‘And Then There Were None’ is Agatha Christie’s best-selling novel with 100 million books sold to date, which made it the world’s best-selling mystery ever. It is one of the most-printed books of all time and Publications International lists it as 7th most-printed book of all time.
The story revolves around ten people who are invited to an Indian Island, off the coast of Devon for a vacation on the weekend of August 8th, by the mysterious Mr. U.N. Owen. They arrive on the island for one reason or the other. Strangely though, their host and hostess are nowhere to be found. They are told that their host and hostess, Mr. and Mrs. U.N. Owen are currently away and then the guests are shifted into their rooms. Each guest finds in his or her room a framed copy of an odd nursery rhyme “Ten Little Soldiers” hanging on the wall. They are stuck on the island with no way out as the weather is not favorable for boats to arrive. Tragedies begin and one by one they being are murdered. There is no one else on the island but the ten guests, and this leads them to believe that the killer is among the ten. One by one they all die, in the ways as written in the nursery rhyme, “and then there were none”.
The poem is as follows:
Ten little Soldier boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine little Soldier boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight little Soldier boys traveling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven little Soldier boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Six little Soldier boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five little Soldier boys going in for law;
One got in Chancery and then there were four.
Four little Soldier boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three little Soldier boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two Little Soldier boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was one.
One little Soldier boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.