Free Study Guide for The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin|
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ONLINE NOTES - THE WESTING GAME
Theo suggests pooling everybody's clues as the will specifies that it's what the heirs don't have that leads to the answer. Sandy McSouthers leads this process, making Judge Ford suspicious: she realizes that Sam Westing's disguise isn't Otis Amber, but her own partner. With all the clue words gathered, they make out the first stanza of "America the Beautiful" with some missing words - those missing words add up to the answer "Berthe Erica Crow". Judge Ford pleads to the others to not turn in Crow on this basis, but as she's about to reveal Sandy's secret identity of Sam Westing, the doorman collapses. As Doctors Wexler and Deere try to comfort the dying man, E.J. Plum rushes back into the room with a police sheriff and Doctor Sikes, who pronounces the man dead. Plum reminds the heirs of the deadline to giving the right answer and winning the Westing inheritance. No one speaks until a minute is left, when Crow names herself as the answer and instructs that her expected inheritance be split between the soup kitchen and Angela Wexler.
Berthe Erica Crow is taken away by the police, Sandy McSouthers is pronounced dead, Plum resigns as the executor of the Westing estate, and the remaining fourteen heirs return to Judge Ford's apartment. There, the various heirs compare information about Sandy as it becomes apparent to Judge Ford and Turtle Wexler that he was actually Sam Westing. Turtle asks Judge Ford to hold a mock trial, and the heirs agree to this. During the trial, Otis Amber reveals that he was hired twenty years earlier to watch over Berthe Erica Crow, who is Sam's ex-wife: she had gone crazy after her and Sam's daughter committed suicide, becoming an alcoholic before finding religion. Further, Madame Hoo returns the things she had stolen from the other heirs, who choose not to condemn her actions. With Otis and the testimony of others, Turtle proves that Crow did not kill Sam Westing, but reveals that she was the former Mrs. Westing and Sam was disguised as doorman Sandy McSouthers, secretly guiding the heirs before and during the game. Turtle contends that Sam Westing was slowly dying and he simply let his medicine run out, choosing his time to die as he controlled so many other things in life. All throughout the trial, however, Turtle is secretly trying to figure out the true nature of the Westing game --something Judge Ford suspects, as only the two of them realize that Sam Westing was also Barney Northrup. Finally, Turtle comes to the conclusion that the will had specific the heirs to find the "Fourth".
As the trial ends, E.J. Plum and Berthe Erica Crow arrive. There was a misunderstanding with Crow as the coroner determined Sandy had died of a heart attack. Further, Plum has the last page of the will, which he hands over to Judge Ford: these final sections thank the heirs, reveals that Sam Westing and Sandy McSouthers were indeed the same person, and gives the heirs equal shares of the deed to Sunset Towers. Finally, it bestows to his former wife three checks for ten thousand dollars for the soup kitchen and closes with a happy birthday wish to Crow as well as wishing everyone a Happy Fourth of July. The heirs consider this odd or insane, then watch as the Westing house bursts into fire in a flurry of fireworks.
The next morning, Turtle Wexler goes to the home of the newly elected chairman of Westing Paper Products, Julian R. Eastman; Doctor Sikes lets her into the mansion and she meets a smiling Eastman, proving her hunch correct. In secret she plays chess with Eastman every Saturday, now the secret heir to the Westing fortune. Many years pass and the lives of all the Westing heirs changes, often for the better. As an adult, Turtle - now known as T.R. - has made a fortune on the stock market and married Theo Theodorakis. She is there when Julian Eastman dies on the Fourth of July many years later - and with him, Sam Windkloppel (his real name), Sam Westing, Barney Northrup, and Sandy McSouthers. As legal counsel and chief stockholder of Westing Paper Products, T.R. Wexler will eventually become the chairman of the company. She also continues the tradition of her uncle Sam by playing chess every Saturday afternoon with her niece, Alice, the daughter of Doctors Angela and Denton Deere.
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Mescallado, Ray. "TheBestNotes on The Westing Game".
. 09 May 2017