“That’s true,” I said, uncomfortably.
He fumbled at the embroidered coverlet, trying to take it from the bed, and lay down stiffly — was instantly asleep.
That night an obviously frightened person called up, and demanded to know who I was before he would give his name.
“This is Mr. Carraway,” I said.
“Oh!” He sounded relieved. “This is Klipspringer.” I was relieved too, for that seemed to promise another friend at Gatsby’s grave. I didn’t want it to be in the papers and draw a sightseeing crowd, so I’d been calling up a few people myself. They were hard to find.
“The funeral’s to-morrow,” I said. “Three o’clock, here at the house. I wish you’d tell anybody who’d be interested.”
“Oh, I will,” he broke out hastily. “Of course I’m not likely to see anybody, but if I do.”
His tone made me suspicious.
“Of course you’ll be there yourself.”
“Well, I’ll certainly try. What I called up about is ——”
“Wait a minute,” I interrupted. “How about saying you’ll come?”
“Well, the fact is — the truth of the matter is that I’m staying with some people up here in Greenwich, and they rather expect me to be with them to-morrow. In fact, there’s a sort of picnic or something. Of course I’ll do my very best to get away.”
I ejaculated an unrestrained “Huh!” and he must have heard me, for he went on nervously:
“What I called up about was a pair of shoes I left there. Iwonder if it’d be too much trouble to have the butler send them on. You see, they’re tennis shoes, and I’m sort of helpless without them. My address is care of B. F.——”
I didn’t hear the rest of the name, because I hung up the receiver.
After that I felt a certain shame for Gatsby — one gentleman to whom I telephoned implied that he had got what he deserved. However, that was my fault, for he was one of those who used to sneer most bitterly at Gatsby on the courage of Gatsby’s liquor, and I should have known better than to call him.
The morning of the funeral I went up to New York to see Meyer Wolfsheim; I couldn’t seem to reach him any other way. The door that I pushed open, on the advice of an elevator boy, was marked “The Swastika Holding Company,” and at first there didn’t seem to be any one inside. But when I’d shouted “hello.” several times in vain, an argument