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And Then There Were None
И никого не стало / And Then There Were None Агата Кристи / Agatha Christie
CARLO and MARY This is their book, Dedicated to them with much affection.
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Copyright © 1939 Agatha Christie Limited. All rights reserved.
AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, AGATHA CHRISTIE and the Agatha Christie Signature are registered trade marks of Agatha Christie Limited in the UK and elsewhere. All rights reserved.
I had written this book because it was so difficult to do that the idea had fascinated me. Ten people had to die without it becoming ridiculous or the murderer being obvious. I wrote the book after a tremendous amount of planning, and I was pleased with what I had made of it. It was clear, straightforward, baffling, and yet had a perfectly reasonable explanation; in fact it had to have an epilogue in order to explain it. It was well received and reviewed, but the person who was really pleased with it was myself, for I knew better than any critic how difficult it had been.
In the corner of a first-class smoking carriage, Mr Justice Wargrave, lately retired from the bench, puffed at a cigar and ran an interested eye through the political news in The Times.
He laid the paper down and glanced out of the window. They were running now through Somerset. He glanced at his watch—another two hours to go.
He went over in his mind all that had appeared in the papers about Soldier Island. There had been its original purchase by an American millionaire who was crazy about yachting—and an account of the luxurious modern house he had built on this little island off the Devon coast. The unfortunate fact that the new third wife of the American millionaire was a bad sailor had led to the subsequent putting up of the house and island for sale. Various glowing advertisements of it had appeared in the papers. Then came the first bald statement that it had been bought—by a Mr Owen. After that the rumours of the gossip writers had started. Soldier Island had really been bought by Miss Gabrielle Turl, the Hollywood film star! She wanted to spend some months there free from all publicity! Busy Bee had hinted delicately that it was to be an abode for Royalty. Mr Merryweather had had it whispered to him that it had been bought for a honeymoon—Young Lord L— had surrendered to Cupid at last! Jonas knew for a fact that it had been purchased by the Admiralty with a view to carrying out some very hush-hush experiments!