I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby’s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited—they went there. . . . Sometimes they came and went without having met Gatsby at all, came for the party with a simplicity of heart that was its own ticket of admission.
I was immediately struck by the number of young Englishmen dotted about. . . . I was sure they were selling something: bonds or insurance or automobiles. They were at least agonizingly aware of the easy money in the vicinity and convinced that it was theirs for a few words in the right key.
‘Gatsby. Somebody told me—’”
The two girls and Jordan leaned together confidently.
‘Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once.’
A thrill passed over all of us. The three Mr. Mumbles bent forward and listened eagerly.
But young men didn’t—at least in my provincial inexperience I believed they didn’t—drift coolly out of nowhere and buy a palace on Long Island Sound.
‘Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.’