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Agatha Christie's 'And then there were none'
Sammendrag av boken "And then there were none"
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There has been a lot of gossip in the news about Nigger Island lately. The island which got its name from its resemblance to a Negroid head, has just been sold. And there is some speculation about who the new owner is. Eight different persons are on their way to Nigger Island, just outside the coast of Devon.
- The first person on his way to the island is Mr. Justice Wargrave. He is a lately retired judge who has been invited to the island by Lady Constance Culmington to talk about old days. She was an old acquaintance, it had been about seven or eight years since he had last seen her. He seems to be an updated gentleman, and he is very interested in all sorts of news.
- Then there is Vera Claythorne. She is a quit young lady who has worked at an school. In her opinion, it is a second-hand school, and she wants to get a new job at a more decent school. She is heading to Nigger Island to step in to her secretarial holiday post, after receiving a letter from a Una Nancy Owen. She appears to lack of self-confidence although she always tries to do her best.
- The third person travelling to the island is Philip Lombard, addressed to as Captain Lombard. He has been given hundred guineas by a little Jew, Morris. In return he would travel to Nigger Island where he did not have to stay for very long. The Jew would not give him any further information , including the name of his employee. Capt. Lombard has not been known as a man who would say no to a deal, even if that included illegality. He seems to be a middle-aged man who has experienced a lot in his time.
- Miss Emily Brent is also on her way to Nigger Island. She is a 65 year old lady of the earlier school, somewhat old-fashioned. She has got a letter signed U. N. O. She thinks it is Miss Oliver who has invited her to her new guest house on the island. The letter is based on a meeting between the two of them at Belhaven Guest House some years ago.
- General Macarthur, an old military gentleman, is also heading to Nigger Island. The letter he has got is from someone called Owen. He is invited to the island to talk over times past with some of his old friends. He does not know who this person, Owen, is. But he imagines that he might be a friend of one of his cronies. He seems to be very conserned about a thirty year old rumour about him.
- Then there is Dr. Armstrong. He is a quit young doctor, but good publicity from some of his patients has given him a good reputation. He is glad for a little "vacation" on Nigger Island, although it is not exactly a holiday. He has been hired by a Mr. Owen to examine his wife without her knowing. It is nothing serious, just a slightly uncommon condition of a decease. He is a successful doctor, and in spite of his young age, he is a calm and careful gentleman.
- The seventh person is Tony (Anthony) Marston. He is a rich-man’s son, and he enjoys fast cars and a little drinking along with some fun. He is a very pretty, young man, and women pay attention to him almost where ever he sets his feet. He has been invited to Nigger Island by the Owens who he can not remember to have met before.
- The last person is Mr. Blore. He has got a job to do on the island, and in his notebook he checks some names, including the seven above. He decides to pretend to be from South-Africa, this way he can enter almost every group without making any suspicion. In his carriage there is an elderly sea-faring man who warns him about the judgement day which will soon be at hand. Mr. Blore thinks for himself that he will outlive this gentleman, but as it happens.. he was wrong.
They are all going to take a train from Paddington at 12.40. They will from there travel to Oakbridge where they will be met and brought to Nigger Island.
There was becoming a little group of persons outside of Oakbridge station. And after a while there was a total of five persons who was taken to Sticklehaven in two taxies; Miss Brent and Mr. Wargrave in the first, and Captain Lombard, Vera Claythorne and General Macarthur who had arrived some minutes later with the slow train, in the second.
They had a little stop at a little inn, The Seven Stars. There the five met Natal Davis, better known as Mr. Blore. Davis said they would not want to delay their host and hostess, and soon they were stepping aboard a little boat which would take them out to the island. The driver of the boat, Fred Narracott, said that there were two other gentlemen on their way, but that they might come at anytime and there was no reason to wait for them.
Then Tony Marston arrived in his very delicate car. It was a moment not to forget. He rolled up to the boat, and for a moment he seemed above mortality. Fred Narracott tried to identify the persons, and except from Tony Marston he could not find anyone else who seemed to be the kind of guests Owen would have. He had never seen this Mr. Owen himself, he had got all his orders and payment from a Mr. Morris ( the Jew who paid Capt. Lombard to come to Nigger Island ).
There was a staff of two persons, Mr. And Mrs. Rogers who had arrived two days earlier. They had not seen the Owens either. Every time the host was mentioned, everyone seemed to get a little nervous. Vera Claythorne followed Mrs. Rogers up to her own room, and Mrs. Rogers told her that if there was anything she needed, she could just call for her or Mr. Rogers. In her room Vera Claythorne found a poem over the fireplace:
One choked his little self and then there were Nine.
Nine little nigger boys sat up very late ;
One overslept himself and then there were Eight.
Eight little nigger boys travelling in Devon ;
One said he’d stay there and then there were Seven.
Seven little nigger boys chopping up sticks ;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were Six.
Six litter nigger boys playing with a hive ;
A bumble bee stung one and then there were Five.
Five little nigger boys going in for law ;
One got into Chancery and then there were Four.
Four little nigger boys going out to sea ;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were Three.
Three little nigger boys walking in the Zoo ;
A big bear hugged one and then there were Two.
Two little nigger boys sitting in the sun ;
One got frizzled up and then there was One.
One little nigger boy left all alone ;
He went and hanged himself and then there were None.
At sunset Dr. Armstrong arrived on Nigger Island, just in time for dinner at eight o’clock. Mr. Wargrave and Mr. Armstrong recognised each other from a trial, and Mr. Wargrave asked him if he knew a Constance Culmington. He asked the same question to Mr. Rogers later, who answered the same: "No!" Mr. Wargrave got a bad feeling about there being something wrong… the whole situation.
In his bathtub, Tony Marston asks himself if he must go through with it, with the job he is meant to do.
Also Mr. Blore is thinking of the job he will do, and he is glad that he could not foresee the future.
Captain Lombard says to himself that he will enjoy this week on the island, and he was soon to be joined at dinner by Miss Emily Brent who had just finished to read in the bible.
At the dinner table there are ten little nigger statues on it, and they all conclude that they have the same nursery rime in their rooms. They are just finished eating when Emily Brent and Vera Claythorne are talking together in the drawing room. They mention their host, and soon they find out that they are not talking about the same persons… But then they are intercepted by the others who join them.
Then there comes a voice out of nowhere who charges them with these accusations:
- Edward George Armstrong, that you did upon the 14th day of March 1925, cause the death of Louisa Mary Clees.
- Emily Caroline Brent, that upon the fifth November,1931, you were responsible for the death of Beatrice Taylor.
- William Henry Blare, that you brought about the death of James Stephen Landor on October 10th, 1928.
- Vera Elizabeth Claythorne, that on the 11th day of August, 1935, you killed Cyril Ogilvie Hamilton.
- Philip Lombard, that upon a date in February, 1932, you were guilty of the death of twenty-one men, members of an East Africa tribe.
- John Gordon Macarthur, that on the 14th of January, 1917, you deliberately sent your wife’s lover, Arthur Richmond, to his death.
- Anthony James Marston, that upon the 14th day of November last, you were guilty of the murder of John and Lucy Combes.
- Thomas Rogers and Ethel Rogers, that one the 6th of May, 1929, you brought about the death of Jennifer Brady.
- Lawrence John Wargrave, that upon the 10th day of June, 1930, you were guilty of the murder of Edward Seton.
" Prisoners at the bar, have you anything to say in your defence?"
There is a moment of total silence before there is a thump. Mrs. Rogers has fainted and they all run to help her. But the accusations are hanging over everyone of them. When Mr. Rogers has got her awake again, Mr. Justice Wargrave asks him if it was he who had turned on the gramophone that Capt. Lombard had found. Mr. Rogers says it was him, but that he had no idea what the contend was. He had his orders.
Then the old judge, Mr. Justice Wargrave starts to ask about the reasons why each and everyone of them is there. They all have got messages telling them that they would meet old friends etc. But many of them are written under by a U. N. Owen - UNKNOWN! They find out what the name might could mean. And then there is only one problem. No Mr. Davis was mentioned! Then Mr. Blore gives his real name along with the reason why he has lied. He had been hired as a detective to keep an eye on Mrs. Owen’ s jewellery. The judge concludes with the fact that they have bin invited by a madman.
There is a moment of silence. The judge explains that the person who is behind these accusations knows much about everyone of them, along with their personality and
friends. Everyone explains after turn what they have been accused for doing:
- Mr. Justice Wargrave tells that he felt that it was his duty to convict the man of whom he has been accused of murdering.
- Vera Claythorne says that she was taking care of a boy, when for a moment she was not paying attention, the boy had swum far out at sea and she was too late to save him.
- General Macarthur did not agree with the accusation. The man he was accused of killing died in the war. He was one of his officers who he had sent out on a reconnaissance. Just another casualty in war.
- Captain Lombard was the only man who recognised himself in the accusation. He had abandoned 21 natives in the bush. He and some other men took off with all the food. He told them that he left them there to die because they did not feel the same way about dying as an European.
- Tony Marston had driven over two children. But in his mind it had just been bad luck. It was not his fault, just an accident!
- Mr. and Mrs. Rogers did not agree with the accusation. They had taken care of this old lady, Miss Brady, till she died. Even then had Mr. Rogers run with his bare feet to get an doctor, but it was too late. It was not their fault! And why should she not leave them a legacy after all their services.
- Mr. Blore did not feel that the accusation was right. As leading investigator in a case he got a man convicted as the main witness. But it was only his duty as a policeman.
- Dr. Armstrong said that he could not remember the person mentioned in the accusation. But in his mind he knew that he had killed an old lady. He did an easy surgery drunk, and if he had been sober it would not have been any problem at all. And the Sister who knew, did not speak up.
- The last person was Miss Emily Brent. She would not say anything, except from that she had never done anything against her conscience.
They all agreed to try to get off the island as soon as possible, maybe with Fred Narracott’ s boat the next morning. Then all of a sudden Tony Marston choked as he had just nipped to a drink, he dropped to the floor.
Dr. Armstrong concluded soon that Tony Marston really was dead. They could not find any other solution - Tony Marston had taken his own life. Nobody had touched his drink and there was no sort of poison in the whisky, only in his glass. But altogether the suicide seemed very weird. A young and healthy man in his best age.
Everyone went to their own room, locking their doors automatically. In his room, Mr. Justice Wargrave remembered how he had enjoyed to "cook" that Seton-person. He had really enjoyed the case, where there had been no mercy. Downstairs in the drawing room Mr. Roger saw nine little nigger statues on the dinner table - he could have swore that there had been ten…
In another room, General Macarthur is thinking of the officer he sent out to die. He had done it on purpose. Arthur Richmond had cheated on Macarthur! He had had a relationship with the general’s wife! He just hoped that young Armitage had not spoken about it. He liked the peaceful island, and he decided that he really did not want to leave.
Vera Claythorne laid in her bed, thinking about the day when little Cyril drowned. Then she saw the poem on the wall; "very strange", she thought. It was just like this evening!
Dr. Armstrong is having a bad dream in his room. He is dreaming of a surgery - and about who he has to kill. At first it is Miss Emily Brent, and then it is Anthony Marston. Suddenly he wakes up. It is Mr. Rogers who is standing before him. He can not make his wife wake up! When the doctor and Mr. Rogers arrives to her bed, she is already dead. They can not find any reason for her death. She had not taken sleeping-pills, and she had never had any trouble with her heart. Then the gong for breakfast sounded.
They all wait for Fred Narracott’ s boat to arrive, but there is no sign of the boat or him! After the breakfast, Dr. Armstrong tells everyone what has happened to Mrs. Rogers - that she is dead for an unknown reason. Emily Brent says that the death is caused by Mrs. Rogers conscience, just as the fainting yesterday. Then Mr. Blore suspects Mr. Rogers, because he could lie about the accusation without any problem, but she could not. There is a tense mood, but the speculation is soon over. Mr. Rogers enters the room and they all pity him.
General Macarthur and judge Wargrave concludes that they will probably never leave the island, that they are part of a madman’ s plan. Just next to them on the terrace, Mr. Blore and Captain Lombard are talking about how their deaths may be. A second after Dr. Armstrong has arrived on the terrace, Mr. Rogers asks Dr. Armstrong if he could have a word with him - alone. He tells the doctor that he has seen only eight little nigger statues on the table this day. He could swear that there had been nine the day before, and originally ten! The doctor says that he also noticed that there had been ten the first day.
Miss Emily Brent and Vera Claythorne take a walk in the morning. The wind is getting stronger all the time, and they can not see the coast. Vera Claythorne is worried about the deaths, and about Miss Emily Brent’ s accusation of Mr. Rogers. Could he really have killed her? After talking to Brent, she is slightly shocked. The old lady had led a girl who had worked for her into death, as she saw it. Brent realised that the girl was without any moral, and she got rid of her on the hour. Soon afterwards the girl jumped in a river and died. Vera Claythorne thought that it might had been Miss Emily Brent’ s fault. The old lady was no more ridiculous - she was terrible.
Dr. Armstrong thinks that Mr. Wargrave has a very logical brain, but that someone has to take action. It has to be him. He asks Capt. Lombard if he will join him for a little walk. He wants a consultation about the whole situation, and he finds out that the captain is no fool - he is relieved. The only reason they can find for them being at the island, is that they have all done things which can not be brought home to the guilty ones. They decide to search the island for U. N. Owen. He has to be responsible for the deaths. Two suicides so close together is too big of a coincidence. But they agree with the fact that they could use some help from Mr. Blore, Mr. Wargrave is too old.
They got Mr. Blore with them, and he agrees immediately on their arguments. They find out that someone could have put cyanide into Tony Marston’ s drink the other day. Because there was an open window nearby the table where his glass stood. When they ask if anybody has a weapon, Capt. Lombard tells them that he has brought a revolver - he is used to travelling to some tight places. When they search the island, they see old General Macarthur on the beach. He sits there and looks out on the sea - just as if he was paralysed. And when they try to talk to him, he just tells them how little time there is left and that he has not got time to talk to them. They find the whole seance somewhat uncomfortable.
They continue their search on the island, and the only place where there might be someone, is in a hole or a cave in the cliffs. At the same time Dr. Armstrong wonders how mad Macarthur really is. Vera Claythorne leaves the terrace where Miss Emily Brent is sitting and knitting, to see what Macarthur is doing by the sea. When she approaches, he tells her how relieved he is that he will die. He is tired of carrying the murder of Richmond on his mind. The end will be a relief.
Mr. Blore has got a rope from the house and joins Dr. Armstrong at the same place where he had left him. Captain Lombard had gone to test a theory, but he would be back in some minutes. When Lombard returns, they fasten the rope and Lombard climbs down the cliff. Mr. Blore wonders why Lombard has brought a gun. Anyway, they could not find anyone - not even in the house. The only mysterious event is Mr. Rogers who is removing his stuff from his old room, where Mrs. Rogers is laying in the bed. There was no one on the island, but the eight of them.
They do not understand the suicides, or even maybe murders. And instead of trying to figure it out together, they start accusing each other. Dr. Armstrong feels that they accuse him because he is the only one who has poison - in his medicine bag. Lombard takes action, and says that they are all in the same boat and there is no reason for accusing each other. Then the gong for lunch sounded, and everyone went to the dinner table. But General Macarthur did not appear - he was sitting on the beach. Mr. Rogers said that he could go and fetch him, but Dr. Armstrong answered that he would go, and so he did.
There were sounds of running feet, and they all sat very quiet and believed that it could be the murderer. And then Dr. Armstrong appeared. He told them that General Macarthur was dead, he had been beaten in the back of his head with something! After they had carried him in to the house, Mr. Rogers and Vera Claythorne observed that there were only seven little nigger statues on the table. Dr. Justice Wargrave takes command, and he starts telling them that he has observed their activities all day when he was sitting on the terrace. It came quite clear to him - the murderer had to be one of them!
They try to find out who the murder is, and in the same time they rule someone out. But Mr. Justice Wargrave explains to them that every single one of them could have done it, none of the murders had taken a lot of strength to perform - no one could be excluded! Everyone has to explain what they were doing at the time of the murders, and afterwards the judge tells all of them to keep an eye open and tell him anything that may occur to them.
Chapter TEN Captain Lombard and Vera Claythorne are talking about who they think the killer might be. Lombard believes that the killer is old Wargrave, while Vera thinks it is possible that Dr. Armstrong is the killer. At the same time Mr. Blore and Mr. Rogers are wondering about the same thing. Dr. Armstrong is almost freaking out, because he just has to leave the island, and Mr. Wargrave is not exactly helping the situation. He says that there is building up a storm and that no one will come to save them.
Miss Emily Brent goes up to her bedroom and read in the bible. Afterwards she writes in her diary that the murderer is Beatrice Taylor - the next morning when she awakes she thinks that she is going mad because of what she had written. The next day some curtains and two skeins of grey knitting wool are missing.
After dinner the two women went to bed first, and then four men followed shortly after. Rogers was setting the table for breakfast, and he locked up the entire dining room for the next morning - nothing was going to happen that night.
Lombard wakes up a little late in the morning, and he wonders why tea has not been served or why no one has called him. Usually Mr. Rogers was early awake. He goes to Mr. Blore’ s door and taps. Blore wakes up and does not believe that he has slept so long - and he asks Lombard where Mr. Rogers is. Lombard answers that he is not in his room. Some minutes later they are all awake, and they start to search for Mr. Rogers.
Downstairs the dinner table is all set, but Rogers is nowhere in the house. Vera sets her eyes on the six nigger statues! They find him outside in the wash house, where he had been chopping up sticks. But now he was dead - with a deep wound in the back of his head, probably done with the big chopper which was right besides of him.
Vera Claythorne screams and goes hysterical when she sees the dead body of Mr. Rogers, and then she recites the rhyme - "..chopped his little self in half.." She asks screamingly if the next person will die of a bumble bee’ s sting. Dr. Armstrong walks over to her and slaps her on her cheek. She excuses her behaviour, and Miss Emily Brent comes to tell them that dinner will soon be ready. The murder seems to have no effect on her.
Blore suspects Brent because she is so calm, and Miss Emily Brent tells herself not to loose her head - she is a Brent-woman! Lombard tells Blore that he is a sitting target, and that he thinks he will be the next one to die, mostly because his lack of imagination. All Vera Claythorne thinks about is the drowning. They all go to eat breakfast.
They had just finished eating when Mr. Justice Wargrave told them that he thought it would be advisable to talk about the situation. So he decided that they would meet half an hour later in the drawing room. Vera Claythorne and Miss Emily Brent were going to clean up and do the dishes, but Miss Brent suddenly felt giddy. When Dr. Armstrong asked if he could help her, he got a clear "no" as an answer. All except from Miss Brent went into the kitchen and they talked for some minutes about the weird behaviour of Miss Brent. At the same time Miss Brent drowsed while she heard a buzzing sound around her ears, and then a bee stung her.
The others were waiting for Miss Brent in the drawing room, and at five to eleven they went to fetch her. But their suspicions about her died along with her. Vera heard the buzzing from a bee in the window, but Dr. Armstrong concluded that she died from a poison injection, the bee was only a fulfilling of the nursery rhyme. This time even Lombard was getting mad, but the judge asked calmly if the doctor had any poison - and of course he had. He was a doctor. Mr. Justice Wargrave decided that they would collect all kind of weapons and place them somewhere safe. The revolver was missing from Lombard’ s drawer. Someone had stolen both the captain’ s revolver and poison from Dr. Armstrong!
When they can not find the revolver, they search each and every room. Afterwards they search the rest of the house, but they do not find it now ether. They find the only explanation to be that the revolver has been hidden by the murderer.
Now there were only five people left - five terrified people. They were now enemies, and one of them had to be the murderer. They kept more guard than ever. After Mr. Wargrave had warned them all to be careful, they ate tongue for the thousand time, finished by some hermetically fruit. They all think their thoughts, and we find out that the murderer has to be one of them - he thinks that he must be very careful.
Vera made some tea while the rest of them careful watched. When Lombard tried to light up the drawing-room, they found out that the engine had not been run all day because of Mr. Rogers’ death. Lombard then go to fetch candles for them. Vera Claythorne decides to go upstairs to bathe. But she get the feeling that there is someone in the room, and besides there is a smell of sea. She immediately thinks about Hugo and the drowning of little Cyril. Suddenly she feels a wet hand on her throat - she screams…
The men run up from the drawing-room and burst in to Vera’ s room. The wet hand was only seaweed. But Vera was almost frightened to death, and she could use a little spirit to get back her colour. Lombard is quite happy because there now was one murder which had gone wrong, but suddenly they found out that Mr. Justice Wargrave is missing. Dr. Armstrong explains that he is an old man and that maybe he could not keep up with them - but it was really odd. When they go downstairs, they find the judge in a chair with a judges wig upon his head. He has been shot - with the revolver. Next to him they also find the missing curtains and Miss Brent’ s knitting wool. Lombard laughs and repeats : "..one got in to Chancery and then they were four.."
Just a trick - that was what the seaweed had been. And now there were only four of them. They all wondered who the next to be murdered would be. They agreed to go to bed although Dr. Armstrong believed that none of them would get any sleep. They all barricaded in their rooms. Lombard opened the drawer in his room before he went to bed - there was the revolver.. In her room Vera thinks about Hugo, dead Cyril’ s uncle. She wonders if he knew. She could not think of Hugo. Then she got the idea that she could just stay in her room - that way she would be safe.
Blore was trying to get some sleep, but he thought of the revolver. It was important, he believed. He thinks that he will not die, not Henry Blore. He suddenly heard something in the hall, but he did not think it was anything because he heard a lot of noise and sounds. But then, all of a sudden, he really did hear someone moving out in the hall. Very soft footsteps, but he was listening. He acted quickly, but there was no one in the hall. He ran downstairs because of a sound he had heard, but there was not a single soul to see.
He woke up the others, but Dr. Armstrong did not answer. He got Lombard to join him, and Vera was told to stay in her room and not open to anyone except from the to them - and only if they were together. After some time the two men returned. They told Vera that they could not find Armstrong anywhere, that he had disappeared. It was almost clear as day outside because of the moonlight - and yet, Armstrong had vanished of the island. They had also seen that a window pane had been broken in the dining-room, and there were only three nigger statues on the dinner table…
There were only three people at the dinner-table. The storm was over and it was a lovely day. They thought that they could try to make contact with the mainland, starting a bonfire or maybe using a mirror to reflect the sun into SOS-signals. At first Blore and Lombard accused each other, but Vera interrupted, and reminded them about the nursery rhyme - a red herring - they come to the solution that Armstrong really was not dead. They find it somewhat unbelievable, but Vera tells them that he is mad! Vera continues that it is them who are the zoo - because the day before they had all acted like animals.
They had gone out of the house, and they were now standing on the cliffs. They had sent signals from the mirror in turns since the morning. Vera tells them that she feels safe out in the open, and she does not want to return to the house. Lombard feels that it was a good idea, but Blore says that they will have to spend the night in the house. Blore wants to go into the house to have lunch, but Vera thinks he is a madman to go in to it alone. And Lombard does not want to join Blore.
Lombard and Vera talked about Blore. That is, Lombard talked to Vera. He thought Blore was the killer, but Vera said that she thought it was Armstrong - she had this feeling that someone was watching her. Lombard hears a little cry from the house and he decides to check it out. Vera comes along unwillingly. They find Blore. His head is crushed against the stone terrace on the east side of the house by a great block of whit marble. Vera remembers the clock on her room - shaped like a bear. She tells Lombard that the mantelpiece is hers.
Lombard is convinced that Dr. Armstrong is in the house, and that he is the killer. Lombard is on his way in to find Armstrong, but Vera stops him. She says that they are next - he is waiting for them to look. Vera convinces him to stay away from the house. And then they go back to the cliffs - "maybe they can stay there all night without falling into sleep?" they think. They take a little walk over the rocks, and then Lombard sees something down at the sea. Vera looks too, and she thinks it is clothes. Lombard thinks it is queer, and Vera asks if they can go and have a look. They find out that it was not only clothes - it was Dr. Armstrong!
The two of them lifted their heads and looked in to each other’ s eyes. They both believe that the other is the murderer. Vera says that they have to move Dr. Armstrong’ s body. The two of them crouched down and pulled him away from the sea - leaning towards each other. Lombard asks if she is satisfied, and the tone in her answer alarms him. She had taken the revolver! Lombard made a sudden run, and Vera answered pulling the trigger. Lombard stopped in the air, and then he fell hard to the ground.
Vera went to check, but Lombard was really dead - shot through the heart. There was no more fear. She was alone with nine dead bodies, but what did she care - she was alive. She felt sleepy and hungry, so she wandered up to the house. She entered the room, too tired to make herself something to eat. And when she walked passed the dinner-table, there were still three little nigger statues. She thinks for herself: " You are behind the times, my dear!" Then she tosses two of the statues and takes the third one with her.
When she was on her way to her bedroom she thought of the nursery rhyme, and how it ended - "…He got married and then there were None." She got the feeling that Hugo was in the house. Before she went in to her room, she was sure that Hugo was waiting for her. But the first she saw was a rope hanging from the sealing and a chair to kick away. She thought : "Of course, that is what Hugo wants!" She drops the nigger statue, just like she had dropped the revolver in the stairs - it broke against the fender. She went over to the chair and climbed on it. Then she adjusted the noose around her head and kicked away the chair…
Inspector Maine and Assistant Commissioner, Sir Thomas Legge, at the Scotland Yard were talking about how incredible the whole thing was. Ten people were dead - someone had to have killed them! They got nothing from the Sticklehaven people, they only knew that an Owen had bought the island, and that a Mr. Morris provisioned the island and made all necessary arrangements. Fred Narracott even disobeyed Mr. Morris’ order - not to travel out to the island at all - because there had been sent SOS-signals and the fact that the ten persons were so normal and quiet. They did not get anything from the record ether - The Swan Song.
They go through all of the ten person’ s accusations - Maine thinks that a fanatic was out to get people who were beyond the reach of the law. They try to find out in which
order they had died, from the diaries and notes that were left:
- Anthony Marston
- Mrs. Rogers
- General Macarthur
- Mr. Rogers
- Miss Emily Brent
- Justice Wargrave
They think that someone was alive on the island after Dr. Armstrong, because his dead body had been dragged up from the sea. The rest they think is like this:
- Philip Lombard
- Mr. Blore
- Vera Claythorne
The only thing that did not make sense was that the chair on which Vera had been standing was not kicked over - it was standing against the wall. The only explanation they could find was that there had to be someone else on the island, "Mr. Blore could not have done it," they think. But at the same time the Sticklehaven people were sure that no one had left the island. "Who could have killed them?" they ask themselves.
A Manuscript Document Sent to Scotland Yard by the Master of the "Emma Jane" Fishing Trawler It is a document signed Lawrence Wargrave. It has been thrown into sea in a bottle, and maybe it will be found some day - and an unsolved ("or do I flatter myself?") can be solved. He was thrilled by mystery, and he enjoyed seeing or causing death from early age. As a child he had a romantic fantasy, but he would not cause the death of a innocent person - as he had a strong sense of justice. Therefore he got almost all of his instincts satisfied by the judge profession.
He wanted to cause a death - to make a kill! But because of his sense of justice he had problems. But after hearing a story of a pair who the doctor believed had killed an old lady, he started to collect victims. He would now commit murder on a grand scale. Also the nursery rhyme about the ten little niggers came back to him. He heard different stories about murderers - just like the doctor’ s story. And the tenth victim he found in Mr. Morris, he had sold dope to the daughter of some friends of him, causing the death of their daughter. He gave him a capsule to take at the night - it had done wonders to him. He had gone through an operation - another one was not necessary, he was dying.
Then as he saw the situation, there were different degrees of murder - and that made the order of the deaths upon the island. He had watched the faces of the victims during
the accusations, and he had no doubt that they were all guilty. Then the killing started:
( Morris’ death with the pills ).
- He slipped some potassium cyanide in Marston’ s glass during the accusations.
- He put the stuff in Mrs. Rogers glass of brandy before any suspicion had sat in.
- He left the terrace on the right time and knocked out General Macarthur sneaking up from behind.
- He hit Mr. Rogers in the back of his head with the big chopper, and locked up the dining-room with the keys which he found in Mr. Roger’ s pocket. Then he stole the revolver from Lombard’s room. ( He had told Morris to suggest to Lombard that he should bring one. )
- He slipped chloral in Miss Brent’ s coffee in the morning, and it was easy to inject cyanide in her neck later, because she was almost unconscious. The bumble bee was only to fulfil the nursery rhyme.
- Then he made a plan with Dr. Armstrong to pretend to be murdered, and then spy upon the unknown murderer. It worked perfectly. They played a scene where he had been shot.
- He took Dr. Armstrong to the cliffs where they could see if anybody was coming. He said he had something to tell him. Then he asked him if it really was the mouth of a cave in the cliffs. Then, when Dr. Armstrong leant over, he gave him a little push.
- Then three people alone. He pushed the bear-clock out from Vera’ s window so that Mr. Blore died.
- From the window he could also see Vera shoot Lombard. ( He had by the way hidden the revolver in a box of canned food - he had cut away the bottom and stuffed the revolver in to the box ).
- Then he arranged the picture in Vera’ s room - and it worked.
It was Wargrave’ s ambition to invent a murder mystery that could not be solved. But there were three clues: 1st : The police know that Edward Seton was guilty, and then automatically they would know who the murderer was. 2nd : The seventh verse about the red-herring. Armstrong was deceived by the murderer, and the police should be able to figure out that the only one he would trust enough to be tricked by was himself. 3rd : The symbolical marking on Wargrave’ s forehead. The brand of Cain.
When Wargrave had enclosed the bottle with the document, he went to make his own death. He laid down on his bed, and then he attached a black, elastic cord on his glasses and looped it around the door-handle and attached the other end to the revolver’ s trigger. He will be shot through the forehead as in the record, and the revolver will fall to the floor. The black cord will hang innocently down from the glasses. The handkerchief he had held in his hand when he pulled the trigger will not cause any comment lying on the floor. Boats and men will arrive from the mainland when the sea goes down, and they will find ten dead men and an unsolved mystery.
- Written by Fredrik L. Klock.
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