The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Ursula Bourne / Ursula Paton Character Analysis

Ursula Bourne is a parlormaid in the Roger Ackroyd home, and she’s considered a suspect in Roger’s murder, especially after Hercule Poirot learns that she was dismissed from her position by Ackroyd on the same day Ackroyd was murdered. Toward the end of the book, it’s revealed that Ursula is secretly married to Ralph Paton—a piece of information that seems to make Ursula even more of a suspect in Roger’s murder.

Ursula Bourne / Ursula Paton Quotes in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The The Murder of Roger Ackroyd quotes below are all either spoken by Ursula Bourne / Ursula Paton or refer to Ursula Bourne / Ursula Paton. 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:
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the William Morrow edition of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd published in 2011.
Chapter 22 Quotes

“It says that Ralph has been arrested. So everything is useless. I need not pretend any longer.”
“Newspaper paragraphs are not always true, mademoiselle,” murmured Poirot, having the grace to look ashamed of himself, “All the same, I think you will do well to make a clean breast of things. The truth is what we need now.”

Related Characters: Dr. James Sheppard (speaker), Hercule Poirot (“Mr. Porrot”) (speaker), Ursula Bourne / Ursula Paton (speaker), Ralph Paton
Page Number: 244
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Murder of Roger Ackroyd quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Murder of Roger Ackroyd LitChart as a printable PDF.
The murder of roger ackroyd.pdf.medium

Ursula Bourne / Ursula Paton Character Timeline in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

The timeline below shows where the character Ursula Bourne / Ursula Paton appears in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10: The Parlormaid
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
...stolen money—she has great references and is always well behaved. The men also speak with Ursula Bourne, a parlormaid who gave notice after Roger became annoyed with the way she arranged... (full context)
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
Law vs. Ethics Theme Icon
...Roger’s desk contained important information—this might explain why Roger had such a lengthy talk with Ursula about how she arranged them. Poirot points out that Ursula is one of the only... (full context)
Chapter 11: Poirot Pays a Call
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
Gossip and Small Town Life Theme Icon
The next day, Dr. Sheppard goes to Marby by himself to learn about Ursula Bourne. Mrs. Folliot, the lady of the house, invites Sheppard inside. When Sheppard asks her... (full context)
Chapter 14: Mrs. Ackroyd
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
Gossip and Small Town Life Theme Icon
...Flora should have consulted her before hiring Poirot. She brings up Dr. Sheppard’s conversation with Ursula, and asks what Ursula told him. Sheppard senses that Mrs. Ackroyd has something to hide.... (full context)
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
...Roger’s killing, she opened Roger’s desk and found his will. While she was reading it, Ursula Bourne entered the room. Afterwards, Roger came home, and Ursula asked if she could speak... (full context)
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
Dr. Sheppard leaves to speak to Ursula Bourne. He tells her that he knows she wanted to speak to Roger, not the... (full context)
Chapter 16: An Evening at Mah Jong
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Gossip and Small Town Life Theme Icon
...her maid knows Elsie. Elsie mentioned that money was stolen from Fernly, and said that Ursula, the parlormaid, was responsible. Elsie has also suggested that Ursula was involved in a gang... (full context)
Chapter 21: The Paragraph in the Paper
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
Dr. Sheppard rejoins Poirot and walks home, where they find Caroline, who tells them that Ursula Bourne has come to the house, demanding to see Poirot. Inside, Poirot greets Ursula, but... (full context)
Chapter 22: Ursula’s Story
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
Law vs. Ethics Theme Icon
Ursula—who Poirot has just called “Ursula Paton”—begins to weep. Caroline embraces her, murmuring, “there, there.” Ursula... (full context)
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
Gossip and Small Town Life Theme Icon
Ursula proceeds to tell Dr. Sheppard, Caroline, and Poirot what she’s been hiding. While working as... (full context)
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
Dr. Sheppard listens carefully to Ursula’s story, and realizes why she kept silent: had she told the truth, people would have... (full context)
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
Law vs. Ethics Theme Icon
Poirot asks Ursula where she went after 9:45. Ursula claims she went to bed, but also admits that... (full context)
Chapter 23: Poirot’s Little Reunion
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
Ursula tells Poirot that she should go back to Fernly now, but Caroline insists that she... (full context)
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
When Ursula and Caroline are out of the room, Dr. Sheppard tells Poirot that the case against... (full context)
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
...Caroline, but insists that it needs to remain confidential. However, Poirot still wants to bring Ursula with him to the meeting. He insists that, that very evening, he’ll expose Roger Ackroyd’s... (full context)
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
...one chair—where, presumably, Poirot himself will sit—in darkness. The guests arrive. Poirot introduces them to Ursula, explaining that she’s Ralph Paton’s wife. Mrs. Ackroyd is surprised. Flora tells Ursula not to... (full context)
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
...for everyone to sit down. Everyone is here: John Parker, Mrs. Ackroyd, Flora Ackroyd, Raymond, Ursula Bourne, Hector Blunt, and Elizabeth Russell. Poirot points out that every single person had a... (full context)
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
...a quill. The cambric made Poirot think of a maid’s apron. Poirot also learned that Ursula Bourne had no alibi—she claimed she was in bed. It seemed to follow that Ursula... (full context)
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
Gossip and Small Town Life Theme Icon
There was one problem, Poirot continues: the times didn’t work out. Ursula couldn’t have been in the summerhouse before 9:30, whereas the stranger must have showed up... (full context)
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
...Roger’s businesslike tone as he dictated a letter. Blunt had also noticed a figure that night—Ursula Bourne in her apron. (full context)
Chapter 24: Ralph Paton’s Story
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
Law vs. Ethics Theme Icon
Ralph Paton stands beside Ursula, smiling at Dr. Sheppard. Poirot points at Sheppard and says, “Have I not told you... (full context)
Secrecy and the Universal Capacity for Violence Theme Icon
Detection and Intellect Theme Icon
...that afternoon, and Ralph told him about being in debt, and about his marriage to Ursula. After learning of the murder, Sheppard—recognizing that Ralph would be accused of the crime—urged Ralph... (full context)