Study Guide

Chinatown Scene 3

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Scene 3

Scene 3

  • We flip ahead to Jake in a barbershop, where the story of Mulwray's affair has been splashed over the front of the paper Jake's holding.
  • The barber compliments Jake on his sleuthing. Another patron in the shop insults Jake for the way he makes his living, exposing affairs—Jake angrily rebuts him and accuses him of foreclosing on poor people's houses. Jake insists he makes an honest living.
  • The barber tells a dirty joke about how Chinese people have sex…
  • …and we switch to Jake's office, where Jake tells the same dirty joke to his assistants. He doesn't notice a woman standing behind him, and continues telling the joke. The assistants are embarrassed and don't say anything.
  • Jake finishes the joke and turns around, noticing the woman. His gales of laughter die.
  • It turns out that this woman is the real Mrs. Mulwray—she's young, and the first older woman was actually an impostor who asked Jake to spy on the real Mrs. Mulwray's husband.
  • The real Mrs. Mulwray threatens to sue Jake and leaves the office, telling him he'll hear from her attorney.
  • Jake goes to Hollis Mulwray's office to try to talk to him, but his secretary says he's out. Jake goes into Hollis's office and notices a picture of the woman Hollis was ostensibly cheating with on his desk. He also notes an appointment Hollis has scheduled for the near future.
  • The deputy chief of the Water and Power Department comes in and talks to Jake. They walk to his office together amiably.
  • The deputy chief, named Russ Yelburton, says that Hollis isn't the kind of man who would cheat on his wife.
  • Jake takes some of Yelburton's business cards and leaves.

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