And then there were none – Agatha Christie
And Then There Were None
IN THE CORNER of a first-class smoking carriage, Mr. Justice Wargrave, lately retired from the bench, puffed at a cigar and ran an interested eye through the political news in the Times.
He laid the paper down and glanced out of the window. They were running now through Somerset. He glanced at his watch-another two hours to go. He went over in his mind all that had appeared in the papers about Indian Island. There had been its original purchase by an American millionaire who was crazy about yachting-and an account of the luxurious modern house he had built on this little island off the Devon coast. The unfortunate fact that the new third wife of the American millionaire was a bad sailor had led to the subsequent putting up of the house and island for sale. Various glowing advertisements of it had appeared in the papers. Then came the first bald statement that it had been bought-by a Mr. Owen. After that the rurnours of the gossip writers had started. Indian Island had really been bought by Miss Gabrielle Turl, the Hollywood film star! She wanted to spend some months there free from all publicity! Busy Bee had hinted delicately that it was to be an abode for Royalty??! Mr. Merryweather had had it whispered to him that it had been bought for a honeymoon-Young Lord L–had surrendered to Cupid at last! Jonas knew for a fact that it had been purchased by the Admiralty with a view to carrying out some very hush hush experiments!
Definitely, Indian Island was news!
From his pocket Mr. Justice Wargrave drew out a letter. The handwriting was practically illegible but words here and there stood out with unexpected clarity. Dearest Lawrence . . . such years since I heard anything of you
. . . must come to Indian Island . . . the most enchanting place . . . so much to talk over . . . old days . . . communion with Nature . . . bask in sunshine . . . 12.40 from Paddington . . . meet you at Oakbridge . . . and his correspondent signed herself with
a flourish his ever Constance Culmington.
Mr. Justice Wargrave cast back in his mind to remember when exactly he had last seen Lady Constance Culmington. It must be seven -no, eight years ago. She had then been going to Italy to bask in the sun and be at one with Nature and the contaditd. Later, he had heard, she had proceeded to Syria where she proposed to bask in yet stronger sun and live at one with Nature and the bedouin. 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. . . .
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