Free Study Guide for The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

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CHAPTER 13: The Second Bomb


The bomber sets the next bomb in a can in the kitchen of Shin Hoo's Restaurant, fused with a color-striped candle to go off at six-thirty when no one would be around. That evening Grace Wexler works as the seating hostess for the restaurant, which expects a good deal of business with the coffee shop shut down. Theo's mother and father order down while everyone else ate at the restaurant itself. Grace decides to pair off people as she pleases, just as Sam Westing did: she places Chris Theodorakis with Sydelle, while Theo is seated with Angela Wexler. Theo talks about wanting to go to college but having to work to help pay for his brother's operation. Angela says her fiancé may be able to help; she went to college for one year, wanting to be a doctor, but her family didn't have enough money and her mother said medical school was too difficult for women. Theo adds he wants to be a writer and asks if Angela will go to college if she wins the inheritance. Angela doesn't answer.

Josie-Jo Ford sits with Flora Baumbach; they discuss wedding gowns and the shop Flora kept for many years, first with her husband and then by herself when her husband left. She speaks of Angela's wedding gown and how Angela reminds her of another girl she made a wedding dress for: Violet Westing.

Sydelle Pulaski and Chris Theodorakis have fun while they eat together, laughing and joking. Turtle is seated by herself, listening to stock market news as her investments drop in value. Grace is joined by her husband Jake, who she seats with Turtle while she checks with Mr. Hoo, who she now calls Jimmy. Mr. Hoo comes by and suggests food to eat, then asks in a lower voice about the point spread on the Packers game. Jake tells him to see him later but Turtle says it's okay, she already knows her father is a bookie.

Sydelle asks Chris directly if he can walk, a question usually asked in whispers to his parents. She thinks he has the perfect alibi to be a thief or murderer, which delights Chris and cements their friendship. He asks to read her notes and she assures him that will be soon. She then decides to go to the kitchen to compliment the chef; as she enters the kitchen, Angela rushes to stop her. Otis Amber arrives with news that the roads are clear - and then the bomb goes off.

Mr. Hoo tells everyone to stay put as he rushes into the kitchen, where fireworks have gone off. He calls for an ambulance as there's been an accident. Madame Hoo and Angela take care of Sydelle; according to the ambulance attendant, she fractured her right ankle. Grace says Angela can visit Sydelle in a few days but Sydelle calls for her; Jake tells Angela she can go with her friend and so Grace relents, saying she could see Doctor Deere while there.

The policeman and fire inspector agree it was just a gas explosion. Grace asks the policeman about the burglaries but he's with the bomb squad. As for the coffee shop accident, that was also a gas explosion. Jake is skeptical but the fireman explains that happens in weather like this. He instructs the tenants to air out their kitchens before lighting ovens, and Grace Wexler does so for the next three days for fear of ruining Angela's wedding shower party. However, this is exactly where the bomber strikes next.


Grace is now hostess at the restaurant, furthering this subplot of assuming a new identity in her work. That she takes pride in creating new pairs of people show that she takes a little after her uncle Sam, with whom she compares herself. Theo and Angela begin to bond a little as a result, hinting at a possible romance. Judge Ford finds out Flora's relation to the Westing family, while Sydelle shows a good side of her attention-hungry personality by having fun with Chris. Her blunt questions delight Chris, who also wants attention and adventure. Angela's attempt to stop Sydelle from entering the kitchen is a clear hint that she is the bomber. Jake allowing Angela to accompany Sydelle to the hospital shows him beginning to assert a more traditional paternal role in the family, part of the slow return to a more productive familial dynamic for the Wexlers.


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The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin-Free BookNotes Summary

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