Study Guide

The Westing Game Chapter 21

By Ellen Raskin

Chapter 21

The Fourth Bomb

  • Turtle and Flora are counting up their stock money in Flora's apartment when Theo barges in and asks Turtle if he can borrow her bike (so he can follow Otis).
  • When Turtle hesitates it, he says he didn't write that sign about her, and threatens that he didn't say anything about who the bomber was to the police. He means that Turtle's the bomber.
  • He also works the nice angle, saying he saw Angela that day.
  • Turtle thinks Theo meant Angela was the bomber, and he lets him take the bike.
  • She tries to call Angela at the hospital, but no one picks up. She's worried Angela will confess to the bombings if people press her.
  • On the bike, Theo follows Crow and Otis downtown, where they go to the Good Salvation Soup Kitchen. Theo looks in the window and sees them feeding soup to the poor and homeless. He rushes back to Sunset Towers, feeling ashamed and gross for spying on them, and mad at San Westing for making him play the game.
  • Back at Sunset Towers, the judge and Sandy are almost finished with their research, but they still have to go over their own cases. Sandy's notes on himself say he has six kids, two grandkids, and that he dropped out of school after eighth grade. His link to the Westings is that he worked for the factory for twenty years before being fired.
  • Then, Sandy interviews Judge Ford. She thinks about how she kept some facts about the other players secret, because she doesn't totally trust him to keep his mouth shut, and then tells him about herself. She has an Ivy League education and is linked to the Westings because her parents were the Westings' servants.
  • Sandy's surprised. The judge says she used to play chess with Sam Westing. In their last game, she thought she'd won... until she realized he gave up his queen on purpose, and tricked her.
  • At twelve, she went to boarding school, and Sam Westing paid for her whole education. She thinks she owes Westing, and she'll never be able to pay him back.
  • Theo, upset, is waiting for the elevator. But when it comes, a series of rockets and explosions shoot out. Then it goes back up to the third floor, where another explosion occurs... because the bomber miscalculated.
  • When the bomb squad comes, Turtle is on the floor crying. Grace asks her where it hurts, but Turtle's mostly upset that her braid has been burned off.
  • Grace yells at the bomb squad, and the policeman show evidence: a sign saying "The bomber strikes again!" written on the back of one of Turtle's homework assignments.
  • When Grace asks Turtle if someone stole that from her, she just demands a lawyer.
  • Instead of taking Turtle to jail, the bomb squad takes her upstairs to Judge Ford.
  • Judge Ford scolds Turtle and asks her why she set off the bombs. The judge realizes she's protecting someone, and asks if it's Angela. Turtle denies this too strongly.
  • This surprises the judge, who thinks of Angela as a "sweet, pretty thing." Then, the judge pauses to think about how she hasn't taken Angela seriously, because of her beauty. She thinks she would've responded differently to the situation.
  • The judge asks Turtle to promise not to set off any more fireworks, and then asks her if she has any other confessions.
  • Turtle admits she was at the murder scene the night of the crime, and the judge asks her to tell her about it. When Turtle says Mr. Westing's body looked more like a wax figure than a dead body, the judge gets excited. Turtle also realizes that maybe there wasn't really a dead body.
  • Turtle asks for a little bourbon to put on her toothache, and the judge sends her home.
  • Turtle takes this to mean she should go to Flora's and she's on her way there when she runs into Sandy.
  • He smells the bourbon and Turtle explains it's for her tooth. He thinks she's got a terrible cavity, so he tells her to go to his dentist, who's super-nice. Then, he asks her if she has any more striped candles, so he can give one to his wife for her birthday.
  • Turtle says she'll sell him the last one for only $5.
  • Back at the hospital, Angela and Sydelle are working on their clues again, after going back through the will twice and putting up a sign for privacy. Angela puts them in this order: "grains spacious grace good hood with beautiful majesties from thy purple waves on(no) mountain."
  • Sydelle says to read them again in a different order, with either "on" or "no," not both.
  • Angela shuffles and reads: "good spacious grains with grace on thy purple mountain hood waves from majesties beautiful."
  • Someone slides a note under the door. It's from Dr. Deere and it says that it seems like Angela needs some time and space. He says he'll wait and he loves her. Angela only tells Sydelle what the P.S. says, which is that Chris wants to share another clue, "plain."
  • Sydelle connects plains and grains, and asks Angela to read the clues one more time.
  • Angela reads: "good hood from spacious plain grains on with beautiful waves grace thy purple mountain majesties."
  • Animatedly, Sydelle says they've figured it out. She quotes two other parts of the will: "Sing in praise of this generous land," and "May God thy gold refine." She cries out, "America!" and flings her crutches in the air.