lemon cakes from the delicatessen shop.
“Will they do?” I asked.
“Of course, of course! They’re fine!” and he added hollowly, “… old sport.”
The rain cooled about half-past three to a damp mist, through which occasional thin drops swam like dew. Gatsby looked with vacant eyes through a copy of Clay’s ECONOMICS, starting at the Finnish tread that shook the kitchen floor, and peering toward the bleared windows from time to time as if a series of invisible but alarming happenings were taking place outside. Finally he got up and informed me, in an uncertain voice, that he was going home.
“Nobody’s coming to tea. It’s too late!” He looked at his watch as if there was some pressing demand on his time elsewhere. “I can’t wait all day.”
“Don’t be silly; it’s just two minutes to four.”
He sat down miserably, as if I had pushed him, and simultaneously there was the sound of a motor turning into my lane. We both jumped up, and, a little harrowed myself, I went out into the yard.
Under the dripping bare lilac-trees a large open car was coming up the drive. It stopped. Daisy’s face, tipped sideways beneath a three-cornered lavender hat, looked out at me with a bright ecstatic smile.
“Is this absolutely where you live, my dearest one?”
The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain. I had to follow the sound of it for a moment, up and down, with my ear alone, before any words came through. A damp streak of hair lay like a dash of blue paint across her cheek, and her hand was wet with glistening drops as I took it to help her from the car.
“Are you in love with me,” she said low in my ear, “or why did I have to come alone?”
“That’s the secret of Castle Rackrent. Tell your chauffeur to go far away and spend an hour.”
“Come back in an hour, Ferdie.” Then in a grave murmur: “His name is Ferdie.”
“Does the gasoline affect his nose?”
“I don’t think so,” she said innocently. “Why?”
We went in. To my overwhelming surprise the living-room was deserted.
“Well, that’s funny,” I exclaimed.