About this time an ambitious young reporter from New York arrived one morning at Gatsby's door and asked him if he had anything to say
Nick begins to set the record straight about Gatsby's past.
James Gatz was his legal name.
He had changed it at the age of seventeen.
His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people from North Dakota.
Even as a boy, he dreamed of a better life.
At age sixteen, he set off to make his own way as a clam digger and salmon fisherman on the shore of Lake Superior.
While working along Lake Superior, Gatsby saw a large yacht drop anchor nearby.
It was James Gatz who had been loafing along the beach that afternoon in a torn green jersey and a pair of canvas pants, but it was already Jay Gatsby who borrowed a rowboat and pulled out to the Yacht.
Dan Cody was fifty years old
Worth millions due to his Montana copper mining venture.
With vast wealth and no purpose, he became a drifter, drinker, and womanizer, sometimes prone to violence.
Dan Cody took an immediate liking to the young Gatsby and believed him to be quick and ambitious.
As a result, Cody invited the youth to sail with him to the West Indies while serving in a vague capacity as steward, mate, skipper, and secretary.
In essence, Gatsby became Cody's assistant and protector, watching over him during his drunken outings and wild parties.
Cody trusted the young man more and more.
The arrangement lasted five years and through three trips around the continent.
Ella Kaye was newspaper woman involved with Dan Cody.
Ella Kaye came on board one night in Boston and a week later Dan Cody died.
And it was from Cody that he inherited money
A legacy of twenty-five thousand dollars.
He didn't get it.
He never understood the legal device that was used against him, but what remained of the millions went intact to Ella Kaye.
Back to the present
Nick has not seen his neighbor in several weeks because Gatsby is devoting his time to Daisy, and Nick has been involved with Jordan.
As a result, Nick decides to go over and check on Gatsby one Sunday afternoon.
He has not been in Gatsby's mansion for two minutes when a party of three horseback riders stops for a drink.
Moved by an irresistible impulse, Gatsby turned to Tom, who had accepted the introduction as a stranger.
“ I believe we've met somewhere before, Mr. Buchanan.”
“ Oh, yes,” said Tom, gruffly polite, but obviously not remembering. “So we did. I remember very well.”
“ About two weeks ago.”
“ That's right. You were with Nick here.”
“ I know your wife,” continued Gatsby, almost aggressively.
“ That so?”
Tom turned to me.
“ You live near here, Nick?”
“ Next door.”
“ That so?”
Gatsby asks the trio to stay for dinner.
the female rider suggests, out of politeness, that Gatsby come to supper with them.
Gatsby does not realize that she doesn’t mean it, and he goes off to change for the dinner party.
Tom remarks, “My God, I believe the man's coming. Doesn't he know she doesn't want him?”
Tom immediately recognizes Gatsby's lack of class and wonders how in the world Daisy knows him.
When Gatsby returns downstairs, he discovers he has been left behind.
Tom was evidently perturbed at Daisy's running around alone, for on the following Saturday night he came with her to Gatsby's party.
I felt an unpleasantness in the air, a pervading harshness that hadn't been there before.
Daisy and Gatsby danced.
I remember being surprised by his graceful, conservative fox-trot - I had never seen him dance before.
Then they went to Nick’s house and sat on the steps for half an hour.
Nick “remained watchfully in the garden. “In case there's a fire or a flood,” she explained, “or any act of God.”
The Party continues
Daisy tries to be excited about the party-goers and involved in the festivities, but everything about the party offends her. The women are inebriated and acting poorly, and Tom is chasing a girl who is “common but pretty.”
Gatsby introduces Tom as the polo player….
And Tom does not like it.
Tom & Daisy Leave
“ Who is this Gatsby anyhow?” demanded Tom suddenly. “Some big bootlegger?”
“ Where'd you hear that?” I inquired.
“ I didn't hear it. I imagined it. A lot of these newly rich people are just big bootleggers, you know.”
After the party
Gatsby asks Nick to stay after the other guests have left.
Nick immediately notices that his neighbor's eyes look tired and that his face is drawn tight.
He is the picture of misery.
Gatsby tells Nick that Daisy did not enjoy the party, that she does not understand him, and that he feels far away from her.
He wanted nothing less of Daisy than that she should go to Tom and say: “I never loved you.”
After she had obliterated four years with that sentence they could decide upon the more practical measures to be taken.
One of them was that, after she was free, they were to go back to Louisville and be married from her house –
just as if it were five years ago.
Recapturing the past
He talked a lot about the past, and I gathered that he wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy.
His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was. . . .
Nick tries to warn his neighbor that it is difficult to repeat the past,
but Gatsby fools himself into believing that through his wealth he can make everything right with Daisy.