Study Guide

Philip Lombard in And Then There Were None

By Agatha Christie

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Philip Lombard

Philip Lombard is (1) a rather cocky young man, (2) essentially a mass murderer who left a large group of natives to die when he was in the army, and (3) completely unconcerned about his moral depravity, making him the second-to-last person to die.

Philip does have one thing going for him: he’s not into the fauxpology. When asked about the crimes he’s accused of, Lombard is the first to readily admit that he did it while all the characters are still trying to lie about their pasts. But check out how he does it:

“Not quite the act of a pukka sahib, I’m afraid. But self-preservation’s a man’s first duty. And natives don’t mind dying, you know. They don’t feel about it as Europeans do.” (4.45)

He may admit his crime, but he’s not exactly sorry about it. (Seriously? “Natives don’t mind dying?” Oooookay.) What this tells us is that Lombard is an absolutely self-preserving character—and, based on the fact that he’s the only character who brings a weapon to the island, perhaps the cleverest of them all.

In fact, when things start going downhill, Lombard doesn’t panic: “I’ve a pretty good imagination of my own. I’ve been in tight places before now and got out of them! I think—I won’t say more than that but I think I’ll get out of this one” (11.136).

Even though he’s wrong—dead wrong sorrynotsorry—about getting through it, Lombard remains a man of action. He’s the one who wants to search the whole island. He’s the one who wants to seek out Dr. Armstrong when he goes missing. He’s the one who isn’t afraid of running into trouble because he knows how to handle trouble. In fact, Lombard isn’t even afraid of the idea that there’s a deranged lunatic tracking them down. When asked if he’s afraid of the dangerous murderer, he says: “Dangerous? Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? I’ll be dangerous when I get a hold of him!” (7.175).

In the end, Lombard proves to be both dangerous and a good sport: he makes it almost all the way to the end. But it turns out that Vera (with the influence of Justice Wargrave) is more dangerous than Lombard anticipated.

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