And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie Read Free Book Online

Book: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie Read Free Book Online
Authors: Agatha Christie
mention it because it agrees with the other evidence - from all of which emerges one interesting point. Whoever it was who enticed us here, that person knows or has taken the trouble to find out a good deal about us all. He, whoever he may be, is aware of my friendship for Lady Constance - and is familiar with her epistolary style. He knows something about Dr. Armstrong's colleagues and their present whereabouts. He knows the nickname of Mr. Marston's friend and the kind of telegrams he sends. He knows exactly where Miss Brent was two years ago for her holiday and the kind of people she met there. He knows all about General Macarthur's old cronies.”
    He paused. Then he said:
    “He knows, you see, a good deal. And out of his knowledge concerning us, he has made certain definite accusations.”
    Immediately a babel broke out.
    General Macarthur shouted:
    “A pack of damn lies! Slander!”
    Vera cried out:
    “It's iniquitous!” Her breath came fast. “Wicked!”
    Rogers said hoarsely:
    “A lie - a wicked lie... we never did - neither of us...”
    Anthony Marston growled:
    “Don't know what the damned fool was getting at!”
    The upraised hand of Mr. Justice Wargrave calmed the tumult.
    He said, picking his words with care:
    “I wish to say this. Our unknown friend accuses me of the murder of one Edward Seton. I remember Seton perfectly well. He came up before me for trial in June of the year 1930. He was charged with the murder of an elderly woman. He was very ably defended and made a good impression on the jury in the witness box. Nevertheless, on the evidence, he was certainly guilty. I summed up accordingly, and the jury brought in a verdict of Guilty. In passing sentence of death I concurred with the verdict. An appeal was lodged on the grounds of misdirection. The appeal was rejected and the man was duly executed. I wish to say before you all that my conscience is perfectly clear on the matter. I did my duty and nothing more. I passed sentence on a rightly convicted murderer.”
    Armstrong was remembering now. The Seton case! The verdict had come as a great surprise. He had met Matthews, K.C., on one of the days of the trial dining at a restaurant. Matthews had been confident. “Not a doubt of the verdict. Acquittal practically certain.” And then afterwards he had heard comments: “Judge was dead against him. Turned the jury right round and they brought him in guilty. Quite legal, though. Old Wargrave knows his law.” “It was almost as though he had a private down on the fellow.”
    All these memories rushed through the doctor's mind. Before he could consider the wisdom of the question he had asked impulsively:
    “Did you know Seton at all? I mean previous to the case.”
    The hooded reptilian eyes met his. In a clear cold voice the judge said:
    “I knew nothing of Seton previous to the case.”
    Armstrong said to himself:
    “The fellow's lying - I know he's lying.”
    II
    Vera Claythorne spoke in a trembling voice.
    She said:
    “I'd like to tell you. About that child - Cyril Hamilton. I was nursery governess to him. He was forbidden to swim out far. One day, when my attention was distracted, he started off. I swam after him... I couldn't get there in time... It was awful... But it wasn't my fault. At the inquest the Coroner exonerated me. And his mother - she was so kind. If even she didn't blame me, why should - why should this awful thing be said? It's not fair - not fair...”
    She broke down, weeping bitterly.
    General Macarthur patted her shoulder.
    He said:
    “There, there, my dear. Of course it's not true. Fellow's a madman. A madman! Got a bee in his bonnet! Got hold of the wrong end of the stick all round.”
    He stood erect, squaring his shoulders. He barked out:
    “Best really to leave this sort of thing unanswered. However, feel I ought to say - no truth - no truth whatsoever in what he said about - er - young Arthur Richmond. Richmond was one of my officers. I sent him on a

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