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After he meets Daisy once again in Nick's cottage, Gatsby and Nick are left alone for a few minutes. In their conversation, Gatsby tells Nick he earned the money to buy his house in only three years. This fits the timeline of Gatsby's history as it unfolds. He had met Daisy in Louisville approximately five years earlier, gone to war, and then returned to New York where he met Meyer Wolfsheim and began his illegal, but quite lucrative, career. The chronology of these events indicates that Gatsby is telling the truth when he says he became quite wealthy in only three years.
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