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Agatha Christie, the world's most famous female mystery writer, was born Agatha Miller in 1890. She was raised upper-middle class in Devon, the youngest of three children. An intelligent child, she was tutored at home, never attending public schools. At the age of 24, she married Archie Christie, a British fighter pilot. While he was off at war, she worked as a nurse in an army hospital. During the war, she began working on the novel that would introduce the world to her most famous character, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. She would finish the novel in 1915, but didn't publish it until 1920. The novel quickly became a best-seller, launching her literary career, which would go on to span some eighty novels and fourteen plays, including 'The Mousetrap", the longest-running play in history. Her second novel was published in 1922, and then for every year afterwards, until her death in 1976, she put out a new book every year, keeping her on the best seller list for most of her adult life.
In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for ten days. It was a huge national mystery. She was discovered in a hotel ten days later, suffering from amnesia. She had been under a lot of stress in her life - she was in a difficult marriage and her mother had just died. Two years later she divorced her husband, and two years later she was remarried to an assistant archaeologist named Max Mallowan. Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time. She's sold more copies than any other author, with the exception of the bible. Her assembled books have only been outsold by the bible. She's considered the creator of the modern mystery story.
And Then There Were None was written during the Second World War, while Agatha was working as hospital dispenser. It is one of her most famous and significant works, considered one of the greatest mysteries ever written. It was lauded at the time for its near unsolvability. Christie was famous for her ability to write incredibly difficult mysteries without ever cheating. She never had a character lie in their thoughts to purposefully mislead the reader. She took pride in being honest with he audience. At most, all she would do is have a character say or thing something that could be taken two ways - if you couldn't figure out the mystery, the clues would be clearly visible the second time around once you knew who the killer was.
And Then There Were None was originally titled 'Ten Little Niggers', but when it was published in the US, the name was changed to 'And Then There Were None'. In the 60s, during a heightened period of sensitivity, the title of the play was changed to 'Ten Little Indians'. Since then, the play has always been titled 'Ten Little Indians', and the novel 'And Then There Were None'. Her most popular novel, 'And Then There Were None' has been has been adapted to the screen more than any other of her works, a total of 9 times, including a Russian version and an Indian version, complete with musical numbers. The novel continues to capture readers' imaginations even today.
Christie, Agatha. An Autobiography. William Collins Sons, Toronto, 1977.
Christie, Agatha. And Then There Were None. St. Martin's Paperbacks edition, New York, 2001.
Morgan, Janet. Agatha Christie, a Biography. William Collins Sons, Toronto, 1984.
Robyns, Gwen. The Mystery of Agatha Christie. Doubleday, Garden City, 1978.
Eight strangers are lured to the mysterious Indian Island. Some of them believes that they've been invited by an old friend - one that they can't contact to confirm the invitation. The rest have been hired by a mysterious employer. Once they arrive at the Island they meet the last two 'guests', the husband and wife butler-cook team. In each of their rooms is a poem entitled 'Ten Little Indians' which tells the story of ten Indian boys who die in unusual fashions. A conversation between two of the guests leads them to realize that none of them know their host - the mysterious U. N. Owen. At dinner, they notice ten Indian figurines on the table, matching the poem. After their first dinner, once they're all in the drawing-room, a voice reads out a list of accusations against them - each one of them is accused of murdering at least one person, and they have been brought to the Island to pay for their crimes. No one is sure what to make of the recording, until Marston takes a drink - and dies of Cyanide poisoning. Just as the poem predicted.
Everyone goes to bed uneasy, some feeling guilty about the crimes they've committed, others just worried about their safety. In the morning, they discover that the cook has died in the night as well, although it may have been natural causes... The boat that is supposed to bring supplies is very late, and soon they realize that no one is coming to take them off the Island. They notice, as well, that every time someone dies one of the ten ceramic figurines disappear. As everyone begins to suspect one another, three of the men decide to search the Island to make sure that no one else is hiding on it. After an exhaustive search, they discover that there are definitely only eight people on the Island. For a moment, they believe that the deaths are just a horrible coincidence - until someone turns up with their head smashed in. Since there is no one else on the Island, that means that the killer can only be one of them.
The Judge leads everyone to suspect each other, making sure that everyone understands that no one can be trusted. Everyone goes to sleep scared, some of them slowly being driven mad by their guilt. The next morning, Rogers, the butler, has disappeared. They quickly find his body - he's been murdered with an axe. Everyone starts getting paranoid. Emily, the old woman, begins acting strange, and everyone leaves her alone for a little while - when they return, she's been murdered, leaving only five people left. Wargrave, the Judge, suggests that they lock up all their possible weapons, including the revolver that Lombard brought. The revolver has been stolen though. They tear the house apart looking for it, but they can't find it.
Everyone decides to just sit around, with only one leaving at any one time - theoretically, they should all be safe that way. Vera, the one most wracked by guilt, goes up to her room and is frightened by a strand of seaweed that represents the boy she murdered by drowning. Everyone goes to check on her, and when they return to the drawing room, they discover that the Judge has been murdered - but they can't figure out who had the chance to do it. That night, the ex-policeman, Blore, hears someone sneaking out. He searches the remaining rooms, and discover that Armstrong, the doctor, is missing - so he must be the killer.
The next day, Lombard, Blore and Vera, the three remaining guests, walk around the Island, trying to signal the mainland with a mirror. Blore goes back to the hoe for lunch, but is crushed by a falling slab of marble. Lombard and Vera are sure Armstrong is the murderer - until they find his body washed up against some rocks. Even though evidence has shown that neither of them could be the killer, Lombard and Vera don't trust each other. Vera steals Lombard's gun and shoots him. Happy to finally be safe and alone, and more than a little crazy, Vera walks back to the house, and finds that someone has set up a noose in her room. Finally giving into her guilt, she hangs herself.
The police find the Island a few days later, and are puzzled by the mystery - they can't figure out who killed everyone, since there are only bodies on the Island, and no one could have escaped it. A few weeks later, a bottle is caught a fisherman. Inside it is a confession written by Wargrave - it explains and why he killed everyone. His whole life he had twin conflicting desires - one for justice, the other to kill people. He'd enjoyed killing the guilty by sentencing them to death in his court, but that wasn't good enough. He wanted to kill people himself. Once he found that he was dying of cancer, he decided to go through with it. He found nine guilty people and lured them to the Island, then murdered them one by one, using Armstrong to help fake his death so that he wouldn't be a suspect. Once everyone was dead, he arranged to kill himself so that it would look like his fake death - so the police would be confused by an unsolvable crime. Lastly, he sealed up his confession in a bottle and threw it out to sea, because he couldn't bear the thought of no one ever knowing about how brilliant he was.
Justice Wargrave: He is a recently retired Judge, lured to the island by a letter from a flighty acquaintance, he is indignant when faced with accusations, utterly sure of himself and his actions.
Vera Claythorne: She used to be the nanny for an upper-class family, but her charge died in a drowning accident under her care. She was cleared of any involvement at an inquiry, but the killer has other thoughts on the matter. As people die around her, she begins to lose her mind.
Phillip Lombard: A former Army man, he's sent to the Island by an intermediary, under the story of acting as an 'Assistant' for anything his employer might need. In reality, he's just been lured there to face punishment for his involvement in a Native massacre in Africa.
Emily Brent: A crotchety old woman, she goes to the Island for the promise of a free vacation, but finds herself accused of driving her servant girl to death.
General Macarthur: The General is lured to the Island with the promise that some of his old friends are going to be there. When he arrives, however, he learns that he's being called to take responsibility for a sending a subordinate off to death during wartime.
Dr. Armstrong: A popular physician to the London upper class, Dr. Armstrong is hired to come to the island for a medical consultation. He believes that he's put his past behind him, that no one remembers that woman he killed on the operating table because he was drunk. Of , that's the very reason the killer has lured him to the Island.
Tony Marston: A drunken rich boy, he ran two children over with his car, and was punished by having his license taken away for a year. The killer decides that he hasn't been punished enough.
Rogers: He and his wife are hired by Mr. Owen as the caretakers of the Island. They had murdered their last employer, wanting to collect on their inheritance.
Mrs. Rogers: Rogers' wife. She took part in the murder of their last employer. She's been wracked by guilt, and hasn't slept well since.
William Blore: A former police officer turned private detective, he was hired to watch all the other guests on the Island. Of course, that was just a story. Actually, he was lured to the Island because he had framed an innocent man for a serious crime, and the man had died in jail.
U.N Owen: The pseudonym that the killer uses to purchase the Island and then to lure his victims there.
Constance Culmington: An old friend of Wargrave's - her name is used on Wargrave's invitation to the Island.
Davis: This is the fake name and identity that Blore uses when he meets the other guests.
Fred Narracott: He is a Sticklehaven local. He provides ferry service to and from the Island.
Sir Thomas Legge: The lead police officer in charge of the investigation into the murders on Indian Island.
Inspector Maine: Legge's second in command, he has collected all the evidence about the murders on Indian Island.
Mr. Morris: The drug-dealing criminal who acted as an intermediary for Mr. Owen. He personally hired Blore and Lombard.
Hugo: Cyril's Uncle. Vera was in love with him - she killed Cyril so that Hugo would inherit the family fortune.
Cyril: Vera was hired as his nanny. She murdered him by allowing him to swim out to the rocks, knowing full well that he'd never be able to swim that far.
Indian Island: The mysterious, isolated estate that all the characters are lured to, so that they can be picked off, one by one.
Sticklehaven: The small coastal town all the guests stop at on their way to Indian Island.
Clock: This large marble clock seems at first innocuous, but later it is used to fulfill the eighth section of the rhyme. Its shape is the key.
Wool and curtain: Wool and curtain These are the two stolen items used to create Wargrave's death scene.
Summing up: In British courts, after both lawyers have presented their cases, the judge explains the value of all the evidence, giving the judge the opportunity to sway the minds of the jury.
Heliographing: This is a method of signaling method that uses a mirror to flash in Morse code over a long distance.
Mark of Cain: The mark that god gave Cain to forever identify him as a murderer. It was supposedly a mark in the center of the forehead.
Quote 1:"Constance Culmington, he reflected to himself, was exactly the sort of woman who would buy an island and surround herself with mystery! Nodding his head in gentle approval of his logic, Mr. Justice Wargrave allowed his head to nod... He slept..." Chapter 1, pg. 3
Quote 2: "People don't like a Coroner's Inquest, even is the Coroner did acquit me of all blame!" Chapter 1, pg. 4
Quote 3: "No, there wasn't much he drew the line at. He fancied he was going to enjoy himself at Indian Island" Chapter 1, pg. 7
Quote 4: "Every one made such a fuss over things nowadays! They wanted injections before they had teeth pulled - they took drugs if they couldn't sleep - they wanted easy chairs and cushions and the girls allowed their figures to slop about anyhow and lay about half naked on the beaches in summer." Chapter 1, pg. 7
Quote 5: " 'He's nearer the day of judgment than I am!' But there, as it happens, he was wrong..." Chapter 1, pg. 16
Quote 6: "Quite unlike the usual type of man in seaside guest houses. Evidently Mrs. or Miss Oliver had good connections..." Chapter 2, pg. 18
Quote 7: "Mr. Justice Wargrave looked at him with active malevolence. He seemed to be wishing that he could order the court to be cleared. Miss Emily Brent was not sure if she liked colonials." Chapter 2, pg. 23
Quote 8: "At the wheel sat a young man, his hair blown back by the wind. In the blaze of the evening light he looked, not a man, but a young God, a Hero God out of some Northern Saga... It was a fantastic moment. In it, Anthony Marston seemed to be something more than mortal. Afterwards, more than one of those present remembered that moment." Chapter 2, pg. 24
Quote 9: "Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self, and then there were nine. Nine Little Indian boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight. Eight little Indian boys traveling in Devon; One said he'd stay there and then there were seven. Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves then there were six. Six Indian boys playing with a hive; A bumble-bee stung one then there were five. Five Indian boys going in for law; One got in Chancery then there were four. Four Indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one then there were three. Three Indian boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one then there were two. Two Indian boys sitting in the sun; One got all frizzled up then there was one. One Indian boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none." Chapter 2, pg. 31
Quote 10: "Mr. Justice Wargrave thought to himself: 'Armstrong? Remember him in the witness box. Very correct and cautious. All doctors are damned fools. Harley Street ones are the worst of the lot.' And his mind dwelt malevolently on a recent interview he had had with a suave personage in that very street." Chapter 2, pg. 34
Quote 11: "The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. The lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. The wicked shall be turned into hell." Chapter 2, pg. 38
Quote 12: "Emily Brent said: 'Pleasant sound.' Vera said sharply: 'I hate it.' Miss Brent's eyes looked at her in surprise." Chapter 3, pg. 41
Quote 13: "Prisoners at the bar, have you anything to say in your defence?" Chapter 3, pg. 41
Quote 14: "Quite right, sir. It was entitled Swan Song..." Chapter 3, pg. 49
Quote 15: "'You won't get anything out of that. Might be fingerprints, but I doubt it.' Wargrave stared at him with sudden attention." Chapter 3, pg. 52
Quote 16: "Vera cried: 'This is fantastic - mad!' The judge nodded gently. He said: 'Oh, yes. I've no doubt in my own mind that we have been invited here by a madman - probably a dangerous homicidal lunatic.'" Chapter 3, pg. 56
Quote 17: "Self-preservation's a man's first duty. And natives don't mind dying, you know. They don't feel about it as Europeans do." Chapter 4, pg. 61
Quote 18: "There is no question of defence. I have always acted in accordance with the dictates of my conscience. I have nothing with which to reproach myself." Chapter 4, pg. 66
Quote 19: "The legal life's narrowing! I'm all for crime! Here's to it." Chapter 4, pg. 67
Quote 20: "Somehow, that was the most frightening thing of all..." Chapter 5, pg. 72
Quote 21: "Death is for other people." Chapter 5, pg. 81
Quote 22: She didn't have nothing last night, sir, except what you gave her..." Chapter 6, pg. 85
Quote 23: "You regard it as impossible that a sinner should be struck down by the wrath of God! I do not!" Chpater 6, pg. 89
Quote 24: "The little elderly spinster was no longer slightly ridiculous to Vera. Suddenly - she was terrible." Chapter 7, pg. 101
Quote 25: "You'll be glad too, when the end comes." Chapter 8, pg. 118
Quote 26: "Blore said deliberately: 'It wouldn't be the first you've made - if that gramophone record is to be believed!'" Chapter 9, pg. 127
Quote 27: "...he's played God Almighty for a good many months every year. That must go to a man's head eventually. He gets to see himself as all powerful, as holding the power of life and death - and it's possible that his brain might snap and he might want to go one step farther and be Executioner and Judge Extraordinary." Chapter 10, pg. 152
Quote 28: "Did I write that? Did I? I must be going mad..." Chapter 10, pg. 159
Quote 29: "'And Landor got penal servitude and died in prison.' 'I couldn't know he was going to die, could I?' demanded Blore. 'No, that was your bad luck.' 'Mine? His, you mean.' 'Yours, too. Because, as a result of it, it looks as though your life is going to be cut unpleasantly short.'" Chapter 11, pg. 173
Quote 30: "The damned fool, he believed every word I said to him. It was easy.... I must be careful, though, very careful." Chapter 11, pg. 177
Quote 31: "One more of us acquitted - too late!" Chapter 12, pg. 183
Quote 32: "And all of them, suddenly, looked less like human beings. They were reverted to more bestial types." Chapter 13, pg. 191
Quote 33: "I'm afraid of death... Yes, but that doesn't stop death coming..." Chapter 13, pg. 194
Quote 34: "Landor had had a wife - a thin slip of a woman with a worried face. There'd been a kid too, a girl about fourteen. For the first time, he wondered what had become of them." Chapter 14, pg. 212
Quote 35: "Don't you see? We're the Zoo... Last night, we were hardly human any more. We're the Zoo..." Chapter 15, pg. 226
Quote 36: "'You can go to the rock, Cyril...' That was what murder was - as easy as that. But afterwards, you went on remembering..." Chapter 16, pg. 244
Quote 37: "From an early age I knew very strongly the lust to kill..." Chapter 18, pg. 261
Clues 1: Everyone speaks in definite terms when discussing their invitations to the Island. Only Wargrave uses language that might have a double meaning: "Constance Culmington, he reflected to himself, was exactly the sort of woman who would buy an island and surround herself with mystery! Nodding his head in gentle approval of his logic..." Wargrave isn't thinking about satisfying anyone else's curiosity, he's thinking about how believable his story is, in case one of the other guests happens to know Constance.
Clues 2: Blore announces that there's a chance that there might be fingerprints on the letter, only Wargrave is alarmed by the possibility. No one else even reacts.
Clues 3: The voice refers reads out the charges in a formal fashion, and refers to all of the guests as 'Prisoners at the bar'. At this point, that piece of information isn't vital, but once it's clear that the murderer is one of the people on the Island, the question must be raised - which one of the guests would be most likely to set up their murders like a legal court?
Clues 4: With everyone else trying to discover who the killer is, Wargrave sets back their efforts by using his skills at summation to keep the guests from trusting or forming alliances with one another.
Clues 5: Despite his statements to the contrary, the first thing Wargrave does after setting everyone at each other's throats is form an alliance with the shakiest guest, Armstrong.
Clues 6: Wargrave suggests that they not bother searching for the revolver. He claims that there's no chance that it could be found, that the killer has had plenty of time to hide it. At every other opportunity, he's suggested investigating, but now he discourages it - why?
Clues 7: It is Maine's belief that only three people weren't guilty of the crimes they committed: Vera, Macarthur, and Wargrave. Vera and Macarthur confessed on the Island, though, and only Wargrave is innocent beyond a shadow of a doubt. It follows that the only person on the Island without a crime to be punished for must be the killer.
Guilt and Responsibility 1: Vera and Macarthur show obvious outward signs of understanding their guilt. Vera is uncomfortable going back to the sea, because it is a reminder of her crime. Macarthur is happy for any excuse to leave the city because he's sure everyone suspects his guilt.
Guilt and Responsibility 2: Vera tries to convince herself over and over again that she can put the past behind her, but she's unable to. Every time she looks at the sea, she can't help but think of the little Hamilton boy drowning.
Guilt and Responsibility 3: Vera has been so torn apart by her own guilt that she can't hear the sound of water striking against rocks without being reminded of her crime.
Guilt and Responsibility 4: Mrs. Rogers has become a timid, scared individual because of her guilt. Her tension is so bad that when she's accused of the crime, she faints.
Guilt and Responsibility 5: Now that everyone is accused, the lines are drawn between who feels guilty and who doesn't. Lombard and Marston freely admit to what they've done, and they're the only ones who don't feel guilty about it. Both not only admit to their crimes, but feel that there's nothing wrong with the actions they've taken.
Guilt and Responsibility 6: Although they deny their crimes in public, both Macarthur and Vera are deeply troubled by the murders they've committed. They're similar, in that both committed the crime for love, or so they thought - in both cases their crime ended up taking the very thing they wanted away from them. Macarthur finally decides to accept his fate - he's not going to leave the Island alive.
Guilt and Responsibility 7: Emily claims that she has no responsibility for her servant girl's death. She believes that any actions she took were properly motivated by her faith, just like she also believes that it's possible that God struck down Marston and Mrs. Rogers.
Guilt and Responsibility 8: Macarthur is finally able to admit to another person that he's guilty - and finally able to admit it to himself. Unburdened, he's ready to die, and advises everyone else to do the same.
Guilt and Responsibility 9: Vera begins projecting her own guilt onto other people. Knowing that she's guilty, she assumes that everyone else is too - and starts looking at everyone and seeing their victims.
Guilt and Responsibility 10: Despite her claims that she bears no responsibility for the incident with her servant girl, Emily's subconscious guilt has been driving her mad, leading to the automatic writing incident.
Guilt and Responsibility 11: Both Emily and Vera are mentally crippled by their guilt, slowly being driven mad.
Guilt and Responsibility 12: Vera's mind has started to go - for a second she believes that the seaweed on her shoulder is actually Cyril's hand.
Guilt and Responsibility 13:Vera finally admits to herself that she murdered Cyril. Not just simple murder, though, she had a carefully planned plot to remove suspicion from herself.
Guilt and Responsibility 14: Blore had always been an amoral man, but with his own mortality hanging over his head, Blore begins to have regrets. He thinks about the family of the man he murdered, and wonders, for the first time, what happened to them.
Guilt and Responsibility 15: Vera has accepted her guilt. Now she believes it's possible that she's receiving divine retribution for her murder.
Guilt and Responsibility 16: Vera has finally been driven mad by her sense of guilt. Left alone on the Island, she kills herself, knowing she deserves the punishment.
Guilt and Responsibility 17: Wargrave tried, as best he could, to kill people based on how guilty they were of the crimes they committed. It didn't work out entirely that way, but it was close enough to satisfy his desires.
Trust and Suspicion 1: Macarthur just doesn't trust Lombard. He can't put his finger on exactly what it is, but his military instincts tell him that there's something that's just not right.
Trust and Suspicion 2: Lombard chooses not to reveal to everyone the real reason he's there on the Island. His experience teaches him not to trust other people.
Trust and Suspicion 3: Now that they're sure someone has been murdered, they start pointing fingers at one another. First at Rogers, because it's his wife, and then at Armstrong, because he was the last one to have any contact with her.
Trust and Suspicion 4: Knowing full well that he isn't the killer, Armstrong is scared and alone, so he goes looking for someone to trust - he tries Lombard, but finds that he can't be sure about the man.
Trust and Suspicion 5: Armstrong is desperate to find the killer, so he latches onto any theory. Assuming that the killer is, in fact, crazy, he decides that the most obviously unbalanced person - Macarthur - must be the killer. He begins testing his theory out with others.
Trust and Suspicion 6: Lombard brings distrust onto himself by revealing his hidden gun and admitting his fake story. Now that he's admitted he lied, no one will be able to trust him again.
Trust and Suspicion 7: The Judge's announcement that It could be any one of them shatters all possible trust between the characters. He then sets them all at each other's throats by asking for random speculation.
Trust and Suspicion 8: Despite the Judge's warnings, the first thing that everyone does is break into smaller groups, hoping to find someone they can trust.
Trust and Suspicion 9: The announcement of the stolen items reminds everyone of their situation, that they absolutely can't trust one another, just when they were beginning to build bonds.
Trust and Suspicion 10: Just like what happened with Macarthur, Emily's increasingly odd behavior leads people to believe she's going mad, and convinces some that she's the killer.
Trust and Suspicion 11: Lombard and Armstrong claim that the revolver and syringe were stolen, but no one knows whether they can believe them or not. They know that it's impossible that both of them are the killer, so at least one of them is cleared of suspicion - but which one?
Trust and Suspicion 12: Even at her most shocked, Vera can't trust any of the men not to poison her. At the same time, to the men, Vera is no longer a suspect.
Trust and Suspicion 13: With Wargrave dead, and the list of suspects down to three, everyone has a theory of who the killer is - one that they're completely sure of.
Trust and Suspicion 14: Blore has become so paranoid that although all common sense tells him that Lombard can't be the killer, he still can't trust him.
Trust and Suspicion 15: Blore's inability to trust Lombard leads to his death - even though he knows that there's no way that Lombard could be the killer, he still can't trust him enough to bring him along into the house. This makes him an easy target, and keeps the killer from being caught.
Trust and Suspicion 16: Vera's lack of creativity leads her to murder Lombard. She can't understand how anyone else could be the killer - even though logically Lombard can't be.
Trust and Suspicion 17: Wargrave used his abilities as an experienced jurist to manipulate everyone into suspecting each other, and then to convince Armstrong to trust him. He was in the perfect person to commit the murders, because he was the most trustworthy of all of them - which is exactly how he arranged it.
Justice Wargrave rides in the first class section of a train headed for Devon. He thinks about his destination, the mysterious house on Indian Island. It was built years earlier by a rich American, then abandoned after the death of his wife in a boating accident. Gossip and rumors now surround the place, and the newspapers alternately suggest that the Island has been purchased by a movie star, the military, Royalty, or even an equally mysterious Mr. Owen. Wargrave examines the letter he received, inviting him to the island. The name signed to it is that of an old friend of his, Constance Culmington. He remembers her as being a flighty, and last heard that she'd gone to live in Persia. His thoughts provide the reader with their first clue: "Constance Culmington, he reflected to himself, was exactly the sort of woman who would buy an island and surround herself with mystery! Nodding his head in gentle approval of his logic, Mr. Justice Wargrave allowed his head to nod... He slept..." Chapter 1, pg. 3
On the same train, in the third-class section, sits Vera Claythorne. She too is headed for Indian Island, hired to be a nanny by one 'Una Nancy Owen'. Vera think that she's lucky to have found any job at all - she'd recently been involved in a bit of a scandal: "People don't like a Coroner's Inquest, even is the Coroner did acquit me of all blame!" Chapter 1, pg. 4 Despite her self-assurances though, she still worries about going back to the sea, especially after the drowning... She notices, and is noticed by, the man sitting across from her, Phillip Lombard, a down-on his luck former army man who has been hired by Mr. Morris on behalf of Mr. Owen - his job is to do whatever is asked of him. For a week's work he's paid a large sum of money, but he assures Morris that he won't do anything illegal. Privately, though, he has other thoughts on the matter: "No, there wasn't much he drew the line at. He fancied he was going to enjoy himself at Indian Island." Chapter 1, pg. 7
In a non-smoking car, Emily Brent sits, pondering on the weakness and worthlessness of the younger generation: "Every one made such a fuss over things nowadays! They wanted injections before they had teeth pulled - they took drugs if they couldn't sleep - they wanted easy chairs and cushions and the girls allowed their figures to slop about anyhow and lay about half naked on the beaches in summer." Chapter 1, pg. 7 Recent events have lowered her income, so when she received a letter from a forgotten acquaintance, offering a free vacation on the famous Indian Island, she was more than happy to take U.N. Oliver up on the offer, even though she couldn't really make out the signature or remember the name. General Macarthur is also on the train, having received a letter from Owen, a supposed acquaintance of some old army friends of his. According to the letter, there's going to be some kind of a get together on the island, and the General is only too happy to take a vacation. He'd been worried lately that his old friends had been avoiding him, do to the recent rumors about that thing he was involved in, some 30 years ago...
Dr. Armstrong drives down a country highway, on his way to provide an informal medical consultation for Owens on Indian Island. Life had been good to him lately, he'd become a popular doctor with the upper class, but he thinks back to a horrible incident fifteen years ago - when he turned his life around, and barely avoided going to jail. He puts those thoughts out of his head as a Sports Car blasts by him. The driver of the Sports Car is Tony Marston, who complains to himself about the quality of English roads and drivers. He stops at a country hotel for a drink, and ponders his invitation. He's not quite sure who the Owens are, because they're new money. He hopes they know how to mix a good drink.
William Henry Blore sits in a train, across from an old sailor. He's checking over a list of all the people who are going to be on the Island. He's been hired for some kind of job, but he's nebulous about what it is. He tries to figure out what story to use as a cover - he decides to pretend that he's from South Africa, it's doubtful that anyone will know enough to call him on it. The old seaman across from him wakes up, and tells him that a storm is coming, that the day of judgment is close at hand. Blore thinks to himself: " 'He's nearer the day of judgment than I am!' But there, as it happens, he was wrong..." Chapter 1, pg. 16
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 1
Topic Tracking: Clues 1
Emily, Wargrave, Vera, and Lombard exit the train at the same time, and find taxis waiting for them. One driver tells them that at although there are two taxis, at least one person will have to wait behind - another train is coming, bringing more guests. Vera offers to stay and wait, and Lombard quickly decides to wait with her, and they introduce themselves.
Emily and Wargrave get into the taxi and talk for a moment about the weather. Emily is impressed that one of the other guests is of such high standing: "Quite unlike the usual type of man in seaside guest houses. Evidently Mrs. or Miss Oliver had good connections..." Chapter 2, pg. 18. In their conversation, they both claim to have never been to this part of Devon, and then the taxi leaves.
Still waiting at the station, Lombard and Vera also discuss the weather and their familiarity with the area. Vera is quick to point out that although she's never been to Devon before, that's only because she hasn't met her employer yet. Lombard finds this strange, but Vera assures him that it's perfectly normal for someone to hire a replacement secretary without meeting them first. That's what employment agencies are for. Vera then asks Lombard what the Owens are like, and he changes the subject, avoiding an answer until the train pulls into the station.
Macarthur climbs down off the train and is met by Vera, who introduces herself and Lombard. Macarthur is immediately unsure about Lombard, sensing something a little odd about the younger man. They all climb into the taxi, which then drives them down to Sticklehaven.
As the taxi arrives, everyone gets their first glance at Indian Island. Vera is instantly wary about it, noting that it's quite far out, and the only thing visible is the faint outline of an Indian's head. Waiting outside an inn are Wargrave and Emily, as well as a third man, Davis. Davis introduces himself to the newcomers, announcing that he's from South Africa. Emily and Wargrave have clearly had about all of Davis that they can take: "Mr. Justice Wargrave looked at him with active malevolence. He seemed to be wishing that he could order the court to be cleared. Miss Emily Brent was not sure if she liked colonials." Chapter 2, pg. 23
Davis then talks about their hosts on the island, but doesn't notice how uneasy everyone is at hearing them mentioned. He beckons to Fred Narracott, who offers to take the six guests to the Island by boat. He tells them two more guests will be arriving by car, but since they could get there at any time, the rest don't have to wait.
After being assured that it is seaworthy, everyone climbs into the boat. There was still no conversation between the party members, as everyone seemed uncomfortable with one another. Just as the boat is about to leave, Marston drives up to the dock, making quite an impression on everyone: "At the wheel sat a young man, his hair blown back by the wind. In the blaze of the evening light he looked, not a man, but a young God, a Hero God out of some Northern Saga... It was a fantastic moment. In it, Anthony Marston seemed to be something more than mortal. Afterwards, more than one of those present remembered that moment." Chapter 2, pg. 24
While ferrying everyone out to the Island, Fred ponders how strange all Mr. Owen's guests are. He was used to taking people out to the Island for parties when the American Millionaire owned it, but the mix of people he was taking out this time just didn't make sense to him. Why would people from all different walks of life and social classes all be invited to the same party by Mr. Owen? Fred couldn't understand it.
They arrive at the Island, and everyone is impressed by the size and magnificence of the estate, but made uneasy by the isolation. Fred tells them that if there is a bad Southeasterly wind it's impossible to land on the Island. In fact, the Island could easily be cut off for a week or more. Inside they meet the Butler, Rogers, who tells them that Mr. Owen has been delayed, and won't arrive until the next day. He informs them when dinner will be, and shows them to their rooms.
Vera follows Mrs. Rogers to her room. Vera is taken aback by how pale and frightened Mrs. Rogers looks. She wonders just what a woman could be in such mortal fear of. Vera mentions that she's Mrs. Owen's new secretary, but Mrs. Rogers hasn't heard anything about it. In fact, neither of the Rogers have ever seen the Owens. Mrs. Rogers excuses herself, leaving Vera feeling uneasy about the situation.
Vera looks about her room and notices that it is contains only two pieces of unusual decoration - a large marble Clock in the shape of a bear, and a silver-framed nursery rhyme above it. The rhyme is called "Ten Little Indians": "Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self, and then there were nine. Nine Little Indian boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight. Eight little Indian boys traveling in Devon; One said he'd stay there and then there were seven. Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves then there were six. Six Indian boys playing with a hive; A bumble-bee stung one then there were five. Five Indian boys going in for law; One got in Chancery then there were four. Four Indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one then there were three. Three Indian boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one then there were two. Two Indian boys sitting in the sun; One got all frizzled up then there was one. One Indian boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none." Chapter 2, pg. 31
Vera doesn't find the poem suspicious, after all, she is on Indian island. She wanders over to the window and looks out to the sea. She begins to think about how deep it is, how easily people are drowned... Then she forces herself to stop thinking about the past.
Armstrong arrives at the Island after everyone else, just as the sun is setting. He's happy to be on vacation, on an Island, away from his busy schedule as a upper-class doctor. On the terrace he spots Wargrave, and recognizes him. Armstrong had given evidence before him once, and remembers Wargrave's reputation as a hanging Judge, one who could change the jury's mind if he wanted to. For his part, Wargrave is also very wary about Armstrong: "Mr. Justice Wargrave thought to himself: 'Armstrong? Remember him in the witness box. Very correct and cautious. All doctors are damned fools. Harley Street ones are the worst of the lot.' And his mind dwelt malevolently on a recent interview he had had with a suave personage in that very street." Chapter 2, pg. 34
Wargrave tells Armstrong that their hosts haven't arrived yet, then asks Armstrong if he knows Constance Culmington. Armstrong doesn't, and the Judge worries aloud that he's come to the wrong house. Armstrong leaves and Rogers walks out onto the terrace. Wargrave asks him if he's heard of Lady Culmington. Rogers replies that he hasn't.
Upstairs, everyone is preparing for dinner. Marston is taking a bath and thinking very little. Blore is struggling with a tie, worried about his job. Did anyone suspect what he was really there for? Macarthur is wary as well, unsure about everything, he considers making some excuse and just leaving the next day. He's also very suspicious of Lombard. Lombard, on the other hand, is happy to be on the Island. He leaves his room 'smoothly and noiselessly', ready to enjoy his week.
Emily sits alone in her room, reading her bible. She comes to a particularly significant passage: "The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. The lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. The wicked shall be turned into hell." Chapter 2, pg. 38
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 2
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 1
Everyone is finishing a fine dinner. They're talking politely and generally having a good time. Marston notices the table's strange centerpiece. It is a circular glass stand, with ten china figurines in the shape of Indians. Vera mentions the nursery rhyme framed in her room - everyone else quickly mentions that each of them has a framed nursery rhyme as well. Vera finds the whole thing amusing, while Wargrave dismisses it as 'childish'.
Emily and Vera move into the drawing-room, where the sound of the waves hitting rocks below is audible. "Emily Brent said: 'Pleasant sound.' Vera said sharply: 'I hate it.' Miss Brent's eyes looked at her in surprise." Chapter 3, pg. 41. Vera covers her comment by claiming that she meant it must be an awful place to be in a storm. Emily agrees, and suggests that Mrs. Oliver must have a hard time getting servants. Vera corrects her, mentioning that the hostess' name is Owen. Emily replies that she's never met anyone named Owen in her life.
Before Vera can ask any more questions, the men enter the room, followed by Rogers, who brings drinks. Everyone becomes comfortable in the room, and Rogers serves them all coffee.
Suddenly, a Voice begins to speak. It calls for everyone's attention, and then begins reading a list of charges. According to the Voice, Armstrong caused the death of Louisa Mary Celes. Emily was responsible for the death of Beatrice Taylor. Blore brought about the death of James Landor. Vera killed Cyril Hamilton. Lombard was guilty of the death of twenty-one men, members of an East African tribe. Macarthur deliberately sent his wife's lover, Arthur Richmond, to his death. Marston was guilty of the murder of John and Lucy Combes. The Rogers brought about the death of Jennifer Brady. Wargrave was guilty of the murder of Edward Seton. In conclusion, the Voice asks "Prisoners at the bar, have you anything to say in your defence?" Chapter 3, pg. 41
Everyone is stunned into silence. Rogers drops the coffee tray, shocking everyone. Outside the room there is a scream, followed by a thud. Lombard opens the door, and finds Mrs. Rogers , unconscious. After she is carried into the drawing-room, Armstrong examines her, and determines that she had just fainted. Everyone is in a panic, trying to figure out where the Voice was coming from. Lombard opens the door to a nearby room, and finds a record player inside, pushed up against a wall with three small holes drilled into it.
Lombard tests the record - it's where the voice was coming from. Armstrong announces that it must be some kind of horrible practical joke. Wargrave isn't so sure. Marston asks who turned on the record player. The judge turns to Rogers, who admits to turning on the record, but swears that he didn't know what was on it. He claims that his instructions were to put the record on after dinner - he thought it was music. Wargrave asks Lombard if the record had a title. Lombard replies: "Quite right, sir. It was entitled Swan Song..."Chapter 3, pg. 49
At Wargrave's suggestion, Rogers and Armstrong take Mrs. Rogers to her room. Marston suggests that they should all have something to drink, then goes to get the drink tray from out of he hallway. Everyone takes a glass of liquor, except for Emily, who drinks water. Armstrong enters and gets a drink for himself, then Rogers enters a few moments later.
Wargrave takes control of the situation, and begins questioning people, asking if they know Owen, and how they were asked to come to the Island. First is Rogers, who insists that they were hired through an employment agency, and have had no contact with the Owens. The only letter they have is one giving them specific instructions about using the gramophone after dinner. Blore examines the letter, and determines that it was written on normal paper, with a new typewriter. " 'You won't get anything out of that. Might be fingerprints, but I doubt it.' Wargrave stared at him with sudden attention." Chapter 3, pg. 52
Marston notices that their host has a very strange name - 'Ulrick Norman Owen.' This reminds Wargrave of something, and he announces that it's time for everyone to pool information. He quickly learns everyone's stories, with the exception of Lombard, who claims to have been invited like everyone else, through a mysterious letter from an unreachable acquaintance. Wargrave then confronts Blore. He points out that there was no 'Davis' mentioned by the record, which means that Davis must be Blore. Blore comes clean, and says that he is a former police officer-turned detective who was hired to provide security for the party. Now Blore believes that Owen doesn't even exist.
Wargrave agrees with Blore, and tells everyone what he's figured out. All of the letters are signed Ulrick Norman Owen, or Una Nancy Owen, either way, the name is U.N. Owen. By pronouncing the initials as letters, you come upon the real identity of their host - UNKNOWN.
"Vera cried: 'This is fantastic - mad!' The judge nodded gently. He said: 'Oh, yes. I've no doubt in my own mind that we have been invited here by a madman - probably a dangerous homicidal lunatic.'" Chapter 3, pg. 56
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 3
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 4
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 2
Topic Tracking: Clues 2
Topic Tracking: Clues 3
Wargrave offers everyone his own letter, and points out that whoever invited them to the island must have known a lot about them, to be able to so easily drop the names of mutual friends - names that the guests would be unable to check for themselves. Wargrave goes on to suggest that since their mysterious host was able to know so much about them, perhaps his accusations had some truth to them.
Rogers, Macarthur , Vera and Marston loudly claim that the idea they'd killed anyone is preposterous. Wargrave quiets them down, and offers his version of the truth behind his accusation. According to him, Seton had murdered an old lady, and after the trial, he had summed up accordingly, and the jury had found Seton guilty. Seton was put to death soon after, and Wargrave announces that his conscience is clear about the entire thing.
Armstrong remembers the case - everyone had thought that Seton was innocent. The verdict had come as a surprise, and it seemed that the Judge had turned the jury against Seton. Armstrong asks Wargrave if he knew Seton before the trial. Wargrave claims to have never heard of him. Armstrong doesn't believe him, though.
Vera offers her own story. She was the governess of a small boy, and one day he went swimming too far at the beach. She tried to rescue him, but it was too late. She'd been cleared by the coroner's inquest. Macarthur also denies any knowledge of wrongdoing. He claims that Richmond was just an officer that was killed on a mission, and that the slur on his wife is ridiculous. Lombard, on the other hand, admits to being guilty. He says that he was leading a party that was lost in the jungle - so he and a few other men grabbed all the food and tried to get out on their own, leaving the tribesmen behind: "Self-preservation's a man's first duty. And natives don't mind dying, you know. They don't feel about it as Europeans do." Chapter 4, pg. 61
Marston suddenly recalls what the Voice had been talking about. He mentions a couple of children he'd run down in his car, but claims that it was an accident. Armstrong accuses him of recklessness, but Marston just shrugs, claiming it wasn't his fault. Marston then goes looking for his glass, finds it, and refills it with another drink.
Rogers claims that he and his wife had been the servants of Miss Brady, who was in terribly poor health. On the night she died, Rogers says he went for a doctor to help her, but there was a bad storm, and they didn't make it back in time. Rogers admits that he and his wife received money in Miss Brady's will, but claim that they had nothing to do with her death. Blore says that he put a crook in jail, and the man happened to die a year later - nothing wrong with that.
Armstrong claims to have no memory of the name. He admits that he's had patients die when he was operating on them, and suggests that sometimes people blame the doctor. Privately, though, he remembers being very drunk and botching an operation - killing a woman on the table. No one ever knew but a Nun, and she must have kept quiet. Armstrong is left wondering how anyone could know.
Everyone looks at Emily, waiting for her story. She claims that she has nothing to say: "There is no question of defence. I have always acted in accordance with the dictates of my conscience. I have nothing with which to reproach myself." Chapter 4, pg. 66
Rogers confirms that there is no one on the island but the ten of them. Wargrave suggests that they all leave, but Rogers informs him that there isn't a boat on the island. Fred Narracott arrives every morning, bringing bread and milk. They'll have to wait until then to leave. Everyone agrees to leave then, except for Marston, who is finding the whole thing rather entertaining. He grins, and says: "The legal life's narrowing! I'm all for crime! Here's to it." Chapter 4, pg. 67
Marston drinks, then begins to choke. His face turns purple, and he falls from his chair.
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 5
After a moment of shock, Armstrong examines Marston, then announces that he's dead. Everyone is disbelieving for a moment, Macarthur asks if he just died from choking. Armstrong checks the liquid in the glass, tasting a tiny amount of it. He announces that Marston's death was not from natural causes - he was poisoned! Armstrong checks the whiskey bottle and the soda bottle, then announces that neither of them are poisoned. Lombard jumps to the conclusion that Marston must have poisoned himself. No one can believe it, but everyone agrees that must have been what happened. They all saw Marston pour the drink himself, so who else could have been responsible? Despite this evidence, though, no one really believes that Marston was the type to commit suicide.
After Marston's body is carried up to his room, everyone decides to go to bed, locking their doors securely. On the way to bed, the house itself seemed menacing to them. It was so big, yet so bright and modern. There was no where for a killer to hide. "Somehow, that was the most frightening thing of all..." Chapter 5, pg. 72
In his room, Wargrave thinks back about Edward Seton. He'd enjoyed the case, taken notes, listened to all the testimony carefully, and come to the conclusion that Seton was guilty. The prosecutor had been incompetent, though, unable to convince the jury of anything, and the defense had proven more than adequate. Wargrave had been very careful in his summing up to the jury. Been sure to convince them that Seton was guilty. And he'd succeeded. Seton had been put to death, just as Wargrave had wanted.
In the dining room, Rogers notices something while cleaning up. There used to be ten china Indians, now there were only nine.
Macarthur can't sleep. His thoughts were filled with Richmond's face. Richmond had been one of his Lieutenants, and Leslie, Macarthur's wife, had grown quite fond of him. One day, while he was still in command during the first world war, Macarthur had received a letter from his wife addressed to Richmond - she had accidentally mixed up letters and envelopes. After learning of their affair, Macarthur grew to hate Richmond, finally sending him to his death on a suicidal reconnaissance mission. He'd gotten away with it, since it was wartime, and mistakes were made, but another Lieutenant, Armitage, had suspected something. He thinks Armitage is to blame for all the rumors that had surrounded him for the past few years. After Macarthur returned from the war, his wife was never the same. She grew more and more depressed, finally dying of pneumonia a few years later. He wonders who could possibly know about Richmond, and then thinks about going back to his home, back to the rumors, back to his empty life... Suddenly, he decides that he never wants to leave the island.
In her room, Vera is also sleepless. She can't stop thinking about little Cyril , and his uncle, Hugo. She'd fallen in love with Hugo, but he'd been unable to marry her, as he didn't have a penny to his name. Ironically, after Cyril's death, Hugo became the heir of the family fortune, but he'd refused to see Vera after that, and she had no idea where he'd gotten to. Vera thinks about Cyril, how annoying he was, always desperate to swim out to the rocks, she had to tell him over and over again that it was just too far... She gets some aspirin to help her sleep. While up, she notices the framed Rhyme. The first verse was about an Indian boy who choked to death. She's taken aback by the similarity of the poem to evening's events. She doesn't want to die, "Death is for other people." Chapter 5, pg. 81
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 6
Armstrong is having a nightmare. In his dreams, he relives the botched operation, he believes he's supposed to kill someone. Everything is chaotic. It's too hot, he can't tell what he's doing, and the body seems too small. And the Nun is there watching him. He uncovers the face - it's Emily, her eyes staring maliciously. He's supposed to kill Emily Brent. But then the body changes, now it's Marston, but he's alive, and laughing. Armstrong wakes up suddenly - Rogers is right in front of him. He needs Armstrong's help - there's something wrong with his wife. Armstrong quickly dresses and rushes upstairs, but it's too late. Mrs. Rogers died sometime during the night. Armstrong asks about her health, but Rogers doesn't know much, other than that she never slept well. Armstrong searches the room for any sleeping aid Mrs. Rogers might have taken, but Rogers tells him "She didn't have nothing last night, sir, except what you gave her..." Chapter 6, pg. 85
By the time the nine O'clock bell is rung, everyone is already up and milling about. Macarthur and Wargrave make small talk. Lombard and Vera climb to the highest point of the island, but find Blore already there, looking for the boat. Vera says they shouldn't worry, because everything moves at a slower pace out in the country. As the three of them walk back down to the house, Blore mentions that he doesn't believe Marston killed himself, but he can't figure out why anyone else would have murdered him.
Back at the house, after everyone has had breakfast, Armstrong announces that Mrs. Rogers is dead. Everyone wants to know if it a murder or not. Armstrong announces that there's no way to be sure without an autopsy. Emily suggests that Mrs. Rogers probably had a heart attack from shock, after being accused of murder. Armstrong says that there's no way to know if she had a weak heart or not. Emily suggests that Mrs. Rogers death was an act of god. Everyone finds this far-fetched. Emily responds: "You regard it as impossible that a sinner should be struck down by the wrath of God! I do not!" Chapter 6, pg. 89
Everyone discusses what could have happened to Mrs. Rogers. Blore's theory is that that she and her husband probably did murder their former employer, but Mrs. Rogers had always felt guilty about it. After the Voice made its accusation, Rogers was sure that his wife would crack under the pressure, so he poisoned her during the night, and then got rid of all the evidence. Not everyone agrees with Blore, but no one has a better theory. Rogers enters, and informs them that the boat is two hours late.
Out on the terrace, Lombard and Blore discuss the missing boat. They're both convinced that something sinister is going on, and that the boat won't be coming for them. Macarthur wanders out of the house, and, half-dreamingly, tells them that none of them will be leaving the island. Lombard and Blore watch him go, fairly sure that the General has lost his mind.
Armstrong comes out on the terrace and moves to speak to Wargrave, but he's interrupted by Rogers. Rogers ushers him into the house and shows him the dining room table. Another Indian is missing - now there are just eight figurines left.
Topic Tracking Trust and Suspicion 3
Vera and Emily go out to the Island's high point to watch for the boat. Vera asks Emily about Mrs. Rogers , and Emily confirms what she said - that she's sure that the Rogers killed their former employer. Vera worries what that might mean - could everyone on the island be guilty? Emily tells her story to Vera. Beatrice Taylor had been Emily's servant, up until she got pregnant. Emily threw her out, and Beatrice, with no one to turn to, killed herself. Vera asks if Emily feels responsible for Beatrice's death, but Emily says she has nothing to feel guilty about, as it was the girl's own actions that drove her to suicide. Vera is shocked by Emily's response: "The little elderly spinster was no longer slightly ridiculous to Vera. Suddenly - she was terrible." Chapter 7, pg. 101
Armstrong comes out onto the terrace to consult with someone about his suspicions. He chooses Lombard, and they walk off, talking. Armstrong has been asking Rogers questions about the death of his employer, and found out that it would have been very easy for the Rogers to murder her without having to go to any extreme lengths. All they would have had to do is wait for her to have an attack, and then not give her any heart medicine. Armstrong thinks it would be the perfect crime, because even if someone suspects them, no one could ever prove that they purposefully withheld treatment. Lombard suggests that the reason that they've all been brought to Indian island is that the crimes they've committed can't be proved, such as Wargrave, who made his murder look like justice. Lombard can't believe that two people would have killed themselves in one night, especially not the self-centered and egotistical Marston, so the only other possibility is that at least one of them was murdered.
They look at all the evidence that they have so far. The fact that the two murders closely resemble lines from the nursery rhyme, added to the fact that two china Indians have disappeared, suggests that Mr. Owen is on the Island, planning to murder all of them. Lombard and Armstrong decide to collect Blore, and then search the Island from top to bottom.
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 4
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 7
Blore agrees to search the Island, but still isn't convinced that Marston was murdered. Armstrong stresses that there's no way someone would just be carrying around Cyanide, and Marston clearly didn't come to the Island with the intention of killing himself. Lombard reminds Blore that while they were all busy talking about the Voice, someone could have easily slipped the poison into Marston's empty glass, perhaps through the open window it was sitting next to. Blore agrees with their theory, and asks if any of them has a gun. Lombard says that he does. Blore tells him that he'll need it, since they're dealing with a psychotic killer.
The three men search the Island quickly, but are disappointed to find that there aren't any caves or other hiding places. They come across Macarthur , who sits in a chair by the sea, staring at it. They try to talk to him, but he refuses, telling them that there isn't much time left, and he'd like to be left alone.
They finish searching the Island, having found nothing. It's a stormy day, and there are no boats out for them to signal. Blore suggests a bonfire that night, but Lombard thinks they shouldn't bother - the people of the town have probably been told that some kind of a prank is going on, and that they should ignore signals from the Island. Blore spots a section of the cliff that can't be seen from above. It's the only place left they haven't checked for a cave. Lombard offers to climb down, if someone finds him a rope. Blore runs off to get one. Armstrong asks Lombard just how crazy he thinks Macarthur really is...
Vera wanders around the house with no one to talk to. Every time she looks at someone, she can't help but imagine the face of their victim. With Emily, a drowned girl, with Wargrave, a terrified young man. Vera walks down to the sea, and comes across Macarthur. She asks him what he's doing by the sea. He tells her that it's a nice place to wait for the end, and that none of them are going to be leaving the Island alive. Vera is frightened, but he tells her not to be. He says she should be relieved that it will finally all be over. Vera doesn't know what he means. Macarthur confesses to her. He'd killed Richmond, he even felt justified in doing it at the time. As time wore on though, and his wife wasted away, he grew more and more guilty. Now, he was glad to know that it was all going to be over. "You'll be glad too, when the end comes." Chapter 8, pg. 118
Blore returns to the cliffs, finding only Armstrong there. Armstrong tells him that Lombard has gone off to test a theory, and that he'll be right back. The two men discuss Macarthur, and try to figure out whether he's crazy enough that he could be the killer. They decide that it's just too implausible, and that someone else must be on the Island. Lombard returns and climbs effortlessly down the cliff face. While he's climbing, Blore and Armstrong discuss Lombard. Blore thinks it's very suspicious that he brought a gun along, especially given his admittedly dark past. Lombard climbs back up, having found nothing on the cliff face.
The three men move their search into the house, carefully measuring each room, looking for any missing space that might hide a secret room. They then check the second floor, but turn up nothing in any of the bedrooms. They go up another set of stairs to the servant's quarters, where Mrs. Rogers ' body is. As they approach it, they hear someone moving around inside. They burst through the door to discover - Rogers, moving some clothes out of his former room. He excuses himself, and the men move on to the attic. They search it thoroughly, but find nothing. Now they know for sure that there is no one on the Island but the eight of them.
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 8
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 5
Lombard is relieved - they'd been making such a fuss over two unrelated deaths. Armstrong is convinced that Marston didn't commit suicide, and can't believe it was an accident. Blore suggests that Mrs. Rogers ' death might have been an accident, though. When Armstrong was giving her a sedative, perhaps he gave her a bit too much. Armstrong replies that doctors can't make mistakes like that. "Blore said deliberately: 'It wouldn't be the first you've made - if that gramophone record is to be believed!'" Chapter 9, pg. 127 Lombard breaks them up before they can fight, and reminds Blore that he's been accused of a crime as well. Blore gets very defensive, and demands to know why Lombard brought a gun to the Island. Lombard comes clean, admitting that he was sent to the Island to 'keep a lookout' for trouble. The reason he didn't tell everyone earlier is that he thought that the record might be the problem he was sent to solve. Now, however, he's sure that the job was just bait to get him to the Island, just like everyone else. Lombard believes that they're in a trap, set by Mr. Owen, leaving them with only one question - where is he?
The lunch gong rings, and the three men head downstairs to the dining room, where Rogers has lunch prepared. Rogers mentions that there is plenty of food in the larder, so they don't have to worry about supplies. Emily enters, followed by Wargrave. Wargrave looks at Blore, Armstrong, and Lombard, then comments maliciously on their busy day. Vera runs into the dining room, out of breath. Emily mentions that Macarthur hasn't come to lunch yet. Vera tells them that he's down by the sea, and probably couldn't hear the gong. Rogers offers to go get him, but Armstrong interrupts and goes to get Macarthur himself.
They all make awkward small talk around the table. Blore mentions the old man he met on the train, and how he'd predicted the bad weather. Armstrong runs into the room, and before he can say anything, everyone already knows that Macarthur is dead. Some people stay in the house while others go out to move the body. When Rogers checks the dining room again, he's shocked to find that another figure is missing - leaving only seven. Macarthur is laid out in his room, and Armstrong examines the body. Everyone but Rogers meets in the drawing room, and Armstrong announces that Macarthur was murdered, his head smashed in with a life-preserver. Wargrave announces that he can summarize the situation and clear everything up. Since there is no one but the seven of them on the Island, one of them must be the killer!
Wargrave asks anyone if they disagree with his theory. No one does except for Vera, who can't accept it. Wargrave asks if anyone has evidence that points to any of them. Blore tells everyone about Lombard's lie and his gun, and then Lombard gives everyone the same explanation he had before. Wargrave points out that since no one can offer independent proof of their stories, they just have to trust each other's word. After a short argument, Wargrave says that none of them can be excluded based on occupation, social position, or gender. Lombard suggests that Rogers couldn't be the killer. He might have killed his employer, and possibly his wife to cover it up, but he doesn't seem like he would create a grand scheme to kill perfect strangers. Wargrave reminds Lombard that if one of them was the killer, they could have recorded a lie about the crime they supposedly committed - pretend to be an accused murderer to blend in with the rest.
They try to figure out who had the best opportunity to kill Marston and Mrs. Rogers. It is agreed that anyone could have poisoned Marston's drink, and had someone come up to Mrs. Rogers room and told her the doctor had sent up some more medicine, she would have drunk it, regardless of what it was - meaning that everyone is still a suspect.
Everyone is still a suspect in Macarthur's killing, as well. After a short questioning, Wargrave discovers that no person was in sight of other people for the entire morning, so at any time one of them could have snuck off and killed Macarthur. Wargrave then sums up the situation. One of the seven of them is the killer. Since they have no evidence of who it might be, all they can do is try to contact the mainland, and keep themselves as safe as possible - now that they know that the killer is one of the them, they'll have to be extremely careful around each other.
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 6
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 7
Topic Tracking: Clues 4
Lombard and Vera are talking in the living room. Vera is still having trouble believing that one of them is the killer. Lombard is sure of it, though, and he tells he that he's sure she isn't the killer. Vera returns the comment, saying that she can't imagine Lombard is the one that set all of this up. Lombard thinks Wargrave is the killer, and he offers his theory: "...he's played God Almighty for a good many months every year. That must go to a man's head eventually. He gets to see himself as all powerful, as holding the power of life and death - and it's possible that his brain might snap and he might want to go one step farther and be Executioner and Judge Extraordinary." Chapter 10, pg. 152 Vera admits that it's possible, but thinks that Armstrong is the killer. After all, the first two murders were poisonings, and who would know about poison better than him? He's also the only one with medical knowledge, so he could have claimed that Macarthur had been dead for a good while when he found him, and no one would be able to question him.
Meanwhile, Rogers is asking Blore if he has any idea who the killer could be. Blore has a theory, but he isn't telling what it is. In the smoking room, Armstrong and Wargrave are talking. Armstrong wants nothing more than to get off the Island, but Wargrave tells him it's hopeless. All they can do is lock themselves up in their rooms and try to figure out who the killer is. Armstrong wants to know how they'll do that without any evidence. Wargrave says that despite the lack of evidence, he's got a pretty good idea who the killer is. In fact, he's quite sure of it...
Emily sits in her bedroom, writing in her diary. In the middle of her entry she blacks out, and her hand automatically writes "THE MUDERER'S NAME IS BEATRICE TAYLOR". When she wakes, she's startled to see the sentence: "Did I write that? Did I? I must be going mad..." Chapter 10, pg. 159
Everyone gathers again in the living room. They try to pass the time with tea and conversation. Vera asks Emily if she'd like to pour the tea. Emily declines, and mentions that she's lost some grey wool. As they all drink their tea, somewhat relaxed, Rogers enters and asks if anyone has seen the red oilsilk curtain that was in the bathroom. No one has any idea what happened to it. Rogers leaves the room, and everyone quiets down, once again suspicious of each other. After another hour, everyone goes to bed, locking their doors and blocking them with furniture. On his way to bed, Rogers carefully locks up the dining room, so that no one can get at the remaining seven Indian figures.
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 8
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 9
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 10
Topic Tracking: Clues 5
Lombard wakes at Nine-thirty. He notices that Rogers hasn't given anyone their wake-up calls, and goes to look for him. The kitchen shows no sign of Rogers' presence - the fire hasn't even been lit. Lombard wakes Blore up and tells him about the situation. Together they collect everyone else. Armstrong is awake, and almost dressed. Wargrave has to be woken up. Vera is awake and dressed. Emily's room is empty. Everyone goes downstairs just as Emily walks through the front door, wearing a raincoat. Blore suggests that she shouldn't be out walking around in this weather, but Emily tells him she was very careful. They check the unlocked dining room, and find that it has already been set for breakfast - but there are only six figurines on the table.
After a quick search of the grounds, they find Rogers' body. It is lying in the wash-house where he'd been chopping wood. Someone had snuck up behind him with a small hatchet and killed him. Blore dusts the hatchet with flour, but can't find any fingerprints. Armstrong checks to see that Vera and Emily aren't around before pointing out that it wouldn't take a strong person to swing the hatchet - any one of them could have killed Rogers.
Just then, Vera starts laughing insanely outside. She asks them if there are any bees on the island. No one understands her. Vera points out the similarities between all the murders and the nursery rhyme, which means the next person will be killed by a bee sting. Vera continues laughing hysterically until Armstrong walks out to the yard and slaps her face. Vera shakes the hysteria off and thanks Armstrong. She then leaves to collect some would so that she and Emily can prepare breakfast.
Blore takes Lombard aside and explains a theory to him. He can't believe how calm Emily is with all the murders going on around her. He's sure that she must be the killer. Lombard says that if he were the killer, after murdering Rogers he would have gone back to sleep, not gone out wandering on the Island. Blore points out that Emily is quite possibly insane, but, more importantly, no one would go out wandering around the Island alone unless they felt safe - and how could she feel safe unless she was the killer? Lombard agrees that Emily is very suspicious, and he's happy to hear that Blore no longer suspects him. He asks Blore, since they may not be getting off the Island anyway, if he committed the crime he's been accused of. Blore confesses, telling Lombard that he framed Landor on behalf of a nasty gang. He'd gotten his promotion: " 'And Landor got penal servitude and died in prison.' 'I couldn't know he was going to die, could I?' demanded Blore. 'No, that was your bad luck.' 'Mine? His, you mean.' 'Yours, too. Because, as a result of it, it looks as though your life is going to be cut unpleasantly short.'" Chapter 11, pg. 173 Blore angrily states that he won't be killed like the rest of them. Lombard doubts his chances.
While cooking eggs, Vera chastises herself for getting hysterical. She always thought of herself as level-headed. She remembers when Cyril died, how she swam out after him and got carried away by the current. Everyone had called her heroic, all except for Hugo. She wonders where Hugo is, what has happened to him... Emily snaps her out of her reverie. Vera notes how calm Emily is. Emily says it was the we she was raised - Vera reads this as repression. She asks Emily if she's afraid to die. Emily thinks to herself - of course she isn't afraid to die. She's never done anything in her life that she had to be ashamed of. Everyone else might die, but she certainly wouldn't - so why should she be afraid? She remembers a dream she had last night. Beatrice Taylor had been at her window, begging to be let in, but Emily wouldn't open it. Emily suddenly notices that Vera is staring at her. She quickly changes the subject, announcing that breakfast is ready.
As everyone sits quiet and polite at breakfast, their minds race, all thoughts on the situation, including the killer's: "The damned fool, he believed every word I said to him. It was easy.... I must be careful, though, very careful." Chapter 11, pg. 177
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 11
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 10
Breakfast is over and Vera starts to clean up. Emily tries to help, but she's too giddy. Armstrong offers to give her something to calm down, but she shouts 'No!', shocking everyone. She insists on just sitting in her chair until the giddiness passes. Everyone leaves Emily alone in the dining room. She begins to hear a slight buzzing sound. She begins to think about bees, and honey, and then becomes convinced that Beatrice is in the room with her, but she can't turn her head to look. She hears the slow footsteps of someone approaching, then feels a bee sting on her neck.
Everyone is waiting for Emily in the drawing room. Vera suggests going to get Emily, but Blore stops her, and outlines his theory about Emily killing everyone because of religious mania. Armstrong thinks it's possible, and Vera tells everyone about Emily's confession. Wargravewants to know if Emily seemed guilty or remorseful. Vera replies that she didn't. Wargrave suggests they bring Emily into the room so that they can observe her behavior, but when they go to get her, they find she's already dead.
"One more of us acquitted - too late!" Chapter 12, pg. 183 Wargrave says. Armstrong quickly examines the body, finding the syringe mark on her neck. He says that she was injected with poison, probably the same poison that killed Marston. Vera points out the Bee, reminding everyone of her manic episode. Lombard says that it isn't a coincidence - the killer is trying to stay as close to the rhyme as possible. Wargrave asks where the syringe came from. Armstrong says he brought a syringe. They all rush upstairs to search his suitcase, but the syringe is missing. Armstrong claims it must have been stolen.
Wargrave points out that of the five of them, one is a murderer, and the remaining four must be safeguarded as much as possible. He suggests that everyone surrender their drugs and weapons so that they can all be locked away in a safe place. Lombard protests, the relents when he sees that he's outnumbered. Lombard goes to his room and opens his bed-table drawer - but the revolver is missing.
One by one, everyone is strip-searched and their rooms scoured, but the revolver doesn't turn up. They go to the pantry, where the drugs are locked first in a small case, and then inside a cupboard. One of the keys is given to Lombard, the other to Blore, so that even if one of them is the killer, the other could protect the remaining key. Breaking open the chest and case would be so loud that the killer would surely be caught doing it. They are left with one question - where is Lombard's revolver? Lombard claims he put it away the night before, so Wargrave figures it must have been taken during the search for Rogers. Vera suggests that they search the house from top to bottom, but Wargrave says not to bother, since the killer has had plenty of time to hide it cleverly. Blore thinks he knows where the syringe is, though. He leads everyone outside, to the grass near the dining room window. They find the syringe, and the sixth Indian figurine.
They search the house again, but to no avail - the revolver is nowhere to be found.
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 11
Topic Tracking: Clues 6
All five remaining people sit in the drawing room, eyeing one another. They look back and forth, unable to trust anyone: "And all of them, suddenly, looked less like human beings. They were reverted to more bestial types." Chapter 13, pg. 191 They agree that in order to stay safe, only one of them will ever leave the room at any one time, leaving the rest of them there, watching each other. Armstrong suggests lighting a bonfire, but it's raining too hard.
Again, all the characters have internal monologues - they are growing paranoid, panicking - exactly the way the killer wants them. The killer observes that they're all terrified, afraid of death. Even the killer is afraid: "I'm afraid of death... Yes, but that doesn't stop death coming..." Chapter 13, pg. 194 At Five O'clock, Vera offers to make tea, but Wargrave suggests that they should watch her do it, just to be safe. Everyone returns to the drawing room, drinking tea and brandy. Lombard tries to turn on the lights, but there isn't any electricity. No one wants to go out to the generator to get it running, so Wargrave suggests that they use candles to light the room.
At Six-twenty, Vera goes up to her room to be away from the stress for a little while. As she gets to her door, she smells the ocean. It reminds her of Cyril , and Hugo. Suddenly, she thinks that Hugo must be on the Island with her. She shakes off the idea, realizing how crazy it is. The candle blows out, plunging her room into darkness. A wet hand touches her on the shoulder. She screams.
The men run up into Vera's room, and find her screaming incoherently. Hanging from a hook on the ceiling is a long strand of seaweed - that's what had touched her shoulder. The men help her to her feet and offer her some brandy. Vera almost drinks some, then refuses, demanding that she be brought an unopened bottle. Lombard goes to get her one. After she's had a drink, Lombard theorizes that the murderer has finally be foiled, but Armstrong finds it a little far-fetched that the murderer would plan on Vera fainting and needing brandy - especially since the glass of brandy they brought her hasn't been poisoned. Vera notices that Wargrave isn't in the room with them. Blore, Lombard and Armstrong are fairly sure that the doctor came up with them, and don't know what happened. Everyone runs back down to the living room, and they find Wargrave sitting in his chair - with a red curtain wrapped around him and a grey wool wig on his head. Armstrong tells everyone to stay back, then examines the body. He takes the wig off, revealing a red mark on Wargrave's forehead. He announces that Wargrave has been shot in the head, killed instantly. Lombard laughs, and announces that he's almost happy to see Wargrave go. Everyone is shocked, and Vera points out that Lombard was sure that Wargrave was the killer.
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 12
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 12
After bringing Wargrave's body up to his room, everyone goes down to the kitchen to eat dinner. They're worried and off-balance. Wargrave was the group's de facto leader, and now he's dead. Blore wonders why they didn't hear a gunshot, but Lombard explains that with Vera's screaming and everyone's running, it's not surprising. Armstrong mentions that they're in worse shape then ever, only three of them left, and no one has any idea who the killer is. Then Blore mentions that he's pretty sure he knows. Everyone agrees that they've got they're own suspicions. In fact, they all claim to be fairly sure about the identity of the killer. Everyone goes up to their rooms and locks their doors. Lombard opens his beside drawer. The revolver has been replaced.
Vera lies in her room, afraid to turn out her light. She thinks back to the day before Cyril had drowned. When she finally gave in to his demands and told him he could swim out to the rocks tomorrow. She knew it was risky, but she'd swim out after him to make it look like she was trying to save him - and if he managed to survive, well, she could always tell everyone that he was just lying about her giving him permission. After Cyril was dead Hugo left suddenly, and wouldn't respond to any of her letters. She can't forget Hugo, and she can't figure out why she thought he was on the Island with her.
Blore sits alone on his bed, unable to sleep. He wonders who the killer could be, where the gun might be... He begins thinking about the dead, picturing their faces. Finally, he remembers Landor's face, and thinks about him for the first time in quite a while: "Landor had had a wife - a thin slip of a woman with a worried face. There'd been a kid too, a girl about fourteen. For the first time, he wondered what had become of them." Chapter 14, pg. 212 Suddenly Blore hears someone in the hallway outside his door. He silently moves to the door and listens for any more noise. Just as he's beginning to doubt that he heard anything, he hears steps walking towards the staircase. Since Armstrong and Lombard are farther from the stairs than he is, it could be either of them. Blore worries for a second that it might be a trap, then decides that he has to know. He grabs a lamp and moves out to the staircase. He sees someone walk out the front door. Blore starts after the shape, then realizes it might be a trap and stops. Blore realizes that he's solved the mystery! He knows that whoever isn't in their room must be the person who just left - the killer.
Blore wakes Lombard and Vera, and finds that Armstrong has disappeared. The men tell Vera to hide in her room, and only open the door if both of them return together. Lombard tells Blore that the gun was returned to his room, and the two of them head out after Armstrong. Vera hides in her room, sure that Armstrong can't break in. She even prepares herself to jump out a window if he were to set the house on fire. She hears glass breaking downstairs, then listens carefully, but doesn't hear any other sounds. Finally, she hears people coming up the stairs. Blore and Lombard are at her door. They tell her that Armstrong has disappeared, vanished clean from the island - and there are only three Indian figures on the table.
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 13
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 14
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 13
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 14
At breakfast, Blore, Lombard and Vera try to figure out if Armstrong is the killer, or if he has been murdered. Blore is sure that Armstrong is dead, and thinks that Lombard is somehow responsible. Lombard says that Armstrong is just hiding somewhere that they can't figure out. He suggests they try Heliographing the mainland, since the storm has finally broken and the sun is out. Vera points out the seventh line of the nursery rhyme. It says that the Indian was swallowed by a 'red herring'. She believes this means that Armstrong's 'death' is actually a trick, and that he stole the figurine to make them think he was dead while he hid. Lombard says that there's nowhere he could be hiding. Vera reminds them that all the other murders have corresponded to the poem, and that the red herring must mean something. Blore points out that they can't be in too much danger, since there isn't a Zoo on the Island. Vera responds: "Don't you see? We're the Zoo... Last night, we were hardly human any more. We're the Zoo..." Chapter 15, pg. 226
They go out to the cliffs and use a mirror to signal the mainland. There is no sign that they've been successful. At around 2PM, Blore announces that he's hungry, and suggests that they go back to the house for lunch. Vera refuses to go into the house, and Lombard offers to stay with her. Blore hesitates before going to the house, but Lombard refuses to lend him the revolver. Blore leaves for the house. Once Blore leaves, Lombard suggests that he's the killer. He points out that Blore's story of footsteps in the hallway clears him of suspicion either way. If Blore was telling the truth, then Armstrong is the killer, if he's lying, then he's the killer. Either way, Lombard is innocent. Vera replies that she can't believe that it's Blore. She still thinks it's Armstrong, because she feels like she's being watched all the time. Lombard dismisses it as nerves. Vera tells Lombard that she thinks this whole situation could be a kind of divine retribution. Lombard takes this to mean she's admitting to drowning Cyril . Vera tries to deny it, but she can't. Suddenly, the ground shakes. They run to the house and find Blore lying on the terrace, his head crushed by the marble clock from Vera's room.
Seeing Blore dead, Lombard agrees that Armstrong must be on the Island somewhere, but he can't figure out where. Vera suggests a secret room, but Lombard reminds her that they measured all the walls - there's no missing space in the house where a room could be. The two of them go back out to the cliffs. They plan to stay out there all night, hiding at the top of a cliff, where Lombard can shoot anyone who approaches. As they wander up and down the cliffs, they spot some clothes down among the rocks. They go down to check, and find Armstrong's drowned body.
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 15
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 15
Vera and Lombard look at one another. Both think the same thing - there's only one other person left on the Island. Vera asks Lombard how one of them could have killed Blore. Lombard responds that it must have been some kind of trick, or trap. Vera is sure that Lombard must be the killer. She suggests that they move Armstrong's body up to the house so it could be with the rest. Lombard says he doesn't care. She suggests taking it out of the water, at least. While Lombard lifts the corpse, Vera steals his revolver. Lombard demands his gun back, then tries to threaten her. Vera aims it at him. He leaps at her, and she shoots him dead.
Vera is relieved that it's finally over. She's the last one on the Island. She nervously walks back to the house, not sure how to feel. Will she be able to eat or sleep with all the bodies around? She's very tired, though, and she wants to try. She gets into the dining room and finds three Indian figures on the table. She throws two out the window, and keeps the third for herself. She tries to remember how the rhyme ends, but gets it wrong, thinking the last little Indian boy gets married. Suddenly she senses that Hugo is in the house with her. She walks up the stairs, thinking herself ridiculous for believing something so crazy. She opens the door to her room, and sees a noose hanging from the hook on the ceiling, with a chair placed beneath it.. She drops the final figurine, and it breaks on the floor. Vera remembers the last line of the rhyme. She walks over to the noose, remembering the seaweed on her shoulder, believing that it was Cyril 's hand. "'You can go to the rock, Cyril...' That was what murder was - as easy as that. But afterwards, you went on remembering..." Chapter 16, pg. 244 She puts the noose around her neck and kicks the chair away, hanging herself.
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 16
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 16
Sir Thomas Legge and Inspector Maine are discussing the mysterious case of Indian Island. No one in the town of Sticklehaven knows anything, other than the fact that a Mr. Owen bought the house. The house was actually purchased by Mr. Morris, who was a small-time criminal involved in the drug trade. They can't get any answers from him, though, because he's dead. Some Boy Scouts saw the signaling from the Island, and told Fred Narracott about it. Fred and some other men went out to the Island the next day, and found all ten dead bodies. No one could have left the Island before then, either, since the waves were so bad. The gramophone record offered no clues, as it turns out that it was recorded by an acting company, who were told that it was for an unproduced play. They discuss the accusations made on the record. Maine has investigated all the people on the Island. He found that the Rogers' definitely didn't murder their employer, but according to the old woman's doctor, there were suspicious circumstances around her death. Wargrave definitely wasn't guilty of anything, evidence was discovered later that proved Seton's guilt. Maine doesn't think Vera was guilty, because he believes the coroner's inquest. Armstrong did kill a woman on the table, but Maine considers it an accident, not murder. There wasn't anything criminal in Emily's behaviour either. Legge notes that Owen seemed to be going after criminals that no court could punish. Lombard and Macarthur are all the same - there's a suggestion of guilt, but no proof. Marston was let off with a slapped wrist. Legge believes that Blore was guilty, though. At the time, he'd thought Blore was a criminal, but he'd never been able to prove anything.
Legge notes that it's a little convenient that Morris is dead - of a sleeping pill overdose the night everyone went to the Island. There's no evidence that it was anything other than an accident, though. Maine says that if no one could have left the Island, then the killer must have been one of the people on the Island - but that's impossible. Vera and Emily kept diaries, allowing the police to reconstruct the order in which the murders took place. Which means that if the killer was one of them, it had to be Lombard, Blore or Vera. It couldn't be Armstrong because his body had been dragged out of the sea. Lombard couldn't have been the killer - if he'd killed everyone and then shot himself, how could the revolver have been found in Wargrave's room, with only Vera's prints on it? Vera couldn't be the killer either - if she'd been the last to die, then the chair she used to hang herself would have been kicked away. The chair was placed neatly against the wall. Which means the only suspect left is Blore, but neither Legge nor Maine can believe that Blore would have killed himself, let alone killed himself by dropping a giant block on his head. So they have no suspects, and no way to figure out who the murderer was.
Topic Tracking: Clues 7
The final chapter is an extended confession, in which Wargrave explains why he murdered everyone, and how. "From an early age I knew very strongly the lust to kill..." Chapter 18, pg. 261 These feelings were mixed with a strong sense of the importance of law and order, so he became a judge. His love of detective fiction also led him to devise clever ways of killing people. He loved punishing the guilty, especially sentencing them to death, but he hated the idea of an innocent person being punished. Eventually, he realized that just sentencing people to death wasn't good enough - he wanted to murder someone himself. After finding out that he had cancer, he began planning the perfect crime he'd always dreamt of. A conversation with a doctor, who happened to be Jennifer Brady's doctor, suggested to Wargrave the perfect scenario - he could mix his urges, by murdering the guilty that no court could ever punish.
He found Armstrong when a Nun mentioned to him the case of a drunken doctor who killed someone on the table. He was able to find the rest of his victims by just bringing up the subject of justice in casual conversation. It seemed that everyone had a story to tell about some person who had escaped justice. Vera was the last one that he'd discovered, while on a Ocean voyage. He met a drunken Hugo Hamilton, who was miserable. Hugo told Wargrave the story of how a Woman had murdered his Nephew out of a misguided love for him. No one had suspected her, but the second Hugo saw her again, he could tell from her eyes that she'd murdered Cyril . Wargrave needed a tenth victim to fit the rhyme, since he didn't consider himself guilty of anything. He found Morris, a criminal who had gotten a friend's daughter addicted to drugs. After finding out that his cancer was incurable, he used Morris to buy Indian Island and began setting his plan into motion, luring everyone to the Island.
Wargrave killed Morris by giving him a poisoned capsule to take for indigestion. Morris had never suspected anything. Wargrave had determined that he was going to try to kill everyone based on order of guilt, the least guilty first. He'd watched everyone's faces while the accusations were being read, and based on his years of experience, was sure that they were all guilty. He killed Marston by slipping Cyanide into the glass while everyone was distracted, then put an overdose of sleeping medicine into the Brandy Rogers brought up to his wife. The next day, he waited until everyone was away from the terrace, snuck up and killed Macarthur, then rushed back to the terrace before anyone noticed him missing. Wargrave then recruited Armstrong to help him 'find the killer'. Armstrong was sure Lombard was the killer, and Wargrave suggested they could trap him. Wargrave woke up early the next day, killed Rogers, stole the key, and then went back to bed. After everyone went downstairs to look for Rogers, he stole Lombard's gun. At Breakfast, Wargrave put the last of his sleeping medicine into Emily's coffee, and once she was asleep and everyone left the room, he snuck back in and injected her with the last of his Cyanide.
Wargrave hid the revolver inside the pantry, inside a tin of crackers. After hiding the gun inside, he put some tape on it, making it look like the tin had never been opened That night, he and Armstrong put their plan into effect. He planted the seaweed in Vera's room, and then, when everyone ran off, he put on his costume and dabbed some red paint onto his forehead. When everyone returned to the candlelit drawing room, only Armstrong examined the body. No one else got close enough to realize he wasn't dead. Later that night, he lured Armstrong out to the cliffs, and then pushed him off. He then returned to the house and made enough noise so that Blore and Lombard would notice that Armstrong was missing. After that, he hid back in his bed. When they next searched the house, all they dead was lift the sheet off his face to confirm that the right body was in the right bed. While everyone searched outside, Wargrave put the revolver back in Lombard's room.
Wargrave watched the three remaining people, wondering who would kill who. When Blore approached the house, he pushed the clock from the window. Wargrave then watched Lombard and Vera. He was glad Vera shot Lombard, because he knew there was little chance of Lombard ever killing himself. Vera on the other hand, was just unbalanced enough. Wargrave then wrote his confession and sealed it up in a bottle, and threw it off the island. His hope was that he'd committed an unsolvable crime, but he couldn't resist letting someone in on his genius by writing out a confession, albeit one that might never be found. Wargrave feels that the crime is unsolvable, except for three clues. 1 - He's the only innocent person on the island. 2 - The red herring line in the rhyme suggests some kind of a trick involving the doctor. 3 - The red hole in Wargrave's forehead is the mark of Cain. Wargrave then attached a rubber band to the gun and his glasses, so that he could shoot himself in the head while lying in bed, and the gun would be thrown across the room after he shot himself in the forehead, making it look as if the gun had been dropped there by someone long after Wargrave's murder.
Topic Tracking: Guilt and Responsibility 17
Topic Tracking: Trust and Suspicion 17