Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express

by

Agatha Christie

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Hector is an American man around the age of thirty who took a job as an assistant to Mr. Ratchett, primarily helping him navigate the various languages of Europe in his travels. This detail becomes important when someone replies in idiomatic French from Ratchett’s compartment on the morning of the murder, claiming that everything is fine. Hector’s father was the district attorney who unsuccessfully prosecuted Ratchett for the murder of Daisy Armstrong.

Hector MacQueen Quotes in Murder on the Orient Express

The Murder on the Orient Express quotes below are all either spoken by Hector MacQueen or refer to Hector MacQueen. 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:
Justice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper edition of Murder on the Orient Express published in 2011.
Part 3 Chapter 9 Quotes

I remembered that MacQueen had called attention, not once but twice (and the second time in a very blatant manner), to the fact that Ratchett could speak no French. I came to the conclusion that the whole business at twenty-three minutes to one was a comedy played for my benefit! Anyone might see through the watch business—it is a common enough device in detective stories.

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot (speaker), Mr. Ratchett / Cassetti, Hector MacQueen
Page Number: 277
Explanation and Analysis:
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Murder on the Orient Express PDF

Hector MacQueen Character Timeline in Murder on the Orient Express

The timeline below shows where the character Hector MacQueen appears in Murder on the Orient Express. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1 Chapter 2
Justice Theme Icon
National Identity and International Connections Theme Icon
Detective Methods and Inner Lives Theme Icon
...the detective feels a “strange malevolence.” The old man tells the younger, whom he calls Hector, to pay the bill in a “queer, soft, dangerous” voice. The younger man assents, calling... (full context)
National Identity and International Connections Theme Icon
Deception and Genre Expectations Theme Icon
Poirot enters cabin number seven to find not M. Harris, but Hector MacQueen, the young American from the hotel restaurant. Hector confronts Poirot in stilted French with... (full context)
Part 1 Chapter 3
Justice Theme Icon
National Identity and International Connections Theme Icon
Detective Methods and Inner Lives Theme Icon
Finally, Poirot glances at the two Americans from the hotel, Hector MacQueen and Mr. Ratchett, and he once again notices the “false benevolence” in Ratchett’s appearance.... (full context)
Part 1 Chapter 4
National Identity and International Connections Theme Icon
...and the passengers become more comfortable with each other. Colonel Arbuthnot talks at length with Hector Macqueen about politics while Mrs. Hubbard takes the somewhat helpless Swedish woman under her wing,... (full context)
Part 1 Chapter 6
National Identity and International Connections Theme Icon
Detective Methods and Inner Lives Theme Icon
Poirot begins by notifying Mr. MacQueen of Ratchett’s death. MacQueen begins in “laborious” French, but soon lapses into English, which Poirot... (full context)
National Identity and International Connections Theme Icon
MacQueen doesn’t seem especially surprised at Ratchett’s death, saying, “so they got him after all.” He... (full context)
Justice Theme Icon
Deception and Genre Expectations Theme Icon
MacQueen supplies Poirot with several threatening letters sent to Ratchett and written in an over-the-top style:... (full context)
National Identity and International Connections Theme Icon
Detective Methods and Inner Lives Theme Icon
Mr. MacQueen is dismissed, and although Poirot is reluctant to remove anyone from suspicion prematurely, as M.... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 1
National Identity and International Connections Theme Icon
Deception and Genre Expectations Theme Icon
...events of last night, including ones that Poirot himself witnessed. Pierre relates that only Mr. MacQueen was in Ratchett’s cabin that night. After hearing the groan that woke Poirot, Pierre rapped... (full context)
Deception and Genre Expectations Theme Icon
Pierre Michel confirms that Mr. MacQueen talked in his cabin with Colonel Arbuthnot late into the night. After making up MacQueen’s... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 2
Justice Theme Icon
Deception and Genre Expectations Theme Icon
Poirot informs Hector MacQueen that his late boss was actually the criminal Cassetti. MacQueen reacts with surprise and... (full context)
National Identity and International Connections Theme Icon
Deception and Genre Expectations Theme Icon
MacQueen recounts his movements and activities on the previous night. He talked for a little bit... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 3
Justice Theme Icon
Deception and Genre Expectations Theme Icon
...cabin that night. Before dismissing him, Poirot asks him whether there was bad blood between MacQueen and Ratchett, which he denies by saying “Mr. MacQueen was a very pleasant gentleman.” Finally,... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 8
Detective Methods and Inner Lives Theme Icon
Deception and Genre Expectations Theme Icon
...on to establish his movements the previous night, spending most of it in conversation with MacQueen. Then Poirot asks him to cast his mind back, setting the scene by saying “you... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 9
Detective Methods and Inner Lives Theme Icon
Deception and Genre Expectations Theme Icon
Hardman volunteers that he knew MacQueen by sight, having had dealings with his father, the district attorney. As Hardman goes, Poirot... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 13
Deception and Genre Expectations Theme Icon
...uniform. The man’s existence is directly or indirectly confirmed by the testimony of four witnesses, MacQueen and Arbuthnot in addition to Hildegarde and Hardman. But supposing he exists, Poirot says, he... (full context)
Part 3 Chapter 1
National Identity and International Connections Theme Icon
Detective Methods and Inner Lives Theme Icon
Deception and Genre Expectations Theme Icon
Poirot offers a significant detail as an example: MacQueen said he was brought on to assist Ratchett with languages, yet the voice that answered... (full context)
Part 3 Chapter 9
Detective Methods and Inner Lives Theme Icon
Deception and Genre Expectations Theme Icon
...just met on the journey. He also concludes that the pocket-watch evidence was faked and MacQueen had clearly established that Ratchett did not speak French so that Poirot would hear the... (full context)