And Then There Were None

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And Then There Were None Chapter 12 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After breakfast Wargrave suggests that they all meet in the drawing room in a half an hour to discuss the situation. Vera begins clearing the plates and Miss Brent gets up to help her but feels too weak to do so. Armstrong offers to give her something but she very quickly says, “NO!” because she is suspicious and afraid.
Once she has felt the slightest bit of guilt Miss Brent's sense of security fades. She is now just as fearful as everyone else is.
Themes
Guilt Theme Icon
They all leave Miss Brent alone in the dining room as they clear the table. Miss Brent starts to feel drowsy and then hears a buzzing in her ears like a bee. Then she thinks that she starts to hear Beatrice Taylor coming from the river; this mixes with the buzzing of the bee, and then she feels the prick of what feels like a bee stinging the side of her neck.
This is the first death that the reader sees from the perspective of the character who is about to die. Yet we still do not get any real information besides the fact that Miss Brent is plagued by the memory of the girl she killed at the moment of her own death.
Themes
Guilt Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Everyone else is in the drawing room waiting for Miss Brent to come in. Vera volunteers to go get her, but Blore asks her to wait a moment, explaining that he thinks Miss Brent is the murderer because of her religious mania. He also says that she never gave an explanation for her gramophone recording accusation. Vera says that she told her about Beatrice Taylor and explains the story. Blore says that this is only further proof of her hard heart.
The fact that Blore believes that Miss Brent is the murderer right after we find out she has died shows that no one has any real idea what is going on. They are all in the dark.
Themes
Death Theme Icon
Wargrave says that this isn't really proof and suggests that they should go get Miss Brent to join them. He agrees that Dr. Armstrong should observe Miss Brent's demeanor. They go in to find Miss Brent, blue-faced and dead.
The character's one agreed upon plan, to watch Miss Brent, is completely useless. She's already dead!
Themes
Death Theme Icon
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Armstrong says that she was killed by injection – there is the mark of a hypodermic syringe in her neck. There is also a bee buzzing in the room and Lombard says this is the mark of the creativity of the killer because the verse of the ten little soldier rhyme mentions being stung by a bee. Wargrave asks if anyone brought a syringe into the house and Armstrong says that he did. He then defends himself by saying doctors always travel with one. They go up to check his suitcase where Armstrong says he keeps it and it is not there.
Miss Brent was not really killed by a bee sting as it appeared in the vague passage describing her death, but the fact that the murderer took the time to put a bee in the room shows how dedicated he or she is to sticking to the form of the nursery rhyme.
Themes
Death Theme Icon
Armstrong claims that someone must have taken it. Wargrave suggests that they all put whatever drugs or weapons they have in a safe place and then search every person and room. After some resistance from Lombard who doesn't want to give up his revolver, they all agree.
Although they do not trust each other, the characters believe that if they all give up a bit of power they will be collectively safer.
Themes
Death Theme Icon
When Lombard goes to check his drawer where the revolver is kept he realizes that it is not there. Each one of them submits to a full search and they turn up with nothing. They lock up all the drugs they have in a place where it would be noisy to break into. They still cannot find the revolver but Blore says he knows where the syringe must be.
Their plan has come too late, someone has already taken the revolver. The murderer is one step ahead of them.
Themes
Death Theme Icon
He goes to the window outside the dining room and finds the syringe and the broken soldier boy. The syringe had been carefully wiped. They decide to search for the revolver again and Wargrave says that they should all stay together for safety. They do not find the revolver.
The murderer is also very careful to cover his or her identity in spite of how quickly he or she has to work. Again, although they believe that the murderer is amongst them, there is still safety in numbers. No one can survive alone.
Themes
Death Theme Icon