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  1. #31
    Registered User frasersteen's Avatar
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    She got up slowly, raising her eyebrows at me in astonishment, and followed the butler toward the house. I noticed that she wore her evening-dress, all her dresses, like sports clothes — there was a jauntiness about her movements as if she had first learned to walk upon golf courses on clean, crisp mornings.
    I was alone and it was almost two. For some time confused and intriguing sounds had issued from a long, many-windowed room which overhung the terrace. Eluding Jordan’s undergraduate, who was now engaged in an obstetrical conversation with two chorus girls, and who implored me to join him, I went inside.
    The large room was full of people. One of the girls in yellow was playing the piano, and beside her stood a tall, red-haired young lady from a famous chorus, engaged in song. She had drunk a quantity of champagne, and during the course of her song she had decided, ineptly, that everything was very, very sad — she was not only singing, she was weeping too. Whenever there was a pause in the song she filled it with gasping, broken sobs, and then took up the lyric again in a quavering soprano. The tears coursed down her cheeks — not freely, however, for when they came into contact with her heavily beaded eyelashes they assumed an inky color, and pursued the rest of their way in slow black rivulets. A humorous suggestion was made that she sing the notes on her face, whereupon she threw up her hands, sank into a chair, and went off into a deep vinous sleep.
    “She had a fight with a man who says he’s her husband,” explained a girl at my elbow.
    I looked around. Most of the remaining women were now having fights with men said to be their husbands. Even Jordan’s party, the quartet from East Egg, were rent asunder by dissension. One of the men was talking with curious intensity to a young actress, and his wife, after attempting to laugh at the situation in a dignified and indifferent way, broke down entirely and resorted to flank attacks — at intervals she appeared suddenly at his side like an angry diamond, and hissed: “You promised!” into his ear.
    The reluctance to go home was not confined to wayward men. The hall was at present occupied by two deplorably sober men and their highly indignant wives. The wives were sympathizing with each other in slightly raised voices.
    “Whenever he sees I’m having a good time he wants to go home.”
    “Never heard anything so selfish in my life.”
    “We’re always the first ones to leave.”
    “So are we.”
    “Well, we’re almost the last to-night,” said one of the men sheepishly. “The orchestra left half an hour ago.”
    In spite of the wives’ agreement that such malevolence was beyond credibility, the dispute ended in a short struggle, and both wives were lifted, kicking, into the night.
    As I waited for my hat in the hall the door of the library opened and Jordan Baker and Gatsby came out together. He was saying some last word to her, but the eagerness in his manner tightened abruptly into formality as several people approached him to say good-bye.
    Jordan’s party were calling impatiently to her from the porch, but she lingered for a moment to shake hands.
    “I’ve just heard the most amazing thing,” she whispered. “How long were we in there?”
    “Why, about an hour.” “It was — simply amazing,” she repeated abstractedly. “But I swore I wouldn’t tell it and here I am tantalizing you.” She yawned gracefully in my face: “Please come and see me. . . . Phone book . . . Under the name of Mrs. Sigourney Howard . . . My aunt . . .” She was hurrying off as she talked — her brown hand waved a jaunty salute as she melted into her party at the door.
    Rather ashamed that on my first appearance I had stayed so late, I joined the last of Gatsby’s guests, who were clustered around him. I wanted to explain that I’d hunted for him early in the evening and to apologize for not having known him in the garden.
    “Don’t mention it,” he enjoined me eagerly. “Don’t give it another thought, old sport.” The familiar expression held no more familiarity than the hand which reassuringly brushed my shoulder. “And don’t forget we’re going up in the hydroplane to-morrow morning, at nine o’clock.”
    Then the butler, behind his shoulder: “Philadelphia wants you on the ‘phone, sir.”
    “All right, in a minute. Tell them I’ll be right there. . . . good night.”
    “Good night.”
    “Good night.” He smiled — and suddenly there seemed to be a pleasant significance in having been among the last to go, as if he had desired it all the time. “Good night, old sport. . . . good night.”
    But as I walked down the steps I saw that the evening was not quite over. Fifty feet from the door a dozen headlights illuminated a bizarre and tumultuous scene. In the ditch beside the road, right side up, but violently shorn of one wheel, rested a new coupe which had left Gatsby’s drive not two minutes before. The sharp jut of a wall accounted for the detachment of the wheel, which was now getting considerable attention from half a dozen curious chauffeurs. However, as they had left their cars blocking the road, a harsh, discordant din from those in the rear had been audible for some time, and added to the already violent confusion of the scene.
    A man in a long duster had dismounted from the wreck and now stood in the middle of the road, looking from the car to the tire and from the tire to the observers in a pleasant, puzzled way.
    “See!” he explained. “It went in the ditch.”
    The fact was infinitely astonishing to him, and I recognized first the unusual quality of wonder, and then the man — it was the late patron of Gatsby’s library.
    “How’d it happen?”
    He shrugged his shoulders.
    “I know nothing whatever about mechanics,” he said decisively.
    “But how did it happen? Did you run into the wall?” “Don’t ask me,” said Owl Eyes, washing his hands of the whole matter. “I know very little about driving — next to nothing. It happened, and that’s all I know.”
    “Well, if you’re a poor driver you oughtn’t to try driving at night.”
    “But I wasn’t even trying,” he explained indignantly, “I wasn’t even trying.”
    An awed hush fell upon the bystanders.
    “Do you want to commit suicide?”
    “You’re lucky it was just a wheel! A bad driver and not even TRYing!”
    “You don’t understand,” explained the criminal. “I wasn’t driving. There’s another man in the car.”
    The shock that followed this declaration found voice in a sustained “Ah-h-h!” as the door of the coupe swung slowly open. The crowd — it was now a crowd — stepped back involuntarily, and when the door had opened wide there was a ghostly pause. Then, very gradually, part by part, a pale, dangling individual stepped out of the wreck, pawing tentatively at the ground with a large uncertain dancing shoe.
    Blinded by the glare of the headlights and confused by the incessant groaning of the horns, the apparition stood swaying for a moment before he perceived the man in the duster.
    “Wha’s matter?” he inquired calmly. “Did we run outa gas?”
    “Look!”
    Half a dozen fingers pointed at the amputated wheel — he stared at it for a moment, and then looked upward as though he suspected that it had dropped from the sky.
    “It came off,” some one explained.
    He nodded.
    “At first I din’ notice we’d stopped.”
    A pause. Then, taking a long breath and straightening his shoulders, he remarked in a determined voice:
    “Wonder’ff tell me where there’s a gas’line station?”
    At least a dozen men, some of them little better off than he was, explained to him that wheel and car were no longer joined by any physical bond.
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  2. #32
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    chapter 4

    On Sunday morning while church bells rang in the villages alongshore, the world and its mistress returned to Gatsby’s house and twinkled hilariously on his lawn.
    “He’s a bootlegger,” said the young ladies, moving somewhere between his cocktails and his flowers. “One time he killed a man who had found out that he was nephew to Von Hindenburg and second cousin to the devil. Reach me a rose, honey, and pour me a last drop into that there crystal glass.”
    Once I wrote down on the empty spaces of a time-table the names of those who came to Gatsby’s house that summer. It is an old time-table now, disintegrating at its folds, and headed “This schedule in effect July 5th, 1922.” But I can still read the gray names, and they will give you a better impression than my generalities of those who accepted Gatsby’s hospitality and paid him the subtle tribute of knowing nothing whatever about him.
    From East Egg, then, came the Chester Beckers and the Leeches, and a man named Bunsen, whom I knew at Yale, and Doctor Webster Civet, who was drowned last summer up in Maine. And the Hornbeams and the Willie Voltaires, and a whole clan named Blackbuck, who always gathered in a corner and flipped up their noses like goats at whosoever came near. And the Ismays and the Chrysties (or rather Hubert Auerbach and Mr. Chrystie’s wife), and Edgar Beaver, whose hair, they say, turned cotton-white one winter afternoon for no good reason at all.
    Clarence Endive was from East Egg, as I remember. He came only once, in white knickerbockers, and had a fight with a bum named Etty in the garden. From farther out on the Island came the Cheadles and the O. R. P. Schraeders, and the Stonewall Jackson Abrams of Georgia, and the Fishguards and the Ripley Snells. Snell was there three days before he went to the penitentiary, so drunk out on the gravel drive that Mrs. Ulysses Swett’s automobile ran over his right hand. The Dancies came, too, and S. B. Whitebait, who was well over sixty, and Maurice A. Flink, and the Hammerheads, and Beluga the tobacco importer, and Beluga’s girls.
    From West Egg came the Poles and the Mulreadys and Cecil Roebuck and Cecil Schoen and Gulick the state senator and Newton Orchid, who controlled Films Par Excellence, and Eckhaust and Clyde Cohen and Don S. Schwartze (the son) and Arthur McCarty, all connected with the movies in one way or another. And the Catlips and the Bembergs and G. Earl Muldoon, brother to that Muldoon who afterward strangled his wife. Da Fontano the promoter came there, and Ed Legros and James B. (“Rot-Gut.”) Ferret and the De Jongs and Ernest Lilly — they came to gamble, and when Ferret wandered into the garden it meant he was cleaned out and Associated Traction would have to fluctuate profitably next day.
    A man named Klipspringer was there so often and so long that he became known as “the boarder.”— I doubt if he had any other home. Of theatrical people there were Gus Waize and Horace O’donavan and Lester Meyer and George Duckweed and Francis Bull. Also from New York were the Chromes and the Backhyssons and the Dennickers and Russel Betty and the Corrigans and the Kellehers and the Dewars and the Scullys and S. W. Belcher and the Smirkes and the young Quinns, divorced now, and Henry L. Palmetto, who killed himself by jumping in front of a subway train in Times Square.
    Benny McClenahan arrived always with four girls. They were never quite the same ones in physical person, but they were so identical one with another that it inevitably seemed they had been there before. I have forgotten their names — Jaqueline, I think, or else Consuela, or Gloria or Judy or June, and their last names were either the melodious names of flowers and months or the sterner ones of the great American capitalists whose cousins, if pressed, they would confess themselves to be.
    In addition to all these I can remember that Faustina O’brien came there at least once and the Baedeker girls and young Brewer, who had his nose shot off in the war, and Mr. Albrucksburger and Miss Haag, his fiancee, and Ardita Fitz-Peters and Mr. P. Jewett, once head of the American Legion, and Miss Claudia Hip, with a man reputed to be her chauffeur, and a prince of something, whom we called Duke, and whose name, if I ever knew it, I have forgotten.
    All these people came to Gatsby’s house in the summer.
    At nine o’clock, one morning late in July, Gatsby’s gorgeous car lurched up the rocky drive to my door and gave out a burst of melody from its three-noted horn. It was the first time he had called on me, though I had gone to two of his parties, mounted in his hydroplane, and, at his urgent invitation, made frequent use of his beach.
    “Good morning, old sport. You’re having lunch with me to-day and I thought we’d ride up together.”
    He was balancing himself on the dashboard of his car with that resourcefulness of movement that is so peculiarly American — that comes, I suppose, with the absence of lifting work or rigid sitting in youth and, even more, with the formless grace of our nervous, sporadic games. This quality was continually breaking through his punctilious manner in the shape of restlessness. He was never quite still; there was always a tapping foot somewhere or the impatient opening and closing of a hand.
    He saw me looking with admiration at his car.
    “It’s pretty, isn’t it, old sport?” He jumped off to give me a better view. “Haven’t you ever seen it before?”
    I’d seen it. Everybody had seen it. It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of wind-shields that mirrored a dozen suns. Sitting down behind many layers of glass in a sort of green leather conservatory, we started to town.
    I had talked with him perhaps half a dozen times in the past month and found, to my disappointment, that he had little to say: So my first impression, that he was a person of some undefined consequence, had gradually faded and he had become simply the proprietor of an elaborate road-house next door.
    And then came that disconcerting ride. We hadn’t reached West Egg village before Gatsby began leaving his elegant sentences unfinished and slapping himself indecisively on the knee of his caramel-colored suit.
    “Look here, old sport,” he broke out surprisingly. “What’s your opinion of me, anyhow?” A little overwhelmed, I began the generalized evasions which that question deserves.
    “Well, I’m going to tell you something about my life,” he interrupted. “I don’t want you to get a wrong idea of me from all these stories you hear.”
    So he was aware of the bizarre accusations that flavored conversation in his halls.
    “I’ll tell you God’s truth.” His right hand suddenly ordered divine retribution to stand by. “I am the son of some wealthy people in the Middle West — all dead now. I was brought up in America but educated at Oxford, because all my ancestors have been educated there for many years. It is a family tradition.”
    He looked at me sideways — and I knew why Jordan Baker had believed he was lying. He hurried the phrase “educated at Oxford,” or swallowed it, or choked on it, as though it had bothered him before. And with this doubt, his whole statement fell to pieces, and I wondered if there wasn’t something a little sinister about him, after all.
    “What part of the Middle West?” I inquired casually.
    “San Francisco.”
    “I see.”
    “My family all died and I came into a good deal of money.”
    His voice was solemn, as if the memory of that sudden extinction of a clan still haunted him. For a moment I suspected that he was pulling my leg, but a glance at him convinced me otherwise.
    “After that I lived like a young rajah in all the capitals of Europe — Paris, Venice, Rome — collecting jewels, chiefly rubies, hunting big game, painting a little, things for myself only, and trying to forget something very sad that had happened to me long ago.”
    With an effort I managed to restrain my incredulous laughter. The very phrases were worn so threadbare that they evoked no image except that of a turbaned “character.” leaking sawdust at every pore as he pursued a tiger through the Bois de Boulogne.
    “Then came the war, old sport. It was a great relief, and I tried very hard to die, but I seemed to bear an enchanted life. I accepted a commission as first lieutenant when it began. In the Argonne Forest I took two machine-gun detachments so far forward that there was a half mile gap on either side of us where the infantry couldn’t advance. We stayed there two days and two nights, a hundred and thirty men with sixteen Lewis guns, and when the infantry came up at last they found the insignia of three German divisions among the piles of dead. I was promoted to be a major, and every Allied government gave me a decoration — even Montenegro, little Montenegro down on the Adriatic Sea!”
    Little Montenegro! He lifted up the words and nodded at them — with his smile. The smile comprehended Montenegro’s troubled history and sympathized with the brave struggles of the Montenegrin people. It appreciated fully the chain of national circumstances which had elicited this tribute from Montenegro’s warm little heart. My incredulity was submerged in fascination now; it was like skimming hastily through a dozen magazines.
    He reached in his pocket, and a piece of metal, slung on a ribbon, fell into my palm.
    “That’s the one from Montenegro.”
    To my astonishment, the thing had an authentic look.
    “Orderi di Danilo,” ran the circular legend, “Montenegro, Nicolas Rex.”
    “Turn it.”
    “Major Jay Gatsby,” I read, “For Valour Extraordinary.”
    “Here’s another thing I always carry. A souvenir of Oxford days. It was taken in Trinity Quad — the man on my left is now the Earl of Dorcaster.”
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  3. #33
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    Originally Posted by Strong_1rd_Post View Post
    ^that was chapter 1. eight more chapters to go. if you want to neg me, keep reading, if you want to rep me, do so, and u can leave at any moment. choice is yours.
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  4. #34
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    “Back out,” he suggested after a moment. “Put her in reverse.”
    “But the WHEEL’S off!”
    He hesitated.
    “No harm in trying,” he said.
    The caterwauling horns had reached a crescendo and I turned away and cut across the lawn toward home. I glanced back once. A wafer of a moon was shining over Gatsby’s house, making the night fine as before, and surviving the laughter and the sound of his still glowing garden. A sudden emptiness seemed to flow now from the windows and the great doors, endowing with complete isolation the figure of the host, who stood on the porch, his hand up in a formal gesture of farewell.
    Reading over what I have written so far, I see I have given the impression that the events of three nights several weeks apart were all that absorbed me. On the contrary, they were merely casual events in a crowded summer, and, until much later, they absorbed me infinitely less than my personal affairs.
    Most of the time I worked. In the early morning the sun threw my shadow westward as I hurried down the white chasms of lower New York to the Probity Trust. I knew the other clerks and young bond-salesmen by their first names, and lunched with them in dark, crowded restaurants on little pig sausages and mashed potatoes and coffee. I even had a short affair with a girl who lived in Jersey City and worked in the accounting department, but her brother began throwing mean looks in my direction, so when she went on her vacation in July I let it blow quietly away.
    I took dinner usually at the Yale Club — for some reason it was the gloomiest event of my day — and then I went up-stairs to the library and studied investments and securities for a conscientious hour. There were generally a few rioters around, but they never came into the library, so it was a good place to work. After that, if the night was mellow, I strolled down Madison Avenue past the old Murray Hill Hotel, and over 33rd Street to the Pennsylvania Station.
    I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night, and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye. I liked to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I was going to enter into their lives, and no one would ever know or disapprove. Sometimes, in my mind, I followed them to their apartments on the corners of hidden streets, and they turned and smiled back at me before they faded through a door into warm darkness. At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others — poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner — young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.
    Again at eight o’clock, when the dark lanes of the Forties were five deep with throbbing taxi-cabs, bound for the theatre district, I felt a sinking in my heart. Forms leaned together in the taxis as they waited, and voices sang, and there was laughter from unheard jokes, and lighted cigarettes outlined unintelligible 70 gestures inside. Imagining that I, too, was hurrying toward gayety and sharing their intimate excitement, I wished them well.
    For a while I lost sight of Jordan Baker, and then in midsummer I found her again. At first I was flattered to go places with her, because she was a golf champion, and every one knew her name. Then it was something more. I wasn’t actually in love, but I felt a sort of tender curiosity. The bored haughty face that she turned to the world concealed something — most affectations conceal something eventually, even though they don’t in the beginning — and one day I found what it was. When we were on a house-party together up in Warwick, she left a borrowed car out in the rain with the top down, and then lied about it — and suddenly I remembered the story about her that had eluded me that night at Daisy’s. At her first big golf tournament there was a row that nearly reached the newspapers — a suggestion that she had moved her ball from a bad lie in the semi-final round. The thing approached the proportions of a scandal — then died away. A caddy retracted his statement, and the only other witness admitted that he might have been mistaken. The incident and the name had remained together in my mind.
    Jordan Baker instinctively avoided clever, shrewd men, and now I saw that this was because she felt safer on a plane where any divergence from a code would be thought impossible. She was incurably dishonest. She wasn’t able to endure being at a disadvantage and, given this unwillingness, I suppose she had begun dealing in subterfuges when she was very young in order to keep that cool, insolent smile turned to the world and yet satisfy the demands of her hard, jaunty body.
    It made no difference to me. Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply — I was casually sorry, and then I forgot. It was on that same house party that we had a curious conversation about driving a car. It started because she passed so close to some workmen that our fender flicked a button on one man’s coat.
    “You’re a rotten driver,” I protested. “Either you ought to be more careful, or you oughtn’t to drive at all.”
    “I am careful.”
    “No, you’re not.”
    “Well, other people are,” she said lightly.
    “What’s that got to do with it?”
    “They’ll keep out of my way,” she insisted. “It takes two to make an accident.”
    “Suppose you met somebody just as careless as yourself.”
    “I hope I never will,” she answered. “I hate careless people. That’s why I like you.”
    Her gray, sun-strained eyes stared straight ahead, but she had deliberately shifted our relations, and for a moment I thought I loved her. But I am slow-thinking and full of interior rules that act as brakes on my desires, and I knew that first I had to get myself definitely out of that tangle back home. I’d been writing letters once a week and signing them: “Love, Nick,” and all I could think of was how, when that certain girl played tennis, a faint mustache of perspiration appeared on her upper lip. Nevertheless there was a vague understanding that had to be tactfully broken off before I was free.
    Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.
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  5. #35
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    It was a photograph of half a dozen young men in blazers loafing in an archway through which were visible a host of spires. There was Gatsby, looking a little, not much, younger — with a cricket bat in his hand.
    Then it was all true. I saw the skins of tigers flaming in his palace on the Grand Canal; I saw him opening a chest of rubies to ease, with their crimson-lighted depths, the gnawings of his broken heart.
    “I’m going to make a big request of you to-day,” he said, pocketing his souvenirs with satisfaction, “so I thought you ought to know something about me. I didn’t want you to think I was just some nobody. You see, I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad thing that happened to me.” He hesitated. “You’ll hear about it this afternoon.”
    “At lunch?”
    “No, this afternoon. I happened to find out that you’re taking Miss Baker to tea.”
    “Do you mean you’re in love with Miss Baker?”
    “No, old sport, I’m not. But Miss Baker has kindly consented to speak to you about this matter.”
    I hadn’t the faintest idea what “this matter.” was, but I was more annoyed than interested. I hadn’t asked Jordan to tea in order to discuss Mr. Jay Gatsby. I was sure the request would be something utterly fantastic, and for a moment I was sorry I’d ever set foot upon his overpopulated lawn.
    He wouldn’t say another word. His correctness grew on him as we neared the city. We passed Port Roosevelt, where there was a glimpse of red-belted ocean-going ships, and sped along a cobbled slum lined with the dark, undeserted saloons of the faded-gilt nineteen-hundreds. Then the valley of ashes opened out on both sides of us, and I had a glimpse of Mrs. Wilson straining at the garage pump with panting vitality as we went by.
    With fenders spread like wings we scattered light through half Long Island City — only half, for as we twisted among the pillars of the elevated I heard the familiar “jug — jug — SPAT!” of a motorcycle, and a frantic policeman rode alongside.
    “All right, old sport,” called Gatsby. We slowed down. Taking a white card from his wallet, he waved it before the man’s eyes.
    “Right you are,” agreed the policeman, tipping his cap. “Know you next time, Mr. Gatsby. Excuse ME!”
    “What was that?” I inquired.
    “The picture of Oxford?”
    “I was able to do the commissioner a favor once, and he sends me a Christmas card every year.”
    Over the great bridge, with the sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of non-olfactory money. The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.
    A dead man passed us in a hearse heaped with blooms, followed by two carriages with drawn blinds, and by more cheerful carriages for friends. The friends looked out at us with the tragic eyes and short upper lips of southeastern Europe, and I was glad that the sight of Gatsby’s splendid car was included in their sombre holiday. As we crossed Blackwell’s Island a limousine passed us, driven by a white chauffeur, in which sat three modish negroes, two bucks and a girl. I laughed aloud as the yolks of their eyeballs rolled toward us in haughty rivalry.
    “Anything can happen now that we’ve slid over this bridge,” I thought; “anything at all. . . .”
    Even Gatsby could happen, without any particular wonder.
    Roaring noon. In a well — fanned Forty-second Street cellar I met Gatsby for lunch. Blinking away the brightness of the street outside, my eyes picked him out obscurely in the anteroom, talking to another man.
    “Mr. Carraway, this is my friend Mr. Wolfsheim.”
    A small, flat-nosed Jew raised his large head and regarded me with two fine growths of hair which luxuriated in either nostril. After a moment I discovered his tiny eyes in the half-darkness.
    “— So I took one look at him,” said Mr. Wolfsheim, shaking my hand earnestly, “and what do you think I did?”
    “What?” I inquired politely.
    But evidently he was not addressing me, for he dropped my hand and covered Gatsby with his expressive nose.
    “I handed the money to Katspaugh and I sid: ‘all right, Katspaugh, don’t pay him a penny till he shuts his mouth.’ He shut it then and there.”
    Gatsby took an arm of each of us and moved forward into the restaurant, whereupon Mr. Wolfsheim swallowed a new sentence he was starting and lapsed into a somnambulatory abstraction.
    “Highballs?” asked the head waiter.
    “This is a nice restaurant here,” said Mr. Wolfsheim, looking at the Presbyterian nymphs on the ceiling. “But I like across the street better!”
    “Yes, highballs,” agreed Gatsby, and then to Mr. Wolfsheim: “It’s too hot over there.”
    “Hot and small — yes,” said Mr. Wolfsheim, “but full of memories.”
    “What place is that?” I asked.
    “The old Metropole.
    “The old Metropole,” brooded Mr. Wolfsheim gloomily. “Filled with faces dead and gone. Filled with friends gone now forever. I can’t forget so long as I live the night they shot Rosy Rosenthal there. It was six of us at the table, and Rosy had eat and drunk a lot all evening. When it was almost morning the waiter came up to him with a funny look and says somebody wants to speak to him outside. ‘all right,’ says Rosy, and begins to get up, and I pulled him down in his chair.
    “‘Let the bastards come in here if they want you, Rosy, but don’t you, so help me, move outside this room.’
    “It was four o’clock in the morning then, and if we’d of raised the blinds we’d of seen daylight.”
    “Did he go?” I asked innocently.
    “Sure he went.” Mr. Wolfsheim’s nose flashed at me indignantly. “He turned around in the door and says: ‘Don’t let that waiter take away my coffee!’ Then he went out on the sidewalk, and they shot him three times in his full belly and drove away.”
    “Four of them were electrocuted,” I said, remembering.
    “Five, with Becker.” His nostrils turned to me in an interested way. “I understand you’re looking for a business gonnegtion.”
    The juxtaposition of these two remarks was startling. Gatsby answered for me:
    “Oh, no,” he exclaimed, “this isn’t the man.”
    “No?” Mr. Wolfsheim seemed disappointed.
    “This is just a friend. I told you we’d talk about that some other time.”
    “I beg your pardon,” said Mr. Wolfsheim, “I had a wrong man.”
    A succulent hash arrived, and Mr. Wolfsheim, forgetting the more sentimental atmosphere of the old Metropole, began to eat with ferocious delicacy. His eyes, meanwhile, roved very slowly all around the room — he completed the arc by turning to inspect the people directly behind. I think that, except for my presence, he would have taken one short glance beneath our own table.
    “Look here, old sport,” said Gatsby, leaning toward me, “I’m afraid I made you a little angry this morning in the car.”
    There was the smile again, but this time I held out against it.
    “I don’t like mysteries,” I answered. “And I don’t understand why you won’t come out frankly and tell me what you want. Why has it all got to come through Miss Baker?”
    “Oh, it’s nothing underhand,” he assured me. “Miss Baker’s a great sportswoman, you know, and she’d never do anything that wasn’t all right.”
    Suddenly he looked at his watch, jumped up, and hurried from the room, leaving me with Mr. Wolfsheim at the table.
    “He has to telephone,” said Mr. Wolfsheim, following him with his eyes. “Fine fellow, isn’t he? Handsome to look at and a perfect gentleman.”
    “Yes.”
    “He’s an Oggsford man.”
    “Oh!”
    “He went to Oggsford College in England. You know Oggsford College?”
    “I’ve heard of it.”
    “It’s one of the most famous colleges in the world.”
    “Have you known Gatsby for a long time?” I inquired.
    “Several years,” he answered in a gratified way. “I made the pleasure of his acquaintance just after the war. But I knew I had discovered a man of fine breeding after I talked with him an hour. I said to myself: ‘There’s the kind of man you’d like to take home and introduce to your mother and sister.’.” He paused. “I see you’re looking at my cuff buttons.” I hadn’t been looking at them, but I did now.
    They were composed of oddly familiar pieces of ivory.
    “Finest specimens of human molars,” he informed me.
    “Well!” I inspected them. “That’s a very interesting idea.”
    “Yeah.” He flipped his sleeves up under his coat. “Yeah, Gatsby’s very careful about women. He would never so much as look at a friend’s wife.”
    When the subject of this instinctive trust returned to the table and sat down Mr. Wolfsheim drank his coffee with a jerk and got to his feet.
    “I have enjoyed my lunch,” he said, “and I’m going to run off from you two young men before I outstay my welcome.”
    “Don’t hurry, Meyer,” said Gatsby, without enthusiasm. Mr. Wolfsheim raised his hand in a sort of benediction.
    “You’re very polite, but I belong to another generation,” he announced solemnly. “You sit here and discuss your sports and your young ladies and your ——” He supplied an imaginary noun with another wave of his hand. “As for me, I am fifty years old, and I won’t impose myself on you any longer.”
    As he shook hands and turned away his tragic nose was trembling. I wondered if I had said anything to offend him.
    “He becomes very sentimental sometimes,” explained Gatsby. “This is one of his sentimental days. He’s quite a character around New York — a denizen of Broadway.”
    “Who is he, anyhow, an actor?”
    “No.”
    “A dentist?”
    “Meyer Wolfsheim? No, he’s a gambler.” Gatsby hesitated, then added coolly: “He’s the man who fixed the World’s Series back in 1919.”
    “Fixed the World’s Series?” I repeated.
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    The idea staggered me. I remembered, of course, that the World’s Series had been fixed in 1919, but if I had thought of it at all I would have thought of it as a thing that merely HAPPENED, the end of some inevitable chain. It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people — with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe.
    “How did he happen to do that?” I asked after a minute.
    “He just saw the opportunity.”
    “Why isn’t he in jail?”
    “They can’t get him, old sport. He’s a smart man.”
    I insisted on paying the check. As the waiter brought my change I caught sight of Tom Buchanan across the crowded room.
    “Come along with me for a minute,” I said; “I’ve got to say hello to some one.” When he saw us Tom jumped up and took half a dozen steps in our direction.
    “Where’ve you been?” he demamded eagerly. “Daisy’s furious because you haven’t called up.”
    “This is Mr. Gatsby, Mr. Buchanan.”
    They shook hands briefly, and a strained, unfamiliar look of embarrassment came over Gatsby’s face.
    “How’ve you been, anyhow?” demanded Tom of me. “How’d you happen to come up this far to eat?”
    “I’ve been having lunch with Mr. Gatsby.”
    I turned toward Mr. Gatsby, but he was no longer there.
    One October day in nineteen-seventeen ——
    (said Jordan Baker that afternoon, sitting up very straight on a straight chair in the tea-garden at the Plaza Hotel)
    — I was walking along from one place to another, half on the sidewalks and half on the lawns. I was happier on the lawns because I had on shoes from England with rubber nobs on the soles that bit into the soft ground. I had on a new plaid skirt also that blew a little in the wind, and whenever this happened the red, white, and blue banners in front of all the houses stretched out stiff and said TUT-TUT-TUT-TUT, in a disapproving way.
    The largest of the banners and the largest of the lawns belonged to Daisy Fay’s house. She was just eighteen, two years older than me, and by far the most popular of all the young girls in Louisville. She dressed in white, and had a little white roadster, and all day long the telephone rang in her house and excited young officers from Camp Taylor demanded the privilege of monopolizing her that night. “Anyways, for an hour!”
    When I came opposite her house that morning her white roadster was beside the curb, and she was sitting in it with a lieutenant I had never seen before. They were so engrossed in each other that she didn’t see me until I was five feet away.
    “Hello, Jordan,” she called unexpectedly. “Please come here.”
    I was flattered that she wanted to speak to me, because of all the older girls I admired her most. She asked me if I was going to the Red Cross and make bandages. I was. Well, then, would I tell them that she couldn’t come that day? The officer looked at Daisy while she was speaking, in a way that every young girl wants to be looked at sometime, and because it seemed romantic to me I have remembered the incident ever since. His name was Jay Gatsby, and I didn’t lay eyes on him again for over four years — even after I’d met him on Long Island I didn’t realize it was the same man.
    That was nineteen-seventeen. By the next year I had a few beaux myself, and I began to play in tournaments, so I didn’t see Daisy very often. She went with a slightly older crowd — when she went with anyone at all. Wild rumors were circulating about her — how her mother had found her packing her bag one winter night to go to New York and say good-by to a soldier who was going overseas. She was effectually prevented, but she wasn’t on speaking terms with her family for several weeks. After that she didn’t play around with the soldiers any more, but only with a few flat-footed, short-sighted young men in town, who couldn’t get into the army at all.
    By the next autumn she was gay again, gay as ever. She had a debut after the Armistice, and in February she was presumably engaged to a man from New Orleans. In June she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago, with more pomp and circumstance than Louisville ever knew before. He came down with a hundred people in four private cars, and hired a whole floor of the Seelbach Hotel, and the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
    I was bridesmaid. I came into her room half an hour before the bridal dinner, and found her lying on her bed as lovely as the June night in her flowered dress — and as drunk as a monkey. she had a bottle of Sauterne in one hand and a letter in the other.
    “‘Gratulate me,” she muttered. “Never had a drink before, but oh how I do enjoy it.”
    “What’s the matter, Daisy?”
    I was scared, I can tell you; I’d never seen a girl like that before.
    “Here, deares’.” She groped around in a waste-basket she had with her on the bed and pulled out the string of pearls. “Take ’em down-stairs and give ’em back to whoever they belong to. Tell ’em all Daisy’s change’ her mine. Say: ‘Daisy’s change’ her mine!’.”
    She began to cry — she cried and cried. I rushed out and found her mother’s maid, and we locked the door and got her into a cold bath. She wouldn’t let go of the letter. She took it into the tub with her and squeezed it up into a wet ball, and only let me leave it in the soap-dish when she saw that it was coming to pieces like snow.
    But she didn’t say another word. We gave her spirits of ammonia and put ice on her forehead and hooked her back into her dress, and half an hour later, when we walked out of the room, the pearls were around her neck and the incident was over. Next day at five o’clock she married Tom Buchanan without so much as a shiver, and started off on a three months’ trip to the South Seas.
    I saw them in Santa Barbara when they came back, and I thought I’d never seen a girl so mad about her husband. If he left the room for a minute she’d look around uneasily, and say: “Where’s Tom gone?” and wear the most abstracted expression until she saw him coming in the door. She used to sit on the sand with his head in her lap by the hour, rubbing her fingers over his eyes and looking at him with unfathomable delight. It was touching to see them together — it made you laugh in a hushed, fascinated way. That was in August. A week after I left Santa Barbara Tom ran into a wagon on the Ventura road one night, and ripped a front wheel off his car. The girl who was with him got into the papers, too, because her arm was broken — she was one of the chambermaids in the Santa Barbara Hotel.
    The next April Daisy had her little girl, and they went to France for a year. I saw them one spring in Cannes, and later in Deauville, and then they came back to Chicago to settle down. Daisy was popular in Chicago, as you know. They moved with a fast crowd, all of them young and rich and wild, but she came out with an absolutely perfect reputation. Perhaps because she doesn’t drink. It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people. You can hold your tongue, and, moreover, you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody else is so blind that they don’t see or care. Perhaps Daisy never went in for amour at all — and yet there’s something in that voice of hers. . . .
    Well, about six weeks ago, she heard the name Gatsby for the first time in years. It was when I asked you — do you remember?— if you knew Gatsby in West Egg. After you had gone home she came into my room and woke me up, and said: “What Gatsby?” and when I described him — I was half asleep — she said in the strangest voice that it must be the man she used to know. It wasn’t until then that I connected this Gatsby with the officer in her white car.
    When Jordan Baker had finished telling all this we had left the Plaza for half an hour and were driving in a victoria through Central Park. The sun had gone down behind the tall apartments of the movie stars in the West Fifties, and the clear voices of girls, already gathered like crickets on the grass, rose through the hot twilight:
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    chapter 4

    On Sunday morning while church bells rang in the villages alongshore, the world and its mistress returned to Gatsby’s house and twinkled hilariously on his lawn.
    “He’s a bootlegger,” said the young ladies, moving somewhere between his cocktails and his flowers. “One time he killed a man who had found out that he was nephew to Von Hindenburg and second cousin to the devil. Reach me a rose, honey, and pour me a last drop into that there crystal glass.”
    Once I wrote down on the empty spaces of a time-table the names of those who came to Gatsby’s house that summer. It is an old time-table now, disintegrating at its folds, and headed “This schedule in effect July 5th, 1922.” But I can still read the gray names, and they will give you a better impression than my generalities of those who accepted Gatsby’s hospitality and paid him the subtle tribute of knowing nothing whatever about him.
    From East Egg, then, came the Chester Beckers and the Leeches, and a man named Bunsen, whom I knew at Yale, and Doctor Webster Civet, who was drowned last summer up in Maine. And the Hornbeams and the Willie Voltaires, and a whole clan named Blackbuck, who always gathered in a corner and flipped up their noses like goats at whosoever came near. And the Ismays and the Chrysties (or rather Hubert Auerbach and Mr. Chrystie’s wife), and Edgar Beaver, whose hair, they say, turned cotton-white one winter afternoon for no good reason at all.
    Clarence Endive was from East Egg, as I remember. He came only once, in white knickerbockers, and had a fight with a bum named Etty in the garden. From farther out on the Island came the Cheadles and the O. R. P. Schraeders, and the Stonewall Jackson Abrams of Georgia, and the Fishguards and the Ripley Snells. Snell was there three days before he went to the penitentiary, so drunk out on the gravel drive that Mrs. Ulysses Swett’s automobile ran over his right hand. The Dancies came, too, and S. B. Whitebait, who was well over sixty, and Maurice A. Flink, and the Hammerheads, and Beluga the tobacco importer, and Beluga’s girls.
    From West Egg came the Poles and the Mulreadys and Cecil Roebuck and Cecil Schoen and Gulick the state senator and Newton Orchid, who controlled Films Par Excellence, and Eckhaust and Clyde Cohen and Don S. Schwartze (the son) and Arthur McCarty, all connected with the movies in one way or another. And the Catlips and the Bembergs and G. Earl Muldoon, brother to that Muldoon who afterward strangled his wife. Da Fontano the promoter came there, and Ed Legros and James B. (“Rot-Gut.”) Ferret and the De Jongs and Ernest Lilly — they came to gamble, and when Ferret wandered into the garden it meant he was cleaned out and Associated Traction would have to fluctuate profitably next day.
    A man named Klipspringer was there so often and so long that he became known as “the boarder.”— I doubt if he had any other home. Of theatrical people there were Gus Waize and Horace O’donavan and Lester Meyer and George Duckweed and Francis Bull. Also from New York were the Chromes and the Backhyssons and the Dennickers and Russel Betty and the Corrigans and the Kellehers and the Dewars and the Scullys and S. W. Belcher and the Smirkes and the young Quinns, divorced now, and Henry L. Palmetto, who killed himself by jumping in front of a subway train in Times Square.
    Benny McClenahan arrived always with four girls. They were never quite the same ones in physical person, but they were so identical one with another that it inevitably seemed they had been there before. I have forgotten their names — Jaqueline, I think, or else Consuela, or Gloria or Judy or June, and their last names were either the melodious names of flowers and months or the sterner ones of the great American capitalists whose cousins, if pressed, they would confess themselves to be.
    In addition to all these I can remember that Faustina O’brien came there at least once and the Baedeker girls and young Brewer, who had his nose shot off in the war, and Mr. Albrucksburger and Miss Haag, his fiancee, and Ardita Fitz-Peters and Mr. P. Jewett, once head of the American Legion, and Miss Claudia Hip, with a man reputed to be her chauffeur, and a prince of something, whom we called Duke, and whose name, if I ever knew it, I have forgotten.
    All these people came to Gatsby’s house in the summer.
    At nine o’clock, one morning late in July, Gatsby’s gorgeous car lurched up the rocky drive to my door and gave out a burst of melody from its three-noted horn. It was the first time he had called on me, though I had gone to two of his parties, mounted in his hydroplane, and, at his urgent invitation, made frequent use of his beach.
    “Good morning, old sport. You’re having lunch with me to-day and I thought we’d ride up together.”
    He was balancing himself on the dashboard of his car with that resourcefulness of movement that is so peculiarly American — that comes, I suppose, with the absence of lifting work or rigid sitting in youth and, even more, with the formless grace of our nervous, sporadic games. This quality was continually breaking through his punctilious manner in the shape of restlessness. He was never quite still; there was always a tapping foot somewhere or the impatient opening and closing of a hand.
    He saw me looking with admiration at his car.
    “It’s pretty, isn’t it, old sport?” He jumped off to give me a better view. “Haven’t you ever seen it before?”
    I’d seen it. Everybody had seen it. It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat-boxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of wind-shields that mirrored a dozen suns. Sitting down behind many layers of glass in a sort of green leather conservatory, we started to town.
    I had talked with him perhaps half a dozen times in the past month and found, to my disappointment, that he had little to say: So my first impression, that he was a person of some undefined consequence, had gradually faded and he had become simply the proprietor of an elaborate road-house next door.
    And then came that disconcerting ride. We hadn’t reached West Egg village before Gatsby began leaving his elegant sentences unfinished and slapping himself indecisively on the knee of his caramel-colored suit.
    “Look here, old sport,” he broke out surprisingly. “What’s your opinion of me, anyhow?” A little overwhelmed, I began the generalized evasions which that question deserves.
    “Well, I’m going to tell you something about my life,” he interrupted. “I don’t want you to get a wrong idea of me from all these stories you hear.”
    So he was aware of the bizarre accusations that flavored conversation in his halls.
    “I’ll tell you God’s truth.” His right hand suddenly ordered divine retribution to stand by. “I am the son of some wealthy people in the Middle West — all dead now. I was brought up in America but educated at Oxford, because all my ancestors have been educated there for many years. It is a family tradition.”
    He looked at me sideways — and I knew why Jordan Baker had believed he was lying. He hurried the phrase “educated at Oxford,” or swallowed it, or choked on it, as though it had bothered him before. And with this doubt, his whole statement fell to pieces, and I wondered if there wasn’t something a little sinister about him, after all.
    “What part of the Middle West?” I inquired casually.
    “San Francisco.”
    “I see.”
    “My family all died and I came into a good deal of money.”
    His voice was solemn, as if the memory of that sudden extinction of a clan still haunted him. For a moment I suspected that he was pulling my leg, but a glance at him convinced me otherwise.
    “After that I lived like a young rajah in all the capitals of Europe — Paris, Venice, Rome — collecting jewels, chiefly rubies, hunting big game, painting a little, things for myself only, and trying to forget something very sad that had happened to me long ago.”
    With an effort I managed to restrain my incredulous laughter. The very phrases were worn so threadbare that they evoked no image except that of a turbaned “character.” leaking sawdust at every pore as he pursued a tiger through the Bois de Boulogne.
    “Then came the war, old sport. It was a great relief, and I tried very hard to die, but I seemed to bear an enchanted life. I accepted a commission as first lieutenant when it began. In the Argonne Forest I took two machine-gun detachments so far forward that there was a half mile gap on either side of us where the infantry couldn’t advance. We stayed there two days and two nights, a hundred and thirty men with sixteen Lewis guns, and when the infantry came up at last they found the insignia of three German divisions among the piles of dead. I was promoted to be a major, and every Allied government gave me a decoration — even Montenegro, little Montenegro down on the Adriatic Sea!”
    Little Montenegro! He lifted up the words and nodded at them — with his smile. The smile comprehended Montenegro’s troubled history and sympathized with the brave struggles of the Montenegrin people. It appreciated fully the chain of national circumstances which had elicited this tribute from Montenegro’s warm little heart. My incredulity was submerged in fascination now; it was like skimming hastily through a dozen magazines.
    He reached in his pocket, and a piece of metal, slung on a ribbon, fell into my palm.
    “That’s the one from Montenegro.”
    To my astonishment, the thing had an authentic look.
    “Orderi di Danilo,” ran the circular legend, “Montenegro, Nicolas Rex.”
    “Turn it.”
    “Major Jay Gatsby,” I read, “For Valour Extraordinary.”
    “Here’s another thing I always carry. A souvenir of Oxford days. It was taken in Trinity Quad — the man on my left is now the Earl of Dorcaster.”
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    “I’m the Sheik of Araby.
    Your love belongs to me.
    At night when you’re are asleep
    Into your tent I’ll creep ——”
    “It was a strange coincidence,” I said.
    “But it wasn’t a coincidence at all.”
    “Why not?”
    “Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.”
    Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor.
    “He wants to know,” continued Jordan, “if you’ll invite Daisy to your house some afternoon and then let him come over.”
    The modesty of the demand shook me. He had waited five years and bought a mansion where he dispensed starlight to casual moths — so that he could “come over.” some afternoon to a stranger’s garden.
    “Did I have to know all this before he could ask such a little thing?”
    “He’s afraid, he’s waited so long. He thought you might be offended. You see, he’s a regular tough underneath it all.”
    Something worried me.
    “Why didn’t he ask you to arrange a meeting?”
    “He wants her to see his house,” she explained. “And your house is right next door.”
    “Oh!”
    “I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties, some night,” went on Jordan, “but she never did. Then he began asking people casually if they knew her, and I was the first one he found. It was that night he sent for me at his dance, and you should have heard the elaborate way he worked up to it. Of course, I immediately suggested a luncheon in New York — and I thought he’d go mad:
    “‘I don’t want to do anything out of the way!’ he kept saying. ‘I want to see her right next door.’
    “When I said you were a particular friend of Tom’s, he started to abandon the whole idea. He doesn’t know very much about Tom, though he says he’s read a Chicago paper for years just on the chance of catching a glimpse of Daisy’s name.”
    It was dark now, and as we dipped under a little bridge I put my arm around Jordan’s golden shoulder and drew her toward me and asked her to dinner. Suddenly I wasn’t thinking of Daisy and Gatsby any more, but of this clean, hard, limited person, who dealt in universal scepticism, and who leaned back jauntily just within the circle of my arm. A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”
    “And Daisy ought to have something in her life,” murmured Jordan to me.
    “Does she want to see Gatsby?”
    “She’s not to know about it. Gatsby doesn’t want her to know. You’re just supposed to invite her to tea.”
    We passed a barrier of dark trees, and then the facade of Fifty-ninth Street, a block of delicate pale light, beamed down into the park. Unlike Gatsby and Tom Buchanan, I had no girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs, and so I drew up the girl beside me, tightening my arms. Her wan, scornful mouth smiled, and so I drew her up again closer, this time to my face.
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    It was a photograph of half a dozen young men in blazers loafing in an archway through which were visible a host of spires. There was Gatsby, looking a little, not much, younger — with a cricket bat in his hand.
    Then it was all true. I saw the skins of tigers flaming in his palace on the Grand Canal; I saw him opening a chest of rubies to ease, with their crimson-lighted depths, the gnawings of his broken heart.
    “I’m going to make a big request of you to-day,” he said, pocketing his souvenirs with satisfaction, “so I thought you ought to know something about me. I didn’t want you to think I was just some nobody. You see, I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad thing that happened to me.” He hesitated. “You’ll hear about it this afternoon.”
    “At lunch?”
    “No, this afternoon. I happened to find out that you’re taking Miss Baker to tea.”
    “Do you mean you’re in love with Miss Baker?”
    “No, old sport, I’m not. But Miss Baker has kindly consented to speak to you about this matter.”
    I hadn’t the faintest idea what “this matter.” was, but I was more annoyed than interested. I hadn’t asked Jordan to tea in order to discuss Mr. Jay Gatsby. I was sure the request would be something utterly fantastic, and for a moment I was sorry I’d ever set foot upon his overpopulated lawn.
    He wouldn’t say another word. His correctness grew on him as we neared the city. We passed Port Roosevelt, where there was a glimpse of red-belted ocean-going ships, and sped along a cobbled slum lined with the dark, undeserted saloons of the faded-gilt nineteen-hundreds. Then the valley of ashes opened out on both sides of us, and I had a glimpse of Mrs. Wilson straining at the garage pump with panting vitality as we went by.
    With fenders spread like wings we scattered light through half Long Island City — only half, for as we twisted among the pillars of the elevated I heard the familiar “jug — jug — SPAT!” of a motorcycle, and a frantic policeman rode alongside.
    “All right, old sport,” called Gatsby. We slowed down. Taking a white card from his wallet, he waved it before the man’s eyes.
    “Right you are,” agreed the policeman, tipping his cap. “Know you next time, Mr. Gatsby. Excuse ME!”
    “What was that?” I inquired.
    “The picture of Oxford?”
    “I was able to do the commissioner a favor once, and he sends me a Christmas card every year.”
    Over the great bridge, with the sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of non-olfactory money. The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.
    A dead man passed us in a hearse heaped with blooms, followed by two carriages with drawn blinds, and by more cheerful carriages for friends. The friends looked out at us with the tragic eyes and short upper lips of southeastern Europe, and I was glad that the sight of Gatsby’s splendid car was included in their sombre holiday. As we crossed Blackwell’s Island a limousine passed us, driven by a white chauffeur, in which sat three modish negroes, two bucks and a girl. I laughed aloud as the yolks of their eyeballs rolled toward us in haughty rivalry.
    “Anything can happen now that we’ve slid over this bridge,” I thought; “anything at all. . . .”
    Even Gatsby could happen, without any particular wonder.
    Roaring noon. In a well — fanned Forty-second Street cellar I met Gatsby for lunch. Blinking away the brightness of the street outside, my eyes picked him out obscurely in the anteroom, talking to another man.
    “Mr. Carraway, this is my friend Mr. Wolfsheim.”
    A small, flat-nosed Jew raised his large head and regarded me with two fine growths of hair which luxuriated in either nostril. After a moment I discovered his tiny eyes in the half-darkness.
    “— So I took one look at him,” said Mr. Wolfsheim, shaking my hand earnestly, “and what do you think I did?”
    “What?” I inquired politely.
    But evidently he was not addressing me, for he dropped my hand and covered Gatsby with his expressive nose.
    “I handed the money to Katspaugh and I sid: ‘all right, Katspaugh, don’t pay him a penny till he shuts his mouth.’ He shut it then and there.”
    Gatsby took an arm of each of us and moved forward into the restaurant, whereupon Mr. Wolfsheim swallowed a new sentence he was starting and lapsed into a somnambulatory abstraction.
    “Highballs?” asked the head waiter.
    “This is a nice restaurant here,” said Mr. Wolfsheim, looking at the Presbyterian nymphs on the ceiling. “But I like across the street better!”
    “Yes, highballs,” agreed Gatsby, and then to Mr. Wolfsheim: “It’s too hot over there.”
    “Hot and small — yes,” said Mr. Wolfsheim, “but full of memories.”
    “What place is that?” I asked.
    “The old Metropole.
    “The old Metropole,” brooded Mr. Wolfsheim gloomily. “Filled with faces dead and gone. Filled with friends gone now forever. I can’t forget so long as I live the night they shot Rosy Rosenthal there. It was six of us at the table, and Rosy had eat and drunk a lot all evening. When it was almost morning the waiter came up to him with a funny look and says somebody wants to speak to him outside. ‘all right,’ says Rosy, and begins to get up, and I pulled him down in his chair.
    “‘Let the bastards come in here if they want you, Rosy, but don’t you, so help me, move outside this room.’
    “It was four o’clock in the morning then, and if we’d of raised the blinds we’d of seen daylight.”
    “Did he go?” I asked innocently.
    “Sure he went.” Mr. Wolfsheim’s nose flashed at me indignantly. “He turned around in the door and says: ‘Don’t let that waiter take away my coffee!’ Then he went out on the sidewalk, and they shot him three times in his full belly and drove away.”
    “Four of them were electrocuted,” I said, remembering.
    “Five, with Becker.” His nostrils turned to me in an interested way. “I understand you’re looking for a business gonnegtion.”
    The juxtaposition of these two remarks was startling. Gatsby answered for me:
    “Oh, no,” he exclaimed, “this isn’t the man.”
    “No?” Mr. Wolfsheim seemed disappointed.
    “This is just a friend. I told you we’d talk about that some other time.”
    “I beg your pardon,” said Mr. Wolfsheim, “I had a wrong man.”
    A succulent hash arrived, and Mr. Wolfsheim, forgetting the more sentimental atmosphere of the old Metropole, began to eat with ferocious delicacy. His eyes, meanwhile, roved very slowly all around the room — he completed the arc by turning to inspect the people directly behind. I think that, except for my presence, he would have taken one short glance beneath our own table.
    “Look here, old sport,” said Gatsby, leaning toward me, “I’m afraid I made you a little angry this morning in the car.”
    There was the smile again, but this time I held out against it.
    “I don’t like mysteries,” I answered. “And I don’t understand why you won’t come out frankly and tell me what you want. Why has it all got to come through Miss Baker?”
    “Oh, it’s nothing underhand,” he assured me. “Miss Baker’s a great sportswoman, you know, and she’d never do anything that wasn’t all right.”
    Suddenly he looked at his watch, jumped up, and hurried from the room, leaving me with Mr. Wolfsheim at the table.
    “He has to telephone,” said Mr. Wolfsheim, following him with his eyes. “Fine fellow, isn’t he? Handsome to look at and a perfect gentleman.”
    “Yes.”
    “He’s an Oggsford man.”
    “Oh!”
    “He went to Oggsford College in England. You know Oggsford College?”
    “I’ve heard of it.”
    “It’s one of the most famous colleges in the world.”
    “Have you known Gatsby for a long time?” I inquired.
    “Several years,” he answered in a gratified way. “I made the pleasure of his acquaintance just after the war. But I knew I had discovered a man of fine breeding after I talked with him an hour. I said to myself: ‘There’s the kind of man you’d like to take home and introduce to your mother and sister.’.” He paused. “I see you’re looking at my cuff buttons.” I hadn’t been looking at them, but I did now.
    They were composed of oddly familiar pieces of ivory.
    “Finest specimens of human molars,” he informed me.
    “Well!” I inspected them. “That’s a very interesting idea.”
    “Yeah.” He flipped his sleeves up under his coat. “Yeah, Gatsby’s very careful about women. He would never so much as look at a friend’s wife.”
    When the subject of this instinctive trust returned to the table and sat down Mr. Wolfsheim drank his coffee with a jerk and got to his feet.
    “I have enjoyed my lunch,” he said, “and I’m going to run off from you two young men before I outstay my welcome.”
    “Don’t hurry, Meyer,” said Gatsby, without enthusiasm. Mr. Wolfsheim raised his hand in a sort of benediction.
    “You’re very polite, but I belong to another generation,” he announced solemnly. “You sit here and discuss your sports and your young ladies and your ——” He supplied an imaginary noun with another wave of his hand. “As for me, I am fifty years old, and I won’t impose myself on you any longer.”
    As he shook hands and turned away his tragic nose was trembling. I wondered if I had said anything to offend him.
    “He becomes very sentimental sometimes,” explained Gatsby. “This is one of his sentimental days. He’s quite a character around New York — a denizen of Broadway.”
    “Who is he, anyhow, an actor?”
    “No.”
    “A dentist?”
    “Meyer Wolfsheim? No, he’s a gambler.” Gatsby hesitated, then added coolly: “He’s the man who fixed the World’s Series back in 1919.”
    “Fixed the World’s Series?” I repeated.
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    chapter 5

    When I came home to West Egg that night I was afraid for a moment that my house was on fire. Two o’clock and the whole corner of the peninsula was blazing with light, which fell unreal on the shrubbery and made thin elongating glints upon the roadside wires. Turning a corner, I saw that it was Gatsby’s house, lit from tower to cellar.
    At first I thought it was another party, a wild rout that had resolved itself into “hide-and-go-seek.” or “sardines-in-the-box.” with all the house thrown open to the game. But there wasn’t a sound. Only wind in the trees, which blew the wires and made the lights go off and on again as if the house had winked into the darkness. As my taxi groaned away I saw Gatsby walking toward me across his lawn.
    “Your place looks like the World’s Fair,” I said.
    “Does it?” He turned his eyes toward it absently. “I have been glancing into some of the rooms. Let’s go to Coney Island, old sport. In my car.”
    “It’s too late.”
    “Well, suppose we take a plunge in the swimming-pool? I haven’t made use of it all summer.”
    “I’ve got to go to bed.”
    “All right.”
    He waited, looking at me with suppressed eagerness.
    “I talked with Miss Baker,” I said after a moment. “I’m going to call up Daisy to-morrow and invite her over here to tea.”
    “Oh, that’s all right,” he said carelessly. “I don’t want to put you to any trouble.”
    “What day would suit you?”
    “What day would suit YOU?” he corrected me quickly. “I don’t want to put you to any trouble, you see.”
    “How about the day after to-morrow?” He considered for a moment. Then, with reluctance:
    “I want to get the grass cut,” he said.
    We both looked at the grass — there was a sharp line where my ragged lawn ended and the darker, well-kept expanse of his began. I suspected that he meant my grass.
    “There’s another little thing,” he said uncertainly, and hesitated.
    “Would you rather put it off for a few days?” I asked.
    “Oh, it isn’t about that. At least ——” He fumbled with a series of beginnings. “Why, I thought — why, look here, old sport, you don’t make much money, do you?”
    “Not very much.”
    This seemed to reassure him and he continued more confidently.
    “I thought you didn’t, if you’ll pardon my — You see, I carry on a little business on the side, a sort of side line, you understand. And I thought that if you don’t make very much — You’re selling bonds, aren’t you, old sport?”
    “Trying to.”
    “Well, this would interest you. It wouldn’t take up much of your time and you might pick up a nice bit of money. It happens to be a rather confidential sort of thing.”
    I realize now that under different circumstances that conversation might have been one of the crises of my life. But, because the offer was obviously and tactlessly for a service to be rendered, I had no choice except to cut him off there.
    “I’ve got my hands full,” I said. “I’m much obliged but I couldn’t take on any more work.”
    “You wouldn’t have to do any business with Wolfsheim.” Evidently he thought that I was shying away from the “gonnegtion.” mentioned at lunch, but I assured him he was wrong. He waited a moment longer, hoping I’d begin a conversation, but I was too absorbed to be responsive, so he went unwillingly home.
    The evening had made me light-headed and happy; I think I walked into a deep sleep as I entered my front door. So I didn’t know whether or not Gatsby went to Coney Island, or for how many hours he “glanced into rooms.” while his house blazed gaudily on. I called up Daisy from the office next morning, and invited her to come to tea.
    “Don’t bring Tom,” I warned her.
    “What?”
    “Don’t bring Tom.”
    “Who is ‘Tom’?” she asked innocently.
    The day agreed upon was pouring rain. At eleven o’clock a man in a raincoat, dragging a lawn-mower, tapped at my front door and said that Mr. Gatsby had sent him over to cut my grass. This reminded me that I had forgotten to tell my Finn to come back, so I drove into West Egg Village to search for her among soggy, whitewashed alleys and to buy some cups and lemons and flowers.
    The flowers were unnecessary, for at two o’clock a greenhouse arrived from Gatsby’s, with innumerable receptacles to contain it. An hour later the front door opened nervously, and Gatsby, in a white flannel suit, silver shirt, and gold-colored tie, hurried in. He was pale, and there were dark signs of sleeplessness beneath his eyes.
    “Is everything all right?” he asked immediately.
    “The grass looks fine, if that’s what you mean.”
    “What grass?” he inquired blankly. “Oh, the grass in the yard.” He looked out the window at it, but, judging from his expression, I don’t believe he saw a thing.
    “Looks very good,” he remarked vaguely. “One of the papers said they thought the rain would stop about four. I think it was the JOURNAL. Have you got everything you need in the shape of — of tea?”
    I took him into the pantry, where he looked a little reproachfully at the Finn. Together we scrutinized the twelve lemon cakes from the delicatessen shop.
    “Will they do?” I asked.
    “Of course, of course! They’re fine!” and he added hollowly, “. . .old sport.”
    The rain cooled about half-past three to a damp mist, through which occasional thin drops swam like dew. Gatsby looked with vacant eyes through a copy of Clay’s ECONOMICS, starting at the Finnish tread that shook the kitchen floor, and peering toward the bleared windows from time to time as if a series of invisible but alarming happenings were taking place outside. Finally he got up and informed me, in an uncertain voice, that he was going home.
    “Why’s that?”
    “Nobody’s coming to tea. It’s too late!” He looked at his watch as if there was some pressing demand on his time elsewhere. “I can’t wait all day.”
    “Don’t be silly; it’s just two minutes to four.”
    He sat down miserably, as if I had pushed him, and simultaneously there was the sound of a motor turning into my lane. We both jumped up, and, a little harrowed myself, I went out into the yard.
    Under the dripping bare lilac-trees a large open car was coming up the drive. It stopped. Daisy’s face, tipped sideways beneath a three-cornered lavender hat, looked out at me with a bright ecstatic smile.
    “Is this absolutely where you live, my dearest one?”
    The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain. I had to follow the sound of it for a moment, up and down, with my ear alone, before any words came through. A damp streak of hair lay like a dash of blue paint across her cheek, and her hand was wet with glistening drops as I took it to help her from the car.
    “Are you in love with me,” she said low in my ear, “or why did I have to come alone?”
    “That’s the secret of Castle Rackrent. Tell your chauffeur to go far away and spend an hour.”
    “Come back in an hour, Ferdie.” Then in a grave murmur: “His name is Ferdie.”
    “Does the gasoline affect his nose?”
    “I don’t think so,” she said innocently. “Why?”
    We went in. To my overwhelming surprise the living-room was deserted.
    “Well, that’s funny,” I exclaimed.
    “What’s funny?”
    She turned her head as there was a light dignified knocking at the front door. I went out and opened it. Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes.
    With his hands still in his coat pockets he stalked by me into the hall, turned sharply as if he were on a wire, and disappeared into the living-room. It wasn’t a bit funny. Aware of the loud beating of my own heart I pulled the door to against the increasing rain.
    For half a minute there wasn’t a sound. Then from the living-room I heard a sort of choking murmur and part of a laugh, followed by Daisy’s voice on a clear artificial note: “I certainly am awfully glad to see you again.”
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    The idea staggered me. I remembered, of course, that the World’s Series had been fixed in 1919, but if I had thought of it at all I would have thought of it as a thing that merely HAPPENED, the end of some inevitable chain. It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people — with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe.
    “How did he happen to do that?” I asked after a minute.
    “He just saw the opportunity.”
    “Why isn’t he in jail?”
    “They can’t get him, old sport. He’s a smart man.”
    I insisted on paying the check. As the waiter brought my change I caught sight of Tom Buchanan across the crowded room.
    “Come along with me for a minute,” I said; “I’ve got to say hello to some one.” When he saw us Tom jumped up and took half a dozen steps in our direction.
    “Where’ve you been?” he demamded eagerly. “Daisy’s furious because you haven’t called up.”
    “This is Mr. Gatsby, Mr. Buchanan.”
    They shook hands briefly, and a strained, unfamiliar look of embarrassment came over Gatsby’s face.
    “How’ve you been, anyhow?” demanded Tom of me. “How’d you happen to come up this far to eat?”
    “I’ve been having lunch with Mr. Gatsby.”
    I turned toward Mr. Gatsby, but he was no longer there.
    One October day in nineteen-seventeen ——
    (said Jordan Baker that afternoon, sitting up very straight on a straight chair in the tea-garden at the Plaza Hotel)
    — I was walking along from one place to another, half on the sidewalks and half on the lawns. I was happier on the lawns because I had on shoes from England with rubber nobs on the soles that bit into the soft ground. I had on a new plaid skirt also that blew a little in the wind, and whenever this happened the red, white, and blue banners in front of all the houses stretched out stiff and said TUT-TUT-TUT-TUT, in a disapproving way.
    The largest of the banners and the largest of the lawns belonged to Daisy Fay’s house. She was just eighteen, two years older than me, and by far the most popular of all the young girls in Louisville. She dressed in white, and had a little white roadster, and all day long the telephone rang in her house and excited young officers from Camp Taylor demanded the privilege of monopolizing her that night. “Anyways, for an hour!”
    When I came opposite her house that morning her white roadster was beside the curb, and she was sitting in it with a lieutenant I had never seen before. They were so engrossed in each other that she didn’t see me until I was five feet away.
    “Hello, Jordan,” she called unexpectedly. “Please come here.”
    I was flattered that she wanted to speak to me, because of all the older girls I admired her most. She asked me if I was going to the Red Cross and make bandages. I was. Well, then, would I tell them that she couldn’t come that day? The officer looked at Daisy while she was speaking, in a way that every young girl wants to be looked at sometime, and because it seemed romantic to me I have remembered the incident ever since. His name was Jay Gatsby, and I didn’t lay eyes on him again for over four years — even after I’d met him on Long Island I didn’t realize it was the same man.
    That was nineteen-seventeen. By the next year I had a few beaux myself, and I began to play in tournaments, so I didn’t see Daisy very often. She went with a slightly older crowd — when she went with anyone at all. Wild rumors were circulating about her — how her mother had found her packing her bag one winter night to go to New York and say good-by to a soldier who was going overseas. She was effectually prevented, but she wasn’t on speaking terms with her family for several weeks. After that she didn’t play around with the soldiers any more, but only with a few flat-footed, short-sighted young men in town, who couldn’t get into the army at all.
    By the next autumn she was gay again, gay as ever. She had a debut after the Armistice, and in February she was presumably engaged to a man from New Orleans. In June she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago, with more pomp and circumstance than Louisville ever knew before. He came down with a hundred people in four private cars, and hired a whole floor of the Seelbach Hotel, and the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
    I was bridesmaid. I came into her room half an hour before the bridal dinner, and found her lying on her bed as lovely as the June night in her flowered dress — and as drunk as a monkey. she had a bottle of Sauterne in one hand and a letter in the other.
    “‘Gratulate me,” she muttered. “Never had a drink before, but oh how I do enjoy it.”
    “What’s the matter, Daisy?”
    I was scared, I can tell you; I’d never seen a girl like that before.
    “Here, deares’.” She groped around in a waste-basket she had with her on the bed and pulled out the string of pearls. “Take ’em down-stairs and give ’em back to whoever they belong to. Tell ’em all Daisy’s change’ her mine. Say: ‘Daisy’s change’ her mine!’.”
    She began to cry — she cried and cried. I rushed out and found her mother’s maid, and we locked the door and got her into a cold bath. She wouldn’t let go of the letter. She took it into the tub with her and squeezed it up into a wet ball, and only let me leave it in the soap-dish when she saw that it was coming to pieces like snow.
    But she didn’t say another word. We gave her spirits of ammonia and put ice on her forehead and hooked her back into her dress, and half an hour later, when we walked out of the room, the pearls were around her neck and the incident was over. Next day at five o’clock she married Tom Buchanan without so much as a shiver, and started off on a three months’ trip to the South Seas.
    I saw them in Santa Barbara when they came back, and I thought I’d never seen a girl so mad about her husband. If he left the room for a minute she’d look around uneasily, and say: “Where’s Tom gone?” and wear the most abstracted expression until she saw him coming in the door. She used to sit on the sand with his head in her lap by the hour, rubbing her fingers over his eyes and looking at him with unfathomable delight. It was touching to see them together — it made you laugh in a hushed, fascinated way. That was in August. A week after I left Santa Barbara Tom ran into a wagon on the Ventura road one night, and ripped a front wheel off his car. The girl who was with him got into the papers, too, because her arm was broken — she was one of the chambermaids in the Santa Barbara Hotel.
    The next April Daisy had her little girl, and they went to France for a year. I saw them one spring in Cannes, and later in Deauville, and then they came back to Chicago to settle down. Daisy was popular in Chicago, as you know. They moved with a fast crowd, all of them young and rich and wild, but she came out with an absolutely perfect reputation. Perhaps because she doesn’t drink. It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people. You can hold your tongue, and, moreover, you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody else is so blind that they don’t see or care. Perhaps Daisy never went in for amour at all — and yet there’s something in that voice of hers. . . .
    Well, about six weeks ago, she heard the name Gatsby for the first time in years. It was when I asked you — do you remember?— if you knew Gatsby in West Egg. After you had gone home she came into my room and woke me up, and said: “What Gatsby?” and when I described him — I was half asleep — she said in the strangest voice that it must be the man she used to know. It wasn’t until then that I connected this Gatsby with the officer in her white car.
    When Jordan Baker had finished telling all this we had left the Plaza for half an hour and were driving in a victoria through Central Park. The sun had gone down behind the tall apartments of the movie stars in the West Fifties, and the clear voices of girls, already gathered like crickets on the grass, rose through the hot twilight:
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    A pause; it endured horribly. I had nothing to do in the hall, so I went into the room.
    Gatsby, his hands still in his pockets, was reclining against the mantelpiece in a strained counterfeit of perfect ease, even of boredom. His head leaned back so far that it rested against the face of a defunct mantelpiece clock, and from this position his distraught eyes stared down at Daisy, who was sitting, frightened but graceful, on the edge of a stiff chair.
    “We’ve met before,” muttered Gatsby. His eyes glanced momentarily at me, and his lips parted with an abortive attempt at a laugh. Luckily the clock took this moment to tilt dangerously at the pressure of his head, whereupon he turned and caught it with trembling fingers, and set it back in place. Then he sat down, rigidly, his elbow on the arm of the sofa and his chin in his hand.
    “I’m sorry about the clock,” he said.
    My own face had now assumed a deep tropical burn. I couldn’t muster up a single commonplace out of the thousand in my head.
    “It’s an old clock,” I told them idiotically.
    I think we all believed for a moment that it had smashed in pieces on the floor.
    “We haven’t met for many years,” said Daisy, her voice as matter-of-fact as it could ever be.
    “Five years next November.”
    The automatic quality of Gatsby’s answer set us all back at least another minute. I had them both on their feet with the desperate suggestion that they help me make tea in the kitchen when the demoniac Finn brought it in on a tray.
    Amid the welcome confusion of cups and cakes a certain physical decency established itself. Gatsby got himself into a shadow and, while Daisy and I talked, looked conscientiously from one to the other of us with tense, unhappy eyes. However, as calmness wasn’t an end in itself, I made an excuse at the first possible moment, and got to my feet.
    “Where are you going?” demanded Gatsby in immediate alarm.
    “I’ll be back.”
    “I’ve got to speak to you about something before you go.”
    He followed me wildly into the kitchen, closed the door, and whispered:
    “Oh, God!” in a miserable way.
    “What’s the matter?”
    “This is a terrible mistake,” he said, shaking his head from side to side, “a terrible, terrible mistake.”
    “You’re just embarrassed, that’s all,” and luckily I added: “Daisy’s embarrassed too.”
    “She’s embarrassed?” he repeated incredulously.
    “Just as much as you are.”
    “Don’t talk so loud.”
    “You’re acting like a little boy,” I broke out impatiently. “Not only that, but you’re rude. Daisy’s sitting in there all alone.”
    He raised his hand to stop my words, looked at me with unforgettable reproach, and, opening the door cautiously, went back into the other room.
    I walked out the back way — just as Gatsby had when he had made his nervous circuit of the house half an hour before — and ran for a huge black knotted tree, whose massed leaves made a fabric against the rain. Once more it was pouring, and my irregular lawn, well-shaved by Gatsby’s gardener, abounded in small, muddy swamps and prehistoric marshes. There was nothing to look at from under the tree except Gatsby’s enormous house, so I stared at it, like Kant at his church steeple, for half an hour. A brewer had built it early in the “period.” craze, a decade before, and there was a story that he’d agreed to pay five years’ taxes on all the neighboring cottages if the owners would have their roofs thatched with straw. Perhaps their refusal took the heart out of his plan to Found a Family — he went into an immediate decline. His children sold his house with the black wreath still on the door. Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry.
    After half an hour, the sun shone again, and the grocer’s automobile rounded Gatsby’s drive with the raw material for his servants’ dinner — I felt sure he wouldn’t eat a spoonful. A maid began opening the upper windows of his house, appeared momentarily in each, and, leaning from a large central bay, spat meditatively into the garden. It was time I went back. While the rain continued it had seemed like the murmur of their voices, rising and swelling a little now and then with gusts of emotion. But in the new silence I felt that silence had fallen within the house too.
    I went in — after making every possible noise in the kitchen, short of pushing over the stove — but I don’t believe they heard a sound. They were sitting at either end of the couch, looking at each other as if some question had been asked, or was in the air, and every vestige of embarrassment was gone. Daisy’s face was smeared with tears, and when I came in she jumped up and began wiping at it with her handkerchief before a mirror. But there was a change in Gatsby that was simply confounding. He literally glowed; without a word or a gesture of exultation a new well-being radiated from him and filled the little room.
    “Oh, hello, old sport,” he said, as if he hadn’t seen me for years. I thought for a moment he was going to shake hands.
    “It’s stopped raining.”
    “Has it?” When he realized what I was talking about, that there were twinkle-bells of sunshine in the room, he smiled like a weather man, like an ecstatic patron of recurrent light, and repeated the news to Daisy. “What do you think of that? It’s stopped raining.”
    “I’m glad, Jay.” Her throat, full of aching, grieving beauty, told only of her unexpected joy.
    “I want you and Daisy to come over to my house,” he said, “I’d like to show her around.”
    “You’re sure you want me to come?”
    “Absolutely, old sport.”
    Daisy went up-stairs to wash her face — too late I thought with humiliation of my towels — while Gatsby and I waited on the lawn.
    “My house looks well, doesn’t it?” he demanded. “See how the whole front of it catches the light.”
    I agreed that it was splendid.
    “Yes.” His eyes went over it, every arched door and square tower. “It took me just three years to earn the money that bought it.”
    “I thought you inherited your money.”
    “I did, old sport,” he said automatically, “but I lost most of it in the big panic — the panic of the war.”
    I think he hardly knew what he was saying, for when I asked him what business he was in he answered, “That’s my affair,” before he realized that it wasn’t the appropriate reply.
    “Oh, I’ve been in several things,” he corrected himself. “I was in the drug business and then I was in the oil business. But I’m not in either one now.” He looked at me with more attention. “Do you mean you’ve been thinking over what I proposed the other night?”
    Before I could answer, Daisy came out of the house and two rows of brass buttons on her dress gleamed in the sunlight.
    “That huge place THERE?” she cried pointing.
    “Do you like it?”
    “I love it, but I don’t see how you live there all alone.”
    “I keep it always full of interesting people, night and day. People who do interesting things. Celebrated people.”
    Instead of taking the short cut along the Sound we went down the road and entered by the big postern. With enchanting murmurs Daisy admired this aspect or that of the feudal silhouette against the sky, admired the gardens, the sparkling odor of jonquils and the frothy odor of hawthorn and plum blossoms and the pale gold odor of kiss-me-at-the-gate. It was strange to reach the marble steps and find no stir of bright dresses in and out the door, and hear no sound but bird voices in the trees.
    And inside, as we wandered through Marie Antoinette music-rooms and Restoration salons, I felt that there were guests concealed behind every couch and table, under orders to be breathlessly silent until we had passed through. As Gatsby closed the door of “the Merton College Library.” I could have sworn I heard the owl-eyed man break into ghostly laughter.
    We went up-stairs, through period bedrooms swathed in rose and lavender silk and vivid with new flowers, through dressing-rooms and poolrooms, and bathrooms with sunken baths — intruding into one chamber where a dishevelled man in pajamas was doing liver exercises on the floor. It was Mr. Klipspringer, the “boarder.” I had seen him wandering hungrily about the beach that morning. Finally we came to Gatsby’s own apartment, a bedroom and a bath, and an Adam study, where we sat down and drank a glass of some Chartreuse he took from a cupboard in the wall.
    He hadn’t once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes. Sometimes, too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real. Once he nearly toppled down a flight of stairs.
    His bedroom was the simplest room of all — except where the dresser was garnished with a toilet set of pure dull gold. Daisy took the brush with delight, and smoothed her hair, whereupon Gatsby sat down and shaded his eyes and began to laugh.
    “It’s the funniest thing, old sport,” he said hilariously. “I can’t — When I try to ——”
    He had passed visibly through two states and was entering upon a third. After his embarrassment and his unreasoning joy he was consumed with wonder at her presence. He had been full of the idea so long, dreamed it right through to the end, waited with his teeth set, so to speak, at an inconceivable pitch of intensity. Now, in the reaction, he was running down like an overwound clock.
    Recovering himself in a minute he opened for us two hulking patent cabinets which held his massed suits and dressing-gowns and ties, and his shirts, piled like bricks in stacks a dozen high.
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    “I’m the Sheik of Araby.
    Your love belongs to me.
    At night when you’re are asleep
    Into your tent I’ll creep ——”
    “It was a strange coincidence,” I said.
    “But it wasn’t a coincidence at all.”
    “Why not?”
    “Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.”
    Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor.
    “He wants to know,” continued Jordan, “if you’ll invite Daisy to your house some afternoon and then let him come over.”
    The modesty of the demand shook me. He had waited five years and bought a mansion where he dispensed starlight to casual moths — so that he could “come over.” some afternoon to a stranger’s garden.
    “Did I have to know all this before he could ask such a little thing?”
    “He’s afraid, he’s waited so long. He thought you might be offended. You see, he’s a regular tough underneath it all.”
    Something worried me.
    “Why didn’t he ask you to arrange a meeting?”
    “He wants her to see his house,” she explained. “And your house is right next door.”
    “Oh!”
    “I think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties, some night,” went on Jordan, “but she never did. Then he began asking people casually if they knew her, and I was the first one he found. It was that night he sent for me at his dance, and you should have heard the elaborate way he worked up to it. Of course, I immediately suggested a luncheon in New York — and I thought he’d go mad:
    “‘I don’t want to do anything out of the way!’ he kept saying. ‘I want to see her right next door.’
    “When I said you were a particular friend of Tom’s, he started to abandon the whole idea. He doesn’t know very much about Tom, though he says he’s read a Chicago paper for years just on the chance of catching a glimpse of Daisy’s name.”
    It was dark now, and as we dipped under a little bridge I put my arm around Jordan’s golden shoulder and drew her toward me and asked her to dinner. Suddenly I wasn’t thinking of Daisy and Gatsby any more, but of this clean, hard, limited person, who dealt in universal scepticism, and who leaned back jauntily just within the circle of my arm. A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”
    “And Daisy ought to have something in her life,” murmured Jordan to me.
    “Does she want to see Gatsby?”
    “She’s not to know about it. Gatsby doesn’t want her to know. You’re just supposed to invite her to tea.”
    We passed a barrier of dark trees, and then the facade of Fifty-ninth Street, a block of delicate pale light, beamed down into the park. Unlike Gatsby and Tom Buchanan, I had no girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs, and so I drew up the girl beside me, tightening my arms. Her wan, scornful mouth smiled, and so I drew her up again closer, this time to my face.
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    chapter 5

    When I came home to West Egg that night I was afraid for a moment that my house was on fire. Two o’clock and the whole corner of the peninsula was blazing with light, which fell unreal on the shrubbery and made thin elongating glints upon the roadside wires. Turning a corner, I saw that it was Gatsby’s house, lit from tower to cellar.
    At first I thought it was another party, a wild rout that had resolved itself into “hide-and-go-seek.” or “sardines-in-the-box.” with all the house thrown open to the game. But there wasn’t a sound. Only wind in the trees, which blew the wires and made the lights go off and on again as if the house had winked into the darkness. As my taxi groaned away I saw Gatsby walking toward me across his lawn.
    “Your place looks like the World’s Fair,” I said.
    “Does it?” He turned his eyes toward it absently. “I have been glancing into some of the rooms. Let’s go to Coney Island, old sport. In my car.”
    “It’s too late.”
    “Well, suppose we take a plunge in the swimming-pool? I haven’t made use of it all summer.”
    “I’ve got to go to bed.”
    “All right.”
    He waited, looking at me with suppressed eagerness.
    “I talked with Miss Baker,” I said after a moment. “I’m going to call up Daisy to-morrow and invite her over here to tea.”
    “Oh, that’s all right,” he said carelessly. “I don’t want to put you to any trouble.”
    “What day would suit you?”
    “What day would suit YOU?” he corrected me quickly. “I don’t want to put you to any trouble, you see.”
    “How about the day after to-morrow?” He considered for a moment. Then, with reluctance:
    “I want to get the grass cut,” he said.
    We both looked at the grass — there was a sharp line where my ragged lawn ended and the darker, well-kept expanse of his began. I suspected that he meant my grass.
    “There’s another little thing,” he said uncertainly, and hesitated.
    “Would you rather put it off for a few days?” I asked.
    “Oh, it isn’t about that. At least ——” He fumbled with a series of beginnings. “Why, I thought — why, look here, old sport, you don’t make much money, do you?”
    “Not very much.”
    This seemed to reassure him and he continued more confidently.
    “I thought you didn’t, if you’ll pardon my — You see, I carry on a little business on the side, a sort of side line, you understand. And I thought that if you don’t make very much — You’re selling bonds, aren’t you, old sport?”
    “Trying to.”
    “Well, this would interest you. It wouldn’t take up much of your time and you might pick up a nice bit of money. It happens to be a rather confidential sort of thing.”
    I realize now that under different circumstances that conversation might have been one of the crises of my life. But, because the offer was obviously and tactlessly for a service to be rendered, I had no choice except to cut him off there.
    “I’ve got my hands full,” I said. “I’m much obliged but I couldn’t take on any more work.”
    “You wouldn’t have to do any business with Wolfsheim.” Evidently he thought that I was shying away from the “gonnegtion.” mentioned at lunch, but I assured him he was wrong. He waited a moment longer, hoping I’d begin a conversation, but I was too absorbed to be responsive, so he went unwillingly home.
    The evening had made me light-headed and happy; I think I walked into a deep sleep as I entered my front door. So I didn’t know whether or not Gatsby went to Coney Island, or for how many hours he “glanced into rooms.” while his house blazed gaudily on. I called up Daisy from the office next morning, and invited her to come to tea.
    “Don’t bring Tom,” I warned her.
    “What?”
    “Don’t bring Tom.”
    “Who is ‘Tom’?” she asked innocently.
    The day agreed upon was pouring rain. At eleven o’clock a man in a raincoat, dragging a lawn-mower, tapped at my front door and said that Mr. Gatsby had sent him over to cut my grass. This reminded me that I had forgotten to tell my Finn to come back, so I drove into West Egg Village to search for her among soggy, whitewashed alleys and to buy some cups and lemons and flowers.
    The flowers were unnecessary, for at two o’clock a greenhouse arrived from Gatsby’s, with innumerable receptacles to contain it. An hour later the front door opened nervously, and Gatsby, in a white flannel suit, silver shirt, and gold-colored tie, hurried in. He was pale, and there were dark signs of sleeplessness beneath his eyes.
    “Is everything all right?” he asked immediately.
    “The grass looks fine, if that’s what you mean.”
    “What grass?” he inquired blankly. “Oh, the grass in the yard.” He looked out the window at it, but, judging from his expression, I don’t believe he saw a thing.
    “Looks very good,” he remarked vaguely. “One of the papers said they thought the rain would stop about four. I think it was the JOURNAL. Have you got everything you need in the shape of — of tea?”
    I took him into the pantry, where he looked a little reproachfully at the Finn. Together we scrutinized the twelve lemon cakes from the delicatessen shop.
    “Will they do?” I asked.
    “Of course, of course! They’re fine!” and he added hollowly, “. . .old sport.”
    The rain cooled about half-past three to a damp mist, through which occasional thin drops swam like dew. Gatsby looked with vacant eyes through a copy of Clay’s ECONOMICS, starting at the Finnish tread that shook the kitchen floor, and peering toward the bleared windows from time to time as if a series of invisible but alarming happenings were taking place outside. Finally he got up and informed me, in an uncertain voice, that he was going home.
    “Why’s that?”
    “Nobody’s coming to tea. It’s too late!” He looked at his watch as if there was some pressing demand on his time elsewhere. “I can’t wait all day.”
    “Don’t be silly; it’s just two minutes to four.”
    He sat down miserably, as if I had pushed him, and simultaneously there was the sound of a motor turning into my lane. We both jumped up, and, a little harrowed myself, I went out into the yard.
    Under the dripping bare lilac-trees a large open car was coming up the drive. It stopped. Daisy’s face, tipped sideways beneath a three-cornered lavender hat, looked out at me with a bright ecstatic smile.
    “Is this absolutely where you live, my dearest one?”
    The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain. I had to follow the sound of it for a moment, up and down, with my ear alone, before any words came through. A damp streak of hair lay like a dash of blue paint across her cheek, and her hand was wet with glistening drops as I took it to help her from the car.
    “Are you in love with me,” she said low in my ear, “or why did I have to come alone?”
    “That’s the secret of Castle Rackrent. Tell your chauffeur to go far away and spend an hour.”
    “Come back in an hour, Ferdie.” Then in a grave murmur: “His name is Ferdie.”
    “Does the gasoline affect his nose?”
    “I don’t think so,” she said innocently. “Why?”
    We went in. To my overwhelming surprise the living-room was deserted.
    “Well, that’s funny,” I exclaimed.
    “What’s funny?”
    She turned her head as there was a light dignified knocking at the front door. I went out and opened it. Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes.
    With his hands still in his coat pockets he stalked by me into the hall, turned sharply as if he were on a wire, and disappeared into the living-room. It wasn’t a bit funny. Aware of the loud beating of my own heart I pulled the door to against the increasing rain.
    For half a minute there wasn’t a sound. Then from the living-room I heard a sort of choking murmur and part of a laugh, followed by Daisy’s voice on a clear artificial note: “I certainly am awfully glad to see you again.”
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    Originally Posted by wheresthebeef View Post
    cliffs?
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    In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
    “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
    He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that. In consequence, I’m inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores. The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret grie
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    “I’ve got a man in England who buys me clothes. He sends over a selection of things at the beginning of each season, spring and fall.”
    He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray. While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher — shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, and monograms of Indian blue. Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.
    “They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such — such beautiful shirts before.”
    After the house, we were to see the grounds and the swimming-pool, and the hydroplane and the mid-summer flowers — but outside Gatsby’s window it began to rain again, so we stood in a row looking at the corrugated surface of the Sound.
    “If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay,” said Gatsby. “You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.”
    Daisy put her arm through his abruptly, but he seemed absorbed in what he had just said. Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her. It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one.
    I began to walk about the room, examining various indefinite objects in the half darkness. A large photograph of an elderly man in yachting costume attracted me, hung on the wall over his desk.
    “Who’s this?”
    “That? That’s Mr. Dan Cody, old sport.”
    The name sounded faintly familiar.
    “He’s dead now. He used to be my best friend years ago.”
    There was a small picture of Gatsby, also in yachting costume, on the bureau — Gatsby with his head thrown back defiantly — taken apparently when he was about eighteen.
    “I adore it,” exclaimed Daisy. “The pompadour! You never told me you had a pompadour — or a yacht.”
    “Look at this,” said Gatsby quickly. “Here’s a lot of clippings — about you.”
    They stood side by side examining it. I was going to ask to see the rubies when the phone rang, and Gatsby took up the receiver.
    “Yes. . . . well, I can’t talk now. . . . I can’t talk now, old sport. . . . I said a SMALL town. . . . he must know what a small town is. . . . well, he’s no use to us if Detroit is his idea of a small town. . . .”
    He rang off.
    “Come here QUICK!” cried Daisy at the window.
    The rain was still falling, but the darkness had parted in the west, and there was a pink and golden billow of foamy clouds above the sea.
    “Look at that,” she whispered, and then after a moment: “I’d like to just get one of those pink clouds and put you in it and push you around.”
    I tried to go then, but they wouldn’t hear of it; perhaps my presence made them feel more satisfactorily alone.
    “I know what we’ll do,” said Gatsby, “we’ll have Klipspringer play the piano.”
    He went out of the room calling “Ewing!” and returned in a few minutes accompanied by an embarrassed, slightly worn young man, with shell-rimmed glasses and scanty blond hair. He was now decently clothed in a “sport shirt,” open at the neck, sneakers, and duck trousers of a nebulous hue.
    “Did we interrupt your exercises?” inquired Daisy politely.
    “I was asleep,” cried Mr. Klipspringer, in a spasm of embarrassment. “That is, I’d BEEN asleep. Then I got up. . . .”
    “Klipspringer plays the piano,” said Gatsby, cutting him off. “Don’t you, Ewing, old sport?”
    “I don’t play well. I don’t — I hardly play at all. I’m all out of prac ——”
    “We’ll go down-stairs,” interrupted Gatsby. He flipped a switch. The gray windows disappeared as the house glowed full of light.
    In the music-room Gatsby turned on a solitary lamp beside the piano. He lit Daisy’s cigarette from a trembling match, and sat down with her on a couch far across the room, where there was no light save what the gleaming floor bounced in from the hall.
    When Klipspringer had played THE LOVE NEST. he turned around on the bench and searched unhappily for Gatsby in the gloom.
    “I’m all out of practice, you see. I told you I couldn’t play. I’m all out of prac ——”
    “Don’t talk so much, old sport,” commanded Gatsby. “Play!”
    “IN THE MORNING,
    IN THE EVENING,
    AIN’T WE GOT FUN ——”
    Outside the wind was loud and there was a faint flow of thunder along the Sound. All the lights were going on in West Egg now; the electric trains, men-carrying, were plunging home through the rain from New York. It was the hour of a profound human change, and excitement was generating on the air.
    “ONE THING’S SURE AND NOTHING’S SURER
    THE RICH GET RICHER AND THE POOR GET — CHILDREN.
    IN THE MEANTIME,
    IN BETWEEN TIME ——”
    As I went over to say good-by I saw that the expression of bewilderment had come back into Gatsby’s face, as though a faint doubt had occurred to him as to the quality of his present happiness. Almost five years! There must have been moments even that afternoon whe Daisy tumbled short of his dreams — not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.
    As I watched him he adjusted himself a little, visibly. His hand took hold of hers, and as she said something low in his ear he turned toward her with a rush of emotion. I think that voice held him most, with its fluctuating, feverish warmth, because it couldn’t be over-dreamed — that voice was a deathless song.
    They had forgotten me, but Daisy glanced up and held out her hand; Gatsby didn’t know me now at all. I looked once more at them and they looked back at me, remotely, possessed by intense life. Then I went out of the room and down the marble steps into the rain, leaving them there together.
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    A pause; it endured horribly. I had nothing to do in the hall, so I went into the room.
    Gatsby, his hands still in his pockets, was reclining against the mantelpiece in a strained counterfeit of perfect ease, even of boredom. His head leaned back so far that it rested against the face of a defunct mantelpiece clock, and from this position his distraught eyes stared down at Daisy, who was sitting, frightened but graceful, on the edge of a stiff chair.
    “We’ve met before,” muttered Gatsby. His eyes glanced momentarily at me, and his lips parted with an abortive attempt at a laugh. Luckily the clock took this moment to tilt dangerously at the pressure of his head, whereupon he turned and caught it with trembling fingers, and set it back in place. Then he sat down, rigidly, his elbow on the arm of the sofa and his chin in his hand.
    “I’m sorry about the clock,” he said.
    My own face had now assumed a deep tropical burn. I couldn’t muster up a single commonplace out of the thousand in my head.
    “It’s an old clock,” I told them idiotically.
    I think we all believed for a moment that it had smashed in pieces on the floor.
    “We haven’t met for many years,” said Daisy, her voice as matter-of-fact as it could ever be.
    “Five years next November.”
    The automatic quality of Gatsby’s answer set us all back at least another minute. I had them both on their feet with the desperate suggestion that they help me make tea in the kitchen when the demoniac Finn brought it in on a tray.
    Amid the welcome confusion of cups and cakes a certain physical decency established itself. Gatsby got himself into a shadow and, while Daisy and I talked, looked conscientiously from one to the other of us with tense, unhappy eyes. However, as calmness wasn’t an end in itself, I made an excuse at the first possible moment, and got to my feet.
    “Where are you going?” demanded Gatsby in immediate alarm.
    “I’ll be back.”
    “I’ve got to speak to you about something before you go.”
    He followed me wildly into the kitchen, closed the door, and whispered:
    “Oh, God!” in a miserable way.
    “What’s the matter?”
    “This is a terrible mistake,” he said, shaking his head from side to side, “a terrible, terrible mistake.”
    “You’re just embarrassed, that’s all,” and luckily I added: “Daisy’s embarrassed too.”
    “She’s embarrassed?” he repeated incredulously.
    “Just as much as you are.”
    “Don’t talk so loud.”
    “You’re acting like a little boy,” I broke out impatiently. “Not only that, but you’re rude. Daisy’s sitting in there all alone.”
    He raised his hand to stop my words, looked at me with unforgettable reproach, and, opening the door cautiously, went back into the other room.
    I walked out the back way — just as Gatsby had when he had made his nervous circuit of the house half an hour before — and ran for a huge black knotted tree, whose massed leaves made a fabric against the rain. Once more it was pouring, and my irregular lawn, well-shaved by Gatsby’s gardener, abounded in small, muddy swamps and prehistoric marshes. There was nothing to look at from under the tree except Gatsby’s enormous house, so I stared at it, like Kant at his church steeple, for half an hour. A brewer had built it early in the “period.” craze, a decade before, and there was a story that he’d agreed to pay five years’ taxes on all the neighboring cottages if the owners would have their roofs thatched with straw. Perhaps their refusal took the heart out of his plan to Found a Family — he went into an immediate decline. His children sold his house with the black wreath still on the door. Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry.
    After half an hour, the sun shone again, and the grocer’s automobile rounded Gatsby’s drive with the raw material for his servants’ dinner — I felt sure he wouldn’t eat a spoonful. A maid began opening the upper windows of his house, appeared momentarily in each, and, leaning from a large central bay, spat meditatively into the garden. It was time I went back. While the rain continued it had seemed like the murmur of their voices, rising and swelling a little now and then with gusts of emotion. But in the new silence I felt that silence had fallen within the house too.
    I went in — after making every possible noise in the kitchen, short of pushing over the stove — but I don’t believe they heard a sound. They were sitting at either end of the couch, looking at each other as if some question had been asked, or was in the air, and every vestige of embarrassment was gone. Daisy’s face was smeared with tears, and when I came in she jumped up and began wiping at it with her handkerchief before a mirror. But there was a change in Gatsby that was simply confounding. He literally glowed; without a word or a gesture of exultation a new well-being radiated from him and filled the little room.
    “Oh, hello, old sport,” he said, as if he hadn’t seen me for years. I thought for a moment he was going to shake hands.
    “It’s stopped raining.”
    “Has it?” When he realized what I was talking about, that there were twinkle-bells of sunshine in the room, he smiled like a weather man, like an ecstatic patron of recurrent light, and repeated the news to Daisy. “What do you think of that? It’s stopped raining.”
    “I’m glad, Jay.” Her throat, full of aching, grieving beauty, told only of her unexpected joy.
    “I want you and Daisy to come over to my house,” he said, “I’d like to show her around.”
    “You’re sure you want me to come?”
    “Absolutely, old sport.”
    Daisy went up-stairs to wash her face — too late I thought with humiliation of my towels — while Gatsby and I waited on the lawn.
    “My house looks well, doesn’t it?” he demanded. “See how the whole front of it catches the light.”
    I agreed that it was splendid.
    “Yes.” His eyes went over it, every arched door and square tower. “It took me just three years to earn the money that bought it.”
    “I thought you inherited your money.”
    “I did, old sport,” he said automatically, “but I lost most of it in the big panic — the panic of the war.”
    I think he hardly knew what he was saying, for when I asked him what business he was in he answered, “That’s my affair,” before he realized that it wasn’t the appropriate reply.
    “Oh, I’ve been in several things,” he corrected himself. “I was in the drug business and then I was in the oil business. But I’m not in either one now.” He looked at me with more attention. “Do you mean you’ve been thinking over what I proposed the other night?”
    Before I could answer, Daisy came out of the house and two rows of brass buttons on her dress gleamed in the sunlight.
    “That huge place THERE?” she cried pointing.
    “Do you like it?”
    “I love it, but I don’t see how you live there all alone.”
    “I keep it always full of interesting people, night and day. People who do interesting things. Celebrated people.”
    Instead of taking the short cut along the Sound we went down the road and entered by the big postern. With enchanting murmurs Daisy admired this aspect or that of the feudal silhouette against the sky, admired the gardens, the sparkling odor of jonquils and the frothy odor of hawthorn and plum blossoms and the pale gold odor of kiss-me-at-the-gate. It was strange to reach the marble steps and find no stir of bright dresses in and out the door, and hear no sound but bird voices in the trees.
    And inside, as we wandered through Marie Antoinette music-rooms and Restoration salons, I felt that there were guests concealed behind every couch and table, under orders to be breathlessly silent until we had passed through. As Gatsby closed the door of “the Merton College Library.” I could have sworn I heard the owl-eyed man break into ghostly laughter.
    We went up-stairs, through period bedrooms swathed in rose and lavender silk and vivid with new flowers, through dressing-rooms and poolrooms, and bathrooms with sunken baths — intruding into one chamber where a dishevelled man in pajamas was doing liver exercises on the floor. It was Mr. Klipspringer, the “boarder.” I had seen him wandering hungrily about the beach that morning. Finally we came to Gatsby’s own apartment, a bedroom and a bath, and an Adam study, where we sat down and drank a glass of some Chartreuse he took from a cupboard in the wall.
    He hadn’t once ceased looking at Daisy, and I think he revalued everything in his house according to the measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes. Sometimes, too, he stared around at his possessions in a dazed way, as though in her actual and astounding presence none of it was any longer real. Once he nearly toppled down a flight of stairs.
    His bedroom was the simplest room of all — except where the dresser was garnished with a toilet set of pure dull gold. Daisy took the brush with delight, and smoothed her hair, whereupon Gatsby sat down and shaded his eyes and began to laugh.
    “It’s the funniest thing, old sport,” he said hilariously. “I can’t — When I try to ——”
    He had passed visibly through two states and was entering upon a third. After his embarrassment and his unreasoning joy he was consumed with wonder at her presence. He had been full of the idea so long, dreamed it right through to the end, waited with his teeth set, so to speak, at an inconceivable pitch of intensity. Now, in the reaction, he was running down like an overwound clock.
    Recovering himself in a minute he opened for us two hulking patent cabinets which held his massed suits and dressing-gowns and ties, and his shirts, piled like bricks in stacks a dozen high.
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    When I came home to West Egg that night I was afraid for a moment that my house was on fire. Two o’clock and the whole corner of the peninsula was blazing with light, which fell unreal on the shrubbery and made thin elongating glints upon the roadside wires. Turning a corner, I saw that it was Gatsby’s house, lit from tower to cellar.
    At first I thought it was another party, a wild rout that had resolved itself into “hide-and-go-seek.” or “sardines-in-the-box.” with all the house thrown open to the game. But there wasn’t a sound. Only wind in the trees, which blew the wires and made the lights go off and on again as if the house had winked into the darkness. As my taxi groaned away I saw Gatsby walking toward me across his lawn.
    “Your place looks like the World’s Fair,” I said.
    “Does it?” He turned his eyes toward it absently. “I have been glancing into some of the rooms. Let’s go to Coney Island, old sport. In my car.”
    “It’s too late.”
    “Well, suppose we take a plunge in the swimming-pool? I haven’t made use of it all summer.”
    “I’ve got to go to bed.”
    “All right.”
    He waited, looking at me with suppressed eagerness.
    “I talked with Miss Baker,” I said after a moment. “I’m going to call up Daisy to-morrow and invite her over here to tea.”
    “Oh, that’s all right,” he said carelessly. “I don’t want to put you to any trouble.”
    “What day would suit you?”
    “What day would suit YOU?” he corrected me quickly. “I don’t want to put you to any trouble, you see.”
    “How about the day after to-morrow?” He considered for a moment. Then, with reluctance:
    “I want to get the grass cut,” he said.
    We both looked at the grass — there was a sharp line where my ragged lawn ended and the darker, well-kept expanse of his began. I suspected that he meant my grass.
    “There’s another little thing,” he said uncertainly, and hesitated.
    “Would you rather put it off for a few days?” I asked.
    “Oh, it isn’t about that. At least ——” He fumbled with a series of beginnings. “Why, I thought — why, look here, old sport, you don’t make much money, do you?”
    “Not very much.”
    This seemed to reassure him and he continued more confidently.
    “I thought you didn’t, if you’ll pardon my — You see, I carry on a little business on the side, a sort of side line, you understand. And I thought that if you don’t make very much — You’re selling bonds, aren’t you, old sport?”
    “Trying to.”
    “Well, this would interest you. It wouldn’t take up much of your time and you might pick up a nice bit of money. It happens to be a rather confidential sort of thing.”
    I realize now that under different circumstances that conversation might have been one of the crises of my life. But, because the offer was obviously and tactlessly for a service to be rendered, I had no choice except to cut him off there.
    “I’ve got my hands full,” I said. “I’m much obliged but I couldn’t take on any more work.”
    “You wouldn’t have to do any business with Wolfsheim.” Evidently he thought that I was shying away from the “gonnegtion.” mentioned at lunch, but I assured him he was wrong. He waited a moment longer, hoping I’d begin a conversation, but I was too absorbed to be responsive, so he went unwillingly home.
    The evening had made me light-headed and happy; I think I walked into a deep sleep as I entered my front door. So I didn’t know whether or not Gatsby went to Coney Island, or for how many hours he “glanced into rooms.” while his house blazed gaudily on. I called up Daisy from the office next morning, and invited her to come to tea.
    “Don’t bring Tom,” I warned her.
    “What?”
    “Don’t bring Tom.”
    “Who is ‘Tom’?” she asked innocently.
    The day agreed upon was pouring rain. At eleven o’clock a man in a raincoat, dragging a lawn-mower, tapped at my front door and said that Mr. Gatsby had sent him over to cut my grass. This reminded me that I had forgotten to tell my Finn to come back, so I drove into West Egg Village to search for her among soggy, whitewashed alleys and to buy some cups and lemons and flowers.
    The flowers were unnecessary, for at two o’clock a greenhouse arrived from Gatsby’s, with innumerable receptacles to contain it. An hour later the front door opened nervously, and Gatsby, in a white flannel suit, silver shirt, and gold-colored tie, hurried in. He was pale, and there were dark signs of sleeplessness beneath his eyes.
    “Is everything all right?” he asked immediately.
    “The grass looks fine, if that’s what you mean.”
    “What grass?” he inquired blankly. “Oh, the grass in the yard.” He looked out the window at it, but, judging from his expression, I don’t believe he saw a thing.
    “Looks very good,” he remarked vaguely. “One of the papers said they thought the rain would stop about four. I think it was the JOURNAL. Have you got everything you need in the shape of — of tea?”
    I took him into the pantry, where he looked a little reproachfully at the Finn. Together we scrutinized the twelve lemon cakes from the delicatessen shop.
    “Will they do?” I asked.
    “Of course, of course! They’re fine!” and he added hollowly, “. . .old sport.”
    The rain cooled about half-past three to a damp mist, through which occasional thin drops swam like dew. Gatsby looked with vacant eyes through a copy of Clay’s ECONOMICS, starting at the Finnish tread that shook the kitchen floor, and peering toward the bleared windows from time to time as if a series of invisible but alarming happenings were taking place outside. Finally he got up and informed me, in an uncertain voice, that he was going home.
    “Why’s that?”
    “Nobody’s coming to tea. It’s too late!” He looked at his watch as if there was some pressing demand on his time elsewhere. “I can’t wait all day.”
    “Don’t be silly; it’s just two minutes to four.”
    He sat down miserably, as if I had pushed him, and simultaneously there was the sound of a motor turning into my lane. We both jumped up, and, a little harrowed myself, I went out into the yard.
    Under the dripping bare lilac-trees a large open car was coming up the drive. It stopped. Daisy’s face, tipped sideways beneath a three-cornered lavender hat, looked out at me with a bright ecstatic smile.
    “Is this absolutely where you live, my dearest one?”
    The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain. I had to follow the sound of it for a moment, up and down, with my ear alone, before any words came through. A damp streak of hair lay like a dash of blue paint across her cheek, and her hand was wet with glistening drops as I took it to help her from the car.
    “Are you in love with me,” she said low in my ear, “or why did I have to come alone?”
    “That’s the secret of Castle Rackrent. Tell your chauffeur to go far away and spend an hour.”
    “Come back in an hour, Ferdie.” Then in a grave murmur: “His name is Ferdie.”
    “Does the gasoline affect his nose?”
    “I don’t think so,” she said innocently. “Why?”
    We went in. To my overwhelming surprise the living-room was deserted.
    “Well, that’s funny,” I exclaimed.
    “What’s funny?”
    She turned her head as there was a light dignified knocking at the front door. I went out and opened it. Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes.
    With his hands still in his coat pockets he stalked by me into the hall, turned sharply as if he were on a wire, and disappeared into the living-room. It wasn’t a bit funny. Aware of the loud beating of my own heart I pulled the door to against the increasing rain.
    For half a minute there wasn’t a sound. Then from the living-room I heard a sort of choking murmur and part of a laugh, followed by Daisy’s voice on a clear artificial note: “I certainly am awfully glad to see you again.”
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    chapter 6

    About this time an ambitious young reporter from New York arrived one morning at Gatsby’s door and asked him if he had anything to say.
    “Anything to say about what?” inquired Gatsby politely.
    “Why — any statement to give out.”
    It transpired after a confused five minutes that the man had heard Gatsby’s name around his office in a connection which he either wouldn’t reveal or didn’t fully understand. This was his day off and with laudable initiative he had hurried out “to see.”
    It was a random shot, and yet the reporter’s instinct was right. Gatsby’s notoriety, spread about by the hundreds who had accepted his hospitality and so become authorities on his past, had increased all summer until he fell just short of being news. Contemporary legends such as the “underground pipe-line to Canada.” attached themselves to him, and there was one persistent story that he didn’t live in a house at all, but in a boat that looked like a house and was moved secretly up and down the Long Island shore. Just why these inventions were a source of satisfaction to James Gatz of North Dakota, isn’t easy to say.
    James Gatz — that was really, or at least legally, his name. He had changed it at the age of seventeen and at the specific moment that witnessed the beginning of his career — when he saw Dan Cody’s yacht drop anchor over the most insidious flat on Lake Superior. It was James Gatz who had been loafing along the beach that afternoon in a torn green jersey and a pair of canvas pants, but it was already Jay Gatsby who borrowed a rowboat, pulled out to the TUOLOMEE, and informed Cody that a wind might catch him and break him up in half an hour.
    I suppose he’d had the name ready for a long time, even then. His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people — his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God — a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that — and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.
    For over a year he had been beating his way along the south shore of Lake Superior as a clam-digger and a salmon-fisher or in any other capacity that brought him food and bed. His brown, hardening body lived naturally through the half-fierce, half-lazy work of the bracing days. He knew women early, and since they spoiled him he became contemptuous of them, of young virgins because they were ignorant, of the others because they were hysterical about things which in his overwhelming self-absorbtion he took for granted.
    But his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot. The most grotesque and fantastic conceits haunted him in his bed at night. A universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain while the clock ticked on the wash-stand and the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor. Each night he added to the pattern of his fancies until drowsiness closed down upon some vivid scene with an oblivious embrace. For a while these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy’s wing.
    An instinct toward his future glory had led him, some months before, to the small Lutheran college of St. Olaf in southern Minnesota. He stayed there two weeks, dismayed at its ferocious indifference to the drums of his destiny, to destiny itself, and despising the janitor’s work with which he was to pay his way through. Then he drifted back to Lake Superior, and he was still searching for something to do on the day that Dan Cody’s yacht dropped anchor in the shallows alongshore.
    Cody was fifty years old then, a product of the Nevada silver fields, of the Yukon, of every rush for metal since seventy-five. The transactions in Montana copper that made him many times a millionaire found him physically robust but on the verge of soft-mindedness, and, suspecting this, an infinite number of women tried to separate him from his money. The none too savory ramifications by which Ella Kaye, the newspaper woman, played Madame de Maintenon to his weakness and sent him to sea in a yacht, were common knowledge to the turgid sub-journalism of 1902. He had been coasting along all too hospitable shores for five years when he turned up as James Gatz’s destiny at Little Girls Point.
    To the young Gatz, resting on his oars and looking up at the railed deck, the yacht represented all the beauty and glamour in the world. I suppose he smiled at Cody — he had probably discovered that people liked him when he smiled. At any rate Cody asked him a few questions (one of them elicited the brand new name) and found that he was quick and extravagantly ambitious. A few days later he took him to Duluth and bought him a blue coat, six pair of white duck trousers, and a yachting cap. And when the TUOLOMEE left for the West Indies and the Barbary Coast Gatsby left too.
    He was employed in a vague personal capacity — while he remained with Cody he was in turn steward, mate, skipper, secretary, and even jailor, for Dan Cody sober knew what lavish doings Dan Cody drunk might soon be about, and he provided for such contingencies by reposing more and more trust in Gatsby. The arrangement lasted five years, during which the boat went three times around the Continent. It might have lasted indefinitely except for the fact that Ella Kaye came on board one night in Boston and a week later Dan Cody inhospitably died.
    I remember the portrait of him up in Gatsby’s bedroom, a gray, florid man with a hard, empty face — the pioneer debauchee, who during one phase of American life brought back to the Eastern seaboard the savage violence of the frontier brothel and saloon. It was indirectly due to Cody that Gatsby drank so little. Sometimes in the course of gay parties women used to rub champagne into his hair; for himself he formed the habit of letting liquor alone.
    And it was from Cody that he inherited money — a legacy of twenty-five thousand dollars. He didn’t get it. He never understood the legal device that was used against him, but what remained of the millions went intact to Ella Kaye. He was left with his singularly appropriate education; the vague contour of Jay Gatsby had filled out to the substantiality of a man.
    He told me all this very much later, but I’ve put it down here with the idea of exploding those first wild rumors about his antecedents, which weren’t even faintly true. Moreover he told it to me at a time of confusion, when I had reached the point of believing everything and nothing about him. So I take advantage of this short halt, while Gatsby, so to speak, caught his breath, to clear this set of misconceptions away.
    It was a halt, too, in my association with his affairs. For several weeks I didn’t see him or hear his voice on the phone — mostly I was in New York, trotting around with Jordan and trying to ingratiate myself with her senile aunt — but finally I went over to his house one Sunday afternoon. I hadn’t been there two minutes when somebody brought Tom Buchanan in for a drink. I was startled, naturally, but the really surprising thing was that it hadn’t happened before.
    They were a party of three on horseback — Tom and a man named Sloane and a pretty woman in a brown riding-habit, who had been there previously.
    “I’m delighted to see you,” said Gatsby, standing on his porch. “I’m delighted that you dropped in.”
    As though they cared!
    “Sit right down. Have a cigarette or a cigar.” He walked around the room quickly, ringing bells. “I’ll have something to drink for you in just a minute.”
    He was profoundly affected by the fact that Tom was there. But he would be uneasy anyhow until he had given them something, realizing in a vague way that that was all they came for. Mr. Sloane wanted nothing. A lemonade? No, thanks. A little champagne? Nothing at all, thanks. . . . I’m sorry ——
    “Did you have a nice ride?”
    “Very good roads around here.”
    “I suppose the automobiles ——”
    “Yeah.”
    Moved by an irresistible impulse, Gatsby turned to Tom, who had accepted the introduction as a stranger.
    “I believe we’ve met somewhere before, Mr. Buchanan.”
    “Oh, yes,” said Tom, gruffly polite, but obviously not remembering. “So we did. I remember very well.”
    “About two weeks ago.”
    “That’s right. You were with Nick here.”
    “I know your wife,” continued Gatsby, almost aggressively.
    “That so?”
    Tom turned to me.
    “You live near here, Nick?”
    “Next door.”
    “That so?”
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    “I’ve got a man in England who buys me clothes. He sends over a selection of things at the beginning of each season, spring and fall.”
    He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray. While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher — shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, and monograms of Indian blue. Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.
    “They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such — such beautiful shirts before.”
    After the house, we were to see the grounds and the swimming-pool, and the hydroplane and the mid-summer flowers — but outside Gatsby’s window it began to rain again, so we stood in a row looking at the corrugated surface of the Sound.
    “If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay,” said Gatsby. “You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock.”
    Daisy put her arm through his abruptly, but he seemed absorbed in what he had just said. Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her. It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one.
    I began to walk about the room, examining various indefinite objects in the half darkness. A large photograph of an elderly man in yachting costume attracted me, hung on the wall over his desk.
    “Who’s this?”
    “That? That’s Mr. Dan Cody, old sport.”
    The name sounded faintly familiar.
    “He’s dead now. He used to be my best friend years ago.”
    There was a small picture of Gatsby, also in yachting costume, on the bureau — Gatsby with his head thrown back defiantly — taken apparently when he was about eighteen.
    “I adore it,” exclaimed Daisy. “The pompadour! You never told me you had a pompadour — or a yacht.”
    “Look at this,” said Gatsby quickly. “Here’s a lot of clippings — about you.”
    They stood side by side examining it. I was going to ask to see the rubies when the phone rang, and Gatsby took up the receiver.
    “Yes. . . . well, I can’t talk now. . . . I can’t talk now, old sport. . . . I said a SMALL town. . . . he must know what a small town is. . . . well, he’s no use to us if Detroit is his idea of a small town. . . .”
    He rang off.
    “Come here QUICK!” cried Daisy at the window.
    The rain was still falling, but the darkness had parted in the west, and there was a pink and golden billow of foamy clouds above the sea.
    “Look at that,” she whispered, and then after a moment: “I’d like to just get one of those pink clouds and put you in it and push you around.”
    I tried to go then, but they wouldn’t hear of it; perhaps my presence made them feel more satisfactorily alone.
    “I know what we’ll do,” said Gatsby, “we’ll have Klipspringer play the piano.”
    He went out of the room calling “Ewing!” and returned in a few minutes accompanied by an embarrassed, slightly worn young man, with shell-rimmed glasses and scanty blond hair. He was now decently clothed in a “sport shirt,” open at the neck, sneakers, and duck trousers of a nebulous hue.
    “Did we interrupt your exercises?” inquired Daisy politely.
    “I was asleep,” cried Mr. Klipspringer, in a spasm of embarrassment. “That is, I’d BEEN asleep. Then I got up. . . .”
    “Klipspringer plays the piano,” said Gatsby, cutting him off. “Don’t you, Ewing, old sport?”
    “I don’t play well. I don’t — I hardly play at all. I’m all out of prac ——”
    “We’ll go down-stairs,” interrupted Gatsby. He flipped a switch. The gray windows disappeared as the house glowed full of light.
    In the music-room Gatsby turned on a solitary lamp beside the piano. He lit Daisy’s cigarette from a trembling match, and sat down with her on a couch far across the room, where there was no light save what the gleaming floor bounced in from the hall.
    When Klipspringer had played THE LOVE NEST. he turned around on the bench and searched unhappily for Gatsby in the gloom.
    “I’m all out of practice, you see. I told you I couldn’t play. I’m all out of prac ——”
    “Don’t talk so much, old sport,” commanded Gatsby. “Play!”
    “IN THE MORNING,
    IN THE EVENING,
    AIN’T WE GOT FUN ——”
    Outside the wind was loud and there was a faint flow of thunder along the Sound. All the lights were going on in West Egg now; the electric trains, men-carrying, were plunging home through the rain from New York. It was the hour of a profound human change, and excitement was generating on the air.
    “ONE THING’S SURE AND NOTHING’S SURER
    THE RICH GET RICHER AND THE POOR GET — CHILDREN.
    IN THE MEANTIME,
    IN BETWEEN TIME ——”
    As I went over to say good-by I saw that the expression of bewilderment had come back into Gatsby’s face, as though a faint doubt had occurred to him as to the quality of his present happiness. Almost five years! There must have been moments even that afternoon whe Daisy tumbled short of his dreams — not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.
    As I watched him he adjusted himself a little, visibly. His hand took hold of hers, and as she said something low in his ear he turned toward her with a rush of emotion. I think that voice held him most, with its fluctuating, feverish warmth, because it couldn’t be over-dreamed — that voice was a deathless song.
    They had forgotten me, but Daisy glanced up and held out her hand; Gatsby didn’t know me now at all. I looked once more at them and they looked back at me, remotely, possessed by intense life. Then I went out of the room and down the marble steps into the rain, leaving them there together.
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    Mr. Sloane didn’t enter into the conversation, but lounged back haughtily in his chair; the woman said nothing either — until unexpectedly, after two highballs, she became cordial.
    “We’ll all come over to your next party, Mr. Gatsby,” she suggested. “What do you say?”
    “Certainly; I’d be delighted to have you.”
    “Be ver’ nice,” said Mr. Sloane, without gratitude. “Well — think ought to be starting home.”
    “Please don’t hurry,” Gatsby urged them. He had control of himself now, and he wanted to see more of Tom. “Why don’t you — why don’t you stay for supper? I wouldn’t be surprised if some other people dropped in from New York.”
    “You come to supper with ME,” said the lady enthusiastically. “Both of you.”
    This included me. Mr. Sloane got to his feet.
    “Come along,” he said — but to her only.
    “I mean it,” she insisted. “I’d love to have you. Lots of room.”
    Gatsby looked at me questioningly. He wanted to go, and he didn’t see that Mr. Sloane had determined he shouldn’t.
    “I’m afraid I won’t be able to,” I said.
    “Well, you come,” she urged, concentrating on Gatsby.
    Mr. Sloane murmured something close to her ear.
    “We won’t be late if we start now,” she insisted aloud.
    “I haven’t got a horse,” said Gatsby. “I used to ride in the army, but I’ve never bought a horse. I’ll have to follow you in my car. Excuse me for just a minute.”
    The rest of us walked out on the porch, where Sloane and the lady began an impassioned conversation aside.
    “My God, I believe the man’s coming,” said Tom. “Doesn’t he know she doesn’t want him?”
    “She says she does want him.”
    “She has a big dinner party and he won’t know a soul there.” He frowned. “I wonder where in the devil he met Daisy. By God, I may be old-fashioned in my ideas, but women run around too much these days to suit me. They meet all kinds of crazy fish.”
    Suddenly Mr. Sloane and the lady walked down the steps and mounted their horses.
    “Come on,” said Mr. Sloane to Tom, “we’re late. We’ve got to go.” And then to me: “Tell him we couldn’t wait, will you?”
    Tom and I shook hands, the rest of us exchanged a cool nod, and they trotted quickly down the drive, disappearing under the August foliage just as Gatsby, with hat and light overcoat in hand, came out the front door.
    Tom was evidently perturbed at Daisy’s running around alone, for on the following Saturday night he came with her to Gatsby’s party. Perhaps his presence gave the evening its peculiar quality of oppressiveness — it stands out in my memory from Gatsby’s other parties that summer. There were the same people, or at least the same sort of people, the same profusion of champagne, the same many-colored, many-keyed commotion, but I felt an unpleasantness in the air, a pervading harshness that hadn’t been there before. Or perhaps I had merely grown used to it, grown to accept West Egg as a world complete in itself, with its own standards and its own great figures, second to nothing because it had no consciousness of being so, and now I was looking at it again, through Daisy’s eyes. It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment.
    They arrived at twilight, and, as we strolled out among the sparkling hundreds, Daisy’s voice was playing murmurous tricks in her throat.
    “These things excite me so,” she whispered.
    “If you want to kiss me any time during the evening, Nick, just let me know and I’ll be glad to arrange it for you. Just mention my name. Or present a green card. I’m giving out green ——”
    “Look around,” suggested Gatsby.
    “I’m looking around. I’m having a marvelous ——”
    “You must see the faces of many people you’ve heard about.”
    Tom’s arrogant eyes roamed the crowd.
    “We don’t go around very much,” he said. “In fact, I was just thinking I don’t know a soul here.”
    “Perhaps you know that lady.” Gatsby indicated a gorgeous, scarcely human orchid of a woman who sat in state under a white plum tree. Tom and Daisy stared, with that peculiarly unreal feeling that accompanies the recognition of a hitherto ghostly celebrity of the movies.
    “She’s lovely,” said Daisy.
    “The man bending over her is her director.”
    He took them ceremoniously from group to group:
    “Mrs. Buchanan . . . and Mr. Buchanan ——” After an instant’s hesitation he added: “the polo player.”
    “Oh no,” objected Tom quickly, “not me.”
    But evidently the sound of it pleased Gatsby, for Tom remained “the polo player.” for the rest of the evening.
    “I’ve never met so many celebrities!” Daisy exclaimed. “I liked that man — what was his name?— with the sort of blue nose.”
    Gatsby identified him, adding that he was a small producer.
    “Well, I liked him anyhow.”
    “I’d a little rather not be the polo player,” said Tom pleasantly, “I’d rather look at all these famous people in — in oblivion.”
    Daisy and Gatsby danced. I remember being surprised by his graceful, conservative fox-trot — I had never seen him dance before. Then they sauntered over to my house and sat on the steps for half an hour, while at her request I remained watchfully in the garden. “In case there’s a fire or a flood,” she explained, “or any act of God.”
    Tom appeared from his oblivion as we were sitting down to supper together. “Do you mind if I eat with some people over here?” he said. “A fellow’s getting off some funny stuff.”
    “Go ahead,” answered Daisy genially, “and if you want to take down any addresses here’s my little gold pencil.” . . . she looked around after a moment and told me the girl was “common but pretty,” and I knew that except for the half-hour she’d been alone with Gatsby she wasn’t having a good time.
    We were at a particularly tipsy table. That was my fault — Gatsby had been called to the phone, and I’d enjoyed these same people only two weeks before. But what had amused me then turned septic on the air now.
    “How do you feel, Miss Baedeker?”
    The girl addressed was trying, unsuccessfully, to slump against my shoulder. At this inquiry she sat up and opened her eyes.
    “Wha’?”
    A massive and lethargic woman, who had been urging Daisy to play golf with her at the local club to-morrow, spoke in Miss Baedeker’s defence:
    “Oh, she’s all right now. When she’s had five or six cocktails she always starts screaming like that. I tell her she ought to leave it alone.”
    “I do leave it alone,” affirmed the accused hollowly.
    “We heard you yelling, so I said to Doc Civet here: ‘There’s somebody that needs your help, Doc.’”
    “She’s much obliged, I’m sure,” said another friend, without gratitude. “But you got her dress all wet when you stuck her head in the pool.”
    “Anything I hate is to get my head stuck in a pool,” mumbled Miss Baedeker. “They almost drowned me once over in New Jersey.”
    “Then you ought to leave it alone,” countered Doctor Civet.
    “Speak for yourself!” cried Miss Baedeker violently. “Your hand shakes. I wouldn’t let you operate on me!”
    It was like that. Almost the last thing I remember was standing with Daisy and watching the moving-picture director and his Star. They were still under the white plum tree and their faces were touching except for a pale, thin ray of moonlight between. It occurred to me that he had been very slowly bending toward her all evening to attain this proximity, and even while I watched I saw him stoop one ultimate degree and kiss at her cheek.
    “I like her,” said Daisy, “I think she’s lovely.”
    But the rest offended her — and inarguably, because it wasn’t a gesture but an emotion. She was appalled by West Egg, this unprecedented “place.” that Broadway had begotten upon a Long Island fishing village — appalled by its raw vigor that chafed under the old euphemisms and by the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a short-cut from nothing to nothing. She saw something awful in the very simplicity she failed to understand.
    I sat on the front steps with them while they waited for their car. It was dark here in front; only the bright door sent ten square feet of light volleying out into the soft black morning. Sometimes a shadow moved against a dressing-room blind above, gave way to another shadow, an indefinite procession of shadows, who rouged and powdered in an invisible glass.
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    Mr. Sloane didn’t enter into the conversation, but lounged back haughtily in his chair; the woman said nothing either — until unexpectedly, after two highballs, she became cordial.
    “We’ll all come over to your next party, Mr. Gatsby,” she suggested. “What do you say?”
    “Certainly; I’d be delighted to have you.”
    “Be ver’ nice,” said Mr. Sloane, without gratitude. “Well — think ought to be starting home.”
    “Please don’t hurry,” Gatsby urged them. He had control of himself now, and he wanted to see more of Tom. “Why don’t you — why don’t you stay for supper? I wouldn’t be surprised if some other people dropped in from New York.”
    “You come to supper with ME,” said the lady enthusiastically. “Both of you.”
    This included me. Mr. Sloane got to his feet.
    “Come along,” he said — but to her only.
    “I mean it,” she insisted. “I’d love to have you. Lots of room.”
    Gatsby looked at me questioningly. He wanted to go, and he didn’t see that Mr. Sloane had determined he shouldn’t.
    “I’m afraid I won’t be able to,” I said.
    “Well, you come,” she urged, concentrating on Gatsby.
    Mr. Sloane murmured something close to her ear.
    “We won’t be late if we start now,” she insisted aloud.
    “I haven’t got a horse,” said Gatsby. “I used to ride in the army, but I’ve never bought a horse. I’ll have to follow you in my car. Excuse me for just a minute.”
    The rest of us walked out on the porch, where Sloane and the lady began an impassioned conversation aside.
    “My God, I believe the man’s coming,” said Tom. “Doesn’t he know she doesn’t want him?”
    “She says she does want him.”
    “She has a big dinner party and he won’t know a soul there.” He frowned. “I wonder where in the devil he met Daisy. By God, I may be old-fashioned in my ideas, but women run around too much these days to suit me. They meet all kinds of crazy fish.”
    Suddenly Mr. Sloane and the lady walked down the steps and mounted their horses.
    “Come on,” said Mr. Sloane to Tom, “we’re late. We’ve got to go.” And then to me: “Tell him we couldn’t wait, will you?”
    Tom and I shook hands, the rest of us exchanged a cool nod, and they trotted quickly down the drive, disappearing under the August foliage just as Gatsby, with hat and light overcoat in hand, came out the front door.
    Tom was evidently perturbed at Daisy’s running around alone, for on the following Saturday night he came with her to Gatsby’s party. Perhaps his presence gave the evening its peculiar quality of oppressiveness — it stands out in my memory from Gatsby’s other parties that summer. There were the same people, or at least the same sort of people, the same profusion of champagne, the same many-colored, many-keyed commotion, but I felt an unpleasantness in the air, a pervading harshness that hadn’t been there before. Or perhaps I had merely grown used to it, grown to accept West Egg as a world complete in itself, with its own standards and its own great figures, second to nothing because it had no consciousness of being so, and now I was looking at it again, through Daisy’s eyes. It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment.
    They arrived at twilight, and, as we strolled out among the sparkling hundreds, Daisy’s voice was playing murmurous tricks in her throat.
    “These things excite me so,” she whispered.
    “If you want to kiss me any time during the evening, Nick, just let me know and I’ll be glad to arrange it for you. Just mention my name. Or present a green card. I’m giving out green ——”
    “Look around,” suggested Gatsby.
    “I’m looking around. I’m having a marvelous ——”
    “You must see the faces of many people you’ve heard about.”
    Tom’s arrogant eyes roamed the crowd.
    “We don’t go around very much,” he said. “In fact, I was just thinking I don’t know a soul here.”
    “Perhaps you know that lady.” Gatsby indicated a gorgeous, scarcely human orchid of a woman who sat in state under a white plum tree. Tom and Daisy stared, with that peculiarly unreal feeling that accompanies the recognition of a hitherto ghostly celebrity of the movies.
    “She’s lovely,” said Daisy.
    “The man bending over her is her director.”
    He took them ceremoniously from group to group:
    “Mrs. Buchanan . . . and Mr. Buchanan ——” After an instant’s hesitation he added: “the polo player.”
    “Oh no,” objected Tom quickly, “not me.”
    But evidently the sound of it pleased Gatsby, for Tom remained “the polo player.” for the rest of the evening.
    “I’ve never met so many celebrities!” Daisy exclaimed. “I liked that man — what was his name?— with the sort of blue nose.”
    Gatsby identified him, adding that he was a small producer.
    “Well, I liked him anyhow.”
    “I’d a little rather not be the polo player,” said Tom pleasantly, “I’d rather look at all these famous people in — in oblivion.”
    Daisy and Gatsby danced. I remember being surprised by his graceful, conservative fox-trot — I had never seen him dance before. Then they sauntered over to my house and sat on the steps for half an hour, while at her request I remained watchfully in the garden. “In case there’s a fire or a flood,” she explained, “or any act of God.”
    Tom appeared from his oblivion as we were sitting down to supper together. “Do you mind if I eat with some people over here?” he said. “A fellow’s getting off some funny stuff.”
    “Go ahead,” answered Daisy genially, “and if you want to take down any addresses here’s my little gold pencil.” . . . she looked around after a moment and told me the girl was “common but pretty,” and I knew that except for the half-hour she’d been alone with Gatsby she wasn’t having a good time.
    We were at a particularly tipsy table. That was my fault — Gatsby had been called to the phone, and I’d enjoyed these same people only two weeks before. But what had amused me then turned septic on the air now.
    “How do you feel, Miss Baedeker?”
    The girl addressed was trying, unsuccessfully, to slump against my shoulder. At this inquiry she sat up and opened her eyes.
    “Wha’?”
    A massive and lethargic woman, who had been urging Daisy to play golf with her at the local club to-morrow, spoke in Miss Baedeker’s defence:
    “Oh, she’s all right now. When she’s had five or six cocktails she always starts screaming like that. I tell her she ought to leave it alone.”
    “I do leave it alone,” affirmed the accused hollowly.
    “We heard you yelling, so I said to Doc Civet here: ‘There’s somebody that needs your help, Doc.’”
    “She’s much obliged, I’m sure,” said another friend, without gratitude. “But you got her dress all wet when you stuck her head in the pool.”
    “Anything I hate is to get my head stuck in a pool,” mumbled Miss Baedeker. “They almost drowned me once over in New Jersey.”
    “Then you ought to leave it alone,” countered Doctor Civet.
    “Speak for yourself!” cried Miss Baedeker violently. “Your hand shakes. I wouldn’t let you operate on me!”
    It was like that. Almost the last thing I remember was standing with Daisy and watching the moving-picture director and his Star. They were still under the white plum tree and their faces were touching except for a pale, thin ray of moonlight between. It occurred to me that he had been very slowly bending toward her all evening to attain this proximity, and even while I watched I saw him stoop one ultimate degree and kiss at her cheek.
    “I like her,” said Daisy, “I think she’s lovely.”
    But the rest offended her — and inarguably, because it wasn’t a gesture but an emotion. She was appalled by West Egg, this unprecedented “place.” that Broadway had begotten upon a Long Island fishing village — appalled by its raw vigor that chafed under the old euphemisms and by the too obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a short-cut from nothing to nothing. She saw something awful in the very simplicity she failed to understand.
    I sat on the front steps with them while they waited for their car. It was dark here in front; only the bright door sent ten square feet of light volleying out into the soft black morning. Sometimes a shadow moved against a dressing-room blind above, gave way to another shadow, an indefinite procession of shadows, who rouged and powdered in an invisible glass.
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    “Who is this Gatsby anyhow?” demanded Tom suddenly. “Some big bootlegger?”
    “Where’d you hear that?” I inquired.
    “I didn’t hear it. I imagined it. A lot of these newly rich people are just big bootleggers, you know.”
    “Not Gatsby,” I said shortly.
    He was silent for a moment. The pebbles of the drive crunched under his feet.
    “Well, he certainly must have strained himself to get this menagerie together.”
    A breeze stirred the gray haze of Daisy’s fur collar.
    “At least they’re more interesting than the people we know,” she said with an effort.
    “You didn’t look so interested.”
    “Well, I was.”
    Tom laughed and turned to me.
    “Did you notice Daisy’s face when that girl asked her to put her under a cold shower?”
    Daisy began to sing with the music in a husky, rhythmic whisper, bringing out a meaning in each word that it had never had before and would never have again. When the melody rose, her voice broke up sweetly, following it, in a way contralto voices have, and each change tipped out a little of her warm human magic upon the air.
    “Lots of people come who haven’t been invited,” she said suddenly. “That girl hadn’t been invited. They simply force their way in and he’s too polite to object.”
    “I’d like to know who he is and what he does,” insisted Tom. “And I think I’ll make a point of finding out.”
    “I can tell you right now,” she answered. “He owned some drug-stores, a lot of drug-stores. He built them up himself.”
    The dilatory limousine came rolling up the drive.
    “Good night, Nick,” said Daisy.
    Her glance left me and sought the lighted top of the steps, where THREE O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING, a neat, sad little waltz of that year, was drifting out the open door. After all, in the very casualness of Gatsby’s party there were romantic possibilities totally absent from her world. What was it up there in the song that seemed to be calling her back inside? What would happen now in the dim, incalculable hours? Perhaps some unbelievable guest would arrive, a person infinitely rare and to be marvelled at, some authentically radiant young girl who with one fresh glance at Gatsby, one moment of magical encounter, would blot out those five years of unwavering devotion.
    I stayed late that night, Gatsby asked me to wait until he was free, and I lingered in the garden until the inevitable swimming party had run up, chilled and exalted, from the black beach, until the lights were extinguished in the guest-rooms overhead. When he came down the steps at last the tanned skin was drawn unusually tight on his face, and his eyes were bright and tired.
    “She didn’t like it,” he said immediately.
    “Of course she did.”
    “She didn’t like it,” he insisted. “She didn’t have a good time.”
    He was silent, and I guessed at his unutterable depression.
    “I feel far away from her,” he said. “It’s hard to make her understand.”
    “You mean about the dance?”
    “The dance?” He dismissed all the dances he had given with a snap of his fingers. “Old sport, the dance is unimportant.”
    He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: “I never loved you.” After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken. One of them was that, after she was free, they were to go back to Louisville and be married from her house — just as if it were five years ago.
    “And she doesn’t understand,” he said. “She used to be able to understand. We’d sit for hours ——”
    He broke off and began to walk up and down a desolate path of fruit rinds and discarded favors and crushed flowers.
    “I wouldn’t ask too much of her,” I ventured. “You can’t repeat the past.”
    “Can’t repeat the past?” he cried incredulously. “Why of course you can!”
    He looked around him wildly, as if the past were lurking here in the shadow of his house, just out of reach of his hand.
    “I’m going to fix everything just the way it was before,” he said, nodding determinedly. “She’ll see.”
    He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was. . . .
    . . . One autumn night, five years before, they had been walking down the street when the leaves were falling, and they came to a place where there were no trees and the sidewalk was white with moonlight. They stopped here and turned toward each other. Now it was a cool night with that mysterious excitement in it which comes at the two changes of the year. The quiet lights in the houses were humming out into the darkness and there was a stir and bustle among the stars. Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalks really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the trees — he could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder.
    His heart beat faster and faster as Daisy’s white face came up to his own. He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.
    Through all he said, even through his appalling sentimentality, I was reminded of something — an elusive rhythm, a fragment of lost words, that I had heard somewhere a long time ago. For a moment a phrase tried to take shape in my mouth and my lips parted like a dumb man’s, as though there was more struggling upon them than a wisp of startled air. But they made no sound, and what I had almost remembered was uncommunicable forever.
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    i didnt read and i negged.... U mad paggot?
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    chapter 7

    It was when curiosity about Gatsby was at its highest that the lights in his house failed to go on one Saturday night — and, as obscurely as it had begun, his career as Trimalchio was over. Only gradually did I become aware that the automobiles which turned expectantly into his drive stayed for just a minute and then drove sulkily away. Wondering if he were sick I went over to find out — an unfamiliar butler with a villainous face squinted at me suspiciously from the door.
    “Is Mr. Gatsby sick?”
    “Nope.” After a pause he added “sir.” in a dilatory, grudging way.
    “I hadn’t seen him around, and I was rather worried. Tell him Mr. Carraway came over.”
    “Who?” he demanded rudely.
    “Carraway.”
    “Carraway. All right, I’ll tell him.” Abruptly he slammed the door.
    My Finn informed me that Gatsby had dismissed every servant in his house a week ago and replaced them with half a dozen others, who never went into West Egg Village to be bribed by the tradesmen, but ordered moderate supplies over the telephone. The grocery boy reported that the kitchen looked like a pigsty, and the general opinion in the village was that the new people weren’t servants at all.
    Next day Gatsby called me on the phone.
    “Going away?” I inquired.
    “No, old sport.”
    “I hear you fired all your servants.”
    “I wanted somebody who wouldn’t gossip. Daisy comes over quite often — in the afternoons.”
    So the whole caravansary had fallen in like a card house at the disapproval in her eyes.
    “They’re some people Wolfsheim wanted to do something for. They’re all brothers and sisters. They used to run a small hotel.”
    “I see.”
    He was calling up at Daisy’s request — would I come to lunch at her house to-morrow? Miss Baker would be there. Half an hour later Daisy herself telephoned and seemed relieved to find that I was coming. Something was up. And yet I couldn’t believe that they would choose this occasion for a scene — especially for the rather harrowing scene that Gatsby had outlined in the garden.
    The next day was broiling, almost the last, certainly the warmest, of the summer. As my train emerged from the tunnel into sunlight, only the hot whistles of the National Biscuit Company broke the simmering hush at noon. The straw seats of the car hovered on the edge of combustion; the woman next to me perspired delicately for a while into her white shirtwaist, and then, as her newspaper dampened under her fingers, lapsed despairingly into deep heat with a desolate cry. Her pocket-book slapped to the floor.
    “Oh, my!” she gasped.
    I picked it up with a weary bend and handed it back to her, holding it at arm’s length and by the extreme tip of the corners to indicate that I had no designs upon it — but every one near by, including the woman, suspected me just the same.
    “Hot!” said the conductor to familiar faces. “Some weather! hot! hot! hot! Is it hot enough for you? Is it hot? Is it . . . ?”
    My commutation ticket came back to me with a dark stain from his hand. That any one should care in this heat whose flushed lips he kissed, whose head made damp the pajama pocket over his heart!
    . . . Through the hall of the Buchanans’ house blew a faint wind, carrying the sound of the telephone bell out to Gatsby and me as we waited at the door.
    “The master’s body!” roared the butler into the mouthpiece. “I’m sorry, madame, but we can’t furnish it — it’s far too hot to touch this noon!”
    What he really said was: “Yes . . . yes . . . I’ll see.”
    He set down the receiver and came toward us, glistening slightly, to take our stiff straw hats.
    “Madame expects you in the salon!” he cried, needlessly indicating the direction. In this heat every extra gesture was an affront to the common store of life.
    The room, shadowed well with awnings, was dark and cool. Daisy and Jordan lay upon an enormous couch, like silver idols weighing down their own white dresses against the singing breeze of the fans.
    “We can’t move,” they said together.
    Jordan’s fingers, powdered white over their tan, rested for a moment in mine.
    “And Mr. Thomas Buchanan, the athlete?” I inquired.
    Simultaneously I heard his voice, gruff, muffled, husky, at the hall telephone.
    Gatsby stood in the centre of the crimson carpet and gazed around with fascinated eyes. Daisy watched him and laughed, her sweet, exciting laugh; a tiny gust of powder rose from her bosom into the air.
    “The rumor is,” whispered Jordan, “that that’s Tom’s girl on the telephone.”
    We were silent. The voice in the hall rose high with annoyance: “Very well, then, I won’t sell you the car at all. . . . I’m under no obligations to you at all . . . and as for your bothering me about it at lunch time, I won’t stand that at all!”
    “Holding down the receiver,” said Daisy cynically.
    “No, he’s not,” I assured her. “It’s a bona-fide deal. I happen to know about it.”
    Tom flung open the door, blocked out its space for a moment with his thick body, and hurried into the room.
    “Mr. Gatsby!” He put out his broad, flat hand with well-concealed dislike. “I’m glad to see you, sir. . . . Nick. . . .”
    “Make us a cold drink,” cried Daisy.
    As he left the room again she got up and went over to Gatsby and pulled his face down, kissing him on the mouth.
    “You know I love you,” she murmured.
    “You forget there’s a lady present,” said Jordan.
    Daisy looked around doubtfully.
    “You kiss Nick too.”
    “What a low, vulgar girl!”
    “I don’t care!” cried Daisy, and began to clog on the brick fireplace. Then she remembered the heat and sat down guiltily on the couch just as a freshly laundered nurse leading a little girl came into the room.
    “Bles-sed pre-cious,” she crooned, holding out her arms. “Come to your own mother that loves you.”
    The child, relinquished by the nurse, rushed across the room and rooted shyly into her mother’s dress.
    “The bles-sed pre-cious! Did mother get powder on your old yellowy hair? Stand up now, and say — How-de-do.”
    Gatsby and I in turn leaned down and took the small, reluctant hand. Afterward he kept looking at the child with surprise. I don’t think he had ever really believed in its existence before.
    “I got dressed before luncheon,” said the child, turning eagerly to Daisy.
    “That’s because your mother wanted to show you off.” Her face bent into the single wrinkle of the small, white neck. “You dream, you. You absolute little dream.”
    “Yes,” admitted the child calmly. “Aunt Jordan’s got on a white dress too.”
    “How do you like mother’s friends?” Daisy turned her around so that she faced Gatsby. “Do you think they’re pretty?”
    “Where’s Daddy?”
    “She doesn’t look like her father,” explained Daisy. “She looks like me. She’s got my hair and shape of the face.”
    Daisy sat back upon the couch. The nurse took a step forward and held out her hand.
    “Come, Pammy.”
    “Good-by, sweetheart!”
    With a reluctant backward glance the well-disciplined child held to her nurse’s hand and was pulled out the door, just as Tom came back, preceding four gin rickeys that clicked full of ice.
    Gatsby took up his drink.
    “They certainly look cool,” he said, with visible tension.
    We drank in long, greedy swallows.
    “I read somewhere that the sun’s getting hotter every year,” said Tom genially. “It seems that pretty soon the earth’s going to fall into the sun — or wait a minute — it’s just the opposite — the sun’s getting colder every year.
    “Come outside,” he suggested to Gatsby, “I’d like you to have a look at the place.”
    I went with them out to the veranda. On the green Sound, stagnant in the heat, one small sail crawled slowly toward the fresher sea. Gatsby’s eyes followed it momentarily; he raised his hand and pointed across the bay.
    “I’m right across from you.”
    “So you are.”
    Our eyes lifted over the rose-beds and the hot lawn and the weedy refuse of the dog-days along-shore. Slowly the white wings of the boat moved against the blue cool limit of the sky. Ahead lay the scalloped ocean and the abounding blessed isles.
    “There’s sport for you,” said Tom, nodding. “I’d like to be out there with him for about an hour.”
    We had luncheon in the dining-room, darkened too against the heat, and drank down nervous gayety with the cold ale.
    “What’ll we do with ourselves this afternoon?” cried Daisy, “and the day after that, and the next thirty years?”
    “Don’t be morbid,” Jordan said. “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
    “But it’s so hot,” insisted Daisy, on the verge of tears, “and everything’s so confused. Let’s all go to town!”
    Her voice struggled on through the heat, beating against it, molding its senselessness into forms.
    “I’ve heard of making a garage out of a stable,” Tom was saying to Gatsby, “but I’m the first man who ever made a stable out of a garage.”
    “Who wants to go to town?” demanded Daisy insistently. Gatsby’s eyes floated toward her. “Ah,” she cried, “you look so cool.”
    Their eyes met, and they stared together at each other, alone in space. With an effort she glanced down at the table.
    “You always look so cool,” she repeated.
    She had told him that she loved him, and Tom Buchanan saw. He was astounded. His mouth opened a little, and he looked at Gatsby, and then back at Daisy as if he had just recognized her as some one he knew a long time ago.
    “You resemble the advertisement of the man,” she went on innocently. “You know the advertisement of the man ——”
    “All right,” broke in Tom quickly, “I’m perfectly willing to go to town. Come on — we’re all going to town.”
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