It was when curiosity about Gatsby was at its highest that the lights in his house failed to go on one Saturday night.
As obscurely as it had begun, his career as Trimalchio was over.
Trimalchio is a character in the Roman “novel” The Satyricon by Petronius.
Trimalchio is a freedman who through hard work and perseverance has attained power and wealth.
His wife is Fortunata,
a former prostitute.
Trimalchio is known for throwing lavish dinner parties, where his numerous servants bring course after course of exotic delicacies, such as live birds sewn up inside a pig and a dish to represent every sign of the zodiac.
He sought to impress his guests, the Roman nouveau riche, mostly freedmen - with the ubiquitous excesses seen throughout his dwelling.
Wondering if he were sick I went over to find out, an unfamiliar butler with a villainous face squinted at me suspiciously from the door.
Nick learns that Gatsby has dismissed his whole staff and replaced them with some of Meyer Wolsheim's people. (Supposedly family members)
Since Daisy frequently comes to Gatsby's house, he wants to prevent any gossip.
Gatsby calls Nick the next day and invites him to lunch at Daisy's house the following day.
Daisy calls to confirm that he is coming.
Nick has a feeling that “something was up.”
The next day was broiling, almost the last, certainly the warmest, of the summer.
When Gatsby and Nick arrive at the Buchanan's, Daisy and Jordan, in their typical white dresses, lay upon an enormous couch, like silver idols.
Tom is on the phone arguing with Wilson about selling him an automobile.
Tom goes to get drinks
Daisy gets up, gives Gatsby a kiss on the mouth, and tells him she loves him.
She tells Jordan to kiss Nick.
Daisy's daughter, Pammy, is then brought into the room by her nurse.
“ Bles-sed pre-cious,” she crooned, holding out her arms. “Come to your own mother that loves you.”
Daisy shows her off like a toy or plaything.
It is obvious that Daisy is incapable of sustained or true maternal emotion.
Gatsby, however, cannot take his eyes off the child, as if he cannot believe that she really exists.
Drinks & conversation
Tom comes in carrying cold gin rickeys for everyone.
He then leads Gatsby and Nick out to the veranda in order to show them the place.
Gatsby proudly points out his own home directly across the bay.
We had luncheon in the dining-room, darkened too against the heat, and drank down nervous gayety with the cold ale.
Daisy moans about her boredom and asks, “What'll we do with ourselves this afternoon and the day after that and the next thirty years?”
“ But it's so hot,” insisted Daisy, on the verge of tears, “and everything's so confused. Let's all go to town!”
“ Who wants to go to town?” demanded Daisy insistently.
Gatsby's eyes floated toward her. “Ah,” she cried, “you look so cool.”
Their eyes met, and they stared together at each other, alone in space.
With an effort she glanced down at the table.
Trip to town
Tom insists that he drive Gatsby's car into town, while Gatsby take his coupe.
Gatsby does not like the idea, but agrees to it. Tom pushes Daisy towards Gatsby's car, calling it a circus wagon.
Daisy resists going with Tom and announces she will ride with Gatsby.
Tom is ready to explode with anger.
Once inside the car, he blurts out to Nick and Jordan that he knows what is going on with Gatsby and claims that he has been making an investigation into his past.
Stopping for gas
Nick, Jordan, and Tom grow irritable in the heat of the car.
Just as they pass the faded eyes of T.J. Eckelberg, the cautious Nick reminds Tom that he needs gas.
Tom impatiently pulls into Wilson's service station.
Wilson comes out and explains he is not well and apologizes for having called Tom.
He says that he needs money so he and Myrtle can move to the West, suggesting that he has finally realized that Myrtle is having an affair.
Tom is suddenly in a real panic.
In one of the windows over the garage the curtains had been moved aside a little, and Myrtle Wilson was peering down at the car.
Her eyes, wide with jealous terror, and were fixed not on Tom, but on Jordan Baker, whom she took to be his wife.
the Plaza Hotel
They leave Wilson’s and catch up to Gatsby and Daisy.
they all decide to meet in front of the Plaza Hotel, where they rent a suite for the afternoon.
The room was large and stifling
“ Open another window,” commanded Daisy, without turning around.
“ The thing to do is to forget about the heat,” said Tom impatiently. “You make it ten times worse by crabbing about it.”
“ Why not let her alone, old sport?” remarked Gatsby. “You're the one that wanted to come to town.”
Tom then asks Gatsby, “What kind of a row are you trying to cause in my house?”
Daisy comes to Gatsby's defense.
Tom says, “I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. . .next they'll have intermarriage between black and white.”
“ Let’s Go”
“ I've got something to tell YOU, old sport...” began Gatsby. But Daisy guessed at his intention.
“ Please don't!” she interrupted helplessly. “Please let's all go home. Why don't we all go home?”
“ That's a good idea.” I got up. “Come on, Tom. Nobody wants a drink.”
“ Your wife doesn't love you,” said Gatsby. “She's never loved you. She loves me.”
“ You must be crazy!” exclaimed Tom automatically.”
Gatsby sprang to his feet, vivid with excitement. ”She never loved you, do you hear? he cried.”
“ She only married you because I was poor and she was tired of waiting for me. It was a terrible mistake, but in her heart she never loved anyone except me!”
Fighting over daisy
Daisy stands between the two men, looking terrified. Gatsby's expression looks like he had just “killed a man.”
Gatsby tries to defend himself to Daisy, but she merely draws further and further into herself.
Gatsby knows he is losing her - - that his dream is vanishing.
At the same time, Tom knows he has won the battle and will never lose Daisy.
Therefore, he feels comfortable in sending Daisy and Gatsby off together in Gatsby's yellow car.
He has nothing to fear;
Daisy will always belong to him
Nick suddenly remembers it is his thirtieth birthday and he is feeling old.
He notices that it is seven o'clock when he and Jordan get in the car with Tom.
Tom talked incessantly, exulting and laughing, but his voice was as remote from Jordan and me as the foreign clamor on the sidewalk or the tumult of the elevated overhead.
So we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight.
Nick now brings up Michaelis and the accident
The young Greek who ran the coffee joint beside the ashheaps was the principal witness at the inquest.
He had slept through the heat until after five, when he strolled over to the garage, and found George Wilson sick in his office
Michaelis advised him to go to bed, but Wilson refused, saying that he'd miss a lot of business if he did.
While his neighbor was trying to persuade him a violent racket broke out overhead.
“ I've got my wife locked in up there,” explained Wilson calmly. “She's going to stay there till the day after to-morrow, and then we're going to move away.”
Michaelis is shocked at Wilson's words, for he is normally a mild, colorless man.
A little after 7:00, Michaelis comes outside and hears Myrtle screaming at her husband.
“ Beat me! Throw me down and beat me, you dirty little coward!”
A moment later she rushed out into the dusk, waving her hands and shouting - before he could move from his door the business was over.
The “death car.” as the newspapers called it, didn't stop; it came out of the gathering darkness, wavered tragically for a moment, and then disappeared around the next bend.
Michaelis wasn't even sure of its color - he told the first policeman that it was light green.
It is immediately obvious that she is dead.
When Tom, Nick, and Jordan approach the Valley of Ashes, a crowd has already gathered around the site of the accident.
Tom decides to stop and see what is going on.
When Tom peers inside the garage, he makes a harsh sound and shoves his way through the crowd.
Myrtle is dead
Nick and Jordan follow Tom inside, where Myrtle's body, wrapped in a blanket, is laying on a work table.
Wilson is in his office staring down at the lifeless form and moaning, “O my Gao-od!” over and over.
Tom, with a dazed look and glazed eyes, is bending over Myrtle's body.
Tom physically picks up Wilson and carries him back to his office, putting him in a chair.
He then tells Nick and Jordan it is time for them to leave.
As Tom drives away from the death scene and the Valley of Ashes, he moans, “The God Damn coward! . . . He didn't even stop his car.”
He obviously believes that the driver was Gatsby.
When they arrive at the Buchanan's, Tom is relieved to see that Daisy is home.
He tells Nick and Jordan to come inside and have the help prepare them some dinner.
Nick, feeling a little sick about the events of the day, refuses to go inside, saying to himself, “I'd had enough of all of them for one day.”
As he walks down the driveway to wait for his taxi, Gatsby steps out from the bushes and asks if Nick has seen the scene of the accident and if the woman was killed.
Gatsby explains that he drove to West Egg by a side road and put the car in his garage and came to Daisy's in a taxi.
He hopes that no one has spotted the car.
Suddenly Nick realizes that Gatsby was not driving the car; it was Daisy who hit Myrtle and kept going.
Gatsby admits the truth and adds, “But of course I'll say I was driving.”
Daisy and Tom were sitting opposite each other at the kitchen table, with a plate of cold fried chicken between them, and two bottles of ale.
They weren't happy, and neither of them had touched the chicken or the ale - and yet they weren't unhappy either.
There was an unmistakable air of natural intimacy about the picture, and anybody would have said that they were conspiring together.
“ I want to wait here till Daisy goes to bed. Good night, old sport.”
He put his hands in his coat pockets and turned back eagerly to his scrutiny of the house, as though my presence marred the sacredness of the vigil.
So I walked away and left him standing there in the moonlight - watching over nothing.