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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
In the second chapter, the eight guests arrive in Devon and travel together from there to Indian Island. Justice Wargrave and Miss Brent go ahead in a taxi to the boat dock while Vera Claythorne and Philip Lombard make small talk while waiting for the others on the next train. General Macarthur arrives next and travels with the two in another taxi. At the dock the five are joined by Mr. Blore, who quickly introduces himself as a Mr. Davis from South Africa. When the host and hostess of the island are mentioned, all the guests look uncomfortable, as none of them knows exactly what to expect. At the last moment, Anthony Marston arrives by car and joins them in the boat. The other guests are awed by Marston’s glamorous appearance and impressive car and liken him to a mythical God.
The driver of the boat, Fred Narracott, is just as puzzled by who the owner of the island could be, and wonders why such a strange mix of guests was assembled. As they land on Indian Island, several of the guests have uneasy feelings about what they see, even though the house seems luxurious. The butler greeting them announces that the host will be delayed until the following day, and all retire to their rooms until dinner.
Vera Claythorne discovers that the servants, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, are no more acquainted with the owner of the island than she is, and thinks this is strange. She finds in her room the framed nursery rhyme of "Ten Little Indians," and believes it to be a clever tie-in with the name "Indian Island." The rhyme describes how ten Indians are killed one by one until finally none remains.
While he is waiting for dinner, Dr. Armstrong thinks about Justice Wargrave’s reputation as a shrewd judge. Justice Wargrave wonders about his supposed hostess, Constance Culmington. Anthony Marston takes a hot bath and looks forward to the comforts of food and drink. Mr. Blore thinks about the confidential job he has been hired to do on the island. General Macarthur feels strange and wants to leave Indian Island but realizes he must stay since the motor boat has already gone. Philip Lombard schemes about how he will enjoy his week’s stay. Emily Brent solemnly reads about the damnation of sinners in her Bible.
Foreshadowing continues as an important literary tool in this chapter, building the reader’s anticipation for the doom to follow. When Vera Claythorne first sees Indian Island, it is very different from her expectation, and it seems ominous to her. Several of the other guests also feel uneasy when they arrive on the island. Undoubtedly the most powerful foreshadowing in this chapter is the introduction of the "Ten Little Indians" nursery rhyme. Vera Claythorne first discovers it in her room, and thinks it is nothing more than a clever connection to the name of the island, "Indian Island." But the reader knows better, as the rhyme describes how ten Indians are killed one by one until the last hangs himself and none are left. From the title of the book, "And Then There Were None," the connection to the fate of the ten people on the island is obvious to the reader.
The author closes the chapter by giving short descriptions of several characters’ thoughts and actions prior to dinner. Each person seems to be thinking mysterious, private thoughts, meant to make the reader feel that any one of them could be planning foul play. The author continues this pattern throughout the book to keep the reader guessing which character is the antagonist.