Study Guide

The Big Sleep Chapter 3

By Raymond Chandler

Chapter 3

  • Marlowe enters Vivian's room, which is lavishly decorated in modern furniture. Marlowe is impressed by Vivian's beauty, but thinks that she's "trouble." 
  • Vivian wants to know why her father hired Marlowe. She attempts to get Marlowe to tell her whether her father wants Marlowe to find out what happened to Rusty. 
  • Then she explains that one day out of the blue Rusty got up and left without saying a word to anyone, and that later his car was found in a garage. Marlowe says he wasn't hired to look for Rusty, and his "tough guy" act gets on Vivian's nerves. 
  • After leaving the Sternwood mansion, Marlowe looks out over the Sternwoods' oilfields. Thunder sounds in the distance. Marlowe heads to the Hollywood Public Library to do research on rare books.