“It was an opportunity they gave to some of the officers after the Armistice,” he continued. “We could go to any of the universities in England or France.”
I wanted to get up and slap him on the back. I had one of those renewals of complete faith in him that I’d experienced before.
Daisy rose, smiling faintly, and went to the table.
“Open the whiskey, Tom,” she ordered, “and I’ll make you a mint julep. Then you won’t seem so stupid to yourself… . Look at the mint!”
“Wait a minute,” snapped Tom, “I want to ask Mr. Gatsby one more question.”
“Go on,” Gatsby said politely.
“What kind of a row are you trying to cause in my house anyhow?”
They were out in the open at last and Gatsby was content.
“He isn’t causing a row.” Daisy looked desperately from one to the other. “You’re causing a row. Please have a little self-control.”
“Self-control!” Repeated Tom incredulously. “I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that’s the idea you can count me out… . Nowadays people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions, and next they’ll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white.”
Flushed with his impassioned gibberish, he saw himself standing alone on the last barrier of civilization.
“We’re all white here,” murmured Jordan.
“I know I’m not very popular. I don’t give big parties. I suppose you’ve got to make your house into a pigsty in order to have any friends — in the modern world.”
Angry as I was, as we all were, I was tempted to laugh whenever he opened his mouth. The transition from libertine to prig was so complete.
“I’ve got something to tell YOU, old sport ——” began Gatsby. But Daisy guessed at his intention.
“Please don’t!” she interrupted helplessly. “Please let’s all go home. Why don’t we all go home?”
“That’s a good idea.” I got up. “Come on, Tom. Nobody wants a drink.”