Study Guide

Murder on the Orient Express Part 3, Chapter 4

By Agatha Christie

Part 3, Chapter 4

The Grease Spot on the Hungarian Passport

  • After dinner, Poirot drops the handkerchief and offers it to the Countess. She says it is not hers. He asks if she is Helen Goldenberg, the daughter of Linda Arden.
  • The Count has an outburst, but the Countess/Helena finally owns up to it. She speaks now with an American voice.
  • The reason for the subterfuge? The murdered man murdered her niece. She wanted to avoid being swept into the investigation. She maintains that she did not kill him.
  • The Count gives his word of honor that his wife is telling the truth, and speaks earnestly.
  • The Countess says, still, that the handkerchief is not hers. She changed the passport because she didn't want to be put through rigorous questioning. She was scared.
  • Poirot then asks her for help. First, he asks about Susanne, the maid who threw herself out of the window.
  • The Countess confirms that Susanne was French and a nursemaid, and adds that the nurse's last name was Stengelberg.
  • Poirot asks if she's recognized anyone since she's been on the train. She says no. What about the Princess? Oh yeah, her.
  • Who was the Armstrong governess? She was "a big, red-haired woman" by the name of Freebody (3.4.86).

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