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Chapter 2 Notes from And Then There Were None

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And Then There Were None Chapter 2

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

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