Mes Top 5 Ouvrages
Termes les plus recherchés
and Other Stories
F. Scott Fitzgerald
ALMA CLASSICS LTD
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This collection first published by Alma Classics Ltd in 2014
Extra Material © Richard Parker
Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CRO 4 YY
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Babylon Revisited and Other Stories
A New Leaf
Six of One...
Family in the Wind
What a Handsome Pair!
More than Just a House
The Night at Chancellorsville
Afternoon of an Author
The Lost Decade
Note on the Texts
F. Scott Fitzgeralds Life
F. Scott Fitzgeralds Works
Other books by F. SCOTT FITZGERALD
published by Alma Classics
All the Sad Young Men
Basil and Josephine
The Beautiful and Damned
Flappers and Philosophers
The Great Gatsby
The Last Tycoon
The Pat Hobby Stories
Tales of the Jazz Age
Tender Is the Night
This Side of Paradise
and Other Stories
nd where’s mr Campbell?” Charlie asked.
“Gone to Switzerland. Mr Campbell’s a pretty
sick man, Mr
“I’m sorry to hear that. And George Hardt?” Charlie enquired.
“Back in America, gone to work.”
“And where is the Snow Bird?”
“He was in here last week. Anyway, his friend, Mr Schaeffer, is in Paris.”
Two familiar names from the long list of a year and a half ago. Charlie
scribbled an address in his notebook and tore out the page.
“If you see Mr Schaeffer, give him this,” he said. “It’s my brother-in-
law’s address. I haven’t settled on a hotel yet.”
He was not really disappointed to find Paris was so empty. But the still¬
ness in the Ritz bar was strange and portentous. It was not an American
bar any more - he felt polite in it, and not as if he owned it. It had gone
back into France. He felt the stillness from the moment he got out of the
taxi and saw the doorman, usually in a frenzy of activity at this hour,
gossiping with a chasseur by the servants’ entrance.
Passing through the corridor, he heard only a single, bored voice in
the once clamorous women’s room. When he turned into the bar he
travelled the twenty feet of green carpet with his eyes fixed straight ahead
by old habit; and then, with his foot firmly on the rail, he turned and
surveyed the room, encountering only a single pair of eyes that fluttered
up from a newspaper in the corner. Charlie asked for the head barman,
BABYLON REVISITED AND OTHER STORIES
Paul, who in the latter days of the bull market had come to work in his
own custom-built car - disembarking, however, with due nicety at the
nearest corner. But Paul was at his country house today and Alix giving
“No, no more,” Charlie said, “I’m going slow these days.”
Alix congratulated him: “You were going pretty strong a couple of
“I’ll stick to it all right,” Charlie assured him. “I’ve stuck to it for over
a year and a half now.”
“How do you find conditions in America?”
“I haven’t been to America for months. I’m in business in Prague,
representing a couple of concerns there. They don’t know about me
“Remember the night of George Hardt’s bachelor dinner here?” said
Charlie. “By the way, what’s become of Claude Fessenden?”
Alix lowered his voice confidentially: “He’s in Paris, but he doesn’t
come here any more. Paul doesn’t allow it. He ran up a bill of thirty
thousand francs, charging all his drinks and his lunches, and usually his
dinner, for more than a year. And when Paul finally told him he had to
pay, he gave him a bad cheque.”
Alix shook his head sadly.
“I don’t understand it, such a dandy fellow. Now he’s all bloated up.
He made a plump apple of his hands.
Charlie watched a group of strident queens installing themselves in
“Nothing affects them,” he thought. “Stocks rise and fall, people loaf
or work, but they go on for ever.” The place oppressed him. He called
for the dice and shook with Alix for the drink.
“Here for long, Mr Wales?”
“I’m here for four or five days to see my little girl.”
“Oh-h! You have a little girl?”
Outside, the fire-red, gas-blue, ghost-green signs shone smokily
through the tranquil rain. It was late afternoon and the streets were
in movement; the bistros gleamed. At the corner of the Boulevard des
Capucines he took a taxi. The Place de la Concorde moved by in pink
majesty; they crossed the logical Seine, and Charlie felt the sudden
provincial quality of the Left Bank.
Charlie directed his taxi to the Avenue de l’Opera, which was out of
his way. But he wanted to see the blue hour spread over the magnificent
fafade, and imagine that the cab horns, playing endlessly the first few
bars of ‘La plus que lente’,* were the trumpets of the Second Empire.
They were closing the iron grille in front of Brentano’s bookstore, and
people were already at dinner behind the trim little bourgeois hedge of
Duval’s. He had never eaten at a really cheap restaurant in Paris. Five-
course dinner, four francs fifty, eighteen cents, wine included. For some
odd reason he wished that he had.
As they rolled on to the Left Bank and he felt its sudden provincial¬
ism, he thought, “I spoilt this city for myself. I didn’t realize it, but the
days came along one after another, and then two years were gone, and
everything was gone, and I was gone.”
He was thirty-five, and good to look at. The Irish mobility of his
face was sobered by a deep wrinkle between his eyes. As he rang his
brother-in-law’s bell in the Rue Palatine, the wrinkle deepened till it
pulled down his brows; he felt a cramping sensation in his belly. From
behind the maid who opened the door darted a lovely little girl of nine
who shrieked “Daddy!” and flew up, struggling like a fish, into his arms.
She pulled his head around by one ear and set her cheek against his.
“My old pie,” he said.
“Oh, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Dads, Dads, Dads!”
She drew him into the salon, where the family waited, a boy and girl
his daughter’s age, his sister-in-law and her husband. He greeted Marion
BABYLON REVISITED AND OTHER STORIES
with his voice pitched carefully to avoid either feigned enthusiasm or
dislike, but her response was more frankly tepid, though she minimized
her expression of unalterable distrust by directing her regard towards his
child. The two men clasped hands in a friendly way, and Lincoln Peters
rested his for a moment on Charlie’s shoulder.
The room was warm and comfortably American. The three children
moved intimately about, playing through the yellow oblongs that led to
other rooms; the cheer of six o’clock spoke in the eager smacks of the
fire and the sounds of French activity in the kitchen. But Charlie did not
relax; his heart sat up rigidly in his body and he drew confidence from
his daughter, who from time to time came close to him, holding in her
arms the doll he had brought.
“Really extremely well,” he declared in answer to Lincoln’s question.
“There’s a lot of business there that isn’t moving at all, but we’re doing
even better than ever. In fact, damn well. I’m bringing my sister over
from America next month to keep house for me. My income last year
was bigger than it was when I had money. You see, the Czechs...”
His boasting was for a specific purpose, but after a moment, seeing a
faint restiveness in Lincoln’s eye, he changed the subject.
“Those are fine children of yours, well brought up, good manners.”
“We think Honoria’s a great little girl too.”
Marion Peters came back from the kitchen. She was a tall woman
with worried eyes, who had once possessed a fresh American loveliness.
Charlie had never been sensitive to it and was always surprised when
people spoke of how pretty she had been. From the first there had been
an instinctive antipathy between them.
“Well, how do you find Honoria?” she asked.
“Wonderful. I was astonished how much she’s grown in ten months.
All the children are looking well.”
“We haven’t had a doctor for a year. How do you like being back in
“It seems very funny to see so few Americans around.”
“I’m delighted,” Marion said vehemently. “Now at least you can go
into a store without their assuming you’re a millionaire. We’ve suffered
like everybody, but on the whole it’s a good deal pleasanter.”
“But it was nice while it lasted,” Charlie said. “We were a sort of
royalty, almost infallible, with a sort of magic around us. In the bar
this afternoon” - he stumbled, seeing his mistake - “there wasn’t a
man I knew.”
She looked at him keenly. “I should think you’d have had enough of
“I only stayed a minute. I take one drink every afternoon, and no
“Don’t you want a cocktail before dinner?” Lincoln asked.
“I take only one drink every afternoon, and I’ve had that.”
“I hope you keep to it,” said Marion.
Her dislike was evident in the coldness with which she spoke, but
Charlie only smiled; he had larger plans. Her very aggressiveness gave
hint an advantage, and he knew enough to wait. He wanted them to
initiate the discussion of what they knew had brought him to Paris.
At dinner he couldn’t decide whether Honoria was most like him or
her mother. Fortunate if she didn’t combine the traits of both that had
brought them to disaster. A great wave of protectiveness went over him.
He thought he knew what to do for her. He believed in character; he
wanted to jump back a whole generation and trust in character again
as the eternally valuable element. Everything wore out.
He left soon after dinner, but not to go home. He was curious to see
Paris by night with clearer and more judicious eyes than those of other
days. He bought a strapontin * for the Casino and watched Josephine
Baker* go through her chocolate arabesques.
After an hour he left and strolled towards Montmartre, up the Rue
Pigalle into the Place Blanche. The rain had stopped and there were a few
BABYLON REVISITED AND OTHER STORIES
people in evening clothes disembarking from taxis in front of cabarets,
and cocottes prowling singly or in pairs, and many Negroes. He passed
a lighted door from which issued music, and stopped with the sense of
familiarity; it was Bricktop’s, where he had parted with so many hours
and so much money. A few doors farther on he found another ancient
rendezvous and incautiously put his head inside. Immediately an eager
orchestra burst into sound, a pair of professional dancers leapt to their
feet and a rnaitre d’hotel swooped towards him, crying, “Crowd just
arriving, sir!” But he withdrew quickly.
“You have to be damn drunk,” he thought.
Zelli’s was closed, the bleak and sinister cheap hotels surrounding
it were dark; up in the Rue Blanche there was more light and a local,
colloquial French crowd. The Poet’s Cave had disappeared, but the two
great mouths of the Cafe of Heaven and the Cafe of Hell still yawned -
even devoured, as he watched, the meagre contents of a tourist bus - a
German, a Japanese and an American couple who glanced at him with
So much for the effort and ingenuity of Montmartre. All the catering
to vice and waste was on an utterly childish scale, and he suddenly real¬
ized the meaning of the word “dissipate” - to dissipate into thin air; to
make nothing out of something. In the little hours of the night every
move from place to place was an enormous human jump, an increase
of paying for the privilege of slower and slower motion.
He remembered thousand-franc notes given to an orchestra for playing
a single number, hundred-franc notes tossed to a doorman for calling
But it hadn’t been given for nothing.
It had been given, even the most wildly squandered sum, as an offering
to destiny that he might not remember the things most worth remember¬
ing, the things that now he would always remember - his child taken
from his control, his wife escaped to a grave in Vermont.
In the glare of a brasserie a woman spoke to him. He bought her
some eggs and coffee, and then, eluding her encouraging stare, gave her
a twenty-franc note and took a taxi to his hotel.
H e woke upon a fine fall day -football weather. The depres¬
sion of yesterday was gone, and he liked the people on the streets.
At noon he sat opposite Honoria at Le Grand Vatel, the only restau¬
rant he could think of not reminiscent of champagne dinners and long
luncheons that began at two and ended in a blurred and vague twilight.
“Now, how about vegetables? Oughtn’t you to have some vegetables?”
“Here’s epinards and cbou-fleur and carrots and haricots.”*
“ I’d like chou-fleur.”
“Wouldn’t you like to have two vegetables?”
“I usually only have one at lunch.”
The waiter was pretending to be inordinately fond of children. “Qu’elle
est mignonne la petite! Elle parle exactement comme une franpaise.”*
“How about dessert? Shall we wait and see?”
The waiter disappeared. Honoria looked at her father expectantly.
“What are we going to do?”
“First we’re going to that toy store in the Rue Saint-Honore and buy
you anything you like. And then we’re going to the vaudeville at the
She hesitated. “I like it about the vaudeville, but not the toy store.”
“Well, you brought me this doll.” She had it with her. “And I’ve got
lots of things. And we’re not rich any more, are we?”
“We never were. But today you are to have anything you want.”
“All right,” she agreed resignedly.
BABYLON REVISITED AND OTHER STORIES
When there had been her mother and a French nurse, he had been
inclined to be strict; now he extended himself, reached out for a new
tolerance; he must be both parents to her and not shut any of her out
“I want to get to know you,” he said gravely. “First let me introduce
myself. My name is Charles J. Wales, of Prague.”
“Oh, Daddy!” her voice cracked with laughter.
“And who are you, please?” he persisted, and she accepted a role
immediately: “Flonoria Wales, Rue Palatine, Paris.”
“Married or single?”
“No, not married. Single.”
He indicated the doll. “But I see you have a child, Madame.”
Unwilling to disinherit it, she took it to her heart and thought
quickly: “Yes, I’ve been married, but I’m not married now. My hus¬
band is dead.”
He went on quickly, “And the child’s name?”
“Simone. That’s after my best friend at school.”
“I’m very pleased that you’re doing so well at school.”
“I’m third this month,” she boasted. “Elsie” - that was her cousin - “is
only about eighteenth, and Richard is about at the bottom.”
“You like Richard and Elsie, don’t you?”
“Oh, yes. I like Richard quite well and I like her all right.”
Cautiously and casually he asked: “And Aunt Marion and Uncle
Lincoln - which do you like best?”
“Oh, Uncle Lincoln, I guess.”
He was increasingly aware of her presence. As they came in, a murmur
of “...adorable” followed them, and now the people at the next table
bent all their silences upon her, staring as if she were something no more
conscious than a flower.
“Why don’t I live with you?” she asked suddenly. “Because Mamma’s
“You must stay here and learn more French. It would have been hard
for Daddy to take care of you so well.”
“I don’t really need much taking care of any more. I do everything
Going out of the restaurant, a man and a woman unexpectedly hailed
“Well, the old Wales!”
“Hello there, Lorraine... Dune.”
Sudden ghosts out of the past: Duncan Schaeffer, a friend from col¬
lege. Lorraine Quarries, a lovely, pale blonde of thirty - one of a crowd
who had helped them make months into days in the lavish times of
three years ago.
“My husband couldn’t come this year,” she said, in answer to his
question. “We’re poor as hell. So he gave me two hundred a month and
told me I could do my worst on that... This your little girl?”
“What about coming back and sitting down?” Duncan asked.
“Can’t do it.” He was glad for an excuse. As always, he felt Lorraine’s
passionate, provocative attraction, but his own rhythm was different now.
“Well, how about dinner?” she asked.
“I’m not free. Give me your address and let me call you.”
“Charlie, I believe you’re sober,” she said judicially. “I honestly believe
he’s sober, Dune. Pinch him and see if he’s sober.”
Charlie indicated Honoria with his head. They both laughed.
“What’s your address?” said Duncan sceptically.
He hesitated, unwilling to give the name of his hotel.
“I’m not settled yet. I’d better call you. We’re going to see the vaude¬
ville at the Empire.”
“There! That’s what I want to do,” Lorraine said. “I want to see some
clowns and acrobats and jugglers. That’s just what we’ll do, Dune.”
“We’ve got to do an errand first,” said Charlie. “Perhaps we’ll see
BABYLON REVISITED AND OTHER STORIES
“All right, you snob... Goodbye, beautiful little girl.”
Honoria bobbed politely.
Somehow, an unwelcome encounter. They liked him because he was
functioning, because he was serious; they wanted to see him because he
was stronger than they were now, because they wanted to draw a certain
sustenance from his strength.
At the Empire, Honoria proudly refused to sit upon her father’s folded
coat. She was already an individual with a code of her own, and Charlie
was more and more absorbed by the desire of putting a little of himself
into her before she crystallized utterly. It was hopeless to try to know
her in so short a time.
Between the acts they came upon Duncan and Lorraine in the lobby
where the band was playing.
“Have a drink?”
“All right, but not up at the bar. We’ll take a table.”
“The perfect father.”
Listening abstractedly to Lorraine, Charlie watched Honoria’s eyes
leave their table, and he followed them wistfully about the room, won¬
dering what they saw. He met her glance and she smiled.
“I like that lemonade,” she said.
What had she said? What had he expected? Going home in a taxi
afterwards, he pulled her over until her head rested against his chest.
“Darling, do you ever think about your mother?”
“Yes, sometimes,” she answered vaguely.
“I don’t want you to forget her. Have you got a picture of her?”
“Yes, I think so. Anyhow, Aunt Marion has. Why don’t you want me
to forget her?”
“She loved you very much.”
“I loved her too.”
They were silent for a moment.
“Daddy, I want to come and live with you,” she said suddenly.
His heart leapt; he had wanted it to come like this.
“Aren’t you perfectly happy?”
“Yes, but I love you better than anybody. And you love me better than
anybody, don’t you, now that Mummy’s dead?”
“Of course I do. But you won’t always like me best, honey. You’ll grow
up and meet somebody your own age and go marry him and forget you
ever had a daddy.”
“Yes, that’s true,” she agreed tranquilly.
He didn’t go in. He was coming back at nine o’clock and he wanted
to keep himself fresh and new for the thing he must say then.
“When you’re safe inside, just show yourself in that window.”
“All right. Goodbye, Dads, Dads, Dads, Dads.”
He waited in the dark street until she appeared, all warm and glowing,
in the window above and kissed her fingers out into the night.
T hey were waiting. Marion sat behind the coffee service in a
dignified black dinner dress that just faintly suggested mourning.
Lincoln was walking up and down with the animation of one who had
already been talking. They were as anxious as he was to get into the
question. He opened it almost immediately:
“I suppose you know what I want to see you about - why I really
came to Paris.”
Marion played with the black stars on her necklace and frowned.
“I’m awfully anxious to have a home,” he continued. “And I’m
awfully anxious to have Honoria in it. I appreciate your taking
in Honoria for her mother’s sake, but things have changed now”
— he hesitated and then continued more forcibly — “changed radi¬
cally with me, and I want to ask you to reconsider the matter. It
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