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Quotes

Quote #4

Theo had begun reading the refrain and ended up singing. He shyly laughed off his foolishness.

'I guess it doesn't have anything to do with money or the will, just Uncle Sam's patriotism coming up again.' (14.53)

Theo's both right and wrong here. The quotation from "America the Beautiful" is an important part of solving the clues that the will offers, but solving those clues isn't what leads to the answer, or the inheritance.

Quote #5

Sandy was proud of the notebook he bought, with its glossy cover photograph of a bald eagle in flight (sort of appropriate, he explained to the judge; fits in with Uncle Sam and all that). (17.17)

At first it seems like Sandy's misguidedly trying to honor Westing, although that doesn't really fit with the history we've heard they have together. But really, Sandy's hiding in plain sight, getting to put patriotic emblems on things – just as he would have done as Sam Westing – and then telling the judge it's just a tribute, when really this patriotic connection between them should've been a dead giveaway.

Quote #6

Sydelle could barely control her excitement. 'The will said, Sing in praise of this generous land. The will said, May God thy gold refine. America, Angela, America! Purple mountain majesties, Angela. Whoopee!' (21.105)

It's kind of unfair that Sydelle solves this part of the mystery and doesn't get any rewards from it. She's actually doing a great job of close reading the will, connecting the idea of singing to the other clues they already have. At first, it might seem as though she thinks "America" could be the answer, however. Unless you remember that "purple mountain majesties" is a phrase from "America the Beautiful," you might not realize that's the reference she's making here.

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