“If somebody’ll come here and sit with him,” he snapped authoritatively. He watched while the two men standing closest glanced at each other and went unwillingly into the room. Then Tom shut the door on them and came down the single step, his eyes avoiding the table. As he passed close to me he whispered: “Let’s get out.”
Self-consciously, with his authoritative arms breaking the way, we pushed through the still gathering crowd, passing a hurried doctor, case in hand, who had been sent for in wild hope half an hour ago.
Tom drove slowly until we were beyond the bend — then his foot came down hard, and the coupe raced along through the night. In a little while I heard a low husky sob, and saw that the tears were overflowing down his face.
“The God damned coward!” he whimpered. “He didn’t even stop his car.”
The Buchanans’ house floated suddenly toward us through the dark rustling trees. Tom stopped beside the porch and looked up at the second floor, where two windows bloomed with light among the vines.
“Daisy’s home,” he said. As we got out of the car he glanced at me and frowned slightly.
“I ought to have dropped you in West Egg, Nick. There’s nothing we can do to-night.”
A change had come over him, and he spoke gravely, and with decision. As we walked across the moonlight gravel to the porch he disposed of the situation in a few brisk phrases.
“I’ll telephone for a taxi to take you home, and while you’re waiting you and Jordan better go in the kitchen and have them get you some supper — if you want any.” He opened the door. “Come in.”
“No, thanks. But I’d be glad if you’d order me the taxi. I’ll wait outside.”
Jordan put her hand on my arm.
“Won’t you come in, Nick?”
I was feeling a little sick and I wanted to be alone. But Jordan lingered for a moment more.
“It’s only half-past nine,” she said.
I’d be damned if I’d go in; I’d had enough of all of them for one day, and suddenly that included Jordan too. She must have seen something of this in my expression, for she turned abruptly away and ran up the porch steps into the house. I sat down for a few minutes with my head in my hands, until I heard the phone taken up inside and the butler’s voice calling a taxi. Then I walked slowly down the drive away from the house, intending to wait by the gate.