As the nursery rhyme predicts, who is the first to die and how in the novel And then There Were None?
The poem says that the first one choked himself. Anthony Marston, who was a playboy, heavy on the drink and with a lead foot, was the first to die. His sin? According to the recording,
"Anthony James Marston, that upon the 14th day of Novermber last, you were guilty of the murder of John and Lucy Combes." (pg 47)
It took Anthony a while, but he finally remembered that John and Lucy Combes were two kids he ran over with his car near Cambridge. His only comment about it was,
"Beastly bad luck." (pg 68)
He insists that it was an accident.
" They rushed out of some cottage or other. I had my licence suspended for a year. Beastly nuisance." (pg 68)
He showed absolutely no remorse and hardly remembered the incident. Slowing down on English roads did not even occur to him, in fact he criticized English roads for not keeping up with the speed of automobiles. When the group decides that it would be better if they all left the island the next day, Anthony Marston was the only one to object. He felt that they ought to stay and figure out the mystery. He picks up his drink and toasts to crime.
"He picked up his drink and drank it off at a gulp. Too quickly perhaps. He choked --- choked badly. His face contorted, turned purpole. He gasped for breath -then slid down off his chair, the glass falling from his hand." (pg 74)
It was so sudden and so alarming, everyone just stared at him. Finally Dr. Armstrong went over and pronounced him dead. Everyone was astounded because Anthony Marston was young and appeared to be healthy. Finally Dr. Armstrong tells them that he suspects that there was poison in his drink.
"Everything points to one of the cyanides.......probably Potassium Cyanide. It acts pretty well instantaneously." (pg 76)