On Sunday morning while church bells rang in the villages along shorethe world and its mistress returned to Gatsby's house and twinkledhilariously on his lawn.
"He's a bootlegger," said the young ladies, moving somewhere betweenhis cocktails and his flowers. "One time he killed a man who had found outthat 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 crystalglass."
Once I wrote down on the empty spaces of a time-table the namesof those who came to Gatsby's house that summer. It is an old time-tablenow, disintegrating at its folds and headed "This schedule in effectJuly 5th, 1922." But I can still read the grey names and they will giveyou a better impression than my generalities of those who acceptedGatsby's hospitality and paid him the subtle tribute of knowing nothingwhatever about him.
From East Egg, then, came the Chester Beckers and the Leeches and aman named Bunsen whom I knew at Yale and Doctor Webster Civet whowas drowned last summer up in Maine. And the Hornbeams and the WillieVoltaires and a whole clan named Blackbuck who always gathered in acorner 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 turnedcotton-white one winter afternoon for no good reason at all.
Clarence Endive was from East Egg, as I remember. He came onlyonce, in white knickerbockers, and had a fight with a bum namedEtty in the garden. From farther out on the Island came the Cheadlesand the O. R. P. Schraeders and the Stonewall Jackson Abrams ofGeorgia and the Fishguards and the Ripley Snells. Snell was therethree days before he went to the penitentiary, so drunk out on thegravel drive that Mrs. Ulysses Swett's automobile ran over his righthand. The Dancies came too and S. B. Whitebait, who was well oversixty, and Maurice A. Flink and the Hammerheads and Beluga thetobacco importer and Beluga's girls.
From West Egg came the Poles and the Mulreadys and Cecil Roebuck andCecil Schoen and Gulick the state senator and Newton Orchid whocontrolled Films Par Excellence and Eckhaust and Clyde Cohen and DonS. Schwartze (the son) and Arthur McCarty, all connected with themovies 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 togamble and when Ferret wandered into the garden it meant he wascleaned out and Associated Traction would have to fluctuate profitablynext day.
A man named Klipspringer was there so often and so long that he becameknown as "the boarder"--I doubt if he had any other home. Of theatricalpeople there were Gus Waize and Horace O'Donavan and Lester Meyer andGeorge Duckweed and Francis Bull. Also from New York were the Chromesand the Backhyssons and the Dennickers and Russel Betty and theCorrigans and the Kellehers and the Dewars and the Scullys and S. W.Belcher and the Smirkes and the young Quinns, divorced now, and HenryL. Palmetto who killed himself by jumping in front of a subway trainin Times Square.
Benny McClenahan arrived always with four girls. They were never quitethe same ones in physical person but they were so identical one withanother that it inevitably seemed they had been there before. I haveforgotten their names--Jaqueline, I think, or else Consuela or Gloriaor Judy or June, and their last names were either the melodious namesof flowers and months or the sterner ones of the great Americancapitalists whose cousins, if pressed, they would confess themselves tobe.
In addition to all these I can remember that Faustina O'Brien camethere at least once and the Baedeker girls and young Brewer who hadhis nose shot off in the war and Mr. Albrucksburger and Miss Haag, hisfiancée, and Ardita Fitz-Peters, and Mr. P. Jewett, once head of theAmerican Legion, and Miss Claudia Hip with a man reputed to be herchauffeur, 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 carlurched up the rocky drive to my door and gave out a burst of melodyfrom its three noted horn. It was the first time he had called on methough 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 today and Ithought we'd ride up together."
He was balancing himself on the dashboard of his car with thatresourcefulness of movement that is so peculiarly American--that comes,I suppose, with the absence of lifting work or rigid sitting in youthand, even more, with the formless grace of our nervous, sporadic games.This quality was continually breaking through his punctilious manner inthe shape of restlessness. He was never quite still; there was always atapping 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 betterview. "Haven't you ever seen it before?"
I'd seen it. Everybody had seen it. It was a rich cream color, brightwith nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length withtriumphant hatboxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with alabyrinth of windshields that mirrored a dozen suns. Sitting down behindmany layers of glass in a sort of green leather conservatory we startedto town.
I had talked with him perhaps half a dozen times in the past month andfound, to my disappointment, that he had little to say. So my firstimpression, that he was a person of some undefined consequence, hadgradually faded and he had become simply the proprietor of an elaborateroadhouse next door.
And then came that disconcerting ride. We hadn't reached West Eggvillage before Gatsby began leaving his elegant sentences unfinishedand slapping himself indecisively on the knee of his caramel-coloredsuit.
"Look here, old sport," he broke out surprisingly. "What's your opinionof me, anyhow?"
A little overwhelmed, I began the generalized evasions whichthat 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 youhear."
So he was aware of the bizarre accusations that flavored conversation inhis halls.
"I'll tell you God's truth." His right hand suddenly ordered divineretribution to stand by. "I am the son of some wealthy people in themiddle-west--all dead now. I was brought up in America but educated atOxford 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 waslying. He hurried the phrase "educated at Oxford," or swallowed it orchoked on it as though it had bothered him before. And with this doubthis whole statement fell to pieces and I wondered if there wasn'tsomething a little sinister about him after all.
"What part of the middle-west?" I inquired casually.
"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 clanstill haunted him. For a moment I suspected that he was pulling my legbut a glance at him convinced me otherwise.
"After that I lived like a young rajah in all the capitals ofEurope--Paris, Venice, Rome--collecting jewels, chiefly rubies, huntingbig game, painting a little, things for myself only, and trying toforget something very sad that had happened to me long ago."
With an effort I managed to restrain my incredulous laughter. The veryphrases were worn so threadbare that they evoked no image except that of aturbaned "character" leaking sawdust at every pore as he pursued atiger through the Bois de Boulogne.
"Then came the war, old sport. It was a great relief and I tried veryhard to die but I seemed to bear an enchanted life. I accepted acommission as first lieutenant when it began. In the Argonne Forest Itook two machine-gun detachments so far forward that there was a halfmile gap on either side of us where the infantry couldn't advance. Westayed there two days and two nights, a hundred and thirty men withsixteen Lewis guns, and when the infantry came up at last they foundthe insignia of three German divisions among the piles of dead. I waspromoted to be a major and every Allied government gave me adecoration--even Montenegro, little Montenegro down on the AdriaticSea!"
Little Montenegro! He lifted up the words and nodded at them--withhis smile. The smile comprehended Montenegro's troubled history andsympathized with the brave struggles of the Montenegrin people. Itappreciated fully the chain of national circumstances which hadelicited this tribute from Montenegro's warm little heart. Myincredulity was submerged in fascination now; it was like skimminghastily through a dozen magazines.
He reached in his pocket and a piece of metal, slung on a ribbon, fellinto 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_.
_Major Jay Gatsby_, I read, _For Valour Extraordinary_.
"Here's another thing I always carry. A souvenir of Oxford days. It wastaken in Trinity Quad--the man on my left is now the Earl of Dorcaster."
It was a photograph of half a dozen young men in blazers loafing in anarchway 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 palaceon the Grand Canal; I saw him opening a chest of rubies to ease, withtheir crimson-lighted depths, the gnawings of his broken heart.
"I'm going to make a big request of you today," he said, pocketing hissouvenirs with satisfaction, "so I thought you ought to know somethingabout 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 theretrying to forget the sad thing that happened to me." He hesitated."You'll hear about it this afternoon."
"No, this afternoon. I happened to find out that you're taking Miss Bakerto tea."
"Do you mean you're in love with Miss Baker?"
"No, old sport, I'm not. But Miss Baker has kindly consented to speakto you about this matter."
I hadn't the faintest idea what "this matter" was, but I was moreannoyed than interested. I hadn't asked Jordan to tea in order to discussMr. Jay Gatsby. I was sure the request would be something utterlyfantastic and for a moment I was sorry I'd ever set foot upon hisoverpopulated lawn.
He wouldn't say another word. His correctness grew on him as we nearedthe city. We passed Port Roosevelt, where there was a glimpse ofred-belted ocean-going ships, and sped along a cobbled slum lined withthe dark, undeserted saloons of the faded gilt nineteen-hundreds. Thenthe valley of ashes opened out on both sides of us, and I had a glimpseof Mrs. Wilson straining at the garage pump with panting vitality as wewent by.
With fenders spread like wings we scattered light through halfAstoria--only half, for as we twisted among the pillars of theelevated I heard the familiar "jug--jug--SPAT!" of a motor cycle, and afrantic policeman rode alongside.
"All right, old sport," called Gatsby. We slowed down. Taking a whitecard from his wallet he waved it before the man's eyes.
"Right you are," agreed the policeman, tipping his cap. "Know you nexttime, 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 aChristmas card every year."
Over the great bridge, with the sunlight through the girders making aconstant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across theriver in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out ofnon-olfactory money. The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is alwaysthe city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all themystery and the beauty in the world.
A dead man passed us in a hearse heaped with blooms, followed by twocarriages with drawn blinds and by more cheerful carriages forfriends. The friends looked out at us with the tragic eyes and shortupper lips of south-eastern Europe, and I was glad that the sight ofGatsby's splendid car was included in their somber holiday. As wecrossed Blackwell's Island a limousine passed us, driven by a whitechauffeur, in which sat three modish Negroes, two bucks and a girl. Ilaughed aloud as the yolks of their eyeballs rolled toward us inhaughty 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 Gatsbyfor lunch. Blinking away the brightness of the street outside my eyespicked him out obscurely in the anteroom, talking to another man.
"Mr. Carraway this is my friend Mr. Wolfshiem."
A small, flat-nosed Jew raised his large head and regarded me with twofine growths of hair which luxuriated in either nostril. After a moment Idiscovered his tiny eyes in the half darkness.
"--so I took one look at him--" said Mr. Wolfshiem, shaking my handearnestly, "--and what do you think I did?"
"What?" I inquired politely.
But evidently he was not addressing me for he dropped my hand andcovered 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 andthere."
Gatsby took an arm of each of us and moved forward into therestaurant whereupon Mr. Wolfshiem swallowed a new sentence he wasstarting and lapsed into a somnambulatory abstraction.
"Highballs?" asked the head waiter.
"This is a nice restaurant here," said Mr. Wolfshiem looking at thePresbyterian nymphs on the ceiling. "But I like across the street better!"
"Yes, highballs," agreed Gatsby, and then to Mr. Wolfshiem: "It's too hotover there."
"Hot and small--yes," said Mr. Wolfshiem, "but full of memories."
"What place is that?" I asked.
"The old Metropole.
"The old Metropole," brooded Mr. Wolfshiem gloomily. "Filled with facesdead and gone. Filled with friends gone now forever. I can't forget solong as I live the night they shot Rosy Rosenthal there. It was six of usat the table and Rosy had eat and drunk a lot all evening. When it wasalmost morning the waiter came up to him with a funny look and sayssomebody wants to speak to him outside. 'All right,' says Rosy and beginsto 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 blindswe'd of seen daylight."
"Did he go?" I asked innocently.
"Sure he went,"--Mr. Wolfshiem's nose flashed at me indignantly--"Heturned around in the door and says, 'Don't let that waiter take awaymy coffee!' Then he went out on the sidewalk and they shot himthree 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 answeredfor me:
"Oh, no," he exclaimed, "this isn't the man!"
"No?" Mr. Wolfshiem seemed disappointed.
"This is just a friend. I told you we'd talk about that some othertime."
"I beg your pardon," said Mr. Wolfshiem, "I had a wrong man."
A succulent hash arrived, and Mr. Wolfshiem, forgetting the moresentimental atmosphere of the old Metropole, began to eat withferocious delicacy. His eyes, meanwhile, roved very slowly all around theroom--he completed the arc by turning to inspect the people directlybehind. I think that, except for my presence, he would have taken oneshort glance beneath our own table.
"Look here, old sport," said Gatsby, leaning toward me, "I'm afraid Imade 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 youwon't come out frankly and tell me what you want. Why has it all got tocome through Miss Baker?"
"Oh, it's nothing underhand," he assured me. "Miss Baker's a greatsportswoman, 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 roomleaving me with Mr. Wolfshiem at the table.
"He has to telephone," said Mr. Wolfshiem, following him with his eyes."Fine fellow, isn't he? Handsome to look at and a perfect gentleman."
"He's an Oggsford man."
"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 ofhis acquaintance just after the war. But I knew I had discovered a man offine breeding after I talked with him an hour. I said to myself: 'There'sthe kind of man you'd like to take home and introduce to your mother andsister.' " 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 ofoddly 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 verycareful 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 satdown Mr. Wolfshiem 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 youtwo young men before I outstay my welcome."
"Don't hurry, Meyer," said Gatsby, without enthusiasm. Mr. Wolfshiemraised his hand in a sort of benediction.
"You're very polite but I belong to another generation," he announcedsolemnly. "You sit here and discuss your sports and your young ladies andyour----" He supplied an imaginary noun with another wave of hishand--"As for me, I am fifty years old, and I won't impose myselfon 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 ofhis sentimental days. He's quite a character around New York--a denizen ofBroadway."
"Who is he anyhow--an actor?"
"Meyer Wolfshiem? No, he's a gambler." Gatsby hesitated, then addedcoolly: "He's the man who fixed the World's Series back in 1919."
"Fixed the World's Series?" I repeated.
The idea staggered me. I remembered of course that the World's Serieshad been fixed in 1919 but if I had thought of it at all I would havethought of it as a thing that merely HAPPENED, the end of someinevitable chain. It never occurred to me that one man could start toplay with the faith of fifty million people--with the single-mindednessof 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 caughtsight of Tom Buchanan across the crowded room.
"Come along with me for a minute," I said. "I've got to say helloto someone."
When he saw us Tom jumped up and took half a dozen steps in ourdirection.
"Where've you been?" he demanded eagerly. "Daisy's furious because youhaven't called up."
"This is Mr. Gatsby, Mr. Buchanan."
They shook hands briefly and a strained, unfamiliar look of embarrassmentcame over Gatsby's face.
"How've you been, anyhow?" demanded Tom of me. "How'd you happen to comeup 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 straightchair in the tea-garden at the Plaza Hotel)--I was walking along from one place to another half on the sidewalks andhalf on the lawns. I was happier on the lawns because I had on shoes fromEngland 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 andwhenever this happened the red, white and blue banners in front of allthe houses stretched out stiff and said TUT-TUT-TUT-TUT in a disapprovingway.
The largest of the banners and the largest of the lawns belonged toDaisy Fay's house. She was just eighteen, two years older than me, andby far the most popular of all the young girls in Louisville. Shedressed in white, and had a little white roadster and all day longthe telephone rang in her house and excited young officers from CampTaylor demanded the privilege of monopolizing her that night, "anyways,for an hour!"
When I came opposite her house that morning her white roadster was besidethe curb, and she was sitting in it with a lieutenant I had never seenbefore. They were so engrossed in each other that she didn't see me untilI 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 oldergirls I admired her most. She asked me if I was going to the Red Cross andmake bandages. I was. Well, then, would I tell them that she couldn't comethat day? The officer looked at Daisy while she was speaking, in a waythat every young girl wants to be looked at sometime, and because itseemed romantic to me I have remembered the incident ever since. His namewas Jay Gatsby and I didn't lay eyes on him again for over fouryears--even after I'd met him on Long Island I didn't realize it was thesame 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 herpacking her bag one winter night to go to New York and say goodbye to asoldier who was going overseas. She was effectually prevented, but shewasn't on speaking terms with her family for several weeks. Afterthat she didn't play around with the soldiers any more but onlywith a few flat-footed, short-sighted young men in town who couldn'tget into the army at all.
By the next autumn she was gay again, gay as ever. She had a debutafter the Armistice, and in February she was presumably engaged to aman from New Orleans. In June she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago withmore pomp and circumstance than Louisville ever knew before. He camedown with a hundred people in four private cars and hired a wholefloor of the Seelbach Hotel, and the day before the wedding he gave hera string of pearls valued at three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
I was bridesmaid. I came into her room half an hour before the bridaldinner, and found her lying on her bed as lovely as the June night inher flowered dress--and as drunk as a monkey. She had a bottle ofsauterne in one hand and a letter in the other.
" 'Gratulate me," she muttered. "Never had a drink before but oh, how I doenjoy it."
"What's the matter, Daisy?"
I was scared, I can tell you; I'd never seen a girl like that before.
"Here, dearis." She groped around in a waste-basket she had with heron the bed and pulled out the string of pearls. "Take 'em downstairs andgive 'em back to whoever they belong to. Tell 'em all Daisy's change' hermine. Say 'Daisy's change' her mine!'."
She began to cry--she cried and cried. I rushed out and found hermother's maid and we locked the door and got her into a cold bath. Shewouldn't let go of the letter. She took it into the tub with her andsqueezed it up into a wet ball, and only let me leave it in thesoap 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 putice on her forehead and hooked her back into her dress and half anhour later when we walked out of the room the pearls were around herneck and the incident was over. Next day at five o'clock she married TomBuchanan 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'dnever seen a girl so mad about her husband. If he left the room for aminute she'd look around uneasily and say "Where's Tom gone?" andwear the most abstracted expression until she saw him coming in thedoor. She used to sit on the sand with his head in her lap by the hourrubbing her fingers over his eyes and looking at him with unfathomabledelight. It was touching to see them together--it made you laugh in ahushed, fascinated way. That was in August. A week after I left SantaBarbara Tom ran into a wagon on the Ventura road one night and rippeda front wheel off his car. The girl who was with him got into thepapers too because her arm was broken--she was one of the chambermaidsin the Santa Barbara Hotel.
The next April Daisy had her little girl and they went to France for ayear. I saw them one spring in Cannes and later in Deauville and thenthey 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 richand wild, but she came out with an absolutely perfect reputation.Perhaps because she doesn't drink. It's a great advantage not to drinkamong hard-drinking people. You can hold your tongue and, moreover,you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody elseis so blind that they don't see or care. Perhaps Daisy never went infor 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 timein years. It was when I asked you--do you remember?--if you knew Gatsbyin West Egg. After you had gone home she came into my room and woke meup, and said "What Gatsby?" and when I described him--I was halfasleep--she said in the strangest voice that it must be the man she usedto know. It wasn't until then that I connected this Gatsby with theofficer in her white car.
When Jordan Baker had finished telling all this we had left the Plazafor 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 inthe West Fifties and the clear voices of girls, already gathered likecrickets on the grass, rose through the hot twilight:
"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."
"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 aspiredon that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from thewomb of his purposeless splendor.
"He wants to know--" continued Jordan "--if you'll invite Daisy to yourhouse some afternoon and then let him come over."
The modesty of the demand shook me. He had waited five years and bought amansion 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 rightnext door."
"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 askingpeople 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 haveheard the elaborate way he worked up to it. Of course, I immediatelysuggested 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 tosee her right next door.'
"When I said you were a particular friend of Tom's he started to abandonthe whole idea. He doesn't know very much about Tom, though he says he'sread a Chicago paper for years just on the chance of catching a glimpseof Daisy's name."
It was dark now, and as we dipped under a little bridge I put my armaround Jordan's golden shoulder and drew her toward me and asked her todinner. Suddenly I wasn't thinking of Daisy and Gatsby any more but ofthis clean, hard, limited person who dealt in universal skepticism andwho leaned back jauntily just within the circle of my arm. A phrase beganto beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: "There are only thepursued, 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'rejust supposed to invite her to tea."
We passed a barrier of dark trees, and then the facade of Fifty-ninthStreet, a block of delicate pale light, beamed down into the park.Unlike Gatsby and Tom Buchanan I had no girl whose disembodied facefloated along the dark cornices and blinding signs and so I drew up thegirl beside me, tightening my arms. Her wan, scornful mouth smiled and soI drew her up again, closer, this time to my face.