Free Study Guide for The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin|
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THE WESTING GAME - FREE CHAPTER SUMMARY / NOTES
Doug is putting his half of the check to his savings account, Theo's half goes to his parents. The clues they have are HIS N ON TO THEE FOR. Theo guesses they may mean numbers, while Doug wonders if ON is really NO. Theo asks Doug about the night Turtle went to the house on the bet but Doug saw no clues that night. Theo mentions playing chess with somebody in the game room but has no idea who. Theo suspects all the clues together create one message and that the message will point to the murderer. Doug thinks the killer won't hand over the clues since it will be incriminating. Wanting to stay in shape for track, he runs up and down the stairs and hallways.
Judge Ford is insulted by the clues she received, SKIES AM SHINING BROTHER. She does not think Westing was murdered and she opens the envelope Plum gave her, which is a certificate of sanity from the previous week, signed Sidney Sikes, M.D. Remembering the newspaper obituary, she finds that Sikes is a friend of Westing and that both were involved in a near-fatal automobile accident. Judge Ford thinks that Sam Westing is using the Westing game to persecute one of the heirs, but she's not sure which one. She wonders how everyone is connected beyond Sunset Towers and realizes this is a good starting point. With the telephones working again, she calls up Barney Northrup and reaches an answering machine. She calls the newspaper and asks for information, which they don't usually supply but will do so in her case.
Angela finds what she wants in Turtle's desk and rejoins Sydelle, who
unseals the envelope with their clues: GOOD GRACE FROM HOOD SPACIOUS.
Sydelle thinks they should check automobile hoods for more clues. They
go over the comments of the others in the game room last night and in
their talks that day and come up with more clues: KING QUEEN PURPLE WAVES
ON (NO) GRAINS MOUNTAIN (EMPTY). There is a knock on the door: it's Theo,
asking for a game of chess. The object of the game is "to win"
but Angela thinks it may mean "twin". Angela is scared at the
thought of a murderer among them but Sydelle thinks it's about money so
they're safe. But upon returning to Sydelle's apartment, they discover
someone had stolen her shorthand notebook.
Turtle's striped candles become a significant part of the story as they provide the fuses to all the bombs that are set off - by Angela, herself, and ultimately Sam Westing. The fact that the Sunset Towers tenants are snowed in results in their keeping the front door of their apartments unlocked, paving the way for Madame Hoo to take advantage and start stealing from them.
As readers become aware of the clues the heirs possess, some reactions in the previous chapter become clearer. Clearly, the way each pair interprets their clues is based on who they are and what their interests are - for example, the umbrage that Judge Ford takes at the words of her clue have to do with racism, as she is African American. Further, Judge Ford immediately proves how dangerous she is to Sam Westing's game by thinking outside of it, correctly assuming that he had not been murdered and seeking out his real motive. In that sense, she is the main detective for the majority of the novel, finding relevant facts for the reader that help piece together Westing's true intention. Angela may have taken the striped candles for her bombs in this chapter, as she is looking for something and it's not stated what it is exactly.
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Mescallado, Ray. "TheBestNotes on The Westing Game".
. 09 May 2017