Study Guide

The Big Sleep Chapter 11

By Raymond Chandler

Chapter 11

  • The client waiting for Marlowe is none other than Vivian. She tells him that she has heard the news about Taylor and admits that he was in love with Carmen. 
  • Marlowe tries to test Vivian's reaction by mentioning Taylor's police record, but Vivian's only response is that Taylor didn't know the right people. 
  • Vivian then says that she didn't come to discuss Taylor. She tells Marlowe that she's being blackmailed. She received a letter with a picture of her naked sister.
  • And later, a woman telephoned to demand $5000 for the return of the negatives.
  • Marlowe asks where Vivian was the previous night and she claims to have been at Eddie Mars' Cypress Club. She also claims that she doesn't know Taylor had taken her car.
  • Vivian says that she'll get the $5000 from Eddie, and also mentions that it was Eddie's wife, Mona Mars, who ran off with Rusty. Ouch. 
  • Vivian again asks whether Marlowe is looking for Rusty, and Marlowe promises that he isn't. The conversation continues in this flirtatious tone, but Marlowe won't play into Vivian's hand so she again leaves on a sour note. 
  • Later, Marlowe phones Ohls, who tells him that the police can't confirm whether Taylor's death was suicide or murder. Ohls also confirms that Vivian's alibi checked out and that she had been seen at the Cypress Club.
  • Marlowe goes to pick up his car, which had been towed. He also checks the newspaper and confirms that Geiger's death hasn't been reported.