When Pennington is brought into the smoking room, he acts shocked and saddened at the murder of Linnet. Race asks if he heard anything. Pennington says that his cabin is next to Dr. Bessner’s, so he heard the sounds from in there, but didn’t know what was going on. He went to bed after 11:00 p.m. and didn’t hear any shots. Pennington believes Jacqueline is the murderer and is reluctant to accept Poirot and Race’s evidence about her alibi. He looks nervous when Poirot wonders whether anyone would have a motive to kill Linnet based on her father’s the business dealings. Poirot asks where Pennington was when the boulder almost killed Linnet, and Pennington says he was in the temple. After Pennington leaves, Poirot reveals that Pennington’s story about being in the temple was a lie. They agree Pennington looked nervous in his interview.
Pennington is one of the characters with the most motive and opportunity, so his interrogation is important enough to start off a new chapter. He certainly seems ill at ease during his interview, especially when Poirot brings up the incident with the boulder in the temple (since Pennington is one of the characters who was at the scene when the incident happened). Poirot does not tell Pennington that he already knows Pennington’s story about being in the temple is a lie—as a master detective, Poirot knows when to withhold information and when to reveal it.
Race and Poirot plan to announce at lunch that the pearls have been stolen, and that no one can leave the dining saloon while a search for the pearls is being conducted. Race shows Poirot a document that recaps all the most relevant facts about the case, including alibis, clues, and possible motives. Poirot agrees with Race’s assessment, but he adds that he still can’t figure out why the pistol was thrown overboard.
Again, Race and Poirot are careful about how they reveal new information, since it could accidentally tip off the murderer. Race’s document is a helpful reminder for the reader, clearly laying out the information about the case that he and Poirot trying to solve.
Poirot asks Race, who knows more about guns, if the velvet stole would actually muffle the sound of the gun firing, as the murderer seemed to intend. Race says no, and that a person who knows about firearms would know that. Regardless, Race adds, the gun is small enough that it wouldn’t make much noise. They identify the pink-stained handkerchief found with the gun and stole as “a man’s handkerchief—but not a gentleman’s handkerchief,” perhaps of the kind Fleetwood or Ferguson would own. Poirot remarks that it was odd how peacefully Linnet was lying dead, and Race says he gets the feeling Poirot is trying to tell him something, but he can’t figure out what.
Here again, Race’s particular expertise comes in handy, emphasizing how well he and Poirot work as a team. The information Race provides about the silencer will be important to solving the case. At the end of the chapter, Poirot even withholds information from Race—Poirot likes being dramatic, which is useful from a narrative standpoint because it means Agatha Christie can withhold important information from the reader until the right moment.