Vladimir Molokhovcts (the spelling isrnuncertain), who had a studio on WiltonrnStreet in Belgravia. Hoping his familyrnmight have letters from or a photographrnof Bijou, I searched for his name in referencernbooks and rang the photographicrndepartment of the National PortraitrnGallery, but was unable to find any tracernof him.rnWhen I telephoned Sir WilliamrnYoung the following day to thank himrnfor his help and to ask whether he had arnphoto of Bijou, he suggested I also seernher first cousin, the elderly Edwardianrngentleman Sir Brinsley Ford, a distinguishedrnart historian and trustee of thernNational Gallery. Sir Brinsley told mernfamily stories and his firsthand memoriesrnof Bijou. At one point in our interviewrnhis attractive granddaughter maderna dramatic appearance and kissed hisrnbald dome in greeting. She was delightedrnto learn that her second cousinrnhad been Fitzgerald’s mistress and thatrnher highlv respectable family had ineludedrnan eccentric rebel.rnThe conversations with MichaelrnO’Conor and Sir Brinslcv Ford enabledrnmc to reconstruct Bijou’s life before shernmet Fitzgerald as well as to follow herrnstrange career after their affair had ended.rnBijou was born in Sofia while herrnfather was serving there as British consulgeneral.rnA French nurse provided herrnnickname just after the baby was born.rnBut when she presented the little Bijournto Sir Francis, he said that she lookedrnmore like a toad than a jewel. Educatedrnprivately b- tutors and governesses. Bijournbecame an outstanding linguist.rn1 hough extremel)’ intelligent, she lackedrncommon sense. The daughter of a straitlacedrnCalvinistic Scot, and very differentrnfrom her three older sisters, she passionatclvrnrejected her conventionalrnfamily background.rnDuring the Great War Bijou entertainedrnher sophisticated friends, whornwould have beeir bored by their veryrnproper elders downstairs, in her bedroomrnin the Athens Legation. ComptonrnMackenzie, then engaged in espionagernin Greece, recalled her arty set in hisrnFirst Athenian Memories (1931): “Shernwas the youngest of Sir Francis’ daughtersrnand the only one not yet married.rnIn her room tucked away at the top ofrnthe Legation the social observer couldrnhave discovered the trend of the postwarrngeneration’s decorative taste.” Shernrepresented, to Mackenzie, “the restlessrnadvance of youth in spite of tlie war.”rnBijou married Edmund O’Gonor, arnprofessional naval officer, in 1920 andrnaccompanied him when he was stationedrnin China. She acquired an expertrnknowledge of Chinese and, claimingrnthat she had been given two Pekinesernby the Empress of China, developedrna lifelong passion for the pets whornfollowed her everywhere. LieutenantrnO’Conor had been infected with tuberculosisrnduring the war and died of thatrndisease in Australia in 1924. Bijou’s sonrnMichael was born after her husband’srndeath. During their rare meetings, Bijournalways spoke French to the boy. Hernlearned his first spoken word, merde,rnfrom listening to Bijou exclaim wheneverrnshe made a mistake in typing.rnThough Bijou felt sorry for the lonelyrnand unsettled Scottie Fitzgerald, whornhad been ignored and rejected by herrnmother and brought up by nannies, shernlacked maternal feeling for her ownrnchild.rnBijou was thin, chic, and jolie-laide,rnwith fine features and soft brown eyes.rnVery social, a bit intolerant, and ratherrnsnobbish, she had rare charm and an airrnof mystery. She was a great characterrnand an amusing raconteur who kept herrncircle of intelligent and often homosexualrnfriends riveted by her fascinatingrnconversation. She smoked heavily, enjoyedrndrinking binges, was wildly extravagantrnwhenever she had any money,rnand always left a trail of debts behindrnher. She may even have served time inrnprison for this offense.rnIn about 1933 Bijou told Sir BrinsleyrnFord that Michael had a bad case ofrnwhooping cough and needed to recoverrnin the mild climate of Penzance, and herngave her 50 pounds to take the boy on arnrecuperative holiday. A few days later arnfriend, who did not know where Bijournhad obtained the sudden windfall, toldrnSir Brinsley that she had lavishly entertainedrna group of friends at the Ritz.rnThe publisher Anthony Blond recalledrn(in a personal letter) that “she was quiternsmall, quite sharp, and quite drunk.”rnBijou lived on a small naval pensionrnand on whatever cash she could extractrnfrom her unwilling father. She may haverncaught tuberculosis from her late husband,rnspent some time in a sanatoriumrnin Devos, and was also treated for alcoholismrnin Switzerland, where she metrnScott Fitzgerald. In the fall of 1930,rnduring his third and final trip to Europe,rnFitzgerald’s wife Zelda had a mentalrnbreakdown and became a patient atrnPrangins clinic, in Nyon on Lake Geneva.rnFitzgerald was living nearbv in Lausanne,rnvisiting her as often as possiblernand writing furiously to pay her expensivernmedical bills.rnThe wild, spendthrift Bijou—whomrnhe had first met in the south of Francernand at the Closeric des Lilas in the LatinrnQuarter in the mid-1920’s—remindedrnFitzgerald of his wife. And Bijou, likernFitzgerald, was often irresponsible, livedrnbeyond her means, borrowed money,rndrank heavily, behaved scandalously,rnand did not care what people thoughtrnabout her.rnWhen Fitzgerald met Bijou in Lausannernhe had just suffered the worst yearrnof his marriage: Zelda’s devastatingrncriticism of his sexual equipment andrnsexual performance, her balletomania,rnher emotional estrangement from him,rnher unnaturally strong attachment to herrndancing teacher Madame Egorova, andrnher terrifying collapse into insanity.rnThough Bijou brought out the negativernside of Fitzgerald—his uncontrolledrndrinking and wild behavior—she also,rnduring a major crisis of his life, satisfiedrnhis deepest needs. She not only alleviatedrnhis tormenting guilt about Zelda,rnbut also provided affection and sexualrnreassurance during their “roaring,rnscreaming affair” in the Grand Hotel dernla Paix.rnThe aristocratic Bijou smoked cigarettesrnin a long amber holder, carriedrnaround a half-paralyzed Pekinese, andrnfrightened all the hotel guests and servants.rnShe later remembered Fitzgeraldrntyping away in her hotel room, fueled byrnbottle after bottle of gin. Bijou claimed,rnin her taped interview, that she andrnFitzgerald had visited Prangins—wherernall the patients dressed for dinner andrnsat between the doctors and nurses—rnthough they could have precipitated anotherrnbreakdown if Zelda had guessedrnthey were lovers. Bijou also recalled thatrnFitzgerald bought a Persian kitten forrnZelda who, in a moment of uncontrolledrnrage, killed it by bashing its headrnagainst a wall.rnFitzgerald portrayed Bijou and herrnfriend Napier Alington—whose birthrnand death dates (1896-1940) would bernthe same as Fitzgerald’s—as the widowedrnLady Capps-Karr and Bopes, thernMarquis of Kinkallow, in “The HotelrnChild” (1931). Alington, a dark, goodlookingrnbaron and wealthy landowner,rnbelonged to a fast set and was regardedrnby some as a wicked man. I le was paint-rnAPRIL 1993/43rnrnrn