Study Guide

Murder on the Orient Express Part 3, Chapter 3

By Agatha Christie

Part 3, Chapter 3

Certain Suggestive Points

  • M. Bouc and Dr. Constantine attempt to think, though their minds wander. Poirot, on the other hand, stays still and appears to be asleep.
  • Poirot thinks of something. He opens his eyes. He tells his friends that he has a hypothesis now, but that he'll have to make "certain experiments" (3.3.21) to test them.
  • The first suggestive point he mentions is that he is surrounded by "people of all classes, of all ages, of all nationalities" – not common this time of year (3.3.22). Also, one passenger didn't show up.
  • Other suggestive points are discussed. First? The dirty mark on the Countess's passport. What if her first name was actually "Helena" and not "Elena" – she could be tied to the handkerchief. Confirmation of this hypothesis: her damp luggage label on top of her initial on the case.
  • What else? The murder was planned to look like an outside job, but the train stopping changed all that.
  • The threatening letters? Not real.
  • The burned letter? It must mean someone on the train was intimately connected to the Armstrong family, and the letter would have suspicion cast on them.
  • The handkerchief – was it dropped to cast suspicion?
  • Thought: perhaps Countess Andrenyi is the daughter of Linda Arden, a Shakespearean actress. Arden comes from the forest of Arden in As You Like It.
  • Proposal: Countess Andrenyi is Linda Arden's daughter, the younger sister of Mrs. Armstrong, and her real name is Helen Goldenberg.

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