The Westing Game

The Westing Game Summary and Analysis of Chapter 11 (The Meeting) - Chapter 15 (Fact and Gossip)


The big debate among the tenants of the apartment now is whether or not to collaborate with other teams. Both Turtle and Flora make discoveries about their respective partners. Turtle finds out that Flora had a daughter, but she’s gone. Flora finds out that Turtle’s real name is in fact Tabatha Ruth.

In the Theodorakis' coffee shop, Theo and Doug call a meeting to ask Grace, Sydelle, Angela, and Mr. Hoo if anyone’s clues make any sense to them, and then asks them if anyone wants to play in a chess tournament. Mr. Hoo reveals that he has found Sydelle’s transcription of the will, which she reveals is useless to anyone besides her since she transcribed it in Polish.

The group agrees to give Sydelle a larger share of the inheritance in exchange for her notes (in English). Mr. Hoo offers to share his clues to prove that he and Grace Wexler are innocent. Instead, Judge Ford suggests that since everyone is innocent until proven guilty, they should not share clues and are allowed to ask anonymous questions instead.

“Is anyone here a twin?” No one answers.

“What is Turtle’s real name?” Grace Wexler lies and Flora tells the truth.

“How many people here have actually met Sam Westing?” Only Mr. Hoo.

“Who got kicked last week?” No answer.

Suddenly, there’s an explosion. Everyone in the restaurant thinks they’re covered in blood, but they realize it’s tomato sauce. George Theodorakis concludes that it’s a bomb. His wife Catherine agrees.

In Sydelle’s apartment, Turtle tells Angela that their mother thinks Angela stole Sydelle’s notebook. Turtle then says that she doesn’t think Angela wants to marry her fiancee. Sydelle says that Turtle is jealous, and she retorts that at least she doesn’t need a crutch to get attention. Sydelle snaps back that Turtle’s crutch is her big mouth, but Angela thinks that her crutch is her braid.

The newspaperman calls up Judge Ford to inform her that George Theodorakis at one point escorted Violet Westing to a party in Westingtown. She now knows that Mr. Hoo, George, Sandy, and herself all know Sam Westing. She decides to call a private investigator, but to her surprise, when he picks up the phone, that person shares the same voice as Sam Westing.

A second bomb is planted Shin Hoo’s restaurant, placed specifically with a candle to react with MSG. Grace Wexler assists Shin Hoo in the restaurant and decides to play matchmaker with the couples. She wheels Chris over to dine with Sydelle and they get on famously. Angela begins talking to Theo about their mutual desire to go to college, and how they both can’t: Theo because of the cost of the operation for Chris, and Angela because of her engagement and family troubles. Theo reveals that he wanted to be a writer and asks Angela if she would go to college if she won the inheritance. She can’t answer the question.

Judge Ford meets with Flora and discovers that she at one time made a dress for Sam Westing’s daughter, Violet Westing. In Hoo’s restaurant, Jake Wexler is jealous of his wife’s chumminess with Mr. Hoo and Turtle listens to the stock market (down 12 points!) on a radio. Chris and Sydelle bond and she accuses him of being the murderer, which pleases him. Sydelle gets up to give her compliments to the chef and goes into the kitchen just as Otis Amber arrives. The bomb goes off. Only Sydelle is injured, and she is taken to the hospital.

Finally, the snow melts and the tenants of Sunset Tower are freed. Angela looks under the hoods of cars in answer to the clues “Good gracious from hood space.” Flora takes Turtle to a broker’s office to check on the status of their investments. They are not doing well.

Judge Ford tries to tip Sandy, who refuses because she gave him the entirety of the $10,000. He tries to help with the clues, identifying Dr. Sikes, Otis Amber, Mr. Hoo, and Theo or Chris as potential suspects. She suggests that perhaps Sam Westing is out to get one of the people on the list.

Grace and Mr. Hoo argue about whether or not to start an advertising campaign for the restaurant as Crow and Otis Amber reminisce about an unarmed person. Otis Amber mutters to himself that so many people are buying Westing Paper Products that it’s messing up his deliveries.

Denton Deere explains to Chris that he is a plastic surgery intern and can’t help with his condition. Chris tells him about the connection between Judge Ford living in Apt 4D. He refuses to cosign the check.

While Angela waits for Denton, Theo arrives in the lobby. He finds the answer to where the phrase “May God thy gold refine” comes from: “America, the Beautiful.” Denton arrives and Theo asks if he wants to play chess. He ignores Theo, and Sandy begins whistling "America, the Beautiful."

At the hospital, Denton and Angela argue about Sydelle being crazy until a psychiatrist comes in and confirms that she made up her disease, but is not crazy. Angela visits with Sydelle and finds her without makeup or her usual unctuous air. While Angela looks for her makeup, she finds a strange letter asking for forgiveness in a “tense rigid hand.” At the bottom are the clues “Thy Beautiful.”

Things start to return to normal at Sunset Towers. Both the coffee shop and restaurant reopen, and people return to their normal schedules. Turtle and Flora continue to lose money on the stock market.

Doug, Turtle, and Otis commiserate about how Westing could’ve died since Turtle claimed he looked too peaceful to have been murdered. Doug suggests that perhaps someone injected him with bee or snake venom. Doug then mentions that he saw someone in Turtle’s red boots looking through the hoods of the cars that morning, before running away. Otis Amber claims he doesn’t believe the murder actually happened. Turtle speaks to Sandy about whether anyone besides her left Sunset Towers on Halloween night. He remembers that both Otis and Crow also left. He then tells her a parable about a man who had his death predicted for him, but when it never came, he laughed. He died laughing.

Jake visits his wife at Hoo’s restaurant. Hoo and Grace argue about a potential advertising campaign involving renaming the restaurant “Hoo’s on First” after the old comedy routine. Mr. Hoo hates it, but Jake pretends to like it to appease his wife.

Judge Ford discovers that Sam Westing’s wife was a thin, shy woman who seemed to hate the limelight and that his daughter Violet was engaged to a senator who is now in jail for bribery. The rumor was, according to Sandy, that she killed herself rather than marry the politician. The parallel between Violet looking like Angela and her being involved with Theo’s father is not lost on them, and Sandy says if the scenario was to play out like it did in the past that Angela Wexler would have to die.


The Sunset Towers community is coming together to solve the clues, but they are not making much progress. Rather than discovering clues related to the murders, they are discovering facts about each other. Now, partnerships are branching out to seek help from other pairs.

The Westing Game is turning surprisingly dangerous. Not one but two bombs have gone off in the building: one simply spraying tomato sauce everywhere, the other injuring Sydelle. The is a sense of foreboding that there will likely be another bomb and that it will be more serious than the previous two.

The characters get close enough that they can speak candidly with each other. Turtle calls out her sister for not really wanting to marry Denton and Sydelle observes that she's jealous. Turtle is then comfortable enough to accuse Sydelle of making up her injury, which is of course confirmed by the psychiatrist after she ironically is truly injured by the bomb. Accusations get more personal as the cloud of suspicion descends over each of them.

Grace tries her hand at playing matchmaker. There is undeniable chemistry between Theo and Angela, who is feeling as though most of her decisions are being made for her. The discovery that both she and Theo had to turn down college for their families bonds them together. Surprisingly, Chris and Sydelle communicate extremely well and have a similar chemistry that keeps them laughing all through their dinner.

Ford continues to rely on the information from the papers. She learns the sad history of the Westing family and how other tenant’s stories are intertwined. Flora made the ill-fated wedding gown for his daughter Violet. Theo’s father used to be a suitor. Sandy remembers Mrs. Westing with a mole, whereas Judge Ford does not. It seems that either the investigator is misleading them or Sandy is misremembering. Judge Ford also believes that perhaps what Sam Westing is truly after is revenge from his grave.