What was in the long package that Sydelle Pulaski carried into her apartment in The Westing Game?
On the plastic-covered dining table she set out the contents of the shopping bag: six cans of enamel, paint thinner, and brushes. She unwrapped the long package and leaned four wooden crutches against the wall. ..."No one ever notices Sydelle Pulaski" she muttered, "but now they will. Now they will." (16)
The package Sydelle brings into her apartment is two pairs of crutches, which she plans to paint to match her outfits. Sydelle really has no need of crutches, since her illness is entirely imagined, but she wants the attention that an infirmity provides. She wants, desperately, for people to "notice" her -- even if that is because of shock or pity. Sydelle has no sinister intent other than fooling people that she is more ill than she actually is. Her crutches are merely a plea for attention. Through her partnership with Angela in the Westing Game, however, Sydelle learns that this kind of attention isn't as rewarding as she had formerly thought. By the end of the book Sydelle has no need for this kind of attention any more.
Source: Raskin, Ellen. The Westing Game. New York: Avon Books, 1978.