Study Guide

The Maltese Falcon Chapter 5

By Dashiell Hammett

Chapter 5

The Levantine

  • Cairo declares his intention to search Spade's office for the black bird. He searches Spade's pockets for any concealed weapon, but this turns out to be a mistake. Spade elbows Cairo in the face, and after a brief struggle, Cairo is knocked unconscious.
  • Now it's Spade's turn to go through Cairo's pockets. A leather wallet containing $365. A Greek passport. Three colorful silk handkerchiefs. A newspaper clipping detailing Archer's and Thursby's murders. A ticket for a performance at the Geary Theatre that evening. Some slips of Hotel Belvedere writing paper with Spade's name and addresses on them. And various other odds and ends.
  • When Cairo finally comes to, Spade tries to obtain more information about the black bird. Cairo refuses to state who he's working for, but again offers to pay Spade $5000 for the return of the bird.
  • Spade finally agrees to look into the matter.