The circle closed up again with a running murmur of expostulation; it was a minute before I could see anything at all. Then new arrivals deranged the line, and Jordan and I were pushed suddenly inside.
Myrtle Wilson’s body, wrapped in a blanket, and then in another blanket, as though she suffered from a chill in the hot night, lay on a work-table by the wall, and Tom, with his back to us, was bending over it, motionless. Next to him stood a motorcycle policeman taking down names with much sweat and correction in a little book. At first I couldn’t find the source of the high, groaning words that echoed clamorously through the bare garage — then I saw Wilson standing on the raised threshold of his office, swaying back and forth and holding to the doorposts with both hands. Some man was talking to him in a low voice and attempting, from time to time, to lay a hand on his shoulder, but Wilson neither heard nor saw. His eyes would drop slowly from the swinging light to the laden table by the wall, and then jerk back to the light again, and he gave out incessantly his high, horrible call:
“Oh, my Ga-od! Oh, my Ga-od! oh, Ga-od! oh, my Ga-od!”
Presently Tom lifted his head with a jerk and, after staring around the garage with glazed eyes, addressed a mumbled incoherent remark to the policeman.
“M-a-y-.” the policeman was saying, “-o ——”
“No, r-.” corrected the man, “M-a-v-r-o ——”
“Listen to me!” muttered Tom fiercely.
“r” said the policeman, “o ——”
“g ——” He looked up as Tom’s broad hand fell sharply on his shoulder. “What you want, fella?”
“What happened?— that’s what I want to know.”
“Auto hit her. Ins’antly killed.”
“Instantly killed,” repeated Tom, staring.
“She ran out ina road. Son-of-a-bitch didn’t even stopus car.”
“There was two cars,” said Michaelis, “one comin’, one goin’, see?”
“Going where?” asked the policeman keenly.
“One goin’ each way. Well, she.”— his hand rose toward the blankets but stopped half way and fell to his side ——” she ran out there an’ the one comin’ from N’york knock right into her, goin’ thirty or forty miles an hour.”
“What’s the name of this place here?” demanded the officer.
“Hasn’t got any name.”
A pale well-dressed negro stepped near.
“It was a yellow car,” he said, “big yellow car. New.”