Study Guide

The Maltese Falcon Chapter 8

By Dashiell Hammett

Chapter 8

Horse Feathers

  • Inside, they find Brigid huddled in an armchair and Cairo holding a pistol with blood running down his forehead.
  • Cairo accuses Brigid of attacking him, whereas Brigid calls him a downright liar, saying that he had attacked her.
  • Spade steps in and says that Cairo and O'Shaughnessy were merely play-acting. Since Cairo knows he can't press charges without putting himself in the hot seat, he goes along with Spade's story.
  • Even though the officers don't believe Spade, they have nothing to go on so they can't arrest him. Instead, they take Cairo to the station for questioning.