Study Guide

Murder on the Orient Express Part 1, Chapter 8

By Agatha Christie

Part 1, Chapter 8

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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