Death on the Nile
Agatha Christie
Contributed by Sharen Felty
Chapter 28
Summary

Colonel Race explains to Poirot that he has been patient, and wants to be told who the murderer is. He presumes that the murderer is not Mr. Pennington, Tim Allerton or Fleetwood. Just as Poirot is about to tell Colonel Race who the real killer is, he is interrupted by Dr. Bessner and Cornelia who appear at the door.

During the discussion, Dr. Bessner explains to Colonel Race about the telegram that Linnet had mistakenly opened, and how it spoke about vegetables such as potatoes, artichokes and leeks. Finally, Colonel Race understands this deeper and exclaims, ‘Richetti!’ He explains that the message on the telegram was a new South African code and potatoes meant machine guns and artichokes are high explosives. Richetti, on the other hand, is an archaeologist who is very dangerous and has killed many. Richetti is therefore the man that Colonel Race is looking for, but he is not the one that carried out the murders on the steamer. Cornelia begs Poirot to tell them who the murderer is.

Poirot explains that he feels stupid because the first clue would have been to question why Jackie’s gun was taken away from the murder scene, and it seems whoever took it away did not really have a choice.

Analysis

After a thorough analysis and rethinking the telegram, Colonel Race finds out that he has been looking for Richetti. The discovery of Richetti is an indication that finally the detectives are closing in on various suspects. Richetti seems to disguise himself through his archaeology work so that he can commit crime. Richetti is a real schemer as evidenced by the use of vegetable names to disguise machine guns and explosives. Poirot’s reaction shows that he is finally understanding the different things that happened, and he has used this to determine who exactly the killer is. It is an indication that the case is almost over.

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