Still in the smoking room, Race and Poirot discuss next steps. They bring in Rosalie. Rosalie says she and her mother, Mrs. Otterbourne, went to bed before 11:00 p.m. They heard the commotion near Dr. Bessner’s cabin but didn’t know the reason for it until the next morning. Rosalie says she didn’t leave her cabin all night, but she blushes when Poirot asks if she’s certain she didn’t throw something overboard on the starboard side of the boat.
There’s dramatic irony underpinning this passage, as Rosalie doesn’t know what Poirot, Race, and the reader know about her. Her reaction when Poirot reveals that Miss Van Schuyler saw her throw something overboard all but confirms that she was doing something that she didn’t want to be seen doing.
Rosalie learns that Miss Van Schuyler supposedly witnessed her throwing something overboard; still, she denies it. She asks what else Miss Van Schuyler saw. Poirot says nothing, but he tells her about the sounds Van Schuyler heard in Linnet’s cabin. Rosalie goes pale. Poirot says there are innocent reasons for throwing something overboard. Rosalie, though, maintains her denial about leaving her cabin and says she didn’t kill Linnet. After Rosalie leaves, Poirot comments that he thinks neither Rosalie nor Miss Van Schuyler is being entirely honest.
Rosalie is trying to find out what Poirot and Race already know so that she doesn’t get caught in another lie. Poirot, however, is too smart to give anything away. He says he doesn’t suspect her because he wants her to cooperate—the fact that she still refuses means she’s almost certainly trying to hide something.
Race and Poirot proceed with questioning the passengers, and next on the list is Mrs. Otterbourne. Mrs. Otterbourne knows nothing but imagines what happened as a crime of passion. Race interrupts her speculations, telling her that she’s been helpful. Then after she leaves, he comments that it’s a pity she wasn’t murdered instead. Poirot consoles him that there’s still time.
True to her character, Mrs. Otterbourne is too involved with herself to be of any real use to the case. This passage is mainly included for comic effect.
Next up in the smoking room with Poirot and Race is Signor Richetti. He answers quickly that he was asleep some time before 11 p.m. and that he heard no shot. He did, however, hear a big splash near his porthole on the starboard side, sometime roughly between midnight and 2 a.m.
As the interrogations go on, there is less need to go into detail about them. Richetti is not a major person of interest given his lack of a clear motive, and his account doesn’t differ much from the previous ones. His mention of the splash further corroborates this detail.
Poirot and Race move on to questioning Ferguson. He has a cabin on the starboard side and thinks he remembers hearing one shot. After being prompted, he also remembers a splash. Poirot asks if Ferguson left his cabin. Ferguson says no, then adds that it’s a pity he didn’t get to help in the murder. Poirot asks if it was Fleetwood who told him that Linnet was so wealthy. Ferguson gets angry and says if they try to pin the murder on Fleetwood, they’ll have to deal with Ferguson first. After Ferguson leaves, Poirot and Race agree that it’s unlikely Ferguson is the agitator Race has been looking for because he doesn’t seem serious. They decide to bring in Pennington.
As with Mrs. Otterbourne, the passages centered on Ferguson are often included for comic effect because of his character’s lack of self-awareness. Ferguson is so desperate to be taken seriously that he even adds that he wishes he could have helped in the murder—and this still is not enough to get Poirot and Race to seriously consider him as a suspect. Ferguson may be hiding something, but it’s probably not that he committed the murder.