“Is it standard shift?” demanded Tom.
“Well, you take my coupe and let me drive your car to town.”
The suggestion was distasteful to Gatsby.
“I don’t think there’s much gas,” he objected.
“Plenty of gas,” said Tom boisterously. He looked at the gauge. “And if it runs out I can stop at a drug-store. You can buy anything at a drug-store nowadays.”
A pause followed this apparently pointless remark. Daisy looked at Tom frowning, and an indefinable expression, at once definitely unfamiliar and vaguely recognizable, as if I had only heard it described in words, passed over Gatsby’s face.
“Come on, Daisy,” said Tom, pressing her with his hand toward Gatsby’s car. “I’ll take you in this circus wagon.”
He opened the door, but she moved out from the circle of his arm.
“You take Nick and Jordan. We’ll follow you in the coupe.”
She walked close to Gatsby, touching his coat with her hand. Jordan and Tom and I got into the front seat of Gatsby’s car, Tom pushed the unfamiliar gears tentatively, and we shot off into the oppressive heat, leaving them out of sight behind.
“Did you see that?” demanded Tom.
He looked at me keenly, realizing that Jordan and I must have known all along.
“You think I’m pretty dumb, don’t you?” he suggested. “Perhaps I am, but I have a — almost a second sight, sometimes, that tells me what to do. Maybe you don’t believe that, but science ——”
He paused. The immediate contingency overtook him, pulled him back from the edge of the theoretical abyss.
“I’ve made a small investigation of this fellow,” he continued. “I could have gone deeper if I’d known ——”
“Do you mean you’ve been to a medium?” inquired Jordan humorously.