She cried out:
“The soldiers! Look!”
There were only six china figures in the middle of the table.
They found him shortly afterwards.
He was in the little washroom across the yard. He had been chopping sticks in preparation for lighting the kitchen fire. The small chopper was still in his hand. A bigger chopper, a heavy affair, was leaning against the door—the metal of it stained a dull brown. It corresponded only too well with the deep wound in the back of Rogers’ head….
Don’t stare like that! As though you thought I was mad. It’s sane enough what I’m asking. Bees, hives, bees! Oh, don’t you understand? Haven’t you read that idiotic rhyme? It’s up in all your bedrooms—put there for you to study! We might have come here straightaway if we’d had sense. Seven little soldier boys chopping up sticks. And the next verse. I know the whole thing by heart, I tell you! Six little soldier boys playing with a hive. And that’s why I’m asking—do they keep bees on this island? Isn’t it funny? Isn’t it damned funny?
The giddiness was passing. She felt drowsy now, as though she could easily go to sleep.
There was a buzzing in her ears—or was it a real buzzing in the room?...
Presently she saw the bee. It was crawling up the windowpane.
Vera Claythorne had talked about bees this morning….
She heard footsteps—soft dragging footsteps coming up behind her. The stumbling footsteps of the drowned girl….
And then she felt the prick.
I have, myself, some sleeping tablets—sulphonal, I think they are. I presume they would be lethal if a sufficiently large dose were given. You, Mr. Lombard, have in your possession a revolver…. I propose that the doctor’s supply of drugs, my own sulphonal tablets, your revolver and anything else of the nature of drugs or firearms should be collected together and placed in a safe place. That after this is done, we should each of us submit to a search—both of our persons and of our effects.