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The Big Sleep

Raymond Chandler

Chapters 10–12

Chapters 7–9

Chapters 10–12, page 2

page 1 of 3
Summary

Chapter 10

Back in Geiger's bookstore, Marlowe tells the attractive blond in the front that his last visit was nonsense, that what he really wanted was to talk to Geiger because he had something Geiger would want. Marlowe tells the woman that he is "in the business too." She becomes uneasy when Marlowe insists on seeing Geiger one way or another. She claims, nervously, that Geiger is out of town, and asks Marlowe to come back tomorrow.

Before Marlowe can respond, a young man opens the back door. Before the young man can close the door, Marlowe notices that there is much movement in the back room. He realizes that Geiger's stock of pornography merchandise is being moved out.

Marlowe exits the store, gets into a taxi, and follows the small black truck leaving Geiger's shop. He tails the truck all the way to the garage of an apartment building. When Marlowe gets out of the car to investigate, he looks over the names on the mailboxes to the apartment building. One of the names reads "Joseph Brody." Marlowe takes note of the apartment because he recalls that one Joe Brody had once bribed General Sternwood for $5,000.

Later, to confirm, Marlowe goes out to the garage and asks the man unloading the truck where all the merchandise was going—not surprisingly, it is all going to Brody. After collecting all the information he could, Marlowe gets back into the cab and goes downtown to his office, where he has a client waiting for him.

Chapter 11

The client waiting for Marlowe is Vivian Sternwood. She says she knows about what happened to Owen Taylor and she admits that he was in love with her sister, Carmen. Marlowe tells Vivian that Taylor had a police record in order to gauge her response. She only responds that Taylor "didn't know the right people. That's all a police record means in this rotten crime-ridden country."

However, Owen Taylor is not what Vivian has come to discuss—she has come to discuss the fact that she is being blackmailed. She received a letter, addressed to her, along with a picture of her naked sister. Later, a woman telephoned to demand $5,000 for the return of the rest of the pictures and the negatives. After Vivian's is finished telling the tale, Marlowe interrogates her to find out where she spent the previous night. She claims to have been at Eddie Mars's Cypress Club. Marlowe also asks her what Taylor was doing with her car the night before. She claims not to have known he had taken it.

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