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F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground. The valley of ashes is bounded on one side by a small foul

river, and, when the drawbridge is up to let barges through, the passengers on waiting trains can stare at the dismal scene for as long as half an hour. There is always a halt there of at least a minute, and it was because of this that I first met Tom Buchanan‟s mistress. The fact that he had one was insisted upon wherever he was

known. His acquaintances resented the fact that he turned up in popular restaurants with her and, leaving her at a table, sauntered about, chatting with whomsoever he knew. Though I was curious to see her, I had no desire to meet her —but I did. I went up to New York with Tom on the train one afternoon, and when we stopped by the ashheaps he jumped to his feet and, taking hold of my elbow, literally forced me from the car. “We‟re getting off,” he insisted. “I want you to meet my

girl.” I think he‟d tanked up a good deal at luncheon, and his

determination to have my company bordered on violence. The supercilious assumption was that on Sunday afternoon I had nothing better to do.

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