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Murder on the Orient Express
by Agatha Christie
Murder on the Orient Express Part 1, Chapter 8 Summary
The Armstrong Kidnapping Case Poirot finds M. Bouc eating an omelet and we get the details of the Daisy Armstrong case: Daisy Armstrong was a small child who was kidnapped by a ring of criminals. She was then murdered. Her father was an Englishman named Colonel Armstrong. His mother was the daughter of a Wall Street millionaire, so he was actually half-American. Daisy Armstrong's mother was the daughter of the famous tragic actress, Linda Arden. The family loved the little girl, but after they paid her ransom, they learned she was already dead. Daisy's mother, who was pregnant, was so shocked that she died in premature childbirth. Daisy's father was so heartbroken that he shot himself. An innocent French or Swiss maid had been suspected in the murder, and in desperation she threw herself out of a window. Gosh. Cassetti was arrested in connection with the case, but he had considerable wealth and resources. Public opinion was against him, but he managed to get acquitted on a technicality. Here's what Poirot is asking himself: was the murder of Cassetti done by a rival criminal gang, or was it "an act of private vengeance" (1.8.20)? We learn there is at least one member of the Armstrong family still living, possibly a younger sister of Daisy's mother. While he's talking with M. Bouc, Poirot mentions Ratchett's watch, though he says it's very "convenient" (1.8.27) – not in a good way. Poirot heard someone speaking to the conductor from Ratchett's room at 12:37 a.m., but he's not convinced that this proves Ratchett was there at the time.
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