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And then there were none

Front cover of an edition of And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None (originally Ten Little Niggers, also published as Ten Little Indians) is a detective novel by Agatha Christie. It was first published in the U.K. by the Collins Crime Club in 1939. It is, no doubt, one of Agatha Christie's best-known novels. It is the world's best selling mystery to date and has sold more than 115,000,000 copies.

The story was adapted for the stage by Christie in 1943, and it has been adapted for the cinema five times; as the 1945 American movie And Then There Were None, as the 1965 Indian movie Gumnaan, as the 1965 British movie Ten Little Indians, as the 1987 movie from the Soviet Union Desyat negrityat and as the 1989 American movie Ten Little Indians. The 1959 American TV movie Ten Little Indians and the 1969 West German TV movie Zehn kleine Negerlein were also based on the novel.

Characters

  • Justice Lawrence Wargrave-a retired hanging judge, invited to the island by a friend.
  • Vera Claythorne-a school mistress, hired by Mr. Owens as a secretary
  • Phillip Lombard-a soldier of fortune, was given 100 guineas and was told to expect trouble
  • William Blore-an ex inspector, hired to protect Mrs. Owens jewelry and to see that there is no trouble.
  • Emily Brent-an elderly social figure, invited by a friend.
  • Anthony Marston-a reckless playboy-type young man, invited and expecting excitement.
  • John Macarthur-a retired World War I general, invited to see an old friend.
  • Thomas Rogers-hired as a butler
  • Ethal Rogers-hired, along with her husband, as a cook.
  • Edward Armstrong-a well-known doctor, invited to give medical attention to Mrs. Owens

Plot

The novel takes place on Indian Island, a fictional island off the coast of Devon, England. Eight people are invited to Indian Island by Mr. and Mrs. U.N. Owen. When the eight arrive, the butler and his wife tell the group that Mr. and Mrs. Owens were held back and will not be able to make it to the island on time. The butler leads them all to their rooms where they all find a framed copy of the Ten Little Indians nursery rhyme, which reads:

"Ten little Indians going 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 would stay there and then there were seven.

Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks, one chopped himself in halves and then there were six.

Six little Indian boys playing with a hive, a bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Five little Indian boys going in for law, one got into Chancery and then there were four.

Four little Indian boys going out to sea, a red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

Three little Indian boys walking in the zoo, a big bear hugged one and then there were two.

Two little Indian boys playing with a gun, one shot the other and then there was one.

One little Indian boy left all alone, he went out and hanged himself and then there were none."

After the group are shown to their rooms, they are called to dinner. Mrs. Rogers has cooked them a wonderful feast. The group also notice ten china Indians. The group guess that the decorations are fitting for Indian Island. After the group are done with there dinner, they gather in the parlor. Mr. Rogers, the butler, is instructed to play a record on the gramophone. It is titled The Swan Song, and is a recording that informs the group that every one of them has committed a murder, but the law could not touch them and they were never prosecuted. The accusations are:

  • Anthony Marston ran over and killed two children by driving recklessly
  • Mr. and Mrs. Rogers withheld medicine from a woman in their care, in order to inherit her large fortune.
  • Emily Brent fired her house maid when she became pregnant, she later committed suicide
  • John Macarthur sent his wife's lover on a suicidal reconnaissance mission during World War I
  • Justice Lawrence Wargrave sentenced a man to death, even though he was innocent
  • Edward Armstrong performed surgery while drunk, and killed the patient.
  • William Blore committed perjury during a trial against a bank robber, who later died in prison
  • Vera Claythorne allowed a boy in her care to drown, in order for her lover to gain inheritance
  • Phillip Lombard left twenty-one African natives to die in the bush, while he escaped

External links

God speaks in His creation
Symbolism Wiki has a related article about And Then There Were None.

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