And Then There Were None

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And Then There Were None Chapter 14 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After they carry Wargrave's body up to bed, they all stand around the kitchen eating canned tongue mechanically. Vera comments that she will never eat tongue again.
In spite of all that has happened Vera still believes that she will survive, shown by the fact that she talks about the future.
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Blore says “only four of us now . . . Who'll be the next?” And Mr. Armstrong mechanically responds “We must be very careful,” but stops when Blore tells him this is exactly what Wargrave said earlier.
Being careful has not helped any of them yet, so they have absolutely no plan of what to do next.
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They go over the fact that the seaweed was planted in Vera's room to get them all up there so they would be distracted. Lombard says that they weren't able to hear the shot because of Vera's screaming, the howling of the wind, and all the running. But he says that trick won't work again.
The group always learns their lessons a fatal second too late.
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They each then stare at each other and say they know who the murderer is – but no one actually gives a name. They all decide to go to bed, and as they are going Blore wonders out loud where the revolver is.
There are so few people left that they each feel they have a good guess at who the murderer is. They all suspect each other.
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When they get upstairs each stands in front of his or her door and then, as if there were a signal, they all go into their room at the exact same time and lock the doors behind them.
They only feel safe now when they are each alone and locked in their rooms.
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In his room Lombard looks in the mirror and thinks that this insane island has started to get to him. Then his wolf-like smile flashes out all of a sudden. He undresses and goes over to the table by his bed. He opens the drawer and the revolver is back inside of it.
Lombard still feels that he has some control over the situation. He has been in tough spots before.
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Vera thinks that she could just stay in her room for a day or two until someone comes to get her. But she realizes that if she stays here all alone she will just think of Hugo and Cyril. She returns to that time in her head: she tells Cyril that she will distract his mother so he can swim out to the rock. She worries that something might go wrong. What if Cyril is rescued in time? But then she realizes that she can just say that Cyril is lying, as he always does. She wonders whether Hugo suspected, because after the investigation he left so quickly and didn't respond to the letter she wrote him.
Although being alone seems like the safest choice, solitude also brings up the old ghosts of Vera's guilt. In this passage Vera finally reveals the story that she had hidden for so long. She told Cyril to swim out to the rock—knowing that he would drown in the attempt—in order to clear her way to be with Hugo, whom she loved. She has held this secret for so long partly because she believes that no one, not even Hugo, could know the truth. But now she starts to doubt that her secret really is a secret.
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Vera, back in the present, wonders why she felt like Hugo was in the room with her this evening. She looks up and sees a big black hook in the middle of the room. It was used to hang the seaweed, but she had never noticed it before. She finds the hook mesmerizing.
Vera, in spite of her supposed level-headedness, is slowly becoming more obsessive and out of touch with reality.
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Blore sits in his room and thinks about how cocky Wargrave had been. But even with all his self professed wisdom and care he had died. Blore says to himself that he will not be the next one to go. But he still wishes he knew the location of the revolver.
Constant worry about the revolver shows Blore's lack of imagination, as Lombard says. He is focused on the weapons that the criminal used in the past even though these keep changing.
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Blore lies in bed thinking about every detail from the beginning as he did in his police days. He starts seeing the faces of Mrs. Rogers and Anthony Marston. He then sees a face he doesn't recognize and realizes that it is Landor. For the first time he wonders what happened to Landor's wife and children. But then he just goes back to wondering where the revolver is.
Blore feels some guilt for the first time. But he is able to quickly push this out of his head so he can focus on survival.
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The clock strikes one and Blore hears a sound as if someone were moving in the darkened house. He noiselessly goes to the door and listens. He doesn't hear the sound again but he is convinced that someone is creeping around in the night. He wants to investigate but he knows that this would be a foolish thing to do because he was probably being tempted by the murderer to do just that!
Blore finally hears a real clue and wants to do something about it. He knows that he should be wary of being tricked but the temptation of doing something, anything, to try to save himself is too great. He still keeps a level head and waits for a little longer.
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Blore continues to listen and then all of a sudden he hears cautious footsteps. He definitely hears them pass his door. Blore grabs a lamp from his bedside to use as a weapon and slips out of his room just as he sees a figure pass through the front door. As he is about to run downstairs he realizes that he is making a fool of himself. Maybe this was just a trap? He realizes that he can just check which of the rooms are empty.
Blore is showing his police training. He also shows that he doesn't distrust everyone. He knows it is not smart to go after the murderer alone.
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There is no answer on Armstrong's door, Lombard responds at once as does Vera. Blore explains to Lombard and they go check on Armstrong's room where they realize that the door has been locked from the outside. They go tell Vera not to leave her room under any circumstances. They say if Armstrong comes to her door and tells her someone has been killed she still shouldn't open it. She should only open if both Lombard and Blore come back and speak to her.
They have finally been able to form a team now that they believe they know who the murderer is. This is a small moment of purpose in a long line of confusing and powerless events.
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Blore says to Lombard that they should be careful because Armstrong must have the revolver, but then Lombard reveals that the gun has been returned. Blore stops in sudden panic, but Lombard assures him that he is not going to shoot. Blore is not afraid of the now known threat of the revolver – he as tackled armed criminals before – he is only afraid of the undefined and supernatural danger he cannot see.
The characters have come to realize that the greatest threat comes from what you do not know.
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Vera, meanwhile, distracts herself by trying to invent ways that Armstrong could try to trick her. She realizes that if she needed to she could jump out the window. She then starts to write in her diary but all of a sudden hears footsteps. Finally she hears Lombard and Blore asking to come in. They tell her that Armstrong has disappeared.
Vera is constantly trying to stay prepared. She knows how to keep herself alive.
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Lombard and Blore have looked all over both the island and the house cannot find Armstrong anywhere. They also tell her that a pane in the dining room window has been broken and there are only three soldiers left.
The typical sign of one less soldier implies that Armstrong is dead, but that would mean that one of the three characters left is the murderer. No one knows what to think.
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