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In what seems like a normal everyday situation in which people travel by means of public transportation turns into something out of the ordinary. A murder has taken place aboard a train, the suspects have been narrowed down to twelve potential people and the feeling of uneasiness roams around the whole train, for a murderer walks among them. This is the setting in the book Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. In the middle of all this chaos is a man by the name of Colonel Arbuthnot who tries to protect his love Mary Debenham throughout the story.
It’s a frosty, chilly day as the passengers wait for the train to start on its route once again. You could hear a pin drop in the back round and off in the distance is the protagonist of our story, Hercule Poirot, as he eves drops in what is going on around him. Then he hears one of the passengers who we find out to be Colonel Arbuthnot, talking to a woman by the name of Mary Debenham.
Clearly it seems as they are strangers but then you hear Mary say “Not now, Now now. When it’s behind usthen-.” Now Mr. Poirot starts to wonder whether or not they are actually strangers. This, even though it’s early on in the book, brings us to a clue on what leads on to the events that later take place. Our character, Colonel Arbuthnot, seems to be trying to hide something.
In this scene it looks like he has strong feelings for Mary and its causing him to worry about the certain task that lies ahead of them.
Once all the passengers have boarded the train and they are all cozy as they go around doing their business, once again another odd moment arrives. As Mr. Poirot goes on with his business he notices the Colonel and Mary talking once again. Then the Colonel calls her by her first name. Now seeing that they have just met raises some more suspicion because strangers don’t usually give out much personal information as soon as they meet a person. In the way he said her name raised even more suspicion as to if they really were acquainted with each other. The gleam in the colonel’s eyes as he talks to Mary shows that they are not both there by chance but that they planned it. Then when Ratchett is murdered it only raises more suspicion to the Colonel and Mary. For Poirot overheard them speaking about waiting for them to do something once it was behind them.
Once the investigations start everyone is frightened and confused for they fear of getting caught. Even though the passengers know who really in fact was the one that killed Ratchett. The clues are starting to pile up and come together for Poirot. Then as he nears the end of his investigations he calls Mary once again. Now the Colonel is not pleased with the idea. As the emotions of jealousy, love and anger build up inside of him he decides to barge in on her questioning. He fights through the people as he tries to go protect his love from being accused. Once he is inside he protects her and gives her comfort for in that moment all he cares about is her.
Throughout this book you see that the Colonel is a man who is willing to stand up for his love, Mary Debenham. Whether it was a casual conversation before they went on the train, or while they were on the train and she was being questioned. He made sure that he looked for her. At the end we find out that the all the passengers had taken part in the murder because they decided to take justice into their own hands. The way I see it, they had their right to murder him because of all the pain and suffering he had cause to that family. Sometimes justice is blind and we must do its dirty work.
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