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The Great Gatsby - Planet eBook

The Great Gatsby - Planet eBook

the lost Swede towns but

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 1 The Great Gatsby

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 an- Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com 1

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    The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzge

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    Chapter 1 I n my younger and more v

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    aways are something of a clan and w

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    It was a matter of chance that I sh

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    And so it happened that on a warm w

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    the whip and snap of the curtains a

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    ‘What you doing, Nick?’ ‘I’

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    Before I could answer her eyes fast

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    cally. ‘It’s about the butler

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    or White Star Line. He’s singing

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    attention, my belief, I felt the ba

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    ‘Did I?’ She looked at me. ‘I

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    ished, and I was alone again in the

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    emn dumping ground. The valley of a

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    ut there was an immediately percept

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    The man peered doubtfully into the

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    in the saucer of milk all afternoon

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    ‘I like your dress,’ remarked M

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    ‘Ask Myrtle,’ said Tom, breakin

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    I was crazy about him? I never was

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    photograph of a man of action. Taki

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    Chapter 3 T here was music from my

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    ecome for a sharp, joyous moment th

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    unnaturally loud across the garden.

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    necessary to whisper about in this

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    somewhere last night. I’ve been d

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    ‘I thought you knew, old sport. I

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    a big sensation.’ He smiled with

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    der by dissension. One of the men w

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    illuminated a bizarre and tumultuou

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    At least a dozen men, some of them

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    theatre district, I felt a sinking

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    them: ‘Love, Nick,’ and all I c

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    Auerbach and Mr. Chrystie’s wife)

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    out a burst of melody from its thre

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    ‘I see.’ ‘My family all died

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    ought to know something about me. I

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    lar I met Gatsby for lunch. Blinkin

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    other time.’ ‘I beg your pardon

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    fifty years old, and I won’t impo

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    lor demanded the privilege of monop

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    took it into the tub with her and s

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    ‘Why not?’ ‘Gatsby bought tha

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    Chapter 5 W hen I came home to West

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    happens to be a rather confidential

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    taking place outside. Finally he go

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    momentarily at me and his lips part

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    their roofs thatched with straw. Pe

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    ‘Oh, I’ve been in several thing

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    an inconceivable pitch of intensity

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    of a small town….’ He rang off.

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    IN BETWEEN TIME—— As I went ove

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    he saw Dan Cody’s yacht drop anch

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    had been coasting along all too hos

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    habit who had been there previously

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    my car. Excuse me for just a minute

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    ‘Mrs. Buchanan … and Mr. Buchan

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    standing with Daisy and watching th

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    of that year, was drifting out the

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    they came to a place where there we

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    village was that the new people wer

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    ‘We can’t move,’ they said to

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    ‘She doesn’t look like her fath

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    innocently. ‘You know the adverti

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    sy looked at Tom frowning and an in

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    ‘I’m sick,’ said Wilson witho

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    sciousness of being observed and on

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    turning around. ‘There aren’t a

  • Page 137 and 138: him. He was a friend of Daisy’s.
  • Page 139 and 140: white.’ Flushed with his impassio
  • Page 141 and 142: ing scorn: ‘Do you know why we le
  • Page 143 and 144: that bunch that hangs around with M
  • Page 145 and 146: ‘Nick?’ He asked again. ‘What
  • Page 147 and 148: The ‘death car’ as the newspape
  • Page 149 and 150: Presently Tom lifted his head with
  • Page 151 and 152: Some dim impulse moved the policema
  • Page 153 and 154: I hadn’t gone twenty yards when I
  • Page 155 and 156: out that Daisy had been driving. He
  • Page 157 and 158: Chapter 8 I couldn’t sleep all ni
  • Page 159 and 160: value in his eyes. He felt their pr
  • Page 161 and 162: efore he went to the front and foll
  • Page 163 and 164: sistible journey to Louisville on t
  • Page 165 and 166: geous pink rag of a suit made a bri
  • Page 167 and 168: ing. When they convinced her of thi
  • Page 169 and 170: ‘This?’ he inquired, holding it
  • Page 171 and 172: ‘That’s an advertisement,’ Mi
  • Page 173 and 174: up the front steps was the first th
  • Page 175 and 176: than she could endure. So Wilson wa
  • Page 177 and 178: Dear Mr. Carraway. This has been on
  • Page 179 and 180: I took him into the drawing-room, w
  • Page 181 and 182: less without them. My address is ca
  • Page 183 and 184: some work for a client of mine up t
  • Page 185 and 186: Rise from bed … … … … ….
  • Page 187: ‘Neither could anybody else.’
  • Page 191 and 192: crazy enough to kill me if I hadn
  • Page 193: this continent, compelled into an a
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