All of them now constantly wonder who is the murderer. There is no longer any semblance of civilized conversation or social interaction. They are all focused solely on self-preservation. They are all “reverting to more bestial types.”
Armstrong wants to do something, anything and Lombard thinks that the weather will clear up at some point and then they can try to leave. Wargrave says that they just must be very careful.
The characters one hope seems to be escape, but the storm seems to have come exactly for the purpose of keeping them on the island.
They eat lunch but they no longer sit at the table. They just stand around in the kitchen and eat tongue and fruit out of cans, staring suspicious at each other.
The civilized order that they held on to for so long has finally faded. They cannot keep it up when they are trying only to survive.
Vera asks if anyone wants tea and they all decide that they should watch her make it. All of a sudden the lights go out and they realize that no one has been running the engine that keeps the lights on since Rogers died. Wargrave has seen some candles in the larder and Lombard goes to get them.
It is only 6:20pm but Vera can't handle it anymore so she decides to go upstairs and take a bath. As she opens her door she smells the sea and hears Cyril's voice: he's asking her if he can swim. She tells herself to snap out of it but she still smells the sea. All of a sudden she feels a cold hand on her neck, a wet hand that smells of the sea and she screams.
In a state of fear Vera believes that the dead Cyril has come to haunt her on the island. Although she is always called “level-headed” by the other characters, Vera loses touch with reality because of her worry and fear and guilt.
The men run upstairs as Vera keeps screaming and she opens her eyes so see all the men around her. She looks up and sees wet seaweed hanging from the ceiling, which is what she felt against her throat in the darkness. She begins to laugh hysterically.
Vera realizes that it was mostly her mind—her guilt—filling her with fear drives her even more crazy. She knows that she is losing it because of all the stress.
Someone offers her a drink but as she is about to drink it she refuses to because she doesn't know where it came from. Lombard tells her she has her wits about her, even after her fright. Lombard says that this is one murder that didn't work out.
Vera's need to survive is greater than her confusion caused by fear.
All of a sudden Vera asks where Wargrave is. They realize he didn't follow them up the stairs and go to check on him in the living room. He is sitting in his high backed chair with two candles on either side of him. He is wearing a scarlet robe and a judge's wig and is bent forward, dead. There is a round wound on his forehead where he was shot. Vera realizes that the wig was made from Miss Brent's grey wool and Blore notices that the scarlet robe was made from the missing bathroom curtain.
This is the most theatrical of all the murders and the murderer has been laying away supplies (wool and curtain) to plan for it. The murderer makes fun of Wargrave for his belief that he could discover the crime through careful thought and investigation. The seaweed set up in Vera's room now seems to have been only a distraction to kill Wargrave.
Lombard remarks that Wargrave's act of playing court is over. Vera says that just this morning Lombard thought that Wargrave was the murderer. Lombard agrees that he did and responds, “Here's one more of us who's been proved innocent – too late!”
Because everyone is a suspect, they can only be proved innocent by getting killed.