Page 252. " who was operated on by him way back in 1925 at Leithmore, when he was attached to the hospital there "

My research indicates that Leithmore is a fictional location.

Page 264. " It had fascinated me as a child of two "
Creative Commons Attribution"It is covered with cakes. . . ." - Credit: freefoto.com

It seems highly doubtful that Wargrave could have comprehended poetry at the age of two and then remembered it decades later. We'll attribute this statement to an old man's vanity.

In her Autobiography Agatha Christie wrote:

Difficult to know what one's first memory is. I remember distinctly my third birthday. The sense of my own importance surges up in me. . . . There is a tea table and it is covered with cakes, with my birthday cake, all sugar icing and with candles in the middle of it. Three candles. And then the exciting occurrence--a tiny red spider, so small that I can hardly see it, runs across the white cloth. And my mother says: 'It's a lucky spider, Agatha, a lucky spider for your birthday. . . .'

Page 265. " A man who had recently returned from the Amazon "
The Amazon River Basin in South America
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Amazon River Basin in South America - Credit: Kmusser

The Amazon refers either to the Amazon River or the Amazon Basin in South America.

Page 265. " An indignant mem sa-hib in Majorca "

Balearic Islands (in red)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBalearic Islands (in red) - Credit: Mutxamel, subido por Rastrojo
Sahib is Arabic for “friend,” and Britons appended “ma’am” to the word to denote a female sahib. This devolved into memsahib, meaning a (usually married) woman.

Mallorca (or Majorca) is the largest of the Balearic Islands, which lie to the east of Spain.

Page 274. " The brand of Cain "
Cain (standing) and Abel (kneeling)
Public DomainCain (standing) and Abel (kneeling)

The Old Testament tells the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4. Cain was the oldest of Adam and Eve's sons; Abel was the second born. Both sons brought offerings to the Lord; God "had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect" (verses 4 and 5). This angered Cain, and he murdered his brother. Later the Lord asked Cain where Abel was, and he responded with the oft-quoted question, "Am I my brother's keeper?" (verse 9).

As a result, God pronounced His punishment on Cain:

What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. (verses 10-16)

The Bible doesn't specify what the "mark of Cain" was. Some have speculated, though, that it would be some sort of mark on his face, perhaps on his forehead, which would readily identify the murderer to those who met him.

Page 275. " And they will find ten dead bodies and an unsolved problem on Indian Island. "

And Then There Were None Timeline

What year does the story take place? We know the month was August, so it must have been either in 1937 or 1938. Reasons:

  • It was originally serialized in June and July of 1939, so it could not have taken place in August of that year.
  • Vera Claythorne was responsible for Cyril Hamilton’s death in August 1935. Thus our years are limited to 1936, 1937, or 1938.
  • Tony Marston was responsible for the deaths of John and Lucy Combes “upon the 14th day of November last.” If the story took place in 1938, that would be 1937; if it took place in 1937, that would be 1936; if it took place in 1936, that would be 1935.
  • If the story took place in 1936, when referring to Vera Claythorne's murder of Cyril, the Voice would have likely said, “last August,” “August a year ago,” or, as the Voice said regarding Marston, “on the 11th day of August last.” Therefore I'm inclined to toss out 1936 as a possible year.
  • August 8, 1937, was a Sunday; August 8 was a Monday in 1938. Either day is a likely day for beginning a week’s vacation, as some of the guests were told.

Therefore, I am assuming it takes place August 1938 mainly because having the story commence on 08.08.38 appeals to me.

Regardless of the year, here is a timeline of the story's events that incorporates all references to dates and times in the novel.

August 3 (?)

  • Mr. and Mrs. Rogers arrive on Indian Island. (Page 51: On August 8, Rogers says, "We've only been here just under a week, sir, my wife and I.")

August 8

  • William Blore, Emily Brent, Vera Claythorne, Philip Lombard, General Macarthur, Tony Marston, and Justice Wargrave arrive at Indian Island by boat accompanied by Fred Narracot. After arriving, they are told Mr. Owen has been delayed in his arrival.
  • Dr. Armstrong arrives separately, accompanied by Fred Narracot.
  • 8:00 pm: Supper is served.
  • 9:20 pm: A recorded Voice accuses each of the ten visitors of murder.
  • Marston is murdered.
  • One of the Indian figurines disappears.
  • Isaac Morris dies.

August 9

  • After midnight: The guests go to bed.
  • Mrs. Rogers is murdered in her sleep.
  • 9:00 am: Breakfast is served, after which Armstrong informs the guests of Mrs. Rogers’ death.
  • 9:50 am: Guests realize that Narracot has not returned.
  • Guests notice that a second figurine is gone.
  • Blore, Armstrong, and Lombard search the island and the house.
  • General Macarthur is murdered.
  • Noon or 1:00 pm: Luncheon is served.
  • Another figurine disappears.
  • A storm breaks.
  • 4:00 (?) pm: Tea time; wool and a bathroom curtain are missing.
  • 8:00 (?) pm: Dinner is served.
  • 9:00 pm: Vera and Emily go to bed.
  • 10:00 pm: Armstrong, Blore, Wargrave, and Lombard go to bed.
  • Before retiring, Rogers locks the doors to the dining room to protect the figurines, putting the key in his pocket.

August 10

  • Daybreak: Lombard awakens.
  • Rogers is murdered; figurine is removed.
  • 8:00 am: Lombard is asleep again.
  • 9:30 am: Lombard realizes no breakfast has come, goes in search of Rogers.
  • 9:35 am: Lombard awakens Blore.
  • Rogers’ body is discovered.
  • Breakfast.
  • Emily Brent is murdered.
  • 10:55 am: Emily Brent’s body is discovered.
  • The guests discover Armstrong's hypodermic syringe and Lombard's revolver have both disappeared.
  • The guests search each other and their rooms.
  • The syringe and another broken figurine are found outside the dining room window.
  • 12:00 noon (?): Midday meal.
  • 3:15–5:00 pm: Five remaining guests sit together in the drawing room.
  • 5:00 pm: Tea time.
  • 5:45 pm: Guests discover the lights don’t work because the generator hasn’t been running. They light candles.
  • 6:20 pm: Vera finds seaweed strung from a hook in her room.
  • Wargrave is found dressed as a judge with “a round stain mark from which something . . . trickled” on his “high bald forehead.”
  • Lombard, Claythorne, Armstrong, and Blore eat supper.
  • Lombard, Claythorne, Armstrong, and Blore go to bed.
  • Lombard discovers the revolver replaced in his bedside table.

August 11

  • Midnight: Blore is in his room thinking through the situation.
  • After midnight: The storm stops. Armstrong is murdered.
  • 1:00 am: Blore hears someone in the hall. He and Lombard discover that Armstrong is missing and go in search of him.
  • A figurine is thrown out the window.
  • Breakfast.
  • Morning: Blore, Lombard, and Claythorne heliograph SOS to the mainland. Boy scouts see the signal.
  • 2:00 pm: Blore returns to the house for lunch and is murdered.
  • Lombard and Claythorne find Amstrong’s body.
  • Shortly before sunset Vera shoots Lombard.
  • Vera destroys two of the remaining three figurines.
  • Vera sees a noose hanging from the hook in her room, breaks the last figurine, and hangs herself.
  • Wargrave straightens the chair in Vera’s room, writes a note explaining the events, places it in a bottle, and throws it into the sea. He then commits suicide.

August 12: Fred Narracot returns.

August 13: Police surgeon arrives.

Page 275. " And they will find ten dead bodies and an unsolved problem on Indian Island. "

By my count no less than 41 deaths occur or are alluded to in And Then There Were None. Three are suicides (Beatrice Taylor, Vera Claythorne, and Justice Wargrave), and one is not technically a murder (Edward Seton, who, according to Wargrave, "was guilty" and therefore deserved to be put to death according to English law). I have not seen it noted elsewhere, but And Then There Were None may hold the record for highest body count of any of Christie's works.

As stated immediately above, I am assuming the story takes place in 1938, although the work never specifies a year. Years in italics below, then, are my assumptions, since the novel specifies the month and day but not the year for those dates.

DATE

VICTIM

MURDERER

METHOD

4 January 1917

Arthur Richmond

John Gordon Macarthur

Death in battle

14 March 1925

Louisa Mary Clees

Edward George Armstrong

Medical malpractice

10 October 1928

James Stephen Landor

William Henry Blore

Perjury that led to death in prison

6 May 1929

Jennifer Brady

Thomas and Ethel Rogers

Withholding medication

10 June 1930

Edward Seton

Lawrence John Wargrave

Legal execution

5 November 1931

Beatrice Taylor

Emily Caroline Brent

Driven to suicide

February 1932

21 African tribesmen

Philip Lombard

Starvation

11 August 1935

Cyril Ogilvie Hamilton

Vera Elizabeth Claythorne

Drowning

14 November 1937

John and Lucy Combes

Anthony James Marston

Motor vehicle accident

8 August 1938

Isaac Morris

Lawrence John Wargrave

Poisoning

8 August 1938

Anthony James Marston

Lawrence John Wargrave

Poisoning

8 August 1938

Ethel Rogers

Lawrence John Wargrave

Poisoning

9 August 1938

John Gordon Macarthur

Lawrence John Wargrave

Blunt object

10 August 1938

Thomas Rogers

Lawrence John Wargrave

Axe

10 August 1938

Emily Caroline Brent

Lawrence John Wargrave

Poison

11 August 1938

Edward George Armstrong

Lawrence John Wargrave

Drowning

11 August 1938

William Henry Blore

Lawrence John Wargrave

Blunt object

11 August 1938

Philip Lombard

Vera Elizabeth Claythorne

Gunshot

11 August 1938

Vera Elizabeth Claythorne

Vera Elizabeth Claythorne

Suicide (hanging)

11 August 1938

Lawrence John Wargrave

Lawrence John Wargrave

Suicide (gunshot)

 

41 deaths

10 murderers