Race looks over a deck plan of the Karnak and deduces that Miss Van Schuyler had a good chance of hearing something. He and Poirot invite her into the smoking room. Reluctantly, Miss Van Schuyler agrees to answer questions. She says she usually goes to bed at 10 p.m., but because Cornelia was late, she was up late the previous night.
The layout of the cabins is important because it determines who could have been a witness to what. Miss Van Schuyler has a particularly useful cabin for this purpose.
A light sleeper, Miss Van Schuyler remembers being woken up by Louise saying something loud in French. She remembers again waking up to the sound of someone in Linnet’s cabin, followed by the sound of someone walking on the deck, then a splash. She places this event at 1:10 a.m. She did not hear a shot but admits that it may have been a shot that first awakened her.
Miss Van Schuyler is very precise in her testimony and more detailed than just about anyone else, perhaps as a reflection of her strict personality. Her recollection of hearing a splash lines up with Fanthorp’s testimony.
Poirot asks if Miss Van Schuyler has any idea who made the splash—and he and Race are surprised to learn that Miss Van Schuyler knows exactly who it was. She looked out of her room and saw Rosalie leaning over the railing. Rosalie didn’t see Mrs. Van Schuyler and left by going around the stern of the boat.
The fact that Miss Van Schuyler saw Rosalie is surprising because until this moment, there hasn’t been much reason to think Rosalie had anything to do with the murder.
Just then, the manager of the Karnak arrives in the smoking room and delivers to Race a wet velvet stole wrapped around a pink-stained handkerchief and a small pistol, which was retrieved from the Nile. Poirot identifies it as Jacqueline’s, and Race confirms that bullets are the right type and that two bullets have been fired from the gun. Miss Van Schuyler identifies the velvet stole as her own. Race says the stole was used as a silencer. Race asks Miss Van Schuyler if she had any previous acquaintance with Linnet, but Miss Van Schuyler says she only knew of her.
The recovery of the gun is also surprising and represents a significant step forward in the case. Out of everything that was retrieved from the Nile, the pink-stained handkerchief is perhaps the strangest, since it isn’t clear what purpose it would’ve served to the murderer. It, too, will be an important clue in the remainder of the book.
Miss Van Schuyler leaves, and Race and Poirot discuss how strange it is that Rosalie should be involved. Poirot points out an inconsistency: why, if the murderer seemed to leave evidence pointing to Jacqueline would the same murderer throw away the pistol, which is the most damning piece of evidence against Jacqueline?
Poirot will keep coming back to the question of why the murderer would throw the gun away. He believes that people act logically, and in other Agatha Christie novels that feature him as the detective, this generally ends up being true—even if the logic is usually mysterious at first.