Death on the Nile
Agatha Christie
Contributed by Sharen Felty
Chapter 19
Summary

A steward beckons Poirot toward Simon, where the request to bring Jackie along with him was made. She is shocked that Simon wants to see her, but she obliges. She immediately apologizes to Simon for having shot him, but denies having killed Linnet.

Poirot subsequently leaves for Rosalie’s cabin, and finds her in a rather foul mood; and she does not exactly feel like talking to him. Nevertheless, Poirot requests for Rosalie to follow him to the deck, where he explains to her about how she is bearing too much, on the knowledge of her mother’s drunken behavior and how she had secret bottles of spirit. Rosalie finally admits that she threw those bottles overboard at night, and chose to keep quiet as she did not want people to think that she was the murderer. She further explains that her mother’s drinking problems began when her books stopped selling, leaving her frustrated and forgetting how to be socially acceptable. When Poirot asked if Rosalie saw anyone else on the deck, she responds by saying there was no one, after a long and awkward pause. Poirot just nods, but there is worry in his eyes.

Analysis

Poirot’s interview with Rosalie is an indication that he constantly observing. He has been able to determine how she has a strained relationship with her mother due to her alcoholism. Poirot approaches people systematically so that he can get information, and is clearly demonstrated by the way he handles Rosalie — by first making her aware that she knows the issues she is facing, before finally asking whether she saw anybody on the deck at the time she was throwing her mother’s bottles overboard. He further mentions to that Van Schyuler saw her at the time, in an effort to make her reveal the whole truth. Poirot is not convinced that Rosalie did not see anyone else at the time, as the only reason for not disclosing the information is that the culprit may be someone she is close with, and does not want to see suffer.

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