The next morning a typed index card was tacked to the elevator's back wall asking for the return of Sydelle's shorthand notebook. Others took to posting up notices including: a request from Grace Wexler for her missing cross, a meeting to discuss clues tomorrow at 10 AM, the return of a missing Mickey Mouse clock by Turtle, an ad for Shin Hoo's restaurant, the return of a lost string of pearls by Flora Baumbach, a teasing note to Turtle and her kicking habit, an invitation to an informal party at Judge Ford's apartment at eight o'clock that evening, and a reminder by Grace Wexler for Turtle to be home at seven thirty.
At Flora Baumbach's insistence, Turtle follows that last note and returns home. No one is home but Grace soon arrives. Grace fixes Turtle's hair, asks if she'd eaten, and tries to coerce Turtle into revealing her clues. Angela and Sydelle then arrive; Grace asks Angela about her missing engagement ring, Angela explains she had developed a rash. Grace likes the idea of Judge Ford's party and suggests to Mr. Hoo to contact the judge about providing hors d'ouevres. Grace tries to coax Sydelle into showing her notes - which Sydelle suspects Grace may have stolen - and Grace mentions that Angela would also benefit if she wins the inheritance. This angers Turtle.
Theo is tending bar for Judge Ford's party, and Judge Ford is speaking
to the newspaperman on the files he researched. As Mr. Hoo delivers the
appetizers, Judge Ford finds out over the phone that Hoo had claimed that
Westing sole his idea for the disposable paper diaper. There's also a
stack of clippings on Doug Hoo's high school sports accomplishments and
a good deal of Westing clippings. Ford hangs up, as the party is to begin.
The use of the elevator as a bulletin board is a sign of how the Sunset
Towers heirs are becoming more of a community, opening up new means of
communication in unexpected places. It also hints at Madame Hoo's stealing
of valuables from other tenants, as Flora Baumbach is missing her pearls.
Angela's reluctance to marry is revealed in her refusal to wear the engagement
ring, while Grace Wexler's slow transformation into a restaurateur is
seen in her suggestion to have Hoo provide food for Judge Ford's party.
Grace and Jake Wexler are the first to arrive, Grace not wanting to miss a clue or wait around in her apartment with a murderer loose. The party goes on and on, as no one wants to be the first to leave. Jake checks on daughter Angela, who is upset for two reasons: everyone mentions Denton when speaking to her and Grace scolded her in front of everyone for dressing up in a "twin" costume with Sydelle. Jake then speaks with Madame Hoo; Angela points out she doesn't speak English but Jake says she never will if no one talks to her. Judge Ford speaks to Angela about her upcoming marriage, and Sydelle joins them, trying to get her to speak about twins. The judge leaves and Sydelle complains to Angela about the twin angle not working.
Judge Ford watches the only pair in Sunset Towers who are not heirs,
George and Catherine Theodorakis, the parents of Chris and Theo. Chris
continues to watch legs for a limp. There's a long line at the bar as
Theo tries to explain chess to Sydelle. Mr. Hoo chides his son for not
hosting Theo's meeting at the restaurant instead of the coffee shop. Grace
speaks to Angela again about dressing up the same as Sydelle, then mentions
Mr. Hoo catering the wedding shower on Saturday. Upset, Angela rushes
into the kitchen to be alone; instead, she finds Crow there, who provides
comfort. Flora and Turtle call for bets on whether "May God thy gold
refine" is from the Bible or Shakespeare. Turtle guesses that Sydelle's
shorthand notes were stolen when they argue over the exact wording. Theo
asks politely and Sydelle quotes the line, "Spend it wisely and may
God thy gold refine". Disappointed that there were no further clues,
the guests end the party.
The title "The Long Party" may be an homage to the classic Raymond Chandler novel The Long Goodbye. Jake finally befriends his partner, Madame Hoo, by simply talking to her and in doing so encourage her to learn English. He sees no reason to do otherwise, showing an innate empathy that isn't as evident in his wife Grace. The behavior of the different pairs helps reveal what their suspicions are, as seen by the "twin" costumes of Angela and Sydelle as well as Theo asking everyone for a game of chess. The stress of outside expectations begins to take its toll on Angela, who is consoled by Crow. This begins the subplot of Crow seeing her long-dead daughter Violet in Angela, who bears a strong resemblance in both looks and situation. As with the meeting at the Westing house, the fact that George and Catherine Theodorakis are not heirs is noted again, this time by Judge Ford; their lack of participation is a clue that not only reveals a connection to Violet Westing, but also Sam Westing's desire to be more compassionate than in the past.
Cite this page:
Mescallado, Ray. "TheBestNotes on The Westing Game".
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