Murder on the Orient Express

by: Agatha Christie

Chapters 4–5, Part one

Summary Chapters 4–5, Part one

The next morning after the murder, the train still stopped, Christie begins to build the feeling of community and peculiar interrelationships between the passengers. The passengers have a certain knowledge of each other that is unusual and immediately suspicious to the reader and Poirot. For instance, Mary Debenham tells Poirot that Princess Dragomiroff is the strongest person on board the train, "She has only to lift a little finger and ask for something...and the whole train runs." We wonder how Mary Debenham knows such details about Princess Dragomiroff and why would she care to tell Poirot. The communal feeling established between the passengers, their common misfortune, not only heightens the surprise ending of Murder on The Orient Express. The community makes the ending more feasible—when we look back through the novel we can see the complicated interrelationships between the passengers.