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First, Nick runs into Jordan Baker, the golfer he met once before at Daisy's house. He is feeling pretty awkward at the party because he doesn't know a soul, so he is really relieved when he spots Jordan coming out of the house. He says,

I was on my way to get roaring drunk from sheer embarrassment when Jordan Baker came out of the house and stood at the head of the marble steps, leaning a little backward and looking with contemptuous interest down into the garden.

Although there are other people interested in keeping company with Jordan, she does stay with Nick for much of the night, until, of course, Gatsby pulls her away for a private conversation. Before then, however, the pair also runs into a man Nick refers to as "Owl Eyes" in Gatsby's extensive house library. This man is inebriated and insists upon showing Nick and Jordan that Gatsby's books are real, rather than cardboard—though Gatsby "knew when to stop," according to this man, and didn't "cut" the pages. In other words, the pages are still attached to one another and have not been cut apart so that someone can read them (books used to be printed this way). Gatsby owns all these expensive, real books, but he's not read any of them, apparently. It is for this reason that Owl Eyes compares him to a theatrical producer known for staging realistic sets (fictions that seem like reality).

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Nick does venture over to the party in chapter 3 by himself (well, one of Gatsby's servants escorted him).

He in fact runs into two people of interest. This first character would be Jordan Baker who he had met at the Buchanans in chapter 1. They spend some time together and discuss what they know of Gatsby and they even wander into the library together.

However, a more important run-in occurs with Gatsby himself. Nick starts talking with a fellow about the batallion he was in during the war, and after striking up a pleasing nostalgic conversation, Nick comes to realize it is Gatsby, the party's host with whom he is talking.

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