And Then There Were None

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Dr. Edward Armstrong Character Analysis

A successful doctor who comes to Soldier Island because he is told that Ms. Owen is sick. He used to drink too much and once accidentally killed an old woman because he was drunk while operating on her. He is very preoccupied with maintaining his reputation, and hence his success. At the same time, he is a very gullible man. He trusts Wargrave and helps the judge fake his own death. Once the other surviving characters think that the judge is dead, Wargrave has free reign of the island. Wargrave eventually kills Armstrong by pushing him off a cliff.

Dr. Edward Armstrong Quotes in And Then There Were None

The And Then There Were None quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Edward Armstrong or refer to Dr. Edward Armstrong. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Harper edition of And Then There Were None published in 2011.
Chapter 11 Quotes

“The damned fool, he believed every word I said to him. It was easy … I must be careful, though, very careful.”

Related Characters: Justice Wargrave (speaker), Dr. Edward Armstrong
Page Number: 195
Explanation and Analysis:

While eating breakfast, the characters continue to panic about the murderer. Scraps of interior dialogue mix into the text, one of which seems to come from the murderer’s own mind.

Christie uses an innovative narrative style to generate dramatic tension. Though the novel has previously plunged into the interior psyches of the characters, here she declines to identify whose mind each line of text is in. This line, for instance, could perhaps be spoken by the murderer: for he would consider Rogers to be a “damned fool” and to have been easily manipulated. Or perhaps it references the syringe that has just been taken from Dr. Armstrong in order to kill Miss Brent in the ensuing scene. Similarly, he would want to be “be careful” about his future killings. This sentence thus confirms that the murderer is one of the guests who is still alive, instead of an additional character hiding on the island. Furthermore, by not making the thinker of this statement clear, Christie puts the reader in an analogous position to one of the guests at the table: able to presume that the guilty person is among them while lacking the capacity to identify just who that is.

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Dr. Edward Armstrong Character Timeline in And Then There Were None

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Edward Armstrong appears in And Then There Were None. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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Dr. Armstrong is driving up north, tired from his busy schedule as a doctor. He thinks about... (full context)
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Tony Marston speeds his sports car past Dr. Armstrong. He thinks that Mr. Owen's island should be fun, but wonders whether there will be... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Dr. Armstrong arrives at the Island late. He was tired after his long drive and is excited... (full context)
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Wargrave also remembers Armstrong and thinks he is, like all doctors, a damn fool. Wargrave tells Armstrong that the... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...the other room so the sounds can get through. Mrs. Rogers comes to and Dr. Armstrong gives her brandy. (full context)
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Mr. Rogers and Dr. Armstrong take Mrs. Rogers to bed. Marston says that the needs a drink and he and... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...was the judge for the case of Edward Seton and sentenced him to execution. Dr. Armstrong thinks to himself that he remembers the case and it seemed as if Wargrave had... (full context)
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Mr. Armstrong says he can't quite remember the name of the patient who died during an operation.... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Dr. Armstrong jumps up to check Marston's pulse and proclaims him dead. No one can believe it... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Dr. Armstrong dreams that he is performing his failed operation again. But in his dream he is... (full context)
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Armstrong goes down to see Mrs. Rogers and sees that she is in fact dead. Armstrong... (full context)
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After breakfast Armstrong tells the rest of the guests that Mrs. Rogers died last night. Armstrong says that... (full context)
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Rogers calls Armstrong into the dining room and says very nervously that something is wrong. Rogers says that... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Dr. Armstrong comes outside to talk to someone about the situation on the island. He sees Wargrave... (full context)
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Armstrong comments that two suicides within 12 hours are simply implausible, and that Anthony Marston must... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Blore comes back with a rope and Lombard has gone to test some theory. Armstrong tells Blore that he is worried that Macarthur has gone crazy. Blore agrees, but says... (full context)
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The search ends and Blore, Lombard and Armstrong are all very dirty and dusty. There is no one on the island but the... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...says that they must have been wrong – the deaths were just coincidences. Blore asks Armstrong whether he may have accidentally overdosed Mrs. Rogers on a sleeping pill. Armstrong says that... (full context)
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...for coming in late, but Miss Brent responds that General Macarthur still has not come. Armstrong volunteers to go get Macarthur when Vera says he is sitting by the sea. (full context)
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After everyone has been eating for a bit Armstrong comes running and shouts that General Macarthur is—and Vera finishes his sentence—“Dead!” (full context)
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Armstrong says that Macarthur was killed by being hit with a life preserver. Wargrave now takes... (full context)
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...they must look at the facts. They agree that anyone could have drugged Marston but Armstrong or Mr. Rogers are most likely to have killed Mrs. Rogers. But then Wargrave states... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Vera thinks that it is Dr. Armstrong because two of the deaths have both been by poison. And she thinks that he... (full context)
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Dr. Armstrong is talking to Wargrave, saying that they must escape. Wargrave responds that it's very unlikely... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...next verse is “six little soldier boys playing with a hive.” She keeps laughing until Armstrong slaps her, calming her. Vera and Miss Brent make breakfast. (full context)
Chapter 12
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...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... (full context)
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...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. (full context)
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Armstrong says that she was killed by injection – there is the mark of a hypodermic... (full context)
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Armstrong claims that someone must have taken it. Wargrave suggests that they all put whatever drugs... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Armstrong wants to do something, anything and Lombard thinks that the weather will clear up at... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...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... (full context)
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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... (full context)
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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... (full context)
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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... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Blore wonders what happened to Armstrong. He suggests that the doctor might have been thrown into the sea, but then wonders:... (full context)
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...to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.” She says that Armstrong is the red herring and isn't actually dead. (full context)
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...anyone on the mainland noticed. They search the island again and see no sign of Armstrong. Vera says she feels safer outside and they agree to stay out of the house... (full context)
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Lombard says that Armstrong must be in the house and that he is going to go in and find... (full context)
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...they see a bundle in the rocks. They go closer and realize that it is Armstrong. He has drowned. (full context)
Chapter 16
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...He says it almost with acceptance, but Vera only feels rebellion. She says “Poor Dr. Armstrong.” Vera says that they should carry him up to the house and get him out... (full context)
Epilogue 1
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...died of an overdose of chloral, Rogers head was split open, Blore's head was crushed, Armstrong drowned, Macarthur's skull was fractured, and Vera was hanged. (full context)
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Legge thinks that this must mean that Armstrong killed the others and tried to swim out. But Maine tells him that Armstrong's body... (full context)
Epilogue 2
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...his childhood about ten little soldier boys and began collecting his victims. He heard about Armstrong while at a nursing home. He heard about General Macarthur from a conversation with two... (full context)
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...that he now needed an ally to complete the rest of his murders. He chose Armstrong because he knew Armstrong was a gullible man. Armstrong suspected Lombard, and Wargrave pretended to... (full context)
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Next he convinced Armstrong that he (Wargrave) needed to be the next victim because this would rattle the murderer,... (full context)
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Armstrong and Wargrave met in the middle of the night and Wargrave led Armstrong far away... (full context)
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...of the ten people only one is innocent. 2. From the rhyme they know that Armstrong's death was a “red herring” so at this moment there must have been something strange... (full context)