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The Big Sleep

Raymond Chandler

Chapters 28–30

Chapters 25–27

Chapters 28–30, page 2

page 1 of 3

Chapter 28

Marlowe comes to after his beating and realizes that he has been tied up and handcuffed, and that he is in the house beside the garage. He also realizes that a woman is in the room with him. The woman is Mona Grant Eddie Mars's wife. Marlowe is sore from his beating, but this does not stop him from his typically hard and witty banter. He and Mona talk, and as he describes her it is clear he is attracted to her. Mona, whom Marlowe calls "Silver-Wig" because of the platinum wig she is wearing.

Mona defends Eddie Mars because she is in love with him, even when Marlowe accuses Mars of being a murderer—or worse, a murderer by proxy. Silver-Wig also assures Marlowe that her husband did not kill Rusty Regan. Nevertheless, Silver-Wig sets Marlowe free of his ropes. She cannot undo his handcuffs because Canino who has left Silver-Wig to watch over Marlowe, has left with the keys. Marlowe asks her to come with him for her own safety, but she refuses. Marlowe is about to leave, but not before he and Silver-Wig kiss.

Chapter 29

Marlowe runs out of the house into the rain and toward the highway, going over in his mind the plan he perceives Canino and his henchman have to kill him. Marlowe runs to the highway and sees that his car has been repaired so that it could be driven away after the thugs were done with Marlowe. Marlowe grabs his gun from the car and heads back to the house. On the way there he is almost spotted by Canino in his car.

When Marlowe arrives back in the house, he is too impatient to allow the scene to play out and Silver-Wig to attempt her explanations. Instead, he throws gravel at the window, trying to lure Canino from the house. When that does not work, Marlowe turns on the car ignition, as Canino has left his keys inside. Marlowe turns the key but exits the car after doing so, knowing that Canino will shoot at the car, thinking that Marlowe is still inside.

Canino does just that, and Marlowe feigns a scream of pain. Canino laughs and sends Silver-Wig out to see if she can see Marlowe. Silver-Wig lies for Marlowe and screams out that she can see Marlowe's dead body behind the wheel. Fooled by Silver-Wig, Canino lets his guard down, and Marlowe manages to shoot him.

Chapter 30

Marlowe is at the Missing Persons Bureau talking to Captain Gregory. We learn that Marlowe has been chided by the homicide bureau, and by the police in general, for having taken matters into his own hands. Marlowe tells Captain Gregory that he is done with the case, even though Rusty Regan has not been found and even though Captain Gregory knows that to ask of Marlowe such a request is all but futile. After leaving the Missing Persons Bureau, Marlowe gets the feeling that the Captain knows something and is not telling him.

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