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Capter 1


Chapter 1




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."

Als ich jünger war gab mein Vater mir den Rat, den ich immer wieder erinnere, immer wenn ich andere kritisierte mich daran zu erinneren, dass alle Leute in dieser Welt nicht die Vorteile hatten die du hattest.


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.

Sie reden immer in diesem reservierten Weg. Im Grunde ist er eine sehr tolerante Person.

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 griefs of wild, unknown men. Most of the confidences were
unsought--frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile
levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate
revelation was quivering on the horizon--for the intimate revelations
of young men or at least the terms in which they express them are
usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions.
 Reserving
judgments is a matter of infinite hope. I am still a little afraid of
missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested,
and I snobbishly repeat a sense of the fundamental decencies is
parcelled out unequally at birth.

Ein  unnormaler Mensch erkennt schnell einen anderen unnormalen und so kam es dass ich im Collage  zu unrecht beschuldigt wurde ein Politiker zu sein, weil ich in die geheimen Leiden des wilden, unbekannten Mannes eingeweiht war. Die meiste Sicherheiten waren nur vorgetäuscht = scheint ein normales Leben zu leben aber das ist nur Fassade und Hoffnung.  Ich bin immer noch besorgt etwas zu vermissen, wenn ich es vergesse was mein Vater mir  snobistisch suggerierte und ich aufgeblasen antwortete in dem Sinn der grundlegenden Anstands der ungleichen Geburt.  



accused
vulnerable = verwundbar
advice= Rat, Hinweis
ever since = seit, seitdem
criticizing
advantages
inclined geeignet
a Habit= Gewohnheit
curious= gespannt, neugierig, ungewöhnlich
bores= Loch , Bohrlöcher, die Seele
accused = anklagen, die Angeklagten
privy = Abtritt, WC
feigned = fingierte
preoccupation = Die (Haupt)Beschäftigung
snobbishly = snobistisch
decencies = Anstand
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And, after boasting this way of my tolerance, I come to the admission
that it has a limit. Conduct may be founded on the hard rock or the wet
marshes but after a certain point I don't care what it's founded on.

When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the
world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I
wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the
human heart. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was
exempt from my reaction--Gatsby who represented everything for which I
have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of
successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some
heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related
to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten
thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that
flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the
"creative temperament"--it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic
readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it
is not likely I shall ever find again. No--Gatsby turned out all right
at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the
wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the
abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.

Nach seinem Weg der Toleranz, also der Prahlerei, kam er zu dem Schluss dies habe ein Ende. Führung kann auf hartem Stein oder nassem Marsch(boden) gegründet sein, aber ab einem gewissen Punkt interessiert es mich nicht worauf es gegründet ist. [Methaper = warum er Führungsanspruch hat ist ihm egel, wichtig ist ihm, dass er diese Macht hat]. Als ich aus dem Osten letzes Jahr wiederkam wollte ich das die Welt in Uniform sei und nach moalischen Richtlienien sortiert sein, er möchte nicht mehr aufrührerisch abweichen  sein und nur flüchtige Blicke ins menschliche Herz (werfen=).
Nur Gatsby, der Namensgeber des Buches war unberührt von seiner Reaktion, der alles repräsentierte wofür ich Hohn hatte, wenn Persönlichkeit eine Serie von erfolgreichen Gesten ist, dann ist d etwas groarties an ihm, eine hohe Sensibiliät für die Vesprechen des Lebens so wie wenn wir eine dieser Maschinen wären, die Erbeben erkennen  können. 


boasting  = die Prahlerei
Conduct = Leitung / Führung
marshes = die Marsch
 certain Point = gewissen Punkt
riotous =aufrührerisch
glimpses = verstehen
scorn Hohn


gestures =Geste
intricate = aufwendig
flabby= schlaff
dignified = ehren
Prey=ausbeuten
abortive = unvollkommen, gescheitert
sorrow= Sorgen
short-winded =kurzatmig
elations = die Begeisterung, die Freude

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My family have been prominent, well-to-do people in this middle-western
city for three generations. The Carraways are something of a clan and we
have a tradition that we're descended from the Dukes of Buccleuch, but the
actual founder of my line was my grandfather's brother who came here in
fifty-one, sent a substitute to the Civil War and started the wholesale
hardware business that my father carries on today.

I never saw this great-uncle but I'm supposed to look like him--with
special reference to the rather hard-boiled painting that hangs in
Father's office. I graduated from New Haven in 1915, just a quarter of a
century after my father, and a little later I participated in that
delayed Teutonic migration known as the Great War. I enjoyed the
counter-raid so thoroughly that I came back restless. Instead of being
the warm center of the world the middle-west now seemed like the
ragged edge of the universe--so I decided to go east and learn the bond
business. Everybody I knew was in the bond business so I supposed it
could support one more single man. All my aunts and uncles talked it
over as if they were choosing a prep-school for me and finally said,
"Why--ye-es" with very grave, hesitant faces. Father agreed to finance
me for a year and after various delays I came east, permanently, I
thought, in the spring of twenty-two.

Meine Familie war bekannt im Mittelwesten seit drei Generationen
Die Carraway sind ein Clan und der Gründer der Linie stammt vom Duke of Bucclech ab
Der eigentliche Gründer war aber der Bruder des Großvaters, der hier in den 51 kam

Ich sah diesen Großonkel nie, obwohl man mir nachsagte wie er auszusehen. Er kam von New Heaven 1915 grade ein viertel Jahrhundert nach meinem Vater und ein wenig später ....
Anstatt in den warmen mittleren Mittelwesten zu gehen  ( Zentrum der Welt ), ging ich in den Osten. Alle meine Tanten und Onkel sprachen es aus als wäre eine Schulvorbeietung ausgwähtl  und am Ende sagten sei warum ja mit sehr ernsten Geischter. Der Vater stimmte dazu zu mir ein Jahr zu finanziern und nach vielen Pausen kam ich dauerhaft in den Osten, ich denke es war das Frühjar 22.

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The practical thing was to find rooms in the city but it was a warm
season and I had just left a country of wide lawns and friendly trees,
so when a young man at the office suggested that we take a house
together in a commuting town it sounded like a great idea. He found
the house, a weather beaten cardboard bungalow at eighty a month, but
at the last minute the firm ordered him to Washington and I went out
to the country alone. I had a dog, at least I had him for a few days
until he ran away, and an old Dodge and a Finnish woman who made my bed
and cooked breakfast and muttered Finnish wisdom to herself over the
electric stove.

It was lonely for a day or so until one morning some man, more recently
arrived than I, stopped me on the road.

"How do you get to West Egg village?" he asked helplessly.

I told him. And as I walked on I was lonely no longer. I was a guide, a
pathfinder, an original settler. He had casually conferred on me the
freedom of the neighborhood.
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And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the
trees--just as things grow in fast movies--I had that familiar
conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.

There was so much to read for one thing and so much fine health to be
pulled down out of the young breath-giving air. I bought a dozen
volumes on banking and credit and investment securities and they stood
on my shelf in red and gold like new money from the mint, promising to
unfold the shining secrets that only Midas and Morgan and Maecenas
knew. And I had the high intention of reading many other books besides.
I was rather literary in college--one year I wrote a series of very
solemn and obvious editorials for the "Yale News"--and now I was going
to bring back all such things into my life and become again that most
limited of all specialists, the "well-rounded man." This isn't just an
epigram--life is much more successfully looked at from a single window,
after all.
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It was a matter of chance that I should have rented a house in one of
the strangest communities in North America. It was on that slender
riotous island which extends itself due east of New York and where
there are, among other natural curiosities, two unusual formations of
land. Twenty miles from the city a pair of enormous eggs, identical in
contour and separated only by a courtesy bay, jut out into the most
domesticated body of salt water in the Western Hemisphere, the great
wet barnyard of Long Island Sound. They are not perfect ovals--like the
egg in the Columbus story they are both crushed flat at the contact
end--but their physical resemblance must be a source of perpetual
confusion to the gulls that fly overhead. To the wingless a more
arresting phenomenon is their dissimilarity in every particular except
shape and size.
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I lived at West Egg, the--well, the less fashionable of the two, though
this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little
sinister contrast between them. My house was at the very tip of the
egg, only fifty yards from the Sound, and squeezed between two huge
places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season. The one on
my right was a colossal affair by any standard--it was a factual
imitation of some Hôtel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side,
spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool
and more than forty acres of lawn and garden. It was Gatsby's mansion.
Or rather, as I didn't know Mr. Gatsby it was a mansion inhabited by
a gentleman of that name. My own house was an eye-sore, but it was a
small eye-sore, and it had been overlooked, so I had a view of the
water, a partial view of my neighbor's lawn, and the consoling
proximity of millionaires--all for eighty dollars a month.
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Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg
glittered along the water, and the history of the summer really begins
on the evening I drove over there to have dinner with the Tom
Buchanans. Daisy was my second cousin once removed and I'd known Tom
in college. And just after the war I spent two days with them in
Chicago.

Her husband, among various physical accomplishments, had been one of
the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven--a
national figure in a way, one of those men who reach such an acute
limited excellence at twenty-one that everything afterward savors of
anti-climax. His family were enormously wealthy--even in college his
freedom with money was a matter for reproach--but now he'd left Chicago
and come east in a fashion that rather took your breath away: for
instance he'd brought down a string of polo ponies from Lake Forest.
It was hard to realize that a man in my own generation was wealthy
enough to do that.
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Why they came east I don't know. They had spent a year in France, for no
particular reason, and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever
people played polo and were rich together. This was a permanent move,
said Daisy over the telephone, but I didn't believe it--I had no sight
into Daisy's heart but I felt that Tom would drift on forever seeking
a little wistfully for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable
football game.

And so it happened that on a warm windy evening I drove over to East
Egg to see two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all. Their house was
even more elaborate than I expected, a cheerful red and white Georgian
Colonial mansion overlooking the bay. The lawn started at the beach
and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over
sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardens--finally when it reached
the house drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the
momentum of its run. The front was broken by a line of French windows,
glowing now with reflected gold, and wide open to the warm windy
afternoon, and Tom Buchanan in riding clothes was standing with his
legs apart on the front porch.
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He had changed since his New Haven years. Now he was a sturdy, straw haired
man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner.
Two shining, arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and
gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward. Not
even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous
power of that body--he seemed to fill those glistening boots until he
strained the top lacing and you could see a great pack of muscle
shifting when his shoulder moved under his thin coat. It was a body
capable of enormous leverage--a cruel body.

His speaking voice, a gruff husky tenor, added to the impression of
fractiousness he conveyed. There was a touch of paternal contempt in
it, even toward people he liked--and there were men at New Haven who had
hated his guts.
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"Now, don't think my opinion on these matters is final," he seemed to
say, "just because I'm stronger and more of a man than you are." We
were in the same Senior Society, and while we were never intimate I
always had the impression that he approved of me and wanted me to like
him with some harsh, defiant wistfulness of his own.

We talked for a few minutes on the sunny porch.

"I've got a nice place here," he said, his eyes flashing about
restlessly.

Turning me around by one arm he moved a broad flat hand along the
front vista, including in its sweep a sunken Italian garden, a half
acre of deep pungent roses and a snub-nosed motor boat that bumped
the tide off shore.

"It belonged to Demaine the oil man." He turned me around again,
politely and abruptly. "We'll go inside."
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We walked through a high hallway into a bright rosy-colored space,
fragilely bound into the house by French windows at either end.
The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass
outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze
blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other
like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding cake of
the ceiling--and then rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a
shadow on it as wind does on the sea.

The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch
on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored
balloon. They were both in white and their dresses were rippling and
fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight
around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the
whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall.
Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught
wind died out about the room and the curtains and the rugs and the two
young women ballooned slowly to the floor.
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The younger of the two was a stranger to me. She was extended full length
at her end of the divan, completely motionless and with her chin raised
a little as if she were balancing something on it which was quite likely
to fall. If she saw me out of the corner of her eyes she gave no hint of
it--indeed, I was almost surprised into murmuring an apology for having
disturbed her by coming in.

The other girl, Daisy, made an attempt to rise--she leaned slightly
forward with a conscientious expression--then she laughed, an absurd,
charming little laugh, and I laughed too and came forward into the
room.

"I'm p-paralyzed with happiness."

She laughed again, as if she said something very witty, and held my hand
for a moment, looking up into my face, promising that there was no one
in the world she so much wanted to see. That was a way she had.
She hinted in a murmur that the surname of the balancing girl was Baker.
(I've heard it said that Daisy's murmur was only to make people
lean toward her; an irrelevant criticism that made it no less charming.)
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At any rate Miss Baker's lips fluttered, she nodded at me almost
imperceptibly and then quickly tipped her head back again--the object
she was balancing had obviously tottered a little and given her something
of a fright. Again a sort of apology arose to my lips. Almost any
exhibition of complete self sufficiency draws a stunned tribute from me.

I looked back at my cousin who began to ask me questions in her low,
thrilling voice. It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and
down as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be
played again. Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it,
bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth--but there was an excitement
in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget:
a singing compulsion, a whispered "Listen," a promise that she had done
gay, exciting things just a while since and that there were gay,
exciting things hovering in the next hour.

I told her how I had stopped off in Chicago for a day on my way east
and how a dozen people had sent their love through me.

"Do they miss me?" she cried ecstatically.
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"The whole town is desolate. All the cars have the left rear wheel
painted black as a mourning wreath and there's a persistent wail all
night along the North Shore."

"How gorgeous! Let's go back, Tom. Tomorrow!" Then she added
irrelevantly, "You ought to see the baby."

"I'd like to."

"She's asleep. She's two years old. Haven't you ever seen her?"

"Never."

"Well, you ought to see her. She's----"

Tom Buchanan who had been hovering restlessly about the room stopped
and rested his hand on my shoulder.

"What you doing, Nick?"

"I'm a bond man."

"Who with?"

I told him.

"Never heard of them," he remarked decisively.

This annoyed me.

"You will," I answered shortly. "You will if you stay in the East."

"Oh, I'll stay in the East, don't you worry," he said, glancing at
Daisy and then back at me, as if he were alert for something more.
"I'd be a God Damned fool to live anywhere else."

At this point Miss Baker said "Absolutely!" with such suddenness that I
started--it was the first word she uttered since I came into the room.
Evidently it surprised her as much as it did me, for she yawned and
with a series of rapid, deft movements stood up into the room.
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"I'm stiff," she complained, "I've been lying on that sofa for as long
as I can remember."

"Don't look at me," Daisy retorted. "I've been trying to get you to New
York all afternoon."

"No, thanks," said Miss Baker to the four cocktails just in from the
pantry, "I'm absolutely in training."

Her host looked at her incredulously.

"You are!" He took down his drink as if it were a drop in the bottom of
a glass. "How you ever get anything done is beyond me."

I looked at Miss Baker wondering what it was she "got done." I enjoyed
looking at her. She was a slender, small-breasted girl, with an erect
carriage which she accentuated by throwing her body backward at the
shoulders like a young cadet. Her grey sun-strained eyes looked back at
me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming discontented
face. It occurred to me now that I had seen her, or a picture of her,
somewhere before.
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"You live in West Egg," she remarked contemptuously. "I know somebody
there."

"I don't know a single----"

"You must know Gatsby."

"Gatsby?" demanded Daisy. "What Gatsby?"

Before I could reply that he was my neighbor dinner was announced;
wedging his tense arm imperatively under mine Tom Buchanan compelled
me from the room as though he were moving a checker to another square.

Slenderly, languidly, their hands set lightly on their hips the two
young women preceded us out onto a rosy-colored porch open toward the
sunset where four candles flickered on the table in the diminished
wind.

"Why CANDLES?" objected Daisy, frowning. She snapped them out with her
fingers. "In two weeks it'll be the longest day in the year."
She looked at us all radiantly. "Do you always watch for the longest day
of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the
year and then miss it."

"We ought to plan something," yawned Miss Baker, sitting down at the
table as if she were getting into bed.

"All right," said Daisy. "What'll we plan?" She turned to me helplessly.
"What do people plan?"

Before I could answer her eyes fastened with an awed expression on her
little finger.

"Look!" she complained. "I hurt it."

We all looked--the knuckle was black and blue.

"You did it, Tom," she said accusingly. "I know you didn't mean to
but you DID do it. That's what I get for marrying a brute of a man,
a great big hulking physical specimen of a----"

"I hate that word hulking," objected Tom crossly, "even in kidding."

"Hulking," insisted Daisy.
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Sometimes she and Miss Baker talked at once, unobtrusively and with a
bantering inconsequence that was never quite chatter, that was as cool
as their white dresses and their impersonal eyes in the absence of all
desire. They were here--and they accepted Tom and me, making only a
polite pleasant effort to entertain or to be entertained. They knew
that presently dinner would be over and a little later the evening too
would be over and casually put away. It was sharply different from the
West where an evening was hurried from phase to phase toward its
close in a continually disappointed anticipation or else in sheer
nervous dread of the moment itself.

"You make me feel uncivilized, Daisy," I confessed on my second glass
of corky but rather impressive claret. "Can't you talk about crops or
something?"

I meant nothing in particular by this remark but it was taken up in an
unexpected way.

"Civilization's going to pieces," broke out Tom violently.
"I've gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read
'The Rise of the Coloured Empires' by this man Goddard?"

"Why, no," I answered, rather surprised by his tone.

"Well, it's a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if
we don't look out the white race will be--will be utterly submerged.
It's all scientific stuff; it's been proved."

"Tom's getting very profound," said Daisy with an expression of
unthoughtful sadness. "He reads deep books with long words in them.
What was that word we----"

"Well, these books are all scientific," insisted Tom, glancing at her
impatiently. "This fellow has worked out the whole thing. It's up to us
who are the dominant race to watch out or these other races will have
control of things."

"We've got to beat them down," whispered Daisy, winking ferociously
toward the fervent sun.

"You ought to live in California--" began Miss Baker but Tom
interrupted her by shifting heavily in his chair.

"This idea is that we're Nordics. I am, and you are and you are
and----" After an infinitesimal hesitation he included Daisy with a
slight nod and she winked at me again. "--and we've produced all the
things that go to make civilization--oh, science and art and all that.
Do you see?"

There was something pathetic in his concentration as if his complacency,
more acute than of old, was not enough to him any more. When, almost
immediately, the telephone rang inside and the butler left the porch Daisy
seized upon the momentary interruption and leaned toward me.

"I'll tell you a family secret," she whispered enthusiastically. "It's
about the butler's nose. Do you want to hear about the butler's nose?"

"That's why I came over tonight."

"Well, he wasn't always a butler; he used to be the silver polisher for
some people in New York that had a silver service for two hundred people.
He had to polish it from morning till night until finally it began to
affect his nose----"
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"Things went from bad to worse," suggested Miss Baker.

"Yes. Things went from bad to worse until finally he had to give up
his position."

For a moment the last sunshine fell with romantic affection upon
her glowing face; her voice compelled me forward breathlessly as
I listened--then the glow faded, each light deserting her with
lingering regret like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk.

The butler came back and murmured something close to Tom's ear
whereupon Tom frowned, pushed back his chair and without a word went
inside. As if his absence quickened something within her Daisy leaned
forward again, her voice glowing and singing.

"I love to see you at my table, Nick. You remind me of a--of a rose, an
absolute rose. Doesn't he?" She turned to Miss Baker for confirmation.
"An absolute rose?"

This was untrue. I am not even faintly like a rose. She was only
extemporizing but a stirring warmth flowed from her as if her
heart was trying to come out to you concealed in one of those
breathless, thrilling words. Then suddenly she threw her napkin on the
table and excused herself and went into the house.

Miss Baker and I exchanged a short glance consciously devoid of
meaning. I was about to speak when she sat up alertly and said "Sh!" in
a warning voice. A subdued impassioned murmur was audible in the room
beyond and Miss Baker leaned forward, unashamed, trying to hear. The
murmur trembled on the verge of coherence, sank down, mounted
excitedly, and then ceased altogether.

"This Mr. Gatsby you spoke of is my neighbor----" I said.

"Don't talk. I want to hear what happens."

"Is something happening?" I inquired innocently.

"You mean to say you don't know?" said Miss Baker, honestly surprised.
"I thought everybody knew."

"I don't."

"Why----" she said hesitantly, "Tom's got some woman in New York."

"Got some woman?" I repeated blankly.

Miss Baker nodded.

"She might have the decency not to telephone him at dinner-time. Don't
you think?"
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Almost before I had grasped her meaning there was the flutter of
a dress and the crunch of leather boots and Tom and Daisy were back
at the table.

"It couldn't be helped!" cried Daisy with tense gayety.

She sat down, glanced searchingly at Miss Baker and then at me and
continued: "I looked outdoors for a minute and it's very romantic
outdoors. There's a bird on the lawn that I think must be a nightingale
come over on the Cunard or White Star Line. He's singing away----" her
voice sang "----It's romantic, isn't it, Tom?"

"Very romantic," he said, and then miserably to me: "If it's light enough
after dinner I want to take you down to the stables."

The telephone rang inside, startlingly, and as Daisy shook her
head decisively at Tom the subject of the stables, in fact all
subjects, vanished into air. Among the broken fragments of the
last five minutes at table I remember the candles being lit again,
pointlessly, and I was conscious of wanting to look squarely at every
one and yet to avoid all eyes. I couldn't guess what Daisy and Tom
were thinking but I doubt if even Miss Baker who seemed to have
mastered a certain hardy skepticism was able utterly to put this fifth
guest's shrill metallic urgency out of mind. To a certain temperament
the situation might have seemed intriguing--my own instinct was to
telephone immediately for the police.

The horses, needless to say, were not mentioned again. Tom and Miss
Baker, with several feet of twilight between them strolled back into
the library, as if to a vigil beside a perfectly tangible body, while
trying to look pleasantly interested and a little deaf I followed
Daisy around a chain of connecting verandas to the porch in front. In
its deep gloom we sat down side by side on a wicker settee.

Daisy took her face in her hands, as if feeling its lovely shape, and
her eyes moved gradually out into the velvet dusk. I saw that turbulent
emotions possessed her, so I asked what I thought would be some
sedative questions about her little girl.

"We don't know each other very well, Nick," she said suddenly.
"Even if we are cousins. You didn't come to my wedding."

"I wasn't back from the war."

"That's true." She hesitated. "Well, I've had a very bad time, Nick,
and I'm pretty cynical about everything."

Evidently she had reason to be. I waited but she didn't say any more,
and after a moment I returned rather feebly to the subject of her
daughter.

"I suppose she talks, and--eats, and everything."

"Oh, yes." She looked at me absently. "Listen, Nick; let me tell you what
I said when she was born. Would you like to hear?"

"Very much."
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"It'll show you how I've gotten to feel about--things. Well, she was less
than an hour old and Tom was God knows where. I woke up out of the ether
with an utterly abandoned feeling and asked the nurse right away if it
was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head
away and wept. 'All right,' I said, 'I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope
she'll be a fool--that's the best thing a girl can be in this world,
a beautiful little fool."

"You see I think everything's terrible anyhow," she went on in a
convinced way. "Everybody thinks so--the most advanced people. And I KNOW.
I've been everywhere and seen everything and done everything."
Her eyes flashed around her in a defiant way, rather like Tom's, and she
laughed with thrilling scorn. "Sophisticated--God, I'm sophisticated!"

The instant her voice broke off, ceasing to compel my attention,
my belief, I felt the basic insincerity of what she had said.
It made me uneasy, as though the whole evening had been a trick
of some sort to exact a contributory emotion from me. I waited,
and sure enough, in a moment she looked at me with an absolute smirk
on her lovely face as if she had asserted her membership in a rather
distinguished secret society to which she and Tom belonged.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inside, the crimson room bloomed with light. Tom and Miss Baker
sat at either end of the long couch and she read aloud to him from
the "Saturday Evening Post"--the words, murmurous and
uninflected, running together in a soothing tune. The lamp-light,
bright on his boots and dull on the autumn-leaf yellow of her hair,
glinted along the paper as she turned a page with a flutter of slender
muscles in her arms.

When we came in she held us silent for a moment with a lifted hand.

"To be continued," she said, tossing the magazine on the table, "in our
very next issue."

Her body asserted itself with a restless movement of her knee, and she
stood up.

"Ten o'clock," she remarked, apparently finding the time on the
ceiling. "Time for this good girl to go to bed."

"Jordan's going to play in the tournament tomorrow," explained Daisy,
"over at Westchester."

"Oh,--you're JORdan Baker."

I knew now why her face was familiar--its pleasing contemptuous
expression had looked out at me from many rotogravure pictures of
the sporting life at Asheville and Hot Springs and Palm Beach. I
had heard some story of her too, a critical, unpleasant story,
but what it was I had forgotten long ago.

"Good night," she said softly. "Wake me at eight, won't you."

"If you'll get up."

"I will. Good night, Mr. Carraway. See you anon."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Of course you will," confirmed Daisy. "In fact I think I'll arrange
a marriage. Come over often, Nick, and I'll sort of--oh--fling you
together. You know--lock you up accidentally in linen closets and push
you out to sea in a boat, and all that sort of thing----"

"Good night," called Miss Baker from the stairs. "I haven't heard a word."

"She's a nice girl," said Tom after a moment. "They oughtn't to let her
run around the country this way."

"Who oughtn't to?" inquired Daisy coldly.

"Her family."

"Her family is one aunt about a thousand years old. Besides, Nick's
going to look after her, aren't you, Nick? She's going to spend lots of
week-ends out here this summer. I think the home influence will be very
good for her."

Daisy and Tom looked at each other for a moment in silence.

"Is she from New York?" I asked quickly.

"From Louisville. Our white girlhood was passed together there. Our
beautiful white----"

"Did you give Nick a little heart to heart talk on the veranda?"
demanded Tom suddenly.

"Did I?" She looked at me. "I can't seem to remember, but I think
we talked about the Nordic race. Yes, I'm sure we did. It sort of
crept up on us and first thing you know----"

"Don't believe everything you hear, Nick," he advised me.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I said lightly that I had heard nothing at all, and a few minutes later
I got up to go home. They came to the door with me and stood side by
side in a cheerful square of light. As I started my motor Daisy
peremptorily called "Wait!

"I forgot to ask you something, and it's important. We heard you were
engaged to a girl out West."

"That's right," corroborated Tom kindly. "We heard that you were
engaged."

"It's libel. I'm too poor."

"But we heard it," insisted Daisy, surprising me by opening up again in
a flower-like way. "We heard it from three people so it must be true."

Of course I knew what they were referring to, but I wasn't even vaguely
engaged. The fact that gossip had published the banns was one of the
reasons I had come east. You can't stop going with an old friend on
account of rumors and on the other hand I had no intention of being
rumored into marriage.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Their interest rather touched me and made them less remotely
rich--nevertheless, I was confused and a little disgusted as I drove
away. It seemed to me that the thing for Daisy to do was to rush out of
the house, child in arms--but apparently there were no such intentions
in her head. As for Tom, the fact that he "had some woman in New York"
was really less surprising than that he had been depressed by a book.
Something was making him nibble at the edge of stale ideas as if his
sturdy physical egotism no longer nourished his peremptory heart.

Already it was deep summer on roadhouse roofs and in front of wayside
garages, where new red gas-pumps sat out in pools of light, and when I
reached my estate at West Egg I ran the car under its shed and sat for
a while on an abandoned grass roller in the yard. The wind had blown
off, leaving a loud bright night with wings beating in the trees and
a persistent organ sound as the full bellows of the earth blew the
frogs full of life. The silhouette of a moving cat wavered across the
moonlight and turning my head to watch it I saw that I was not
alone--fifty feet away a figure had emerged from the shadow of my
neighbor's mansion and was standing with his hands in his pockets
regarding the silver pepper of the stars. Something in his leisurely
movements and the secure position of his feet upon the lawn suggested
that it was Mr. Gatsby himself, come out to determine what share was
his of our local heavens.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I decided to call to him. Miss Baker had mentioned him at dinner, and
that would do for an introduction. But I didn't call to him for he gave
a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone--he stretched out his
arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him
I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward--and
distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away,
that might have been the end of a dock. When I looked once more for Gatsby
he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness.
Title:      The Great Gatsby
Author:     F. Scott Fitzgerald
* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook *
eBook No.:  0200041.txt
Language:   English
Date first posted:          January 2002
Date most recently updated: July 2008

This eBook was produced by: Colin Choat

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Chapter 9



After two years I remember the rest of that day, and that night and the
next day, only as an endless drill of police and photographers and
newspaper men in and out of Gatsby's front door. A rope stretched
across the main gate and a policeman by it kept out the curious, but
little boys soon discovered that they could enter through my yard and
there were always a few of them clustered open-mouthed about the pool.
Someone with a positive manner, perhaps a detective, used the
expression "mad man" as he bent over Wilson's body that afternoon, and
the adventitious authority of his voice set the key for the newspaper
reports next morning.

Most of those reports were a nightmare--grotesque, circumstantial,
eager and untrue. When Michaelis's testimony at the inquest brought to
light Wilson's suspicions of his wife I thought the whole tale would
shortly be served up in racy pasquinade--but Catherine, who might have
said anything, didn't say a word. She showed a surprising amount of
character about it too--looked at the coroner with determined eyes under
that corrected brow of hers and swore that her sister had never seen
Gatsby, that her sister was completely happy with her husband, that her
sister had been into no mischief whatever. She convinced herself of it
and cried into her handkerchief as if the very suggestion was more
than she could endure. So Wilson was reduced to a man "deranged by
grief" in order that the case might remain in its simplest form. And
it rested there.

But all this part of it seemed remote and unessential. I found myself on
Gatsby's side, and alone. From the moment I telephoned news of
the catastrophe to West Egg village, every surmise about him, and
every practical question, was referred to me. At first I was surprised and
confused; then, as he lay in his house and didn't move or breathe or
speak hour upon hour it grew upon me that I was responsible, because no
one else was interested--interested, I mean, with that intense personal
interest to which every one has some vague right at the end.

I called up Daisy half an hour after we found him, called her
instinctively and without hesitation. But she and Tom had gone away
early that afternoon, and taken baggage with them.

"Left no address?"

"No."

"Say when they'd be back?"

"No."

"Any idea where they are? How I could reach them?"

"I don't know. Can't say."

I wanted to get somebody for him. I wanted to go into the room where he
lay and reassure him: "I'll get somebody for you, Gatsby. Don't worry.
Just trust me and I'll get somebody for you----"

Meyer Wolfshiem's name wasn't in the phone book. The butler gave me his
office address on Broadway and I called Information, but by the time I
had the number it was long after five and no one answered the phone.

"Will you ring again?"

"I've rung them three times."

"It's very important."

"Sorry. I'm afraid no one's there."

I went back to the drawing room and thought for an instant that they were
chance visitors, all these official people who suddenly filled it. But
as they drew back the sheet and looked at Gatsby with unmoved eyes,
his protest continued in my brain.

"Look here, old sport, you've got to get somebody for me. You've got
to try hard. I can't go through this alone."

Some one started to ask me questions but I broke away and going upstairs
looked hastily through the unlocked parts of his desk--he'd never told me
definitely that his parents were dead. But there was nothing--only the
picture of Dan Cody, a token of forgotten violence staring down from
the wall.

Next morning I sent the butler to New York with a letter to Wolfshiem
which asked for information and urged him to come out on the next
train. That request seemed superfluous when I wrote it. I was sure he'd
start when he saw the newspapers, just as I was sure there'd be a wire
from Daisy before noon--but neither a wire nor Mr. Wolfshiem arrived, no
one arrived except more police and photographers and newspaper men.
When the butler brought back Wolfshiem's answer I began to have a
feeling of defiance, of scornful solidarity between Gatsby and me
against them all.


_Dear Mr. Carraway. This has been one of the most terrible shocks of my
life to me I hardly can believe it that it is true at all. Such a mad
act as that man did should make us all think. I cannot come down now as
I am tied up in some very important business and cannot get mixed up in
this thing now. If there is anything I can do a little later let me
know in a letter by Edgar. I hardly know where I am when I hear about a
thing like this and am completely knocked down and out.

                                        Yours truly
                                                      MEYER WOLFSHIEM_

and then hasty addenda beneath:

_Let me know about the funeral etc do not know his family at all._


When the phone rang that afternoon and Long Distance said Chicago was
calling I thought this would be Daisy at last. But the connection came
through as a man's voice, very thin and far away.

"This is Slagle speaking. . . ."

"Yes?" The name was unfamiliar.

"Hell of a note, isn't it? Get my wire?"

"There haven't been any wires."

"Young Parke's in trouble," he said rapidly. "They picked him up when he
handed the bonds over the counter. They got a circular from New York
giving 'em the numbers just five minutes before. What d'you know about
that, hey? You never can tell in these hick towns----"

"Hello!" I interrupted breathlessly. "Look here--this isn't Mr. Gatsby.
Mr. Gatsby's dead."

There was a long silence on the other end of the wire, followed by an
exclamation . . . then a quick squawk as the connection was broken.


I think it was on the third day that a telegram signed Henry C. Gatz
arrived from a town in Minnesota. It said only that the sender was
leaving immediately and to postpone the funeral until he came.

It was Gatsby's father, a solemn old man very helpless and dismayed,
bundled up in a long cheap ulster against the warm September day. His
eyes leaked continuously with excitement and when I took the bag and
umbrella from his hands he began to pull so incessantly at his sparse
grey beard that I had difficulty in getting off his coat. He was on the
point of collapse so I took him into the music room and made him sit
down while I sent for something to eat. But he wouldn't eat and the
glass of milk spilled from his trembling hand.

"I saw it in the Chicago newspaper," he said. "It was all in the Chicago
newspaper. I started right away."

"I didn't know how to reach you."

His eyes, seeing nothing, moved ceaselessly about the room.

"It was a mad man," he said. "He must have been mad."

"Wouldn't you like some coffee?" I urged him.

"I don't want anything. I'm all right now, Mr.----"

"Carraway."

"Well, I'm all right now. Where have they got Jimmy?"

I took him into the drawing-room, where his son lay, and left him there.
Some little boys had come up on the steps and were looking into the hall;
when I told them who had arrived they went reluctantly away.

After a little while Mr. Gatz opened the door and came out, his mouth
ajar, his face flushed slightly, his eyes leaking isolated and
unpunctual tears. He had reached an age where death no longer has the
quality of ghastly surprise, and when he looked around him now for the
first time and saw the height and splendor of the hall and the great
rooms opening out from it into other rooms his grief began to be mixed
with an awed pride. I helped him to a bedroom upstairs; while he took
off his coat and vest I told him that all arrangements had been
deferred until he came.

"I didn't know what you'd want, Mr. Gatsby----"

"Gatz is my name."

"--Mr. Gatz. I thought you might want to take the body west."

He shook his head.

"Jimmy always liked it better down East. He rose up to his position in
the East. Were you a friend of my boy's, Mr.--?"

"We were close friends."

"He had a big future before him, you know. He was only a young man but
he had a lot of brain power here."

He touched his head impressively and I nodded.

"If he'd of lived he'd of been a great man. A man like James J. Hill.
He'd of helped build up the country."

"That's true," I said, uncomfortably.

He fumbled at the embroidered coverlet, trying to take it from the bed,
and lay down stiffly--was instantly asleep.

That night an obviously frightened person called up and demanded to know
who I was before he would give his name.

"This is Mr. Carraway," I said.

"Oh--" He sounded relieved. "This is Klipspringer."

I was relieved too for that seemed to promise another friend
at Gatsby's grave. I didn't want it to be in the papers and draw
a sightseeing crowd so I'd been calling up a few people myself.
They were hard to find.

"The funeral's tomorrow," I said. "Three o'clock, here at the house.
I wish you'd tell anybody who'd be interested."

"Oh, I will," he broke out hastily. "Of course I'm not likely to see
anybody, but if I do."

His tone made me suspicious.

"Of course you'll be there yourself."

"Well, I'll certainly try. What I called up about is----"

"Wait a minute," I interrupted. "How about saying you'll come?"

"Well, the fact is--the truth of the matter is that I'm staying with
some people up here in Greenwich and they rather expect me to be with
them tomorrow. In fact there's a sort of picnic or something.
Of course I'll do my very best to get away."

I ejaculated an unrestrained "Huh!" and he must have heard me for he went
on nervously:

"What I called up about was a pair of shoes I left there. I wonder if
it'd be too much trouble to have the butler send them on. You
see they're tennis shoes and I'm sort of helpless without them. My
address is care of B. F.----"

I didn't hear the rest of the name because I hung up the receiver.

After that I felt a certain shame for Gatsby--one gentleman to whom I
telephoned implied that he had got what he deserved. However, that was
my fault, for he was one of those who used to sneer most bitterly at
Gatsby on the courage of Gatsby's liquor and I should have known
better than to call him.

The morning of the funeral I went up to New York to see Meyer
Wolfshiem; I couldn't seem to reach him any other way. The door that I
pushed open on the advice of an elevator boy was marked "The Swastika
Holding Company" and at first there didn't seem to be any one inside.
But when I'd shouted "Hello" several times in vain an argument broke
out behind a partition and presently a lovely Jewess appeared at an
interior door and scrutinized me with black hostile eyes.

"Nobody's in," she said. "Mr. Wolfshiem's gone to Chicago."

The first part of this was obviously untrue for someone had begun to
whistle "The Rosary," tunelessly, inside.

"Please say that Mr. Carraway wants to see him."

"I can't get him back from Chicago, can I?"

At this moment a voice, unmistakably Wolfshiem's called "Stella!"
from the other side of the door.

"Leave your name on the desk," she said quickly. "I'll give it to him
when he gets back."

"But I know he's there."

She took a step toward me and began to slide her hands indignantly up
and down her hips.

"You young men think you can force your way in here any time," she
scolded. "We're getting sickantired of it. When I say he's in Chicago,
he's in ChiCAgo."

I mentioned Gatsby.

"Oh--h!" She looked at me over again. "Will you just--what was your name?"

She vanished. In a moment Meyer Wolfshiem stood solemnly in the doorway,
holding out both hands. He drew me into his office, remarking in a
reverent voice that it was a sad time for all of us, and offered me
a cigar.

"My memory goes back to when I first met him," he said. "A young
major just out of the army and covered over with medals he got
in the war. He was so hard up he had to keep on wearing his uniform
because he couldn't buy some regular clothes. First time I saw him was
when he come into Winebrenner's poolroom at Forty-third Street and
asked for a job. He hadn't eat anything for a couple of days. 'Come on
have some lunch with me,' I sid. He ate more than four dollars' worth of
food in half an hour."

"Did you start him in business?" I inquired.

"Start him! I made him."

"Oh."

"I raised him up out of nothing, right out of the gutter. I saw right
away he was a fine appearing, gentlemanly young man, and when he told
me he was an Oggsford I knew I could use him good. I got him to join up
in the American Legion and he used to stand high there. Right off he
did some work for a client of mine up to Albany. We were so thick like
that in everything--" He held up two bulbous fingers "--always
together."

I wondered if this partnership had included the World's Series transaction
in 1919.

"Now he's dead," I said after a moment. "You were his closest friend,
so I know you'll want to come to his funeral this afternoon."

"I'd like to come."

"Well, come then."

The hair in his nostrils quivered slightly and as he shook his head his
eyes filled with tears.

"I can't do it--I can't get mixed up in it," he said.

"There's nothing to get mixed up in. It's all over now."

"When a man gets killed I never like to get mixed up in it in any way.
I keep out. When I was a young man it was different--if a friend of mine
died, no matter how, I stuck with them to the end. You may think that's
sentimental but I mean it--to the bitter end."

I saw that for some reason of his own he was determined not to come,
so I stood up.

"Are you a college man?" he inquired suddenly.

For a moment I thought he was going to suggest a "gonnegtion" but he
only nodded and shook my hand.

"Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not
after he is dead," he suggested. "After that my own rule is to let
everything alone."

When I left his office the sky had turned dark and I got back to West Egg
in a drizzle. After changing my clothes I went next door and found
Mr. Gatz walking up and down excitedly in the hall. His pride in his
son and in his son's possessions was continually increasing and now he
had something to show me.

"Jimmy sent me this picture." He took out his wallet with trembling
fingers. "Look there."

It was a photograph of the house, cracked in the corners and dirty with
many hands. He pointed out every detail to me eagerly. "Look there!" and
then sought admiration from my eyes. He had shown it so often that I think
it was more real to him now than the house itself.

"Jimmy sent it to me. I think it's a very pretty picture. It shows up
well."

"Very well. Had you seen him lately?"

"He come out to see me two years ago and bought me the house I live in
now. Of course we was broke up when he run off from home but I see now
there was a reason for it. He knew he had a big future in front of him.
And ever since he made a success he was very generous with me."

He seemed reluctant to put away the picture, held it for another minute,
lingeringly, before my eyes. Then he returned the wallet and pulled from
his pocket a ragged old copy of a book called "Hopalong Cassidy."

"Look here, this is a book he had when he was a boy. It just shows
you."

He opened it at the back cover and turned it around for me to see.
On the last fly-leaf was printed the word SCHEDULE, and the date
September 12th, 1906. And underneath:


Rise from bed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6.00       A.M.
Dumbbell exercise and wall-scaling . . . . . . 6.15-6.30   "
Study electricity, etc . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.15-8.15   "
Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.30-4.30  P.M.
Baseball and sports . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4.30-5.00   "
Practice elocution, poise and how to attain it 5.00-6.00   "
Study needed inventions . . . . . . . . . . .  7.00-9.00   "

                GENERAL RESOLVES

No wasting time at Shafters or [a name, indecipherable]
No more smokeing or chewing
Bath every other day
Read one improving book or magazine per week
Save $5.00 [crossed out] $3.00 per week
Be better to parents


"I come across this book by accident," said the old man. "It just shows
you, don't it?"

"It just shows you."

"Jimmy was bound to get ahead. He always had some resolves like this or
something. Do you notice what he's got about improving his mind? He was
always great for that. He told me I et like a hog once and I beat him
for it."

He was reluctant to close the book, reading each item aloud and then
looking eagerly at me. I think he rather expected me to copy down the
list for my own use.

A little before three the Lutheran minister arrived from Flushing and
I began to look involuntarily out the windows for other cars. So did
Gatsby's father. And as the time passed and the servants came in and
stood waiting in the hall, his eyes began to blink anxiously and he
spoke of the rain in a worried uncertain way. The minister glanced
several times at his watch so I took him aside and asked him to wait
for half an hour. But it wasn't any use. Nobody came.


About five o'clock our procession of three cars reached the cemetery
and stopped in a thick drizzle beside the gate--first a motor hearse,
horribly black and wet, then Mr. Gatz and the minister and I in the
limousine, and, a little later, four or five servants and the postman
from West Egg in Gatsby's station wagon, all wet to the skin. As we
started through the gate into the cemetery I heard a car stop and then
the sound of someone splashing after us over the soggy ground. I looked
around. It was the man with owl-eyed glasses whom I had found
marvelling over Gatsby's books in the library one night three months
before.

I'd never seen him since then. I don't know how he knew about the
funeral or even his name. The rain poured down his thick glasses and
he took them off and wiped them to see the protecting canvas unrolled
from Gatsby's grave.

I tried to think about Gatsby then for a moment but he was already too
far away and I could only remember, without resentment, that Daisy
hadn't sent a message or a flower. Dimly I heard someone murmur
"Blessed are the dead that the rain falls on," and then the owl-eyed
man said "Amen to that," in a brave voice.

We straggled down quickly through the rain to the cars. Owl-Eyes spoke
to me by the gate.

"I couldn't get to the house," he remarked.

"Neither could anybody else."

"Go on!" He started. "Why, my God! they used to go there by the
hundreds."

He took off his glasses and wiped them again outside and in.

"The poor son-of-a-bitch," he said.


One of my most vivid memories is of coming back west from prep school
and later from college at Christmas time. Those who went farther than
Chicago would gather in the old dim Union Station at six o'clock of a
December evening with a few Chicago friends already caught up into
their own holiday gayeties to bid them a hasty goodbye. I remember
the fur coats of the girls returning from Miss This or That's and
the chatter of frozen breath and the hands waving overhead as
we caught sight of old acquaintances and the matchings of invitations:
"Are you going to the Ordways'? the Herseys'? the Schultzes'?"
and the long green tickets clasped tight in our gloved hands.
And last the murky yellow cars of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul
Railroad looking cheerful as Christmas itself on the tracks beside
the gate.

When we pulled out into the winter night and the real snow, our snow,
began to stretch out beside us and twinkle against the windows, and the
dim lights of small Wisconsin stations moved by, a sharp wild brace
came suddenly into the air. We drew in deep breaths of it as we walked
back from dinner through the cold vestibules, unutterably aware of our
identity with this country for one strange hour before we melted
indistinguishably into it again.

That's my middle west--not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede
towns but the thrilling, returning trains of my youth and the street
lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly
wreaths thrown by lighted windows on the snow. I am part of that, a
little solemn with the feel of those long winters, a little complacent
from growing up in the Carraway house in a city where dwellings are
still called through decades by a family's name. I see now that this
has been a story of the West, after all--Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and
Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some
deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.

Even when the East excited me most, even when I was most keenly aware
of its superiority to the bored, sprawling, swollen towns beyond the
Ohio, with their interminable inquisitions which spared only the
children and the very old--even then it had always for me a quality of
distortion. West Egg especially still figures in my more fantastic
dreams. I see it as a night scene by El Greco: a hundred houses, at
once conventional and grotesque, crouching under a sullen, overhanging
sky and a lustreless moon. In the foreground four solemn men in dress
suits are walking along the sidewalk with a stretcher on which lies a
drunken woman in a white evening dress. Her hand, which dangles over
the side, sparkles cold with jewels. Gravely the men turn in at a
house--the wrong house. But no one knows the woman's name, and no one
cares.

After Gatsby's death the East was haunted for me like that, distorted
beyond my eyes' power of correction. So when the blue smoke of brittle
leaves was in the air and the wind blew the wet laundry stiff on the
line I decided to come back home.

There was one thing to be done before I left, an awkward, unpleasant
thing that perhaps had better have been let alone. But I wanted to
leave things in order and not just trust that obliging and indifferent
sea to sweep my refuse away. I saw Jordan Baker and talked over and
around what had happened to us together and what had happened
afterward to me, and she lay perfectly still listening in a big
chair.

She was dressed to play golf and I remember thinking she looked like a
good illustration, her chin raised a little, jauntily, her hair the
color of an autumn leaf, her face the same brown tint as the fingerless
glove on her knee. When I had finished she told me without comment that
she was engaged to another man. I doubted that though there were
several she could have married at a nod of her head but I pretended to
be surprised. For just a minute I wondered if I wasn't making a
mistake, then I thought it all over again quickly and got up to say
goodbye.

"Nevertheless you did throw me over," said Jordan suddenly. "You threw me
over on the telephone. I don't give a damn about you now but it was a
new experience for me and I felt a little dizzy for a while."

We shook hands.

"Oh, and do you remember--" she added, "----a conversation we had once
about driving a car?"

"Why--not exactly."

"You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver?
Well, I met another bad driver, didn't I? I mean it was careless of me
to make such a wrong guess. I thought you were rather an honest,
straightforward person. I thought it was your secret pride."

"I'm thirty," I said. "I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call
it honor."

She didn't answer. Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously
sorry, I turned away.


One afternoon late in October I saw Tom Buchanan. He was walking ahead
of me along Fifth Avenue in his alert, aggressive way, his hands out a
little from his body as if to fight off interference, his head moving
sharply here and there, adapting itself to his restless eyes. Just as I
slowed up to avoid overtaking him he stopped and began frowning into
the windows of a jewelry store. Suddenly he saw me and walked back
holding out his hand.

"What's the matter, Nick? Do you object to shaking hands with me?"

"Yes. You know what I think of you."

"You're crazy, Nick," he said quickly. "Crazy as hell. I don't know
what's the matter with you."

"Tom," I inquired, "what did you say to Wilson that afternoon?"

He stared at me without a word and I knew I had guessed right about
those missing hours. I started to turn away but he took a step after me
and grabbed my arm.

"I told him the truth," he said. "He came to the door while we were
getting ready to leave and when I sent down word that we weren't in he
tried to force his way upstairs. He was crazy enough to kill me if I
hadn't told him who owned the car. His hand was on a revolver in his
pocket every minute he was in the house----" He broke off defiantly.
"What if I did tell him? That fellow had it coming to him. He threw
dust into your eyes just like he did in Daisy's but he was a tough
one. He ran over Myrtle like you'd run over a dog and never even stopped
his car."

There was nothing I could say, except the one unutterable fact
that it wasn't true.

"And if you think I didn't have my share of suffering--look here, when I
went to give up that flat and saw that damn box of dog biscuits sitting
there on the sideboard I sat down and cried like a baby. By God it
was awful----"

I couldn't forgive him or like him but I saw that what he had done was,
to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused.
They were careless people, Tom and Daisy--they smashed up things and
creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast
carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other
people clean up the mess they had made. . . .

I shook hands with him; it seemed silly not to, for I felt suddenly as
though I were talking to a child. Then he went into the jewelry store to
buy a pearl necklace--or perhaps only a pair of cuff buttons--rid of my
provincial squeamishness forever.


Gatsby's house was still empty when I left--the grass on his lawn had
grown as long as mine. One of the taxi drivers in the village never
took a fare past the entrance gate without stopping for a minute and
pointing inside; perhaps it was he who drove Daisy and Gatsby over to
East Egg the night of the accident and perhaps he had made a story
about it all his own. I didn't want to hear it and I avoided him when I
got off the train.

I spent my Saturday nights in New York because those gleaming, dazzling
parties of his were with me so vividly that I could still hear the
music and the laughter faint and incessant from his garden and the
cars going up and down his drive. One night I did hear a material car
there and saw its lights stop at his front steps. But I didn't
investigate. Probably it was some final guest who had been away at the
ends of the earth and didn't know that the party was over.

On the last night, with my trunk packed and my car sold to the grocer,
I went over and looked at that huge incoherent failure of a house once
more. On the white steps an obscene word, scrawled by some boy with a
piece of brick, stood out clearly in the moonlight and I erased it,
drawing my shoe raspingly along the stone. Then I wandered down to the
beach and sprawled out on the sand.

Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any
lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound.
And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away
until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered
once for Dutch sailors' eyes--a fresh, green breast of the new world.
Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had
once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams;
for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the
presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation
he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in
history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.

And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of
Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of
Daisy's dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must
have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not
know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity
beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under
the night.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by
year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow
we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine
morning----

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into
the past.



THE END

Chapter 8



I couldn't sleep all night; a fog-horn was groaning incessantly on the
Sound, and I tossed half-sick between grotesque reality and savage
frightening dreams. Toward dawn I heard a taxi go up Gatsby's drive
and immediately I jumped out of bed and began to dress--I felt that I
had something to tell him, something to warn him about and morning
would be too late.

Crossing his lawn I saw that his front door was still open and he was
leaning against a table in the hall, heavy with dejection or sleep.

"Nothing happened," he said wanly. "I waited, and about four o'clock she
came to the window and stood there for a minute and then turned out
the light."

His house had never seemed so enormous to me as it did that night when we
hunted through the great rooms for cigarettes. We pushed aside curtains
that were like pavilions and felt over innumerable feet of dark wall for
electric light switches--once I tumbled with a sort of splash upon the
keys of a ghostly piano. There was an inexplicable amount of dust
everywhere and the rooms were musty as though they hadn't been aired for
many days. I found the humidor on an unfamiliar table with two stale dry
cigarettes inside. Throwing open the French windows of the
drawing-room we sat smoking out into the darkness.

"You ought to go away," I said. "It's pretty certain they'll trace
your car."

"Go away NOW, old sport?"

"Go to Atlantic City for a week, or up to Montreal."

He wouldn't consider it. He couldn't possibly leave Daisy until he knew
what she was going to do. He was clutching at some last hope and I
couldn't bear to shake him free.

It was this night that he told me the strange story of his youth with
Dan Cody--told it to me because "Jay Gatsby" had broken up like glass
against Tom's hard malice and the long secret extravaganza was played
out. I think that he would have acknowledged anything, now, without
reserve, but he wanted to talk about Daisy.

She was the first "nice" girl he had ever known. In various unrevealed
capacities he had come in contact with such people but always
with indiscernible barbed wire between. He found her excitingly
desirable. He went to her house, at first with other officers
from Camp Taylor, then alone. It amazed him--he had never been
in such a beautiful house before. But what gave it an air of breathless
intensity was that Daisy lived there--it was as casual a thing to her
as his tent out at camp was to him. There was a ripe mystery about it,
a hint of bedrooms upstairs more beautiful and cool than other
bedrooms, of gay and radiant activities taking place through its
corridors and of romances that were not musty and laid away already in
lavender but fresh and breathing and redolent of this year's shining
motor cars and of dances whose flowers were scarcely withered. It
excited him too that many men had already loved Daisy--it increased
her value in his eyes. He felt their presence all about the house,
pervading the air with the shades and echoes of still vibrant emotions.

But he knew that he was in Daisy's house by a colossal accident.
However glorious might be his future as Jay Gatsby, he was at present a
penniless young man without a past, and at any moment the invisible
cloak of his uniform might slip from his shoulders. So he made
the most of his time. He took what he could get, ravenously and
unscrupulously--eventually he took Daisy one still October night,
took her because he had no real right to touch her hand.

He might have despised himself, for he had certainly taken her under
false pretenses. I don't mean that he had traded on his phantom
millions, but he had deliberately given Daisy a sense of security; he
let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as
herself--that he was fully able to take care of her. As a matter of
fact he had no such facilities--he had no comfortable family standing
behind him and he was liable at the whim of an impersonal government
to be blown anywhere about the world.

But he didn't despise himself and it didn't turn out as he had
imagined. He had intended, probably, to take what he could and go--but
now he found that he had committed himself to the following of a grail.
He knew that Daisy was extraordinary but he didn't realize just how
extraordinary a "nice" girl could be. She vanished into her rich
house, into her rich, full life, leaving Gatsby--nothing. He felt
married to her, that was all.

When they met again two days later it was Gatsby who was breathless,
who was somehow betrayed. Her porch was bright with the bought
luxury of star-shine; the wicker of the settee squeaked fashionably
as she turned toward him and he kissed her curious and lovely mouth.
She had caught a cold and it made her voice huskier and more charming
than ever and Gatsby was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery
that wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes
and of Daisy, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot
struggles of the poor.


"I can't describe to you how surprised I was to find out I loved her,
old sport. I even hoped for a while that she'd throw me over, but she
didn't, because she was in love with me too. She thought I knew a lot
because I knew different things from her. . . . Well, there I was,
way off my ambitions, getting deeper in love every minute, and
all of a sudden I didn't care. What was the use of doing great
things if I could have a better time telling her what I was going
to do?"

On the last afternoon before he went abroad he sat with Daisy in
his arms for a long, silent time. It was a cold fall day with fire
in the room and her cheeks flushed. Now and then she moved and he
changed his arm a little and once he kissed her dark shining hair. The
afternoon had made them tranquil for a while as if to give them a deep
memory for the long parting the next day promised. They had never been
closer in their month of love nor communicated more profoundly one
with another than when she brushed silent lips against his coat's
shoulder or when he touched the end of her fingers, gently, as though
she were asleep.


He did extraordinarily well in the war. He was a captain before he went
to the front and following the Argonne battles he got his majority and
the command of the divisional machine guns. After the Armistice
he tried frantically to get home but some complication or
misunderstanding sent him to Oxford instead. He was worried now--there
was a quality of nervous despair in Daisy's letters. She didn't see why
he couldn't come. She was feeling the pressure of the world outside
and she wanted to see him and feel his presence beside her and be
reassured that she was doing the right thing after all.

For Daisy was young and her artificial world was redolent of orchids
and pleasant, cheerful snobbery and orchestras which set the rhythm of
the year, summing up the sadness and suggestiveness of life in new
tunes. All night the saxophones wailed the hopeless comment of the
"Beale Street Blues" while a hundred pairs of golden and silver
slippers shuffled the shining dust. At the grey tea hour there were
always rooms that throbbed incessantly with this low sweet fever,
while fresh faces drifted here and there like rose petals blown by the
sad horns around the floor.

Through this twilight universe Daisy began to move again with the
season; suddenly she was again keeping half a dozen dates a day with
half a dozen men and drowsing asleep at dawn with the beads and
chiffon of an evening dress tangled among dying orchids on the floor
beside her bed. And all the time something within her was crying for a
decision. She wanted her life shaped now, immediately--and the decision
must be made by some force--of love, of money, of unquestionable
practicality--that was close at hand.

That force took shape in the middle of spring with the arrival of Tom
Buchanan. There was a wholesome bulkiness about his person and his
position and Daisy was flattered. Doubtless there was a certain
struggle and a certain relief. The letter reached Gatsby while he was
still at Oxford.


It was dawn now on Long Island and we went about opening the rest of
the windows downstairs, filling the house with grey turning,
gold turning light. The shadow of a tree fell abruptly across the dew
and ghostly birds began to sing among the blue leaves. There was a
slow pleasant movement in the air, scarcely a wind, promising a cool
lovely day.

"I don't think she ever loved him." Gatsby turned around from a window
and looked at me challengingly. "You must remember, old sport, she was
very excited this afternoon. He told her those things in a way that
frightened her--that made it look as if I was some kind of cheap sharper.
And the result was she hardly knew what she was saying."

He sat down gloomily.

"Of course she might have loved him, just for a minute, when they were
first married--and loved me more even then, do you see?"

Suddenly he came out with a curious remark:

"In any case," he said, "it was just personal."

What could you make of that, except to suspect some intensity in
his conception of the affair that couldn't be measured?

He came back from France when Tom and Daisy were still on their wedding
trip, and made a miserable but irresistible journey to Louisville
on the last of his army pay. He stayed there a week, walking the
streets where their footsteps had clicked together through the
November night and revisiting the out-of-the-way places to which
they had driven in her white car. Just as Daisy's house had always
seemed to him more mysterious and gay than other houses so his
idea of the city itself, even though she was gone from it, was pervaded
with a melancholy beauty.

He left feeling that if he had searched harder he might have found
her--that he was leaving her behind. The day-coach--he was penniless
now--was hot. He went out to the open vestibule and sat down on a
folding-chair, and the station slid away and the backs of unfamiliar
buildings moved by. Then out into the spring fields, where a yellow
trolley raced them for a minute with people in it who might once have
seen the pale magic of her face along the casual street.

The track curved and now it was going away from the sun which, as it
sank lower, seemed to spread itself in benediction over the vanishing
city where she had drawn her breath. He stretched out his hand
desperately as if to snatch only a wisp of air, to save a fragment of
the spot that she had made lovely for him. But it was all going by too
fast now for his blurred eyes and he knew that he had lost that part of
it, the freshest and the best, forever.


It was nine o'clock when we finished breakfast and went out on the
porch. The night had made a sharp difference in the weather and there
was an autumn flavor in the air. The gardener, the last one of Gatsby's
former servants, came to the foot of the steps.

"I'm going to drain the pool today, Mr. Gatsby. Leaves'll start falling
pretty soon and then there's always trouble with the pipes."

"Don't do it today," Gatsby answered. He turned to me apologetically.
"You know, old sport, I've never used that pool all summer?"

I looked at my watch and stood up.

"Twelve minutes to my train."

I didn't want to go to the city. I wasn't worth a decent stroke of work
but it was more than that--I didn't want to leave Gatsby. I missed that
train, and then another, before I could get myself away.

"I'll call you up," I said finally.

"Do, old sport."

"I'll call you about noon."

We walked slowly down the steps.

"I suppose Daisy'll call too." He looked at me anxiously as if he
hoped I'd corroborate this.

"I suppose so."

"Well--goodbye."

We shook hands and I started away. Just before I reached the hedge I
remembered something and turned around.

"They're a rotten crowd," I shouted across the lawn. "You're worth the
whole damn bunch put together."

I've always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave
him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end. First he nodded
politely, and then his face broke into that radiant and understanding
smile, as if we'd been in ecstatic cahoots on that fact all the time.
His gorgeous pink rag of a suit made a bright spot of color against the
white steps and I thought of the night when I first came to his ancestral
home three months before. The lawn and drive had been crowded with the
faces of those who guessed at his corruption--and he had stood on those
steps, concealing his incorruptible dream, as he waved them goodbye.

I thanked him for his hospitality. We were always thanking him for
that--I and the others.

"Goodbye," I called. "I enjoyed breakfast, Gatsby."


Up in the city I tried for a while to list the quotations on an
interminable amount of stock, then I fell asleep in my swivel-chair.
Just before noon the phone woke me and I started up with sweat
breaking out on my forehead. It was Jordan Baker; she often called
me up at this hour because the uncertainty of her own movements
between hotels and clubs and private houses made her hard to find
in any other way. Usually her voice came over the wire as something
fresh and cool as if a divot from a green golf links had come
sailing in at the office window but this morning it seemed harsh and dry.

"I've left Daisy's house," she said. "I'm at Hempstead and I'm going down
to Southampton this afternoon."

Probably it had been tactful to leave Daisy's house, but the act
annoyed me and her next remark made me rigid.

"You weren't so nice to me last night."

"How could it have mattered then?"

Silence for a moment. Then--

"However--I want to see you."

"I want to see you too."

"Suppose I don't go to Southampton, and come into town this afternoon?"

"No--I don't think this afternoon."

"Very well."

"It's impossible this afternoon. Various----"

We talked like that for a while and then abruptly we weren't talking any
longer. I don't know which of us hung up with a sharp click but I know I
didn't care. I couldn't have talked to her across a tea-table that day if
I never talked to her again in this world.

I called Gatsby's house a few minutes later, but the line was busy. I
tried four times; finally an exasperated central told me the wire was
being kept open for long distance from Detroit. Taking out my
time-table I drew a small circle around the three-fifty train. Then I
leaned back in my chair and tried to think. It was just noon.


When I passed the ashheaps on the train that morning I had crossed
deliberately to the other side of the car. I suppose there'd be a
curious crowd around there all day with little boys searching for dark
spots in the dust and some garrulous man telling over and over what
had happened until it became less and less real even to him and he
could tell it no longer and Myrtle Wilson's tragic achievement was
forgotten. Now I want to go back a little and tell what happened at the
garage after we left there the night before.

They had difficulty in locating the sister, Catherine. She must
have broken her rule against drinking that night for when she
arrived she was stupid with liquor and unable to understand that the
ambulance had already gone to Flushing. When they convinced her of
this she immediately fainted as if that was the intolerable part of
the affair. Someone kind or curious took her in his car and drove
her in the wake of her sister's body.

Until long after midnight a changing crowd lapped up against the front
of the garage while George Wilson rocked himself back and forth on the
couch inside. For a while the door of the office was open and
everyone who came into the garage glanced irresistibly through it.
Finally someone said it was a shame and closed the door. Michaelis and
several other men were with him--first four or five men, later two or
three men. Still later Michaelis had to ask the last stranger to wait
there fifteen minutes longer while he went back to his own place and made
a pot of coffee. After that he stayed there alone with Wilson until dawn.

About three o'clock the quality of Wilson's incoherent muttering
changed--he grew quieter and began to talk about the yellow car. He
announced that he had a way of finding out whom the yellow car belonged
to, and then he blurted out that a couple of months ago his wife had
come from the city with her face bruised and her nose swollen.

But when he heard himself say this, he flinched and began to cry "Oh,
my God!" again in his groaning voice. Michaelis made a clumsy attempt
to distract him.

"How long have you been married, George? Come on there, try and sit
still a minute and answer my question. How long have you been married?"

"Twelve years."

"Ever had any children? Come on, George, sit still--I asked you a
question. Did you ever have any children?"

The hard brown beetles kept thudding against the dull light and whenever
Michaelis heard a car go tearing along the road outside it sounded to him
like the car that hadn't stopped a few hours before. He didn't like to go
into the garage because the work bench was stained where the body had
been lying so he moved uncomfortably around the office--he knew every
object in it before morning--and from time to time sat down beside Wilson
trying to keep him more quiet.

"Have you got a church you go to sometimes, George? Maybe even if you
haven't been there for a long time? Maybe I could call up the church
and get a priest to come over and he could talk to you, see?"

"Don't belong to any."

"You ought to have a church, George, for times like this. You must have
gone to church once. Didn't you get married in a church? Listen, George,
listen to me. Didn't you get married in a church?"

"That was a long time ago."

The effort of answering broke the rhythm of his rocking--for a moment he
was silent. Then the same half knowing, half bewildered look came back
into his faded eyes.

"Look in the drawer there," he said, pointing at the desk.

"Which drawer?"

"That drawer--that one."

Michaelis opened the drawer nearest his hand. There was nothing in it but
a small expensive dog leash made of leather and braided silver. It was
apparently new.

"This?" he inquired, holding it up.

Wilson stared and nodded.

"I found it yesterday afternoon. She tried to tell me about it but I
knew it was something funny."

"You mean your wife bought it?"

"She had it wrapped in tissue paper on her bureau."

Michaelis didn't see anything odd in that and he gave Wilson a dozen
reasons why his wife might have bought the dog leash. But conceivably
Wilson had heard some of these same explanations before, from Myrtle,
because he began saying "Oh, my God!" again in a whisper--his comforter
left several explanations in the air.

"Then he killed her," said Wilson. His mouth dropped open suddenly.

"Who did?"

"I have a way of finding out."

"You're morbid, George," said his friend. "This has been a strain to you
and you don't know what you're saying. You'd better try and sit quiet
till morning."

"He murdered her."

"It was an accident, George."

Wilson shook his head. His eyes narrowed and his mouth widened slightly
with the ghost of a superior "Hm!"

"I know," he said definitely, "I'm one of these trusting fellas and I
don't think any harm to NObody, but when I get to know a thing I know
it. It was the man in that car. She ran out to speak to him and he
wouldn't stop."

Michaelis had seen this too but it hadn't occurred to him that there was
any special significance in it. He believed that Mrs. Wilson had been
running away from her husband, rather than trying to stop any
particular car.

"How could she of been like that?"

"She's a deep one," said Wilson, as if that answered the question.
"Ah-h-h----"

He began to rock again and Michaelis stood twisting the leash in
his hand.

"Maybe you got some friend that I could telephone for, George?"

This was a forlorn hope--he was almost sure that Wilson had no friend:
there was not enough of him for his wife. He was glad a little later when
he noticed a change in the room, a blue quickening by the window, and
realized that dawn wasn't far off. About five o'clock it was blue enough
outside to snap off the light.

Wilson's glazed eyes turned out to the ashheaps, where small grey
clouds took on fantastic shape and scurried here and there in the faint
dawn wind.

"I spoke to her," he muttered, after a long silence. "I told her she might
fool me but she couldn't fool God. I took her to the window--" With an
effort he got up and walked to the rear window and leaned with his face
pressed against it, "--and I said 'God knows what you've been doing,
everything you've been doing. You may fool me but you can't fool God!' "

Standing behind him Michaelis saw with a shock that he was looking at the
eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg which had just emerged pale and enormous
from the dissolving night.

"God sees everything," repeated Wilson.

"That's an advertisement," Michaelis assured him. Something made him turn
away from the window and look back into the room. But Wilson stood there a
long time, his face close to the window pane, nodding into the twilight.


By six o'clock Michaelis was worn out and grateful for the sound of a
car stopping outside. It was one of the watchers of the night before
who had promised to come back so he cooked breakfast for three which
he and the other man ate together. Wilson was quieter now and Michaelis
went home to sleep; when he awoke four hours later and hurried back to the
garage Wilson was gone.

His movements--he was on foot all the time--were afterward traced to Port
Roosevelt and then to Gad's Hill where he bought a sandwich that he
didn't eat and a cup of coffee. He must have been tired and walking
slowly for he didn't reach Gad's Hill until noon. Thus far there was
no difficulty in accounting for his time--there were boys who had seen a
man "acting sort of crazy" and motorists at whom he stared oddly from
the side of the road. Then for three hours he disappeared from view.
The police, on the strength of what he said to Michaelis, that he "had
a way of finding out," supposed that he spent that time going from
garage to garage thereabouts inquiring for a yellow car. On the other
hand no garage man who had seen him ever came forward--and perhaps he
had an easier, surer way of finding out what he wanted to know. By
half past two he was in West Egg where he asked someone the way to
Gatsby's house. So by that time he knew Gatsby's name.


At two o'clock Gatsby put on his bathing suit and left word with the
butler that if any one phoned word was to be brought to him at the
pool. He stopped at the garage for a pneumatic mattress that had amused
his guests during the summer, and the chauffeur helped him pump it up.
Then he gave instructions that the open car wasn't to be taken out
under any circumstances--and this was strange because the front right
fender needed repair.

Gatsby shouldered the mattress and started for the pool. Once he
stopped and shifted it a little, and the chauffeur asked him if he
needed help, but he shook his head and in a moment disappeared among
the yellowing trees.

No telephone message arrived but the butler went without his sleep and
waited for it until four o'clock--until long after there was any one to
give it to if it came. I have an idea that Gatsby himself didn't
believe it would come and perhaps he no longer cared. If that was true
he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high
price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up
at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he
found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was
upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being
real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted
fortuitously about . . . like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward
him through the amorphous trees.

The chauffeur--he was one of Wolfshiem's protégés--heard the
shots--afterward he could only say that he hadn't thought anything much
about them. I drove from the station directly to Gatsby's house and my
rushing anxiously up the front steps was the first thing that alarmed any
one. But they knew then, I firmly believe. With scarcely a word said, four
of us, the chauffeur, butler, gardener and I, hurried down to the pool.

There was a faint, barely perceptible movement of the water as the
fresh flow from one end urged its way toward the drain at the other.
With little ripples that were hardly the shadows of waves, the laden
mattress moved irregularly down the pool. A small gust of wind that
scarcely corrugated the surface was enough to disturb its accidental
course with its accidental burden. The touch of a cluster of leaves
revolved it slowly, tracing, like the leg of compass, a thin red circle
in the water.

It was after we started with Gatsby toward the house that the gardener
saw Wilson's body a little way off in the grass, and the holocaust was
complete.