Justice Wargrave, a judge, is sitting pretty in a train carriage and thinks about Soldier Island, the place that he’s headed thanks to Lady Constance Culmington’s invitation.
Vera Claythorne sits in a carriage as well, holding onto her very own letter, which invites her out to be a secretary on Soldier Island.
Apparently Soldier Island is on everyone’s mind because it’s been all over the papers. (That’s how people used to get their news before Buzzfeed, y’all.)
She checks out the man across from her, who checks her out right back. His name is Philip Lombard, and he’s been sent to Soldier Island on some business, though he’s not quite sure what that business entails.
Pro tip: it is never a good idea to take a super vague job where you need to bring a weapon.
In another carriage is Miss Emily Brent, who is quite the old maid. She pretty much hates anything modern, which means she’s definitely not the life of any party.
In her hand, she holds a letter from a mysterious “U.N. O—” inviting her to Soldier Island.
Apparently Miss Emily Brent also doesn’t believe in modern definitions of stranger danger, either.
But hey! Let’s meet some more characters, like General Macarthur, who’s looking forward to arriving at Soldier Island to have a nice chat with some old friends.
Not all of the guests are on the train: Dr. Armstrong drives his car across Salisbury Plain and reflects back on what a very successful life he’s had. Pat yourself on the back, Dr. Armstrong!
There was something that could have ruined his career about fifteen years ago. The details are vague, but it sure set him straight and made him quit drinking. Just as he’s thinking this, someone passes him at a whopping 80 miles per hour. Goodness gracious!
The speed demon is Tony Marston, who is young, rich, and handsome. Obviously.
Some fellow named Mr. Blore is on the slow train heading toward Soldier Island as well. He writes down the names of all the folks who are coming to the island and shuts his notebook.
A storm is coming and an old man tells Mr. Blore that the Day of Judgment is coming. Ha! Ha! Right?