Study Guide

The Westing Game Chapter 5

By Ellen Raskin

Chapter 5

Sixteen Heirs

  • The heirs all arrive at the Westing house to hear the will be read. First to arrive are Grace, Angela, and Turtle. Jake doesn't come. Grace thinks she is the heir, because she kind of remembers a rich uncle in the family. She says she wonders what happened to her cross.
  • Turtle already knows her way around the house because of her Halloween trespassing.
  • They're met at the door by Crow, who takes their coats, and then go to the library to take their seats. Angela starts embroidering, while Turtle realizes the coffin has the dead man she saw in it. Now he's dressed like Uncle Sam and is holding her mom's cross.
  • D. Denton Deere, Angela's fiancé, arrives; he's one of the heirs too. Grace makes Turtle move so he can sit with them.
  • Flora arrives and Grace introduces her to Dr. Deere, even though she wonders why Flora is there. Flora goes to sit with Turtle.
  • Otis arrives, shouting that he's there: then, Doug and Mr. Hoo come in, followed by Sandy.
  • Grace decides that since, obviously, not all these people were related to Mr. Westing—although she thinks she is—that the will must include servants.
  • Theo and Chris come in, but say their parents weren't invited. Chris says it's snowing, but because of his disability, only Theo and Flora understand him.
  • Flora talks to Chris in gibberish, and Theo scolds her; she almost cries, and everyone else pretends not to notice.
  • Dr. Deere diagnoses him with "Pyramidal tract involvement," trying to show Angela how smart he is, but she runs out instead.
  • Then, Judge Ford arrives. Mr. Hoo wants to get started, and does a little restaurant advertising.
  • The lawyer says they can't start till everyone's there. Grace and Mr. Hoo say their spouses aren't coming, and the lawyer says they're expecting a couple more.
  • Judge Ford wonders why such a youthful lawyer is in charge of such an important will, and can't figure out why she, or anyone, has been invited.
  • Angela returns and they all wait.
  • Crow comes in, followed by Sydelle on crutches. Everyone stares at Sydelle; she claims to have a wasting disease. She's wearing a purple dress with stripes, which makes Turtle think of purple waves.
  • Dr. Deere can't figure out what's happening with Sydelle, because she takes turns limping on each leg. But he makes up a diagnosis to satisfy Grace.
  • The lawyer gets going after Sydelle gets out her shorthand materials and says she's ready to take notes.