Tag Archives: american

BOOK REVIEW: THE BLACK CAT by Edgar Allan Poe

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Khidki (Window)

–Read Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    Edgar Allan Poe was born Edgar Poe (January 19, 1809 –October 7, 1849), was an American writer, poet, editor, and a literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism, an intellectual and literary movement in the United States, and of American literature as a whole. He was one of country’s earliest patronisers of short story. He is also considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. Further credited, for contributing, to the emerging genre of science fiction. Edgar Poe was the first well-known American writer to earn a living through writing alone, even though, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

    The Black Cat is one of Edgar’s popular short story. It was first published in August 19, 1843, in an edition of ‘The Saturday Evening Post.’ It is a study of psychology, a study of guilt, often paired, in analysis with Poe’s another short story titled, ‘The Tell-Tale Heart” where an unnamed narrator, endeavours to convince the reader, of the narrator’s sanity, while simultaneously describing a murder, the narrator has committed. In both the stories, the murderer carefully conceals his crime and believes himself unassailable, but eventually he breaks down and reveals himself, impelled, by a nagging reminder of his guilt.

    The story is written in first-person narrative using an unreliable narrator. But in reality he is a condemned man as detailed at the very outset of the story. The narrator tells us, that from an early age he loved animals. He and his wife had many pets, including a large, beautiful black cat named Pluto as described by him. The cat is especially fond of the narrator and it is also vice versa. Their mutual friendship lasts for several years till the narrator becomes an alcoholic. One night, after coming home completely intoxicated, the narrator believes, the cat is avoiding him. When he tries to catch him, the frightened cat responds by biting the narrator, and in a fit of drunken rage he holds the animal, pulls out a pen-knife from his pocket, and mercilessly gouges out the cat’s eye.

    From that moment onwards, the cat flees in terror upon his master’s approach. At first, the narrator is remorseful and regrets his cruelty. He says, “But this feeling soon gave to irritation. And then came, as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of perverseness.” Later, in another fit of drunken fury, the narrator takes the cat out in the garden one morning and ties a noose around its neck, and hangs it from a tree where it dies. But that very night his house mysteriously catches fire, forcing the narrator, his wife and their servant to flee the premises premisis.

    The next day, the narrator returns to the ruins of his home only to find, imprinted, on the single wall that survived the fire, the apparition of a gigantic cat with a rope around the animal’s neck.

    At first, the image deeply disturbs the narrator, but gradually he derives a logical explanation for it. Someone outside had cut the cat from the tree and thrown its corpse into the bedroom to wake him up during the fire. Soon the narrator begins to miss Pluto and hate himself for his actions, feeling guilty. Sometime later, he finds a similar cat in a tavern. It is the same size and colour as the original and is even without one eye. The only difference being a large white patch on the animal’s chest. The narrator takes it home, but soon begins to fear and loathe the creature, due to the fact that it amplifies his feeling of guilt. After some time, the white patch of fur begins to take shape and, much to the narrator’s horror, forms the shape of the gallows. This terrifies and angers him more, and he avoids the cat whenever and wherever possible. Then, one day when the narrator and his wife are visiting the cellar in their new home, the cat gets under his master’s feet and nearly trips him down the stairs. This amplifies the rage of the alcoholic narrator, and he grabs an axe and tries to kill the cat but is stopped by his wife. Being unable to take out his drunken fury on the cat, he angrily kills his wife with the axe instead. To conceal her body he removes bricks from a protrusion in the wall, and places her body there, and then repairs the hole. A few days later, when the police show up at the house to investigate the wife’s disappearance, they find nothing and the narrator goes scot free. The cat, which he intended to kill as well, has also gone missing. This grants him the freedom to sleep without the burden of a murder.

    But on the last day of the investigation, the narrator accompanies the police into the cellar. They still find nothing significant. With this the narrator lowers his guards. He is now completely confident of his own insulation from being arrested for the crime. This when he comments on the sturdiness of the building and taps the wall that he had built around his wife’s body. When a loud, inhuman wailing sound fills the room. The police alarmed tear down the wall and find the wife’s corpse. Sitting on the corpse’s rotting head, to the utter horror of the narrator is, the squealing black cat. The terrified narrator is shattered by this reminder of his crime, which he had believed to be safe from discovery, and the appearance of the cat. As he words it: “I had walled the monster up within the tomb!”

    The story is extremely well written if you like horror. I would give it seven out of ten.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June 15 & 20 2020; Indica 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu August 31 2020.

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

BOOK REVIEW: DEATH ON THE NILE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    Death on the Nile is a book of detective fiction by British writer Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club on 1 November 1937 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company the following year. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence and the US edition at $2.00. This full length novel was preceded (in 1937) by a short story with the same title, but with Parker Pyne as the detective. The details of the short story’s plot are substantially different, though the settings and some of the characters are very similar.

    The book features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The action takes place in Egypt, mostly on Nile River.

    While on a holiday in Cairo, Hercule Poirot is approached by successful socialite Linnet Doyle. She requests for his help in deterring her friend Jacqueline de Bellefort from hounding and stalking her. Linnet had recently married Jacqueline’s fiancé, Simon Doyle, which has made Jacqueline bitterly resentful. Poirot refuses the request, but attempts unsuccessfully, to dissuade Jacqueline from pursuing her plans further. Simon and Linnet secretly board the steamer Karnak, set to tour along the Nile to escape her, but woefully discover, she had learnt of their plans and boarded Karnak ahead of them. Apart from them, Poirot too travels on the steamer, while the other passengers include Linnet’s maid Louise Bourget, her trustee Andrew Pennington, romance novelist Salome Otterbourne (a thinly-disguised portrayal of Elinor Glynn) and her daughter Rosalie, Tim Allerton and his mother Mrs. Allerton, American socialite Marie Van Schuyler, her cousin Cornelia Robson and her nurse Miss Bowers, outspoken communist Mr. Ferguson, Italian archaeologist Guido Richetti, solicitor Jim Fanthorp, and physician Dr. Bessner.

    While visiting an ancient temple, Linnet narrowly avoids being crushed by a falling rock. Jacqueline is initially suspected, but she is found to have been aboard the steamer at the time of the incident. During the return voyage, Poirot finds his friend Colonel Race has joined the steamer. He reveals to him that he is looking for a murderer among the passengers. Later that night in the steamer’s lounge, Jacqueline’s resentment of Linnet boils over, leading her to shoot Simon in the leg with a pistol she possesses. She is taken back to her cabin by those who witness this, where she is confined, while Simon is treated for his injury; in that time, Jacqueline’s pistol, which she dropped, disappears. The following morning, Linnet is found dead, having been shot in the head, while her valuable string of pearls disappears. But no one in the cabin on the opposite side heard or saw anything. Poirot notes two bottles of nail polish in the victim’s room, one of which intrigues him. Jacqueline’s pistol is later recovered from the Nile. It is found wrapped in a stole belonging to Miss Van Schuyler, which was stolen the previous day, and which has been fired through.

    While interviewing maid Louise in the cabin in which Simon is resting, Poirot notices an oddness in the words she uses. Soon afterwards, she is found stabbed in her cabin. Mrs. Otterbourne later meets Poirot and Race in Simon’s cabin, claiming she saw who killed the maid. Simon exclaims loudly his surprise at this. But before she can even reveal who it is, she is shot dead from outside the cabin. Poirot soon confronts Pennington over his attempted murder of Linnet at the temple—he came to Egypt upon learning of her marriage to Simon, to trick her into signing documents that would exonerate him of embezzling her inheritance. However, he did not murder Linnet on the steamer, despite his gun having been used in Mrs. Otterbourne’s murder. Colonel Race later arrests Richetti, the man he sought. Poirot recovers the missing pearls from Tim Allerton, who substituted an imitation string of pearls for the real ones. The imitation pearls were later stolen by Miss Van Schuyler, a kleptomaniac, and returned by Miss Bowers.

    When alone with Simon, Poirot reveals him to be his wife’s killer. The murder was not his plan, but Jacqueline’s; the pair were still lovers. Their scheme was to steal Linnet’s money – the pair staged their break-up, whereupon Simon married Linnet. On the night of the murder, Jacqueline deliberately missed Simon, who faked his injury with red ink. While everyone in the lounge was distracted by Jacqueline, he took her gun that she had deliberately discarded, went to Linnet’s cabin, and shot her. He then returned to the lounge and shot his own leg, to give himself a genuine injury. Louise and Mrs. Otterbourne were murdered by Jacqueline, who was warned by Simon when the plan was going awry – Louise witnessed Simon entering Linnet’s cabin that night, and gave him a coded message when Poirot was interviewing her. Mrs. Otterbourne witnessed Jacqueline entering Louise’s cabin before stabbing her.

    Poirot reveals what led him to his theory. It was the ink that was contained in a bottle of nail polish he noticed in Linnet’s cabin. Simon reloaded the gun with two spare cartridges before he disposed it off, as Poirot realized that three shots were fired that night. The stole was used to silence the gun when Simon shot his own leg. Poirot suspected pre-meditation for the murder, because he slept deeply through that night’s events – he had been drugged through his wine that evening. As the steamer arrives back in Cairo and the passengers disembark, Jacqueline shoots Simon and herself with another gun she possessed, so they may escape the gallows. When pressed, Poirot reveals he had known she had a second gun, but had sympathetically chosen to allow her to take her own life.

    It’s an excellent book. Written in simple language but to the point for a detective novel. I would give the book eight out of ten. Incidentally there is also a very interesting movie based on this book.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES–28

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Some southern states of India have more doctors than WHO norms of 1 doctor per 1000 people.

Dozens of private radio stations have paid huge sums for spectrum, but cannot broadcast their own news and political analysis. They can buy news capsules from AIR. This merely reinforces the AIR monopoly. When private TV can carry news and analysis, the ban on private radio is absurd. This misuse of public radio is a Congress-era invention, adopted happily today by the BJP.

 Islam is the only religion where over a dozen countries are officially Islamic. Many of them are not democratic, and where, fundamentalists have a big say in how to run these countries.

A coach simply needs to understand the team, the individuals, their goals and the dynamics between them, in order to be successful.

 Sexual predators: Only one in four cases end in conviction.

 If you move into a new town, it is not easy to find an electrician or plumber quickly. Alexa is all about connecting seamlessly with apps, with services, with people. Alexa is now available in 14 languages.

Since 2017-18 states have passed laws protecting doctors and healthcare workers from attacks, but enforcement remains questionable.

According to an estimate, only around, one in five rural household has a piped water connection.

Israel recycles around 94% of the water that it uses. Recycling can increase water availability even in times of rainfall deficiency. This can end the perennial water crises Chennai suffers for instance.

Rate your police thana. State of country’s police forces, leaves a lot to be desired. Union Home Ministry kicked off an exercise to rank the country’s best police stations. A similar exercise had been taken in 2017. But this time the exercise is expected to be more comprehensive with the police stations being judged on seven parameters such as crime prevention, proactive measures adopted and citizen’s perception and feedback. The overall goal here is to spur competition between police stations and create incentives to improve policing.

Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine—a Slovak proverb.

 India will benefit hugely if it can position itself as an attractive investment destination for companies looking to relocate production from China.

 Guru Nanak believed there were only two kinds of people. Gurmukhi, the God-oriented and Manmukhi, those who are self-oriented. A Gurmukhi devotes himself to God. He preaches truth and works for the welfare of human kind. Whereas, Manmukhi follows his own thinking and practices falsehood and selfishness.

A New York times investigation uncovered a surveillance system manufactured by Huawei and a state backed Chinese company being used in Ecuador to track individuals through mobile phones.

 ‘Squaring off’ is a term of English language that means to ‘settle the difference.’

 The ‘chakra’ the Asoka wheel, which is there in our flag, embodies for us a great idea. It conveys Asoka was one of the greatest emperors. Look at the words of H.G. Wells regarding Ashoka, ‘Highnesses, Magnificence’s, Excellences, Serenities, Majesties;’ among them all, he shines alone a star Asoka, the greatest of all Monarchs.’

 Lorraine Toussaint, the Trinidadian American actress says: ‘We all have a dark side. Most of us go through life avoiding direct confrontation with that aspect of ourselves, which I call the shadow self. There is a reason why. It carries a great deal of energy.’

 One piece of log creates a small fire, adequate to warm you up, add just a few more pieces to blast an immense bonfire, large enough to warm up your entire circle of friends; needless to say that individuality counts but team work dynamities—Jin Kwon.

 A company is known by the salesman it keeps—a quote from a book—Typical Tale of an Indian Salesman.

Don’t blow off another’s candle for it won’t make yours shine brighter—JAACHYNMA NE AGU,  Nigerian writer.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK TALK: And Then There Were None–Agatha Christie

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 Khidki (Window)

–Read India Read Initiative—

Title: ‘And then there were none’

(Also published as—‘Ten Little Indians’)

Agatha Christie

St Martin’s paperback

A 275 page novel abridged to around eighteen hundred words (ten minutes) for your quick assimilation

Hindi movie ‘Gumnam’ was only an adaptation of this book. So, were the movies made in Hollywood on the theme of this novel.

    I’m sure many of you must have read this amazing novel sometime in the past. Well, I read it for the third time only recently. What an amazing book it is. A master suspense and a masterpiece, and the most difficult of her books to write confessed the lady author. It was first published in the UK by Collins Crime Club in November 1939, as Ten Little Niggers, after the British blackface song that serves as a major plot point. The US edition was not released until 1939. Its American reprints and adaptations were all re-titled as ‘And Then There Were None.’

    The narration is so precise and intricate that you tend to forget after a while. And when you read it again you get a feel as if you’ve not read it earlier. It is Christie’s best-selling novel with more than 100 million copies sold. It is also the world’s best-selling mystery and one of the best-selling books of all times. Publications international lists the novel as the seventh best-selling title. So, if you’ve not had the chance or time to read this book earlier  at least go through the synopsis below.   

CENTRAL IDEA

    The novel starts with a bunch of people being lured into coming to an island under various pretexts such as offers of employment, to enjoy a late summer holiday, or even to meet old friends. And mind you. All have been complicit in the deaths of some other human beings. But have either escaped justice or committed an act that was not legal. The guests and the two servants who are present there are ‘charged’ with their respective ‘crimes’ by a gramophone recording after dinner on the first night and informed that they have been brought to the island to pay for their sins.

    They are the only people on the island, and cannot escape due to the distance from the mainland and the inclement weather. Gradually all the ten are killed, one after the other. Each, in a manner, that seems to match, the nursery rhyme. Nobody else seems to be left alive on the island by the time of the last apparent death. A confession in the form of a postscript to the novel, unveils how the killings took place and who was responsible.

PLOT

    On a hot day in early August, sometime in the late 1930s, eight people arrive on a small, isolated island off the Devon coast of England. Each appears to have an invitation tailored to his or her personal circumstances. Such as, an offer of employment or an unexpected late summer holiday invitation. Where, they are received by Thomas and Ethel Rogers. The butler and the cook-cum-housekeeper, who state that their hosts, Mr Ulick Norman Owen and his wife Mrs Una Nancy Owen, whom they have not yet met in person have not arrived. But have left instructions, which strikes, as odd to all the guests.

    A framed copy of a nursery rhyme ‘Ten Little Niggers (called ‘Ten Little Indians’ or Ten Little Soldiers in later editions), hangs in every guest’s room, and ten figurines sit on the dining room table. After supper, a gramophone record is played. It contains a recording that describes each visitor in turn. And accuses each of having committed a murder but escaping justice, and then asks if any of the ‘accused’ wishes to offer a defence. All but Anthony Marston and Philip Lombard deny the charges, and Miss Brent even refuses to discuss the matter.

    They discover that none of them actually know Owens and conclude that the name ‘U.N. Owen’ is shorthand for ‘Unknown’. In the aftermath of the recording, Marston finishes his drink and immediately dies of from cyanide poisoning. The remaining guests notice that one of the ten figurines is now broken, and the nursery rhyme appears to reflect the manner of death (‘One choked his little self and then there were nine.’)

    The next morning, Mrs Rogers’ corpse is found in her bed. She had died in her sleep from an overdose of chloral hydrate. By lunchtime, General MacArthur is also found dead, from a heavy blow to his head. Two more figurines are found to be broken, and again the deaths parallel the rhyme. Miss Brent, who had refused to speak with the men present, relates the account of the gramophone charge against her to Vera Claythorne, who later tells the others.

     A search for ‘Mr Owen’ shows that nobody else is on the island except the remaining seven. The island is a ‘bare rock’ with no hiding places (see how Christie had planned the story) and no one could have arrived or left. Thus they uncomfortably conclude that any one of the seven remaining person is indeed the killer. Justice Wargrave leads the group in determining that as of yet, none of them can definitively be ruled out as the murderer. The next morning, Rogers is found dead while chopping wood, and after breakfast, Miss Brent is found dead in the kitchen, where she had been left alone after complaining of feeling unwell. She had been injected with potassium cyanide with a hypodermic needle.

    Wargrave then suggests searching of all the rooms, and locking up of any potentially dangerous items. Suddenly, Lombard’s gun goes missing from his room. When Vera goes upstairs to take a bath, she is shocked by the smell of seaweed left hanging from the ceiling of her room and screams. The remaining guests rush upstairs to her room. Wargrave, however, is still downstairs. The others find him seated, immobile and crudely dressed up in the attire of a judge. Wargrave is examined briefly by Dr Armstrong and pronounced dead from a gunshot to the forehead.

    That night, Lombard appears surprised when he finds his gun returned to his room. Blore catches a glimpse of someone leaving the house but loses the trail. He then discovers Armstrong is absent from his room, and the remaining three guests conclude that Armstrong must be the killer. Vera, Blore and Lombard decide to stay together at all times. In the morning, they unsuccessfully attempt to signal SOS to the mainland from outside by using a mirror and sunlight. Blore then decides to return to the house for food by himself—the others are not hungry—and is killed by a heavy bear-shaped clock statue that is pushed from Vera’s window sill, crushing his skull.

    Vera and Lombard are now confident that Armstrong is the killer. However, shortly afterwards, the duo come upon Armstrong’s body washed up on the beach, which they do not immediately recognise due to decomposition. They realise that Armstrong could not have killed Blore. Panicked, each concludes the other must be the killer, overlooking that neither had the opportunity as they were together on the beach and when they found Blore’s body. Quickly regaining her composure, Vera suggests moving the doctor’s body past the shore, but this is a pretext. She manages to lift Lombard’s gun. When Lombard lunges at her to get it back, she shoots him dead.

    She returns to the house in a shaken dreamlike state, relieved to be alive. She finds a noose and chair arranged in her room, and a strong smell of the sea. With visions of her former lover, Hugo, urging her on, in a post-traumatic state, she adjusts the noose and kicks the chair out from under her.

    Two Scotland Yard officials are puzzled by the identity of U. N. Owen. Although they can ostensibly reconstruct the deaths from Marston to Wargrave with the help of the victims’ diaries and a coroner’s careful report, they are forced to conclude that ‘U. N. Owen’ was one of the victims, but are unable to determine which one. They note that the chair on which Vera stood to hang herself had been set back upright, indicating that someone—presumably the killer—was still alive on the island after her suicide.

POSTSCRIPT FROM THE KILLER

    In a postscript, a fishing ship picks up a bottle inside its trawling nets. The bottle contains a written confession of the killings, which is then sent to Scotland Yard. It is not clear how long after the killings the bottle was discovered.

    In the confession, Justice Wargrave writes that he has long wished to set an unsolvable puzzle of murder, but is morally limited to victims who are themselves guilty and deserving of such an end. He explains how he tricked the gullible Dr. Armstrong into helping him fake his own death under the pretext that it would supposedly give him the freedom to help the group identify the killer, and also explains that after Vera died, he replaced the chair in her room neatly against the wall. Finally, he reveals how he used the gun and some elastic to ensure his own death matched the account in the guests’ diaries. Although he wished to create an unsolvable mystery, he acknowledges in the missive a “pitiful human” need for recognition, hence the confession.

He also describes how his first chronological victim was actually Isaac Morris, the sleazy lawyer and drugs trafficker who anonymously purchased the island and arranged the invitations on his behalf. Morris was poisoned before Wargrave departed for the island. Wargrave’s intention is that when the police arrive they will find ten bodies, with evidence that someone had been alive after each death, but nobody else on the island, and no way to trace the killer through his invitations or preparations. He states that, although there are three clues that could guide the police to the correct killer, he is confident they will be unable to do so and that the mystery will remain unsolved until the confession is retrieved.

Current published version of the rhyme

Ten Little Indians

Ten little Soldier Boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.

Nine little Soldier Boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.

Eight little Soldier Boys travelling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.

Seven little Soldier Boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.

Six little Soldier Boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Five little Soldier Boys going in for law;
One got in Chancery and then there were four.

Four little Soldier Boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

Three little Soldier Boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

Two little Soldier Boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was one.

One little Soldier Boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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