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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
The guests become more relaxed with each other over the excellent dinner. They are amused that all their rooms contain the "Ten Little Indians" poem and that ten china Indian figures serve as the dinner table centerpiece. After dinner, the pleasant mood changes dramatically as a mysterious voice accuses them each of a past murder. They discover that the voice was a gramophone recording, played by Rogers by previous order from his unknown employer, Mr. Owen. All but Justice Wargrave and Miss Brent are quite shaken from the accusations, and Mrs. Rogers faints when she hears them. Because Mr. Blore is accused with his real name, he is forced to reveal his true identity to the others, explaining that he was hired to protect Mrs. Owen’s jewels from the other guests.
After Dr. Armstrong gives Mrs. Rogers a sedative, the angry guests begin to ask who exactly Owen is. They discover to their shock that none of them have met him or his wife, Mrs. Owen, and some of the guests had thought their host was someone else all together. They compare their letters of invitation under Justice Wargrave’s leadership and conclude that Mr. and Mrs. Owen do not exist. Their names, Ulick Norman Owen and Una Nancy Owen, stand for "UNKNOWN." The judge adds that he believes they have been invited to Indian Island by an insane killer.
In this chapter, the ten guests and servants realize that what seemed like either a pleasant vacation or an arrangement of employment on Indian Island may not be so enjoyable after all. In fact, they are convinced by the end of the chapter that their missing host is a murderous madman. The gramophone recording of murder indictments is significant as it links the very different guests together by similar guilt. The accusations are extremely specific, mentioning dates and names of alleged victims. The guests thus realize they have not been invited for play or work, but under strange circumstances by an unknown person. In this way, the chapter sets the stage for the real action of the plot to begin - that is, the demise of the ten guests.