If not, what could I change about my job to be happier and more satisfied? Not loaded yet? Try Again. The house was there facing south - low and square and modern-looking with rounded windows letting in all the light. An exciting house - a house that lived up to expectation! Fred Narracott shut off the engine, they nosed their way gently into a little natural inlet between rocks. Philip Lombard said sharply: "Must be difficult to land here in dirty weather. Sometimes 'tis cut off for a week or more.
That's the worst of an island. All the domestic problems are so worrying. Fred Narracott jumped out and he and Lombard helped the others to alight. Narracott made the boat fast to a ring in the rock. Then he led the way up steps cut in the rock. General Macarthur said: "Ha, delightful spot! Damned odd sort of place. As the party ascended the steps, and came out on a terrace above, their spirits revived.
In the open doorway of the house a correct butler was awaiting them, and something about his gravity reassured them. And then the house itself was really most attractive, the view from the terrace magnificent The butler came forward bowing slightly. He was a tall lank man, grey-haired and very respectable.
He said: "Will you come this way, please? Rows of bottles. Anthony Marston's spirits cheered up a little. He'd just been thinking this was a rum kind of show. None of his lot!
What could old Badger have been thinking about to let him in for this? However the drinks were all right. Plenty of ice, too. What was it the butler chap was saying? Owen - unfortunately delayed - unable to get here till tomorrow. Instructions - everything they wanted - if they would like to go to their rooms? Rogers upstairs. The woman had thrown open a door at the end of a passage and Vera had walked into a delightful bedroom with a big window that opened wide upon the sea and another looking east.
She uttered a quick exclamation of pleasure. Rogers was saying: "I hope you've got everything you want, Miss? Her luggage had been brought up and had been unpacked.
At one side of the room a door stood open into a pale blue tiled bathroom. She said quickly: "Yes, everything, I think. Rogers had a flat monotonous voice. Vera looked at her curiously. What a white bloodless ghost of a woman! Very respectable looking, with her hair dragged back from her face and her black dress. Queer light eyes that shifted the whole time from place to place.
Vera thought: "She looks frightened of her own shadow. She looked like a woman who walked in mortal fear A little shiver passed down Vera's back. What on earth was the woman afraid of? She said pleasantly: "I'm Mrs. Owen's new secretary. I expect you know that. Rogers said: "No, Miss, I don't know anything.
Just a list of the ladies and gentlemen and what rooms they were to have. Owen didn't mention me? Rogers' eyelashes flickered.
Owen - not yet. We only came here two days ago. Aloud she said: "What staff is there here? Eight people in the house - ten with the host and hostess - and only one married couple to do for them.
Rogers said: "I'm a good cook and Rogers is handy about the house. I didn't know, of course, that there was to be such a large party. If there's to be large parties often perhaps Mrs. Owen could get extra help in. Rogers turned to go. Her feet moved noiselessly over the ground.
She drifted from the room like a shadow. Vera went over to the window and sat down on the window seat. She was faintly disturbed. Everything - somehow - was a little queer. The absence of the Owens, the pale ghostlike Mrs. And the guests! Yes, the guests were queer too. An oddly assorted party. Vera thought: "I wish I'd seen the Owens I wish I knew what they were like. A perfect bedroom decorated throughout in the modern style.
Off-white rugs on the gleaming parquet floor - faintly tinted walls - a long mirror surrounded by lights. A mantelpiece bare of ornaments save for an enormous block of white marble shaped like a bear, a piece of modern sculpture in which was inset a clock.
Over it, in a gleaming chromium frame, was a big square of parchment - a poem. She stood in front of the fireplace and read it. It was the old nursery rhyme that she remembered from her childhood days. 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 travelling 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 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 in 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 sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was one. One little Indian boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none. Vera smiled. Of course! This was Indian Island! She went and sat again by the window looking out to sea.
How big the sea was! From here there was no land to be seen anywhere - just a vast expanse of blue water rippling in the evening sun. The sea So peaceful today - sometimes so cruel The sea that dragged you down to its depths. Found drowned Drowned at sea Drowned - drowned - drowned No, she wouldn't remember She would not think of it! All that was over VII Dr. Armstrong came to Indian Island just as the sun was sinking into the sea. On the way across he had chatted to the boatman - a local man.
He was anxious to find out a little about these people who owned Indian Island, but the man Narracott seemed curiously ill informed, or perhaps unwilling to talk. So Dr. Armstrong chatted instead of the weather and of fishing.
He was tired after his long motor drive. His eyeballs ached. Driving west you were driving against the sun. Yes, he was very tired. The sea and perfect peace - that was what he needed. He would like, really, to take a long holiday. But he couldn't afford to do that.
He could afford it financially, of course, but he couldn't afford to drop out. You were soon forgotten nowadays. No, now that he had arrived, he must keep his nose to the grindstone. He thought: "All the same, this evening, I'll imagine to myself that I'm not going back - that I've done with London and Harley Street and all the rest of it.
You lost touch with the world - an island was a world of its own. A world, perhaps, from which you might never return. He thought: "I'm leaving my ordinary life behind me. He was still smiling when he walked up the rock cut steps.
In a chair on the terrace an old gentleman was sitting and the sight of him was vaguely familiar to Dr. Where had he seen that frog-like face, that tortoise-like neck, that hunched up attitude - yes, and those pale shrewd little eyes? Of course - old Wargrave. He'd given evidence once before him. Always looked half asleep, but was shrewd as could be when it came to a point of law. Had great power with a jury - it was said he could make their minds up for them any day of the week.
He'd got one or two unlikely convictions out of them. A hanging judge, some people said. Funny place to meet him 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. Aloud he grunted: "Drinks are in the hall. Armstrong said: "I must go and pay my respects to my host and hostess. Justice Wargrave closed his eyes again, looking decidedly reptilian, and said: "You can't do that. Armstrong was startled. Very curious state of affairs. Don't understand this place. Armstrong stared at him for a minute. When he thought the old gentleman had actually gone to sleep, Wargrave said suddenly: "D'you know Constance Culmington?
I was just wondering if I'd come to the wrong house. Armstrong shook his head and went on up to the house. Justice Wargrave reflected on the subject of Constance Culmington. Undependable like all women. His mind went on to the two women in the house, the tight-lipped old maid and the girl. He didn't care for the girl, cold-blooded young hussy.
No, three women, if you counted the Rogers woman. Odd creature, she looked scared to death. Respectable pair and knew their job Rogers coming out on the terrace that minute, the Judge asked him: "Is Lady Constance Culmington expected, do you know?
But he only grunted. He thought: "Indian Island, eh? There's a nigger in the woodpile. He luxuriated in the steaming water. His limbs had felt cramped after his long drive. Very few thoughts passed through his head.
Anthony was a creature of sensation - and of action. He thought to himself: "Must go through with it, I suppose," and thereafter dismissed everything from his mind. Warm steaming water - tired limbs - presently a shave - a cocktail - dinner. And after -? Blore was tying his tie. He wasn't very good at this sort of thing. Did he look all right? He supposed so.
Nobody had been exactly cordial to him Funny the way they all eyed each other - as though they knew Well, it was up to him.
He didn't mean to bungle his job. He glanced up at the framed nursery rhyme over the mantelpiece. Neat touch, having that there! He thought: "Remember this island when I was a kid. Never thought I'd be doing this sort of a job in a house here. Good thing, perhaps, that one can't foresee the future Damn it all, the whole thing was deuced odd! Not at all what he'd been led to expect For two pins he'd make an excuse and get away Throw up the whole business But the motor boat had gone back to the mainland.
He'd have to stay. That fellow Lombard now, he was a queer chap. Not straight. He'd swear the man wasn't straight. He moved like a panther, smoothly and noiselessly. There was something of the panther about him altogether. A beast of prey - pleasant to the eye. He was smiling to himself. A week - eh? He was going to enjoy that week.
Her lips moved as she followed the words: "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 judgement which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. The wicked shall be turned into hell. She shut the Bible.
Rising, she pinned a cairngorm brooch at her neck, and went down to dinner. Chapter 3 Dinner was drawing to a close. The food had been good, the wine perfect. Images Donate icon An illustration of a heart shape Donate Ellipses icon An illustration of text ellipses. EMBED for wordpress. Want more? No endless adjectives and lengthy descriptions. Reading Agatha Christie was a pleasure! After reading I watched the new adaptation of BBC three series, and it gives the book for two reasons.