deal of cooperation from Zelda. She loved crowds and ad–
miration and flirtations, and much of her enjoyment of them came
from the violence of Fitzgerald's jealousy. Though they were very
much in love, still they were jealous of one another's success, for both
of them were ambitious and loved to be the center of things; they
quarreled as only such people can. "They love[d] each other ...
desperately, passionately. They [clung] to each other like barnacles
cling to rocks, but they want[ed] to hurt each other all the time to
test their feeling," says Simone of David and RiIda (who were contem–
porary portraits of the Fitzgeralds) in Van Vechten's
explanation is too simple, but it makes quite clear the impression the
Fitzgerald's gave. Zelda's main recourse was to refuse to tell Fitz-
1...,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19 21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,...100
Powered by FlippingBook