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Quotes

Quote #7

The sheriff checked his watch. What kind of a madhouse is this? And there's something mighty fishy about this cocky kid-lawyer calling in the middle of dinner, insisting that I hurry right over. That was half an hour before anybody died. (24.51)

If we're paying close attention, we realize that this is an important reveal about how staged the entire second will reading was – that this emergency situation was carefully planned, and that someone orchestrated it very deliberately. It also shows that the heirs may have gotten so caught up in the game that they're letting their excitement about playing cloud their judgment. An outsider like the sheriff sees that things are "fishy" almost immediately, but the heirs have suspended some of their logic in order to concentrate on obtaining the prize.

Quote #8

'That's a lie, that's a disgusting lie,' Turtle shouted. 'The only person I kicked today was Barney Northrup and he deserved it. I didn't even see Sandy until tonight at the Westing house. Right, Baba?' (25.14)

Turtle's right – Dr. Deere's accusation is a lie. She didn't kick Sandy. But Dr. Deere is also right – Sandy's body had the scar of one of Turtle's infamous kicks. If Sandy hadn't been silly enough to show up as Barney, he wouldn't have gotten kicked. Turtle's realization that they can't both be lying helps motivate her to figure out what else was going on in the will, and put the process, as well as Sandy's character, on trial.

Quote #9

The queen's sacrifice! The famous Westing trap. Judge Ford was certain now, but there were still too many unanswered questions. 'I'm afraid greed got the best of you, Theo. By taking white's queen you were tricked into opening your defense. I know, I've lost a few games that way myself.' (25.27)

Theo's loss in the actual chess game, which he played against an anonymous opponent, mirrors the heirs' loss in the game for Westing's fortune. He loses this game just as Judge Ford lost her games so many years ago, and just as the heirs have all lost the game set forth in the will. There's something about thinking a win's coming that makes players (in chess or in this game) overconfident. The players, and Theo, sacrificed their queens (Crow) just as Westing knew they would.

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