Theo and Doug have called a meeting of the Westing Game players to discuss their clues. The two boys have not been able to make any sense of theirs, and were hoping that the others might want to collaborate, in case the clues are meant to all be used together. The meeting is held at the first floor Theodorakis coffee shop. The doors and windows are sealed shut by the several feet of snow which has fallen outside. The characters discuss the advantages of sharing their clues and working together, and the subject of the notes Sydelle Pulaski had taken at the reading of the will comes up. Before anything can be resolved, however, "the meeting (is) adjourned due to panic (Chapter 11).
From the kitchen, the game players hear "earsplitting bangs...screams...confusion." Mrs. Theodorakis comes running out, with her hair, face, and apron splattered with a red substance. At first, everyone thinks Mrs. Theodorakis is covered in blood, but she debunks that theory, telling them it is tomato sauce. Mr. Hoo, examining the kitchen, concludes that a row of tomato sauce cans "must have exploded from the heat of the stove," but George Theodorakis thinks the destruction was caused by a bomb. Mrs. Theodorakis agrees with her husband, but Doug Hoo and the others agree with Mr. Hoo, considering the idea of a bomb having been set off as ridiculous. Judge Ford suggests that the police be called immediately, so that an insurance claim can be submitted. When things have calmed down a little, Mrs. Theodorakis decides that "no real damage" has been done, but says that the coffee shop will have to close for a few days so that it can be cleaned up (Chapter 12).