At the beginning of chapter 8, the tenants of Sunset Towers awaken to find themselves in the middle of a "raging" blizzard. The storm has knocked out both their telephone connection and their electricity, leaving them scrambling for light and communication in the midst of snowdrifts that reach fifteen feet in height. Tabitha-Ruth "Turtle" Wexler, who is resilient and typically writes her own rules in life, recognizes that a great opportunity has presented itself.
Turtle had made some candles at summer camp, which she realizes the residents of Sunset Towers would find quite beneficial in the darkness. Although the candles are crooked and not finely crafted, they are capable of providing much-needed light in the darkness of the residences.
Turtle treks from apartment to apartment, knocking on each door and offering to sell residents candles that are both "practical and romantic." As an added benefit, she tells customers that the candles can help monitor the passing of time, since each stripe on the candle burns for approximately thirty minutes. Her candles, therefore, can help them gauge when six hours have passed, since each one has twelve stripes.
Turtle prices her candles at an "outrageous" five dollars each, but many people are willing to pay that price since they are desperate to examine their "clues" relating to Sam Westing's death in the privacy of their own apartments.