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Chapter Four starts with Nick's record of the guest list at another of Gatsby's parties. As Nick mingles with and overhears the conversations of the guests, he becomes more aware of the varied and frequently illegal activities with which Gatsby has been or still was involved. "He's a bootlegger...One time he killed a man" were among the rumors circulated among the guests, all of whom "accepted Gatsby's hospitality and paid him the subtle tribute of knowing nothing whatever about him." Because they claimed they didn't have any knowledge of his activities, they wouldn't implicate him if asked about any activities involving liquor, murder, or gambling, which was also included as a party activity.
As Gatsby tells Carraway his life story, Nick varies between complete disbelief of all the fantastic stories and amazement to find some of what Gatsby said confirmed by actual evidence.
With an effort I managed to restrain my incredulous laughter. The very phrases were worn so threadbare that they evoked no image except that of a turbaned "character" leaking sawdust at every pore...a piece of metal, slung on a ribbon, fell into my palm..."Major Jay Gatsby," I read, "For Valour Extraordinary."
In Chapter Five, Nick's rented house becomes the location for Gatsby's first encounter with Daisy. Nick is able to observe first hand how nervous the reunion makes Gatsby, who tries to remain cool and dignified without success.
Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes...he stalked by me into the hall, turned sharply as if he were on a wire, and disappeared into the living-room...Gatsby, his hands still in his pockets, was reclining against the mantelpiece in a strained counterfeit of perfect ease
By the end of the evening, Nick leaves Gatsby and Daisy alone in Gatsby's mansion, enthralled with each other and unaware of anyone or anything else.
Daisy glanced up and held out her hand; Gatsby didn't know me now at all. I looked once more at them and they looked back at me, remotely, possessed by intense life. Then I went out of the room and down the marble steps into the rain, leaving them there together.
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