Study Guide

The Westing Game Chapter 26

By Ellen Raskin

Chapter 26

Turtle's Trial

  • Judge Ford holds court, with Turtle as lawyer and Sydelle as court reporter. She thinks Turtle appears and behaves like Westing himself.
  • Turtle argues that Westing and Sandy are dead, but not because of Crow. She imitates lawyers on TV. She recaps that they saw smoke from the Westing house on Halloween night, and calls on Chris.
  • She asks him if he was bird watching that night and whom he saw. He says he was, and he saw someone limping: Dr. Sikes. Turtle says what Sikes was doing there is their next question.
  • Next is Otis Amber. The judge asks him to give her his gun, which he does. Turtle says many of them are in disguise, so who is he? Otis says he's a PI, and was in disguise as a delivery boy.
  • He says he was employed by Sam Westing, Barney Northrup, and Judge Ford.
  • Turtle asks him what he was supposed to look up. He says for twenty years he's been looking after Crow and keeping her out of trouble and from saying she's a Westing. He was employed to do that until last week.
  • Barney hired him to look into six people: Judge Ford, George, Mr. Hoo, Gracie Windkloppel, Flora, and Sybil Pulaski. He made a mistake and looked up Sydelle instead.
  • He tells the judge he couldn't reveal Crow's connection to Westing, because Westing had paid him to keep that secret. He wasn't supposed to look into Dr. Deere, Crow, or Sandy. He researched everybody except Judge Ford and Sandy. He never investigated Sandy for anyone.
  • Grace interrupts, saying she saw a dead man. When Turtle asks her who, Madame Hoo gets worried and runs out.
  • Otis reveals Sandy told him the scary dead guy story, and they used it to dare Turtle in the house, where she found the body of Westing.
  • Next, Turtle interviews Dr. Deere. She gets him to admit that he's not sure whether the body was poisoned, embalmed, or even a dead body—it could've been a wax figure.
  • He says Sandy wasn't dead yet when Sikes arrived, and he probably had a heart attack.
  • Turtle says that couldn't have been brought on by what Crow put in his flask: lemon juice.
  • Dr. Deere says Sandy definitely had a big bruise on his shin.
  • Next is Sydelle. Turtle says she did a good job on the will, except that the last word of Chapter Three is missing. Sydelle can't remember what the last word was. Judge Ford says Sandy made a joke then and nobody heard it.
  • Turtle realizes maybe there was never a word there.
  • She rereads parts four and five, and asks Judge Ford to show the letter Plum gave her. The judge reaches for a letter of sanity and instead finds a receipt, which says that she no longer owes Westing money for her education.
  • They're interrupted by Madame Hoo, who says that she took things so she could go to China, and who starts to cry. She brings in all the missing things except Grace's cross. Everyone except Flora thinks it's stealing. Turtle gives her back the clock to keep.
  • At the end of the "trial," Turtle's almost to the solution, but not there yet. She says that Westing was many people, and still alive when the will was read. She says he was disguised as one of the players: Sandy. She says Sandy kept medicine, not alcohol, in his flask.
  • When the second part of the will was read, Turtle says, she saw Sandy coming out of the library. That means he finished writing the will after they offered their solutions to the first part. There was no murder, but the will wasn't a lie: Westing's life was taken by Sandy when he switched identities.
  • The judge wonders why Turtle doesn't say that Westing was also Barney Northrup.
  • Turtle wonders why Westing was at least two people, then realizes it was three: Westing, Northrup, and Sandy.
  • The judge asks if Sandy committed suicide, but Turtle's not listening; she's looking at the will.
  • With no missing word, part three reads, "The heir who wins the windfall will be the one who finds the… FOURTH" (26.93). Turtle realizes Westing was four people, and she knows who the fourth one is. She decides to keep it to herself and asks the judge to repeat the question.
  • The judge realizes Turtle has information no one else does.
  • Turtle says Sandy didn't commit suicide, it was just his time to die. She's telling everyone to take a moment of silence for Sandy, when Crow and Plum come in.