Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express

by

Agatha Christie

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Hercule Poirot Character Analysis

Hercule Poirot, the protagonist of the story, is a celebrated Belgian detective who stumbles on a murder investigation when a man in his train car, Mr. Ratchett, is murdered. Poirot is a short, bald man who’s inordinately devoted to personal grooming and fashion, giving the impression of a ridiculous dandy to many of the other passengers. However, Poirot uses that appearance of ridiculousness to overhear and solicit information critical to the case. He speaks multiple European languages, which allows him to alternately challenge suspects or put them at ease. He uses his extraordinary talent for logic and deduction to solve the murder, conducting extended interviews focused on each suspect’s emotional state. Poirot’s friend, M. Bouc, serves as his foil, as he approaches the case emotionally, gets distracted by convenient evidence, and proves himself wholly incompetent at detective work.

Hercule Poirot Quotes in Murder on the Orient Express

The Murder on the Orient Express quotes below are all either spoken by Hercule Poirot or refer to Hercule Poirot. 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 1 Chapter 1  Quotes

"You have saved the honour of the French Army—you have averted much bloodshed! How can I thank you for acceding to my request? To have come so far—" To which the stranger (by name M. Hercule Poirot) had made a fitting reply including the phrase—"But indeed, do I not remember that once you saved my life?" And then the General had made another fitting reply to that, disclaiming any merit for that past service; and with more mention of France, of Belgium, of glory, of honour and of such kindred things they had embraced each other heartily and the conversation had ended.

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot (speaker)
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

She had never seen anyone quite so heavily muffled up. It must be very cold outside. That was why they heated the train so terribly. She tried to force the window down lower, but it would not go. The Wagon Lit conductor had come up to the two men. The train was about to depart, he said. Monsieur had better mount. The little man removed his hat. What an egg-shaped head he had! In spite of her preoccupations Mary Debenham smiled. A ridiculous-looking little man. The sort of little man one could never take seriously.

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot, Mary Debenham
Page Number: 6-7
Explanation and Analysis:

The Colonel sat down. "Boy," he called in peremptory fashion. He gave an order for eggs and coffee. His eyes rested for a moment on Hercule Poirot they passed on indifferently. Poirot, reading the English mind correctly, knew that he had said to himself, "Only some damned foreigner."

Related Characters: Colonel Arbuthnot (speaker), Hercule Poirot, Mary Debenham
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1 Chapter 2 Quotes

He was a man perhaps of between sixty and seventy. From a little distance he had the bland aspect of a philanthropist. His slightly bald head, his domed forehead, the smiling mouth that displayed a very white set of false teeth—all seemed to speak of a benevolent personality. Only the eyes belied this assumption. They were small, deep-set and crafty. Not only that. As the man, making some remark to his young companion, glanced across the room, his gaze stopped on Poirot for a moment and just for that second there was a strange malevolence, an unnatural tensity in the glance.

Page Number: 17-18
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1 Chapter 3 Quotes

“And yet—it lends itself to romance, my friend. All around us are people, of all classes, of all nationalities, of all ages. For three days these people, these strangers to one another, are brought together.”

Related Characters: M. Bouc (speaker), Hercule Poirot
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

“Name your figure, then," he said. Poirot shook his head. "You do not understand, Monsieur. I have been very fortunate in my profession. I have made enough money to satisfy both my needs and my caprices. I take now only such cases as-interest me."

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot (speaker), Mr. Ratchett / Cassetti (speaker)
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1 Chapter 5 Quotes

He was just dropping off when something again woke him. This time it was as though something heavy had fallen with a thud against the door. He sprang up, opened it and looked out. Nothing. But to his right, some distance down the corridor, a woman wrapped in a scarlet kimono was retreating from him. At the other end, sitting on his little seat, the conductor was entering up figures on large sheets of paper. Everything was deathly quiet.

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot
Related Symbols: Scarlet Kimono
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1 Chapter 7 Quotes

"Perfectly," said Poirot. "The matter begins to clear itself up wonderfully! The murderer was a man of great strength—he was feeble—it was a woman—it was a right-handed person—it was a left- handed person. Ah! c'est rigolo, tout ça!"

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot (speaker), Dr. Constantine
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

"A woman's handkerchief," said the doctor. "Our friend the chef de train was right. There is a woman concerned in this."

"And most conveniently she leaves her handkerchief behind!" said Poirot. "Exactly as it happens in the books and on the films—and to make things even easier for us, it is marked with an initial."

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot (speaker), Dr. Constantine (speaker)
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:

“It is the psychology I seek, not the fingerprint or the cigarette ash. But in this case I would welcome a little scientific assistance. This compartment is full of clues, but can I be sure that those clues are really what they seem to be?"

"I do not quite understand you, M. Poirot."

"Well, to give you an example—we find a woman's handkerchief. Did a woman drop it? Or did a man, committing the crime, say to himself: 'I will make this look like a woman's crime.

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot (speaker), Dr. Constantine (speaker)
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1 Chapter 8 Quotes

“I will come to the moment when, after the parents had paid over the enormous sum of two hundred thousand dollars, the child's dead body was discovered; it had been dead for at least a fortnight. Public indignation rose to fever point. And there was worse to follow. Mrs. Armstrong was expecting another baby. Following the shock of the discovery, she gave birth prematurely to a dead child, and herself died. Her broken-hearted husband shot himself.”

Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2 Chapter 5 Quotes

"Without a doubt, that is the solution of the mystery. Doubtless he and this Ratchett were in this kidnapping business together. Cassetti is an Italian name. In some way Ratchett did on him what they call the double-cross. The Italian tracks him down, sends him warning letters first, and finally revenges himself upon him in a brutal way. It is all quite simple." Poirot shook his head doubtfully.

Related Characters: M. Bouc (speaker), Hercule Poirot, Antonio Foscarelli
Page Number: 117
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2 Chapter 7 Quotes

"I am not a Jugo-Slavian detective, Madame. I am an international detective." "You belong to the League of Nations?"

"I belong to the world, Madame," said Poirot dramatically.

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot (speaker), Countess Andrenyi
Page Number: 132
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2 Chapter 8 Quotes

"In fact, Colonel Arbuthnot, you prefer law and order to private vengeance?" "Well, you can't go about having blood feuds and stabbing each other like Corsicans or the Mafia," said the Colonel. "Say what you like, trial by jury is a sound system."

Related Characters: Colonel Arbuthnot (speaker), Hercule Poirot, Mr. Ratchett / Cassetti
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2 Chapter 9 Quotes

Mr. Hardman sighed, removed the chewing gum, and dived into a pocket. At the same time his whole personality seemed to undergo a change. He became less of a stage character and more of a real person. The resonant nasal tones of his voice became modified. "That passport's a bit of bluff," he said. "That's who I really am." Poirot scrutinised the card flipped across to him.

Related Characters: Cyrus Hardman (speaker), Hercule Poirot
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2 Chapter 11 Quotes

“You are, I think, a little bit contemptuous of the way I prosecute my inquiries," he said with a twinkle. "Not so, you think, would an English inquiry be conducted. There everything would be cut and dried—it would be all kept to the facts—a wellordered business. But I, Mademoiselle, have my little originalities. I look first at my witness, I sum up his or her character, and I frame my questions accordingly.”

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot (speaker), Mary Debenham
Page Number: 160
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2 Chapter 15 Quotes

He got it down and snapped back the lock. Then he sat back on his heels and stared. Neatly folded on the top of the case was a thin scarlet silk kimono embroidered with dragons. "So," he murmured. "It is like that. A defiance. Very well, I take it up.”

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot (speaker)
Related Symbols: Scarlet Kimono
Page Number: 207
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3 Chapter 5 Quotes

"It has this advantage," said Poirot. "If you confront anyone who has lied with the truth, he will usually admit it—often out of sheer surprise. It is only necessary to guess right to produce your effect. That is the only way to conduct this case. I select each passenger in turn, consider his or her evidence, and say to myself, 'If so and so is lying, on what point is he lying, and what is the reason for the lie?' And I answer, 'If he is lying—if, you mark—it could only be for such a reason and on such a point.'”

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot (speaker), M. Bouc
Page Number: 250-251
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3 Chapter 9 Quotes

Then everyone jumped as Dr. Constantine suddenly hit the table a blow with his fist. "But no," he said. "No, no, and again no! That is an explanation that will not hold water. It is deficient in a dozen minor points. The crime was not committed so—M. Poirot must know that perfectly well."

Related Characters: Dr. Constantine (speaker), Hercule Poirot
Page Number: 273
Explanation and Analysis:

"I agreed with him, but when this particular point came into my mind, I tried to imagine whether such an assembly was ever likely to be collected under any other conditions. And the answer I made to myself was—only in America. In America there might be a household composed of just such varied nationalities—an Italian chauffeur, an English governess, a Swedish nurse, a German lady's-maid, and so on.”

Related Characters: Hercule Poirot (speaker)
Page Number: 274
Explanation and Analysis:

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:

“I would have stabbed that man twelve times willingly. It wasn't only that he was responsible for my daughter's death and her child's and that of the other child who might have been alive and happy now. It was more than that: there had been other children kidnapped before Daisy, and there might be others in the future. Society had condemned him—we were only carrying out the sentence.”

Page Number: 286
Explanation and Analysis:
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Hercule Poirot Character Timeline in Murder on the Orient Express

The timeline below shows where the character Hercule Poirot appears in Murder on the Orient Express. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1 Chapter 1 
National Identity and International Connections Theme Icon
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...the Taurus Express. He’s accompanied by a “small lean man” (later revealed to be Hercule Poirot) who is heavily bundled against the freezing cold. Even though “seeing off a distinguished stranger”... (full context)
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The General had been in an increasingly bad mood up until this “Belgian stranger” (Hercule Poirot) arrived from England. After a week of “curious tensity,” one officer committed suicide, and another... (full context)
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Back in the present, Lieutenant Dubosc makes painful attempts at small talk with Poirot. Aloud, he reflects that Poirot will be in Stamboul by tomorrow evening—an observation he’s already... (full context)
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Lieutenant Dubosc says he hopes Poirot doesn’t get snowed in during his journey—a common occurrence this time of year. After an... (full context)
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After exchanging formal goodbyes with Lieutenant Dubosc, Poirot boards the train, murmuring the word “finally” under his breath in French. The conductor explains... (full context)
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Later, Poirot notices the female passenger, Mary Debenham, in the dining car. She’s about twenty-eight and has... (full context)
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...Debenham “were out of all this,” but she hushes him. With a quick glance at Poirot, the Colonel continues, expressing his sympathy for Miss Debenham in her work as a governess,... (full context)
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At the next stop, Poirot steps out to enjoy some fresh air and overhears another conversation between the Colonel and... (full context)
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...the setback, they arrive in Istanbul only five minutes late. After crossing the Bosporus Strait, Poirot makes his way to a local hotel. (full context)
Part 1 Chapter 2
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At the hotel, Poirot receives a telegram requesting his return to London after there’s a development in the “Kassner... (full context)
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In the hotel restaurant, Poirot finds an old friend named Monsieur Bouc, a fellow Belgian and the  director of a... (full context)
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Poirot observes two American men in the restaurant, one older and one younger. The older man’s... (full context)
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The two Americans depart, and Poirot asks M. Bouc’s opinion of them. M. Bouc agrees with Poirot’s negative opinion of Mr.... (full context)
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M. Bouc escorts Poirot to the Orient Express, which he is also traveling on. When they reach the train,... (full context)
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Poirot enters cabin number seven to find not M. Harris, but Hector MacQueen, the young American... (full context)
Part 1 Chapter 3
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On the next day, Poirot joins his friend M. Bouc in the train’s dining car. M. Bouc rhapsodizes about the... (full context)
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Poirot observes each of the thirteen passengers in turn. He first notices a “big, swarthy Italian... (full context)
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...the journey. The older woman is bedecked in expensive jewelry, and her gaze lands on Poirot but does not rest on him with the “nonchalance of the uninterested aristocrat.” M. Bouc... (full context)
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Colonel Arbuthnot is behind the three women, very pointedly apart from Ms. Debenham, which Poirot believes is an attempt to hide whatever relationship he may have with her for the... (full context)
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Poirot moves on to observe an attractive young couple talking “animatedly.” The man is tall, handsome,... (full context)
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Finally, Poirot glances at the two Americans from the hotel, Hector MacQueen and Mr. Ratchett, and he... (full context)
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As the dining car clears, Ratchett approaches Poirot and sits down. He correctly identifies Poirot and seems to recognize him by reputation. Ratchett... (full context)
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Poirot refuses Ratchett’s offer, but the man continues to press him, offering a large sum. The... (full context)
Part 1 Chapter 4
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The Orient Express pulls into Belgrade, at which point Poirot exchanges cabins with M. Bouc, who moves into the adjacent train car occupied only by... (full context)
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Poirot passes Ratchett in his cabin, who gives him a hostile look and shuts the door.... (full context)
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Poirot falls asleep, but he’s startled awake hours later when he hears a loud groan and... (full context)
Part 1 Chapter 5
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Poirot can’t fall back to sleep afterward. He reaches for the bell to ring for the... (full context)
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When he arrives, the conductor explains to Poirot that Mrs. Hubbard believes she saw a man in her cabin and no objections on... (full context)
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Poirot is just about to fall asleep when he hears a thud next door. Looking into... (full context)
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...refers to their present location as one of those “Balkan things,” and Colonel Arbuthnot asks Poirot about the delay, confusing him for his fellow Belgian M. Bouc. (full context)
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Poirot has a short conversation with Mary Debenham about the delay. Unlike the other passengers, she... (full context)
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M. Bouc calls for Poirot and tells him that Mr. Ratchett was stabbed to death last night. He also elaborates... (full context)
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M. Bouc implores Poirot to take the case while praising at length his powers of deduction and investigation. He... (full context)
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In conversation with the conductor, Pierre Michel, and M. Bouc, Poirot determines that the train car was locked after dinner and no one could have exited... (full context)
Part 1 Chapter 6
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Poirot begins by notifying Mr. MacQueen of Ratchett’s death. MacQueen begins in “laborious” French, but soon... (full context)
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MacQueen supplies Poirot with several threatening letters sent to Ratchett and written in an over-the-top style: “We’re going... (full context)
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Mr. MacQueen is dismissed, and although Poirot is reluctant to remove anyone from suspicion prematurely, as M. Bouc suggests, the sober and... (full context)
Part 1 Chapter 7
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 Poirot is taken to view Ratchett’s body in his cabin. Inside, the window is open, which... (full context)
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Poirot begins to search the cabin. He finds a loaded gun under Ratchett’s pillow, and a... (full context)
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In a search of the cabin, Poirot finds a few items of evidence. The first is a woman’s handkerchief inscribed with an... (full context)
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Poirot also finds a scrap of burnt paper. He assembles a contraption to reveal the words... (full context)
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...and the door to the adjacent cabin, Mrs. Hubbard’s, was bolted on the other side. Poirot notes that this is like an escape artist’s trick. Work has been done to make... (full context)
Part 1 Chapter 8
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Dining with M. Bouc and Dr. Constantine, Poirot announces that he’s discovered Mr. Ratchett’s real name: Cassetti, the man responsible for the murder... (full context)
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Poirot also mentions a French or Swiss nursemaid to Daisy Armstrong. After the kidnapping, the police... (full context)
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...of the gang who kidnapped Daisy, a man named Cassetti. His guilt was certain. As Poirot remarks, “Cassetti was the man.” But he escaped justice on a technical inaccuracy. Poirot concludes... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 1
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Poirot begins calling the passengers for interviews to give their accounts of the previous night and... (full context)
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First up is Pierre Michel, the conductor, who seems a bit shaken and flighty. Poirot asks him to describe the events of last night, including ones that Poirot himself witnessed.... (full context)
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...car until he was summoned by Mrs. Hubbard. He attended to her and then to Poirot, and then sat in his place awake for the rest of the night. He also... (full context)
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Pierre Michel almost omits a detail about Poirot poking his head out close to 2 a.m., with Poirot adding “Good my friend…I wondered... (full context)
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Pierre Michel seeks validation from both Poirot and M. Bouc that he hasn’t been negligent in any way. They reassure and then... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 2
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Poirot informs Hector MacQueen that his late boss was actually the criminal Cassetti. MacQueen reacts with... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 3
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Poirot calls Mr. Ratchett’s personal valet, Edward Masterman, a sober-minded and proper British man with an... (full context)
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...the night. His Italian roommate also never left the cabin that night. Before dismissing him, Poirot asks him whether there was bad blood between MacQueen and Ratchett, which he denies by... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 4
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...from a train conductor’s uniform which she found near her bed, and is gratified when Poirot accepts it, saying “that, madame, I call evidence.” (full context)
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Poirot asks her whether the door to Ratchett’s room was bolted when she went to sleep,... (full context)
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Poirot then tells Mrs. Hubbard about Ratchett’s connection to the Armstrong case, and while she’s familiar... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 5
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Poirot moves on to the Swedish woman who had talked to Mrs. Hubbard, a woman named... (full context)
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Poirot asks Greta Ohlsson whether she’s been to America, which she denies. She praises Americans for... (full context)
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After Greta Ohlsson’s departure, M. Bouc lobbies Poirot to call the Italian man who roomed with Masterman. M. Bouc is fixated on the... (full context)
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M. Bouc is untroubled by the clear alibi that Masterman offered for the Italian, but Poirot is described as “twinkling” as he reminds M. Bouc of the inconvenient fact. M. Bouc... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 6
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Before moving on to the next witness, Poirot and M. Bouc ask Pierre Michel about the button that Mrs. Hubbard found. Pierre flies... (full context)
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Poirot again dismisses Pierre Michel and calls for the Russian Princess Dragomiroff. The investigators offer to... (full context)
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...a much younger sister of Sonia Armstrong who married an Englishman and resides in England. Poirot also asks about the color of her dressing gown, which is “black-satin.” (full context)
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Then, the Princess leaves, but not before repeating Hercule Poirot’s name and declaring, “It is Destiny,” a remark that puzzles Poirot. (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 7
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...attractive young man dressed in “English tweeds” who “might have been taken for an Englishman.” Poirot reveals to him that Ratchett was the murderer of Daisy Armstrong, but his response is... (full context)
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...much of the night, although his wife retired earlier and took a customary sleeping draught. Poirot asks him to write out his name and address. He claims that it’s unnecessary for... (full context)
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The Countess appears as asked and confirms her husband’s account that she had been asleep. Poirot asks her to sign her name after answering a few questions about her marriage to... (full context)
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The Countess becomes suspicious when Poirot asks about her dressing gown but reveals that hers is a “corn-coloured chiffon.” She asks... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 8
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Colonel Arbuthnot is the next witness to be called. Poirot finds his French lacking, so he switches to English to speak to him. Gathering basic... (full context)
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Poirot tells a white lie that the murder was most likely committed by a woman, and... (full context)
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...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 smoke—perhaps a... (full context)
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Poirot then asks him about Colonel Armstrong, and Arbuthnot names a few unrelated men named Armstrong... (full context)
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Poirot asks for a recollection of any other suspicious events on the previous night, no matter... (full context)
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...not before vouching again for Mary Debenham, calling her a “pukka sahib.” After his departure, Poirot sums up the interview, finding it hard to believe that an “honourable, slightly stupid Englishman”... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 9
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...Hardman. Mr. Hardman confirms that he’s a traveling typewriter ribbon salesman, but on learning Hercule Poirot’s identity, he says he better “come clean.” He says his true occupation is a private... (full context)
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Hardman reveals that he received the same offer of a job from Ratchett that Poirot did, but Hardman accepted. Ratchett even gave him a physical description of his potential murderer:... (full context)
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...describes how he kept watch all night, describing Pierre Michel’s movements just as Pierre told Poirot. He notes that no one else could have boarded or left the train without him... (full context)
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...MacQueen by sight, having had dealings with his father, the district attorney. As Hardman goes, Poirot offers him both a cigarette and pipe, and Hardman takes the cigarette. Alone again, the... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 10
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Poirot observes that his friend M. Bouc will be delighted to call the Italian passenger, Antonio... (full context)
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...liars. I do not like Italians.” He appeals to the “psychology” of the case, but Poirot sees the psychology of the crime differently as the product of a “cool, resourceful brain.” (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 11
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Mary Debenham is next, and Poirot finds her uncooperative, giving noncommittal responses to each question and claiming ignorance. Unlike some other... (full context)
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Poirot says what Mary is thinking: that she’s contemptuous of the way he conducts the investigation... (full context)
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Ms. Debenham recites her recent history as a governess in Baghdad. Poirot mentions that he assumed she would be married soon, which Ms. Debenham calls “impertinent.” He... (full context)
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...she’s a suspect for the murder as she was the last to see Ratchett alive. Poirot confirms Greta’s alibi and tells Ms. Debenham that Greta is not a prime suspect. (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 12
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Poirot is confused by the interview with Ms. Debenham. He tells M. Bouc that he believes... (full context)
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Poirot has only one witness left to call: Hildegarde Schmidt, who is Princess Dragomiroff’s lady’s maid.... (full context)
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...that she doesn’t like to wear a dressing gown in the presence of the Princess, Poirot gently interrupts to compliment her “scarlet” dressing gown. She replies that hers is dark blue.... (full context)
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Poirot asks whether Hildegarde saw a woman in a scarlet dressing gown and her eyes “bulge,”... (full context)
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...the three conductors so that Hildegarde can identify the man she saw. In the meantime, Poirot asks whether the handkerchief found in Ratchett’s room is hers. Hildegarde responds “I? Oh, no,... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 13
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Poirot, M. Bouc, and Dr. Constantine take stock of the evidence. They’re faced with a “small,... (full context)
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The credibility of the witnesses is also a concern. Poirot uses the example of Mr. Hardman who first pointed them towards a small, dark man... (full context)
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Poirot continues, focusing on the still unknown identity of the small, dark man in the conductor’s... (full context)
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...uniform, one lacking the button that Mrs. Hubbard found in her cabin. To that end, Poirot resolves to search each passenger’s luggage. He makes a grandiose prediction that the kimono will... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 14
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Making his way past the commotion in front of Mrs. Hubbard’s cabin, Poirot finds the knife in Mrs. Hubbard’s bag. It’s a cheap knife in the oriental style... (full context)
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Poirot seems dismissive of the murder weapon and instead removes the sponge-bag from the door handle... (full context)
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Poirot tries the door to Ratchett’s cabin and can’t get through, as they had locked the... (full context)
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Mrs. Hubbard describes more of her journey, expressing displeasure with Istanbul as a “tumble-down city.” Poirot takes the opportunity to search her bags, with her permission, which takes longer because he... (full context)
Part 2 Chapter 15
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Poirot carries on with his search of the passengers’ luggage while conducting short second interviews with... (full context)
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Next up is Colonel Arbuthnot. In the search, Poirot finds pipe-cleaners that match exactly the one found in Ratchett’s cabin. Arbuthnot seems untroubled by... (full context)
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With Princess Dragomiroff, Poirot assures her that, in her case, the search is a formality. The Princess seems to... (full context)
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Next, Poirot searches the Count and Countess’s luggage, which is tricky due to their diplomatic status. They... (full context)
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...to minister to Mrs. Hubbard. Ms. Debenham suspects that he wanted to interview her privately. Poirot confronts her with two inconsistencies. One, the overheard conversation with Colonel Arbuthnot and the reference... (full context)
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Mary Debenham flatly refuses to talk further, and Poirot departs. Afterward, Poirot delivers a proverb to M. Bouc “Mon ami, if you wish to... (full context)
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Poirot searches Hildegarde Schmidt’s luggage where, true to his prediction, he finds a conductor’s uniform with... (full context)
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The search of the luggage is finished with no further surprises. Poirot notes that the mystery of the scarlet kimono remains, a mystery that’s difficult because it’s... (full context)
Part 3 Chapter 1
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Poirot, M. Bouc, and Dr. Constantine reconvene. M. Bouc again stresses his confusion with the case... (full context)
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Poirot offers a significant detail as an example: MacQueen said he was brought on to assist... (full context)
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They return to the matter of the stopped watch. Poirot reasons that if the watch was altered, it must have some significance, and that they... (full context)
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Then, Poirot assembles a list of the identities of the passengers, complete with alibis and distinguishing information.... (full context)
Part 3 Chapter 2
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To supplement the suspect list, Poirot makes a list of unresolved questions. He notes that they haven’t assigned ownership of the... (full context)
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...to Mrs. Hubbard, Mary Debenham (whose middle name is Hermione), and Hildegarde Schmidt. To this, Poirot responds, “Ah! And of those three?” Dr. Constantine notes that it is expensive and so... (full context)
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Then there’s the matter of the pipe-cleaner. Dr. Constantine cites Poirot saying, “two clues is too much carelessness.” He reasons that the handkerchief may be genuine,... (full context)
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Poirot leads them through several other questions. The scarlet kimono is unique in that none of... (full context)
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...and other are superficial, and some suggest a left-handed murderer and others a right-handed one. Poirot reveals that he had invited each witness to write their name precisely to determine whether... (full context)
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...Bouc “struggles in mental agony.” They try out several plausible and implausible theories, after which Poirot asks them to sit back and think, having all the facts arranged before them.  He... (full context)
Part 3 Chapter 3
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...M. Bouc nor Dr. Constantine think very productively and are distracted by private, unrelated thoughts. Poirot awakens from his reverie muttering “And if so—why, if so, that would explain everything.” When... (full context)
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Poirot begins to explain the results of his contemplation. He targets a few suggestive details beginning... (full context)
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And in fact, Poirot deduces that the grease spot was placed to obscure an “H” after the handkerchief was... (full context)
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Poirot brings up a major constraint on any planned attempt to murder Ratchett: the blizzard. He... (full context)
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Continuing with his theory, Poirot brings up the threatening letters Ratchett received. He notes they sounded as if they were... (full context)
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Returning to the handkerchief, Poirot claims that it was inadvertently dropped by someone whose name began with “H.” Dr. Constantine... (full context)
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Poirot recalls further that Linda Arden, Sonia’s mother, was a stage name, and that her actual... (full context)
Part 3 Chapter 4
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Poirot and M. Bouc go to the dining car to confront the Count and Countess with... (full context)
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...false suspicion and media scandal and that the alteration of the passport was “easily done.” Poirot gives him backhanded praise: “You have the makings of a very fine criminal…and an apparently... (full context)
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Poirot asks for her help to fill out the details of the Armstrong household. She confirms... (full context)
Part 3 Chapter 5
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Alone again, M. Bouc expresses certainty to Poirot that the Countess is guilty, but Poirot reminds him that there was another option for... (full context)
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The Princess departs, and Poirot confers with the doctor to determine whether it’s physically possible that she inflicted the wounds... (full context)
Part 3 Chapter 6
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Poirot turns his attention to Colonel Arbuthnot. He confronts Arbuthnot with the pipe-cleaner, but Arbuthnot is... (full context)
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Finding little cooperation, Poirot ventures that Ms. Debenham was Daisy Armstrong’s governess at the time of the kidnapping, after... (full context)
Part 3 Chapter 7
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...defiance.” Her appearance “suggested the figure-head of a ship plunging gallantly into a rough sea.” Poirot confronts her with the information that she lived with the Armstrongs at the time of... (full context)
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...a desire to escape scandal so that she could find further employment as a governess. Poirot asks how she could not have recognized Countess Andrenyi when she had lived with her.... (full context)
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When Poirot continues to press her, she’s overwhelmed with emotion and Arbuthnot yells at Poirot to leave... (full context)
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M. Bouc marvels at the “guess” that brought out Ms. Debenham’s former occupation. Poirot had already suspected Ms. Debenham’s position when questioning the Countess about Daisy’s governess. The Countess... (full context)
Part 3 Chapter 8
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Poirot calls still other passengers into the dining car. First, Antonio Foscarelli appears, looking side to... (full context)
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...pig.” He alludes to some trouble with the police in connection with the kidnapping, but Poirot concludes he had nothing to do with it. At this, Antonio sinks into grief, remembering... (full context)
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Antonio sulks off and Poirot summons Greta Ohlsson, who immediately admits that she was Daisy’s nurse. Greta also mourns Daisy,... (full context)
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Poirot treats Greta gently, letting her go without further questions. As she leaves, Masterman the valet... (full context)
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...Hardman enters, but he does so to ask, “Just exactly what’s up on this train?” Poirot is described again as “twinkling” as he questions Hardman on his history as an employee... (full context)
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Poirot states that he has known for “some time” who killed Mr. Ratchett and he asks... (full context)
Part 3 Chapter 9
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Addressing the assembled passengers, Poirot speaks English as he says, “I think all of you know a little of that... (full context)
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Poirot sets out the parameters of what they’ve discovered. Mr. Ratchett was stabbed between midnight and... (full context)
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The passengers raise several objections to which Poirot responds somewhat unsatisfactorily. The inconsistent time on the broken pocket watch is explained by Ratchett... (full context)
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In response, Poirot moves on to a second theory. He alludes to M. Bouc’s early comment that the... (full context)
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Poirot supports a closer relationship between the passengers by reference to Ms. Debenham and Colonel Arbuthnot,... (full context)
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As for the identity of the murderer, Poirot establishes first that Ratchett’s guilt is unassailable. He then “visualised a self-appointed jury of twelve... (full context)
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The choice of the dagger as murder weapon initially confuses Poirot, but its advantage is that it could be used by anyone “strong or weak.” Additionally,... (full context)
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Poirot includes the threatening letters, the identity of the small, dark man, and especially the “red... (full context)
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But at the end of it all, Poirot is faced with the reality of thirteen passengers and twelve stab wounds. He grapples with... (full context)
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All of this requires an artist to choreograph, and Poirot identifies the mastermind as Linda Arden, at which point Mrs. Hubbard drops her false identity... (full context)
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...Colonel Arbuthnot had fought with Colonel Armstrong in the war. Then, she appeals eloquently to Poirot to pin the blame on her, as she “would have stabbed that man twelve times... (full context)
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Poirot defers to M. Bouc and Dr. Constantine, who both suddenly decide that Poirot’s first theory... (full context)