” ‘Well, money is power, Marston. I repeat, suh, money is power.’

‘I’ve heard that too. In fact, you’re a bore, Wiese.’ Even by the moon Henry could see the crimson deepen in his brow.

‘You’ll hear it again, suh. Yesterday you took us by surprise and I was unprepared for your brutality to Choupette. But this morning I received a letter from Paris that puts the matter in a new light. It is a statement by a specialist in mental diseases, declaring you to be of unsound mind, and unfit to have the custody of children. The specialist is one who attended you in your nervous breakdown four years ago.’

Henry laughed incredulously, and looked at Choupette, half-expecting her to laugh, too, but she had turned her face away, breathing quickly through parted lips. Suddenly he realized that Wiese was telling the truth – that by some extraordinary bribe he had obtained such a document and fully intended to use it.

For a moment Henry reeled as if from a material blow. He listened to his own voice saying, ‘That’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard,’ and to Wiese’s answer: ‘They don’t always tell people when they have mental troubles.'”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Swimmers”


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