Upon digging for the answer to this puzzle placed before Marlowe for a mere fee of dollars a day plus expenses, Marlowe soon finds layers upon layers of mystifying events tangled in the already mysterious web of lies and deception concerning the Sternwood family, especially the two young daughters.Yet, there is a version of Chandler's novel that does not have an audible storyteller, and that version is the 1946 movie directed by Howard Hawks.In the novel it is questionable how lawfully moral he actually is, concerning the situation of turning Carmen into the police for killing Sean Regan.
During this time, Carmen Sternwood arrives and goes into the house.
Both Lundgren and Agnes are arrested, with Agnes subsequently released.
Marlowe obtains possession of the pictures and renders them safe. He suspects that the absent Rusty Regan may have been involved in the blackmail.
For Marlowe, the assignment is a routine and simple one and he has no qualms about accepting it, A complication arises, however, in the form of one Rusty Regan, retired bootlegger and missing husband of the other Sternwood daughter, Vivian.
The matter of Rusty's disappearance is raised as an aside by the General. Marlowe's strongly developed sense of mystery is stimulated by this, and he resolves to find Rusty if at all possible.