Death on the Nile
Agatha Christie
Contributed by Sharen Felty
Chapter 9
Summary

The following day, the steamer docks at Ez-Zebua. Cornelia is the first person to hurry to the shore, and meets Poirot as they proceed to view a temple. She explains to Poirot that her cousin, Marie Van Schuyler, will not be joining them as she was in poor health. Cornelia is, however, very happy that Van Schuyler invited her along on the trip. Subsequently, Linnet and Mr. Pennington also makes a visit to the temple.

Upon their return to the steamer, Mr. Pennington approaches Linnet and requests her to sign some documents, to which she agrees. But Mr. Pennington wants Linnet to sign the documents without really going through them, and subsequently alluding that “they're all quite straightforward, nothing of interest… only legal phraseology.” As the documents are being signed, Mr. Fanthorp tells Linnet that he likes her way of doing business. Later, Poirot has a brush with Mr. Ferguson, who is startled to learn that he is a policeman.

Poirot then bumps into Mrs. Otterbourne, crying about how Rosalie has neglected her. He offers to call Rosalie and requests that she goes back to her cabin. Later, Poirot overhears Tim and Rosalie discussing how the world is unfair, since some people have everything.

Analysis

Mr. Pennington attempts to rush Linnet into signing legal documents whose information she may not be privy to. The fact that he only makes her sign two documents is also a cause for alarm, as Linnet has probably signed a document that will affect some of her fortunes and benefit Mr. Pennington. It is implied that he could be hatching a plot with Linnet’s adversaries to take advantage of her fortune once she is eliminated. In the case of Mr. Ferguson, his attitude toward Linnet implies the traditional perception that women were not competent in business. Mrs. Otterbourne’s frustration with her daughter is evident, but Rosalie does not seem to care hence leaving her mother alone.

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