F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby
laugh, followed by Daisy‟s voice on a clear artificial note: “I certainly am awfully glad to see you again.” A pause; it endured horribly. I had nothing to do in the hall,
so I went into the room. Gatsby, his hands still in his pockets, was reclining against
the mantelpiece in a strained counterfeit of perfect ease, even of boredom. His head leaned back so far that it rested against the face of a defunct mantelpiece clock, and from this position his distraught eyes stared down at Daisy, who was sitting, frightened but graceful, on the edge of a stiff chair. “We‟ve met before,” muttered Gatsby. His eyes glanced
momentarily at me, and his lips parted with an abortive attempt at a laugh. Luckily the clock took this moment to tilt dangerously at the pressure of his head, whereupon he turned and caught it with trembling fingers, and set it back in place. Then he sat down, rigidly, his elbow on the arm of the sofa and his chin in his hand. “I‟m sorry about the clock,” he said. My own face had now assumed a deep tropical burn. I
couldn‟t muster up a single commonplace out of the thousand in my head. “It‟s an old clock,” I told them idiotically.