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Daisy Comes to Tea

It was nearly two o'clock in the morning when I got home. For a moment, I thought my house was on fire. Then I saw that all the lights were on in Gatsby's house. But everything was silent. There was no music and no happy laughter.

As I stood there, Gatsby walked across the lawn towards me.

'I thought it was a party,' I said.

'No, I'm all alone, old sport. Why not come for a drive in my car?'

'It's too late.'

'Well, what about a swim? I haven't used the pool all summer.'

'I've got to go to bed,' I said.

'All right, old sport.' But Gatsby did not move. I knew what he wanted to ask me.

'I've had a talk with Miss Baker,' I said. 'I'll phone Daisy tomorrow. What day would be best?'

'I don't want to put you to any trouble . . .' Gatsby began quickly.

'How about the day after tomorrow?'

'Fine,' Gatsby said. 'I must get the grass cut ... get a few flowers. We must have everything right, old sport.'

When the day of the tea came, it was pouring with rain. Gatsby had sent a man to cut my lawn. At two o'clock, Gatsby sent over enough flowers to fill every room in my little house. An hour later, Gatsby himself arrived. He was wearing a white suit, silver shirt and gold tie. He looked pale and tired.

Gatsby sat down and tried to read. But he looked up at every sound. Suddenly, he stood up and said, 'I'm going home. Nobody's coming.'

'Don't be silly,' I said. 'It's only two minutes to four.'

So Gatsby sat down again and at that moment we both heard the sound of a car.

As I opened the front door, Daisy stopped her car and got out.

'Why did I have to come alone?' Daisy said with a little smile. 'Are you in love with me, Nick?'

I took Daisy's hand and led her into the living-room. Gatsby stood there, very pale, his hands in his pockets.

For half a minute there was silence. Then Daisy gave a little laugh and said, 'I'm so very glad to see you again, Jay. It's been a long time.'

'Five years next November,' said Gatsby, staring at Daisy.

I went into the kitchen to get the tea. After a few minutes, Gatsby came after me and closed the door.

This is a terrible mistake!' he said. 'It's too late, old sport, too late.'

'Nonsense. Go back and talk to her. You're both shy42, that's all.'

I decided to leave them alone for half an hour. I went to the window. The rain had stopped now and the sun was shining.

When I took in the tea, I made a lot of noise. But I don't think they heard a sound.

Daisy and Gatsby were both sitting on the couch. There were tears on Daisy's face, but she was smiling. Gatsby's face was shining with joy. Their happiness filled the room.

'Oh, hallo, old sport,' Gatsby said, as if he hadn't seen me for years. 'I want you and Daisy to come over to my house.'

'You're sure you want me to come?'

'Sure of it, old sport.'

And so Daisy saw Gatsby's enormous house for the first time.

That's your house over there, Jay?' she cried excitedly. 'Do you live there alone? It's so big!'

'I always keep it full of famous, interesting people,' Gatsby told her.



We wandered through the gardens. Daisy admired every flower, every tree, everything she saw.

We came at last to the white steps in front of the house. It was strange to see them quiet and empty.

Inside the house, we wandered through room after room. We admired the books in the library. All the beautiful rooms were empty and silent. We went upstairs and looked at bedrooms and bathrooms, painted in pale, rich colours. Finally, we came to Gatsby's own rooms, where we sat down to have a drink.

Gatsby had never stopped looking at Daisy. Once, he nearly fell downstairs. He was trying to see everything in his house through her eyes. He was like a man walking in his sleep.

'It's a funny thing, old sport,' Gatsby said slowly, 'when I see ... I can't. . . believe . . .'

He put down his drink and opened two big cupboards. He began to take out shirts, suits, ties . . .

'I've got a man in England who buys me clothes,' Gatsby explained. 'He sends things over twice a year . . .'

The brightly coloured clothes covered the table and fell onto the floor. Silk, wool, cotton - the pile grew higher and higher.

Suddenly, Daisy hid her face in the shirts and began to cry.

'I don't know why I'm crying,' she said. 'But they're such beautiful shirts, Jay. I've never seen such beautiful shirts before in all my life!'

I r was getting darker now and the rain had started again. Daisy and Gatsby stood together, looking out of the window. I began 10 walk round the room in the half darkness.

On Gatsby's desk was a photograph of a tough-looking old man. The man was dressed in sailing clothes.

'Who's this?' I asked Gatsby.

'That's Mr Dan Cody, old sport. He used to be my best friend, years ago. He's dead now. Dan Cody had a big yacht43 and we sailed around together for nearly five years. He was like a lather to me.'

This was one of the few things that Gatsby told me about himself that was really true. But I did not know that then.

I was going to ask Gatsby more about Mr Cody, but Daisy suddenly cried out, 'Come back here, Jay, quick!'

In the west, pink and golden clouds had formed over the sea.

'Look at that,' Daisy said softly to Gatsby. 'I'd like to put you in one of those clouds and push you around in it!'

I tried to go then, but they wouldn't let me.

'I know what we'll do,' Gatsby said. 'We'll have Klingspringer play the piano.'

Gatsby found Klingspringer. He was a young man who lived in the house. In the music room, Gatsby turned on a lamp beside the piano. He lit Daisy's cigarette with a shaking hand. They sat down together on a couch, away from the light. .

Klingspringer sat down at the piano and began to play.

'In the morning

In the evening

Ain't we got fun . . .' he sang softly.

When I went over to say goodbye to Gatsby, he had a look of surprise on his face. Gatsby had dreamed of Daisy for almost five years. Now his dream was beside him. He could not believe it.

They had almost forgotten I was there. Daisy looked up as I spoke and held out her hand. Gatsby looked up too, but he didn't seem to know me.

I went out of the room quietly, leaving them together.

 


Date: 2015-04-20; view: 1166


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