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Ten Little Niggers

Ten Little Niggers: Page 36

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But no artist, I now realize, can be satisfied with art alone. There is a natural
craving for recognition which cannot be gain-said.

I have, let me confess it in all humility, a pitiful human wish that some one
should know just how clever I have been...

In all this, I have assumed that the mystery of Indian Island will remain
unsolved. It may be, of course, that the police will be cleverer than I think. There
are, after all, three clues. One: the police are perfectly aware that Edward Seton
was guilty. They know, therefore, that one of the ten people on the island was not
a murderer in any sense of the word, and it follows, paradoxically, that that
person must logically be the murderer. The second clue lies in the seventh verse
of the nursery rhyme. Armstrong's death is associated with a "red herring" which

he swallowed - or rather which resulted in swallowing him! That is to say that at
that stage of the affair some hocus-pocus is clearly indicated - and that
Armstrong was deceived by it and sent to his death. That might start a promising
line of inquiry. For at that period there are only four persons and of those four I
am clearly the only one likely to inspire him with confidence.

The third is symbolical. The manner of my death marking me on the forehead.
The brand of Cain.

There is, I think, little more to say.

After entrusting my bottle and its message to the sea I shall go to my room and
lay myself down on the bed. To my eyeglasses is attached what seems a length of
fine black cord - but it is elastic cord. I shall lay the weight of the body on the
glasses. The cord I shall loop round the door-handle and attach it, not too solidly,
to the revolver. What I think will happen is this:

My hand, protected with a handkerchief, will press the trigger. My hand will fall
to my side, the revolver, pulled by the elastic will recoil to the door, jarred by the
door-handle it will detach itself from the elastic and fall. The elastic, released,
will hang down innocently from the eyeglasses on which my body is lying. A
handkerchief lying on the floor will cause no comment whatever.

I shall be found, laid neatly on my bed, shot through the forehead in accordance
with the record kept by my fellow victims. Times of death cannot be stated with
any accuracy by the time our bodies are examined.

When the sea goes down, there will come from the mainland boats and men.

And they will find ten dead bodies and an unsolved problem on Indian Island.


Lawrence Wargrave

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