Study Guide

The Big Sleep Chapter 4

By Raymond Chandler

Chapter 4

  • Marlowe drives to Geiger's bookstore. A pretty blonde asks Marlowe if she can be of assistance. 
  • Talking in a fake effeminate voice, Marlowe tries to test the woman's knowledge of rare books by asking about several first editions (which don't actually exist!). The woman says the store doesn't carry these books.
  • Marlowe waits for Geiger when a mysterious man goes into the back room of the store and comes out with a wrapped package that looks like a book. He's acting shady, so when he leaves the shop, Marlowe tails him. 
  • The man tries to lose Marlowe, but decides to play it safe by abandoning the incriminating package by a tree. 
  • Marlowe recovers the package (any guesses as to what's inside?). He hears thunder rumbling again.