Tender Is the Night | Study Guide

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Tender Is the Night | Book 3, Chapter 10 | Summary



At 2:00 in the morning the phone rings. Nicole wakes up, but Dick answers it. It is the police in Antibes calling; they have arrested Mary (North) Minghetti and Lady Sibly-Biers. Dick does not know what crime has been committed, but he is going to get Gausse's help to get the two women out of jail. Only a property owner in the district can post bail.

It turns out the two women, very drunk, had engaged in an offensive stunt. They dressed as French sailors and picked up two young girls. The girls' families are furious and demanding a settlement. Although Sibly-Biers is scornful about paying money to get out of the scrape, Minghetti is desperate her husband not find out.

In a manner bringing to mind Dick in his former glory days, he smooths the whole affair over. He exaggerates the importance of the two women as he convinces the chief of police that not releasing them could be disastrous for tourism. As he offers a handsome sum of money as well, the officer agrees.

Gausse is outraged when Sibly-Biers says she will not pay the money. He is the one who posted the bail. Again, Dick smooths it over, but Gausse's disgust at such horrible behavior is palpable.


Once again alcohol has led to the demise of seemingly glittering people and money is thrown at the problem to ease social ills. The two women pull a base stunt, and Gausse has the dignity to see just how low they have stooped. Dick is no doubt more sympathetic than Gausse, given the trouble Dick got himself into in Rome. Yet his morale is boosted by his ability to be the savior and graceful orchestrator of events once again. Readers wonder if he will be able to make himself whole again after all.

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