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Summary

Murder on the Orient Express Part 2, Chapter 11 Summary Page 1

The Evidence of Miss Debenham

  • Mary Debenham comes in. She's neatly dressed and cool as a cucumber.
  • Poirot takes a different approach with her. He gets her facts (that she went to her compartment and went to sleep), but then he starts asking her questions about her feelings.
  • Poirot knows how to push buttons. He asks her if she is distressed about the crime. She says she is not.
  • Poirot can tell she's getting peeved, so he lets her in on his method: "I see at once that you will be orderly and methodical…I ask what you feel, what you thought." (2.11.32)
  • Still, we do get some information:
    • Mary is traveling from Baghdad, where she was a governess to two children. She says she wants a post in London. Poirot remarks that he thought she might be getting married. (Again, pushing buttons.)
    • Her opinion of Miss Ohlsson? Simple and pleasant.
    • Her gown is not a scarlet kimono, nor is Miss Ohlsson's. However, she says, "that is not mine" (2.11.65), which makes Poirot think she has at least seen the kimono. She admits that she has.
    • Mary did see a person out the door. This person had a cap on her head. She was tall and slim, with dragons on the back of her gown.
    • Mary asks Poirot if he suspects Greta Ohlsson, and if she can reassure Greta since Greta was the last one to see Mr. Ratchett.
    • Mary says, "She's like a sheep, you know. She gets anxious and bleats" (2.11.93).
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