And Then There Were None Chapters 15 - 16 Summary

The morning after Dr. Armstrong left the house and disappeared, the stormy weather, which had prevented rescue from coming to the island, dissipated. The sun came out and the three survivors felt their spirits lift a little, with the absence of storm clouds surrounding the island.

They are still uneasy about the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Armstrong, but now they feel they may be able to use mirrors to signal for help from the mainland. The men have turned on each other, Mr. Blore suspects Mr. Lombard of lying about the whereabouts of his revolver. He feels Mr. Lombard has had the gun hidden the whole time they have been on the island. While, Mr. Lombard suspects Mr. Blore of killing Dr. Armstrong, because he is the only one to see the mysterious person leave the house the night before.

Vera Claythorne brings reason into the argument by pointing out Dr. Armstrong's body has not been found. It is missing, which means the doctor is most likely the killer, in fact the next line of the nursery rhyme mentions a red herring, which is a phrase well known to mean a clue which is misleading. Therefore, she feels Dr. Armstrong is still on the island waiting to kill the rest of them. She suggests they do not return to the house again and instead live outside on the island. She also remembers the next line in the rhyme mentions a zoo, which she interprets to mean they are acting like caged animals in a zoo. She feels safer away from the house, but Mr. Blore needs to eat, so he returns to the house alone to find food.

While he is away, Philip Lombard takes the opportunity to try and convince Vera of the guilt of William Blore. He reminds her they have only Mr. Blore's word that he is an ex-policeman, they actually have no way of knowing who he really is, for all they know he could be the insane killer. She takes this into consideration and tells Philip she is willing to put her trust in him.

They both hear a great noise that reminds them of an earthquake. Upon investigation they find the body of Mr. Blore on the terrace, he has been killed by a marble clock, which has been dropped from Vera's bedroom window. The clock that is in the shape of a bear fulfills the nursery rhyme line about a zoo.

The two are more certain than ever the killer is Dr. Armstrong. As they walk around the island and talk of where to spend the night, Philip Lombard spots some clothes by a rock near the sea. Upon closer inspection they discover the body of Dr. Armstrong, who has drowned.

Vera and Philip now realize they are the last survivors on the island and one of them must be the killer. Vera insists the body of Dr. Armstrong be moved from the rocks to a place farther away from the water. What she really wants is the opportunity to remove the gun from Philip Lombard's pocket, which she does without Philip's knowledge.

Philip discovers the gun is gone and sees Vera pointing it at him; for the first time he feels the fear of imminent death. He tries to decide whether he could talk her into giving him the gun, or if he should just rush her and take the gun by force. He tries to talk to her and then without warning he rushes towards her in an effort to retrieve his weapon. Vera is too fast for Philip and she shoots him through the heart, killing him.

Instead of remorse, she feels a great sense of relief, because she thinks she is completely safe now. After all, the others are dead and she alone has survived the murderous attacks. She is no longer afraid of the house and decides she should return to it to rest.

As she walks into the house she notices three figurines are still sitting on the dining room table. She throws away two and keeps the third one with her as she climbs the stairs to her bedroom. She tries to remember the last lines of the nursery rhyme, "He got married and then there were none."

As she walks upstairs to her bedroom she has the feeling Hugo is up in her room waiting for her. She tries to tell herself it is only her imagination playing tricks on her, but the feeling only intensifies as she approaches her room. Once inside the room she sees a noose hanging from the hook in the ceiling along with a chair below it, waiting for her to kick it away as she hangs herself. She now remembers the real last line of the nursery rhyme, "He went and hanged himself and then there were none..." As if in a trance she completes the last line of the rhyme, thinking Hugo is in the room watching her hang herself.

The ten people on the island are dead. No one knows who orchestrated the deaths of these people or why they determined these people should die. After all, people all over the world have committed crimes for which they were never properly punished, so why were these ten people singled out to pay for their crimes?

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