Lawyer Ed Plum does something very suspicious indeed in chapter 24 of The Westing Game. At the beginning of the chapter, he merely reads the next document, the fifteenth, informing the “players” that they are all wrong. None of them have identified the murderer of Sam Westing. He then leaves the room without answering any questions.
The players are debating their clues and options when suddenly Sandy cries out, grabs his throat, and falls to the floor. A moment later, Ed Plum unlocks the door and hurries in with two men. One identifies himself as Dr. Sikes. The other is the local sheriff. The doctor quickly declares Sandy dead.
The sheriff herds everyone back into the game room, where Ed Plum reads yet another document at the proper time. The sheriff himself is bewildered by the whole matter. He looks at his watch and wonders, “What kind of a madhouse is this?” There is something “mighty fishy” going on, he notes, and he wonders why the lawyer called him to hurry over a full half hour before Sandy dropped to the floor.
Herein likes the suspicious act of Ed Plum. He calls a doctor and the sheriff long before Sandy dies. We are left to wonder why and also to reflect on exactly what is going on here and how much of it is staged.