Study Guide

Chinatown Scene 2

Scene 2

Scene 2

  • Next, we see a car driving near a ravine, which leads down to the dry L.A. river.
  • Jake's spying on it with binoculars from a distance. He sees Hollis Mulwray get out and briefly chat with a boy who rides up on a horse. Mulwray then inspects the dry riverbed at the bottom of the ravine.
  • Jake follows Hollis's car in his own, and spies on him using the car's side mirror. He sees Hollis go down to the sea and stare off into the ocean.
  • Jake waits until it gets dark, and Hollis still remains out there. Suddenly, a previously dry water pipe sends out a coursing gush of water, which runs down to the sea.
  • When Jake gets back to his car, he sees someone has put a campaign flier on his car, urging him to prevent L.A. from dying of thirst, voting to approve the engineering project to bring water to the city.
  • Jake places a stopwatch under the tire of Mulwray's car.
  • The next day, back at his office, Jake holds the broken watch and notes that Mulwray was out there all night.
  • Jake's assistant shows him photos he took of Hollis Mulwray getting into a big argument with an older gentleman. The assistant, Walsh, says he only managed to make out the word "apple core." Jake's disappointed.
  • Jake gets a tip about where Hollis is, and follows him out to Echo Park (also in L.A.). Jake and an assistant sit on a boat on a pond in the park and photograph Hollis as he paddles by on a pleasure boat with another woman (not his wife).
  • Jake follows Hollis to a patio and takes a picture of him kissing the girl, though he knocks off a tile on the roof where he's standing and almost attracts their attention.

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