The Majestic came gliding into New York harbor on an April morning. She sniffed at the tugboats and turtle-gaited ferries, winked at a gaudy young yacht, and ordered a cattle-boat out of her way with a snarling whistle of steam.
I found Rags Martin-Jones to be in the vein of The Offshore Pirate. They are fun, off beat stories with a self-absorbed, off beat women. The kind Fitzgerald liked to write about. Rags is a big personality and this story is one mad-capped adventure.
I love the way he introduces Rags to the reader...
"Rags Martin-Jones was not a dog. She was half a girl and half a flower."
and"She came slowly down the gangway. Her hat, an expensive, inscrutable experiment, was crushed under her arm, so that her scant boy's hair, convict's hair, tried unsuccessfully to toss and flop a little in the harbor wind. Her face was like seven o'clock on a wedding morning save where she had slipped a preposterous monocle into an eye of clear childish blue. At every few steps her long lashes would tilt out the monocle, and she would laugh, a bored, happy laugh, and replace the supercilious spectacle in the other eye."
"Tap! Her one hundred and five pounds reached the pier and it seemed to sway and bend from the shock of her beauty. A few porters fainted. A large, sentimental shark which had followed the ship across made a despairing leap to see her once more, and then dove, broken-hearted, back into the deep sea."
Rags Martin-Jones is rich, and eccentric, and bored by all American men, but she still has them strung along. And in this story we see the lengths one, John Chestnut, will go to capture the love of Rags Martin-Jones.
The descriptive writing Fitzgerald uses in both Rags and The Offshore Pirate, makes me wish I was more artistically inclined. I wish I was able to transform the image my mind has conjured from the simple string of words he has selected. In my mind the pictures are gorgeous, color-filled and pure fun. But in the end, I think a quote from Rags sums up the story...
"Was it a perfectly useless, gorgeous thing, just for me?"Yes, it is gorgeous writing, but it is also useless, at least it is a useless story for me. In the end I love the style, but hate the substance. Where does that leave me? I know I keep going back to The Offshore Pirate, but I have the same issues with Rags as I did Offshore. Love the writing, hate the shallow, spoiled, rich girl and hate maybe even more the men who indulge in their selfishness.
But don't take my word for it read it for yourself. Rags Martin-Martin Jones and the Pr-nce of W-les