And Then There Were None Chapters 1 - 2 Summary

Eight people have been invited to spend some time on Indian Island, which is off the Devon coast of England. They all have been brought there under different pretenses, but none of them are exactly sure why they have been invited to the island.

Mr. Justice Wargrave, a retired judge, has received a letter from Lady Constance Culmington to come and reminisce about old times. The invitation is unexpected, because Justice Wargrave has not heard from Lady Culmington for about eight years, so he is surprised by her invitation.

Vera Claythorne, a school games mistress, has been employed as a secretary by Una Nancy Owen. She has been given train fare and told she will be picked up at the Oakbridge station to take her to Indian Island. Vera is glad to receive the offer for the job, because she had difficulty finding work, after being the subject of an inquest about the drowning of a child in her care. Even though she has been found innocent, she still had difficulty finding work.

Philip Lombard, who is known for helping people who are in a bit of trouble, has been employed by a mysterious client. He is to help the client on Indian Island for about a week. The money will come in handy, because Philip Lombard is down to his last bit of money.

Miss Emily Brent, sixty-five years old and a stickler for rules and proper deportment, has been given a free summer at Indian Island by a mysterious patron. The letter letting her know about her vacation is signed U.N., unfortunately Miss Brent doesn't know anyone with those initials.

General Macarthur is looking forward to reconnecting with some of his former comrades in arms. He is invited by Owen, but he doesn't remember who he is or how he knows him. He does like the idea of getting together with some of his old friends, especially after hearing a rumor about himself, which casts him in a bad light.

Dr. Armstrong is looking forward to a vacation from his busy medical practice. He has been asked to look over Mr. Owen's wife, who is suffering from a mysterious illness. The doctor, who some years earlier had a bad time and needed to quit drinking to restore himself, is happy to help and is also happy to receive the generous fee Mr. Owen is paying him.

Anthony Marston is driving himself to Sticklehaven, after receiving an invitation from the Owens. He like the others doesn't know who they are, but assumes they must be a friend of a friend.

The last person we meet on his way to Indian Island is Mr. Blore, who is trying to decide what role he would like to play. He knows who the other invitees are to the island and he has a job to do on the island, which requires him to be anyone other than himself. He decides to be a rich man from South Africa.

The guests who took the fast train are met at Oakbridge station by a cab driver. Since there are more people than room in the cab, Miss Brent and Captain Lombard decide to stay behind and wait for General Macarthur to arrive on the slow train. All the cab passengers are transported to Sticklehaven, where the boat is waiting to take them to Indian Island. By this time they are also joined by Anthony Marston and Mr. Blore, who has changed his name to Mr. Davis. None of the guests have any idea they would be part of a larger group of guests. They are all wary of each other and are trying to figure out how they fit into the larger group of invitees. Miss Claythorne has already established herself as Mrs. Owen's secretary, but the rest are trying to figure out how this odd grouping of people are supposed to get along.

Once on the island, they are informed the Owens are delayed and will not arrive until the next day. The house is staffed by a married couple, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, who have only started working at the house two days before the guests arrive. It seems no one knows who Mr. and Mrs. Owen are or even what they look like. The boat's captain hasn't seen them either, as everything has been arranged by Mr. Isaac Morris, who is the same person who hired Philip Lombard.

Inside each guest's room is a framed nursery rhyme about ten little Indians and how they each either left the other Indians or died. The guests realize the rhyme is put in their rooms, because the island is called Indian Island. They are all confused by the circumstances surrounding their visit to the island and they are also a little ill at ease; the island makes them uncomfortable, yet they don't know why they have that feeling.

The only people who seem to know each other are Justice Wargrave and Dr. Armstrong. They have a passing acquaintance, because the doctor testified in a case that was presided over by Justice Wargrave. He does not like the doctor, but he doesn't like doctors, as he thinks they are all fools.

Mr. Blore is the only one who seems to know why he has been brought to the island. He knows the island from his childhood and now he has been brought back to do a job there. The author at this point in the book is not letting the reader know what the job is.

Ten people are on Indian island; they are all there for different reasons, some to work and others for a vacation. The only thing they have in common is they do not know who the Owens are and all, except Mr. Blore, thought they would be part of a much smaller group of guests. Most of the people are uneasy being on the island.

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